PFB - OSU Wrestling and John Smith Have Produced More UFC Champions than Any Other College Program or Coach

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Greenhorn
Feb 17, 2018
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30
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#1
A few months ago I wrote a bit of an overview on Cowboy wrestling’s success in mixed martial arts.

When I put it together I noticed there were write-ups out there discussing the topic of specific wrestling programs and MMA fighters they put out. I found one on Missouri and one on Arizona State, but there weren’t many that dug into actual data comparing college wrestling programs, coaches, etc… and what they do as far as producing MMA talent.

With that I’ve started to compile some of that data for a few writeups and thought with Kyle Crutchmer making his MMA debut this coming weekend and Randy Couture going into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame this past weekend it would be a good week to discuss it.

The first thing I decided to look at was the numbers comparing what coaches and programs have had the most success in putting out UFC Champs. ESPN has compiled a list of all UFC champions. I put that info in a spreadsheet, looked up what schools and coaches each guy wrestled for, and here’s what came out.

As far as the number of wrestlers from a single school Oklahoma State topped the list with three. Former Cowboys Randy Couture, Daniel Cormier, and Johny Hendricks have all held titles. Ohio State came in second with two, Kevin Randleman and Mark Coleman, and many other schools had one. All of the Cowboys spent a large amount of time at their school and have heavily cemented legacies at OSU, but I should note that a some of these guys spent somewhat short stints at their schools and I just listed the last one they attended. I reached out to Pat Miletich because I couldn’t find his college listed anywhere and he informed me he was only at Sioux Empire for a very short period. Some of the other guys had similar stints at their schools, but all did attend the school if it’s listed.

SCHOOL NUMBER OF CHAMPIONS
OKLAHOMA STATE 3
OHIO STATE 2
MINNESOTA 1
ARIZONA STATE 1
CLEVELAND STATE 1
CAL STATE BAKERSFIELD 1
IOWA CENTRAL COMMUNITY COLLEGE 1
CAL POLY 1
LASSEN COMMUNITY COLLEGE 1
MICHIGAN STATE 1
IOWA 1
HOFSTRA 1
SIMPSON COLLEGE 1
SIOUX EMPIRE COLLEGE 1
MISSOURI 1
EASTERN ILLINOIS 1
BOISE STATE UNIVERSITY 1
CLARION 1
DANA COLLEGE 1
CAL STATE FULLERTON 1
NOTRE DAME COLLEGE 1

Naturally the list of coaches pretty much mirrors the list of schools and with OSU having the highest number of champs and all of them being from the John Smith era. Smith tops the list of wrestling coaches that have produced UFC champions. Randy Couture wrestled for both Smith and Joe Seay, but John was his coach his final years here. Both the Ohio State wrestlers were coached by Russ Hellickson and the rest of the list just follows coaches from each program.

COACH NUMBER OF CHAMPIONS
JOHN SMITH 3
RUSS HELLICKSON 2
J ROBISON 1
THOM ORTIZ 1
JACK EFFNER 1
PAUL HERRERA 1
LUKE MOFFIT 1
LENNIS COWELL 1
FRANCIS BEAUJON 1
TOM MINKLE 1
DAN GABLE 1
TOM RYAN 1
BOB DARRAH 1
JOHNNY JOHNSON 1
BRIAN SMITH 1
RALPH MCCAUSLAND 1
GREG RANDALL 1
KEN NELLIS 1
STEVE COSTANZO 1
FRANK ROMANO 1
DAN HICKS 1

Everyone knows about Oklahoma State’s rich wrestling tradition but it’s pretty cool to see the Cowboys’ dominance translate from the mat to inside the cage.

The post OSU Wrestling and John Smith Have Produced More UFC Champions than Any Other College Program or Coach appeared first on Pistols Firing.

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