View Full Version : 3x NCAA champ, 2004 Olympic silver medalist Stephen Abas to make MMA debut in May


nodogoshi
04-04-2010, 07:56 AM
STEPHEN ABAS (shown here scoring a takedown) will make his MMA debut in May
Photo/Tech-Fall.com

One of the most decorated amateur wrestlers of this decade is entering the world of MMA (mixed martial arts) in May.

Stephen Abas, three-time NCAA Division I wrestling champ for Fresno State and 2004 Olympic silver medalist, will make his mixed martial arts debut May 5 at Tachi Palace Fights' "Cinco de Mayhem" in Lemoore, California, according to MMAjunkie.com.

Abas has a mat career littered with accomplishments. A graduate of James Logan High School, Abas was a three-time California state champion, building a 190-10 prep record. For the Fresno State Bulldogs, Abas was a four-time NCAA All-American, winning the 125-pound national title in 1999, 2001 and 2002. In college, the Santa Ana, California native compiled a 144-4 career record, for an incredible win percentage of .973.

In 2004, Abas won the silver medal in freestyle competition at 55 kg at the Athens Olympics.

The following year, Abas was one of fifteen wrestlers to be voted to the NCAA 75th Anniversary Wrestling Team. Among the all-time greats to earn that honor: Cael Sanderson, Dan Gable, John Smith, and Dan Hodge.

After an unsuccessful quest to make the 2008 US Olympic team (losing in the trials to eventual gold medalist Henry Cejudo), Stephen Abas retired from amateur wrestling in 2008.

According to MMAjunkie.com, Abas is the wrestling coach at The Arena Gym in San Diego, working with MMA veterans Diego Sanchez, Fabricio Camoes, and K.J. Noons. The 32-year-old Abas is expected to compete at 135 pounds.

32 could be a little late for his weight, but this guy joins the ranks of other absolutely top-notch wrestlers to make the switch in recent years. Abas has to now be considered the most decorated wrestler in MMA.

FreeFocus
04-04-2010, 02:22 PM
Interesting. 32 may be a bit late, but people age differently. Aren't grapplers more durable at older ages than strikers are because their styles don't really rely on speed/reflexes as much?

kaps
04-04-2010, 03:30 PM
Interesting. 32 may be a bit late, but people age differently. Aren't grapplers more durable at older ages than strikers are because their styles don't really rely on speed/reflexes as much?

No, grapplers rely on speed and reflexes just as much as strikers, they just take less trauma to the brain...