IRISH-AMERICAN MMA and wrestling star Pat Downey has revealed that he hopes to represent Ireland at the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris.
The much decorated former collegiate star says the process has started for him to realize his dream of competing at an Olympic Games.
James Patrick Downey III, whose father is Irish, makes his MMA debut next week at Bellator 284 – revealed the news exclusively to SunSport.
Downey said to dawn the green jersey would be a dream realized: “A dream, a dream dude. My dad, I can’t even say what he would do. He would s*** a brick.
Baltimore native middleweight has a tattoo of his family name on his back, along with an Irish flag on his ribcage.
The ‘Lizard King’ revealed paperwork has been submitted to relevant officials as he looks to realize his Olympic dream by representing the tricolor in France.
He said: “Right now we’re just sending in paperwork. I would actually have to head over to Ireland try to incorporate if I were to ever fight there – they say the end of September – I would try to build in the ability to stay there [Ireland] to meet with the necessary people to expedite the process.
“It’s just being talked about, I’d have to see the legitimacy of it. I’d have to see how I’d go about getting dual-citizenship, and how the governing bodies handle that.
The former Iowa State alumni ace is also set to make his MMA debut for US promotion Bellator next week. He believes he could medal for Ireland in the Greco-Roman discipline in 2024, if he is eligible to compete for Ireland.
He added: “We have American athletes representing other countries – just look at Michigan’s regional training center – half the f****** squad represent somebody else but they train here.
“I don’t necessarily understand everything – I’m just saying that it’s a desire of mine because it most certainly is – and I’m way too good.
“I’m one of the best wrestlers in the world on any given day – top ten or top 5 on this planet – on any given day.
“For me not to be able to represent my skills for some countries is just a waste. How can I not be at that tournament [Paris 2024] because I can win the mother f***** on any given day because I’m that damn good.”
Ireland does not have an Olympic wrestling team, which means Downey would have to qualify through the European qualifiers if he is eligible to represent Ireland.
He added: “I’m of the understanding that this process takes a year, so that’s why it has to begin now if we’re going to compete at the 2024 games.”
The Miami resident who is known for voicing his opinions has had a turbulent relationship with USA Wrestling over the years, and has been in a stacked divisions with some of the best names in the sport – such as J’den Cox, Bo Nickel and David Taylor – to name but a few.
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Downey says he doesn’t want to represent the governing bodies in US wrestling anymore as he looks to complete the switch.
He added: “Yeah, not only are the USA really f****** good, and it’s a hard a** team to make. We’ve got some guys like David Taylor – who is arguably one of the best guys ever to compete in the sport at that weight [86kg].
“So, respect to USA – I’ve never had a problem with our wrestlers, and I’ve had some coaches that made a great impact on me, too.
“Kevin Jackson and Reece Humphries, I’ve had some great coaches at the senior and collegiate level.
“I owe my life to wrestling because of where I come from in East Baltimore.
“It’s the governing bodies the NCAA, USA Wrestling – maybe representing them is what I’ve given up on. How long can you sit around and stay somewhere you’re not wanted. It’s like being at a party you’re not invited to.”
Pat Downey makes his MMA Debut next week at Bellator MMA 284, August 12, which you can watch live on Virgin Media in Ireland.