Hritsko And Nickal Predict A Full Penn State Takeover

Bo has certainly kicked the door in for a lot of wrestling fans, but with ATT opening a gym next door to the reigning NCAA champions and Lawson and RBY’s ties to the sport, there may be a dramatic addition to the UFC fanbase on the way. Some of the most popular members of the most dominant program in the past decade tying themselves to MMA can’t be anything but good for both sports.

“This shows that Penn State produces talent,” Hritsko said. “The dynasty that Penn State has become is being pulled back from the generation that Cael started in. You’re really starting to see the effects of Cael Sanderson’s coaching going out into other avenues than wrestling.”

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National championship podiums, Olympic podiums and now the cage. There’s no telling where Penn State graduates may end up, but it usually tends to be the top of the pack. With DC, Randy Couture, and Nick Piccininni on the come up, Oklahoma State will always be known as Champ-Champ U to fight fans, but Penn State is the school to go to if you’re planning an MMA career after dominating the mat ?

“That’s what’s so great about Penn State,” Hritsko said. “These guys go onto win national titles, but what are they doing after that? Are they going to the Contender Series, are they going to the UFC, are they going to wrestle on the world stage or the Olympic stage? Then you see these guys and realize that they’re from that legendary Penn State program.”

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Nickal all but guarantees it won’t be long before Hritsko will be able to go from “TOP TEN WRESTLERS IN PENN STATE HISTORY” videos to “TOP TEN WRESTLERS TURNED MIXED MARTIAL ARTISTS IN PENN STATE HISTORY.” The journey begins with Nickal on August 9.

“What people don’t understand is that what we have coming is truly a different kind of athlete,” Nickal said. “Myself, all these young guys coming up, we’re different kinds of athletes that are coming out of these schools. Obviously, there’s been a lot of wrestlers who have been successful, a lot of Russian wrestlers, this and that, but when you have collegiate NCAA folkstyle all-Americans, multiple time national champions that are going to be coming into the sport of MMA, that’s just truly a different athlete from a training perspective, a psychology perspective, from an experience perspective. I think we’ve had a lot of guys with success, Jimmy, Phil Davis, myself, but I think moving forward we’re really going to start a new era and take over the sport. I think in five or ten years, half the champions on the UFC roster could be coming from Penn State and out of our gym.”

Catch iKon FC’s Bo Nickal at Dana White’s Contender Series, Tuesday, August 9!

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