- Gable Steveson is already one of many world’s prime fight sports activities athletes.
- That is in response to Phil Davis, a Bellator MMA fighter who competes in opposition to Yoel Romero on Saturday.
- Steveson, an Olympic champion, not too long ago signed a three-year cope with WWE. He may battle MMA after.
American gold medal-winning wrestler Gable Steveson, 21, might be a top-10 MMA fighter in any group, together with the UFC.
That is in response to Bellator MMA athlete Phil Davis, an completed wrestler himself who returns to the cage Saturday to battle Yoel Romero.
Their mild heavyweight ruck headlines the 13-fight Bellator 266 occasion which takes place contained in the SAP Middle in San Jose, California, and will probably be broadcast on the premium community Showtime.
However earlier than their brawl, each fighters spoke to Insider in regards to the combating talents Steveson exhibited on the Olympic Video games earlier this 12 months in Tokyo, and the way good he might be if he had chosen MMA over skilled wrestling with the WWE.
“What wrestling brings to fighting is quintessential and invaluable, so him competing at the highest level in wrestling lets me know that he’s already a top tier fighter,” Davis, a 36-year-old former collegiate wrestling champion, informed us.
Davis stated Steveson is so good already, after what he confirmed all through the Olympics this summer season, that he would not run right into a comparable expertise till he confronted a fighter ranked inside an MMA promotion’s top-10.
“In order to beat that guy [in the top-10], it’s going to take some training,” Davis stated.
Steveson wrote a Hollywood script on the Olympics
Ezra Shaw / Getty Photographs
Steveson’s efficiency in Tokyo captured the eye of the media, the creativeness of the followers who watched from residence, and made many sports activities industries get up and take discover.
Steveson’s run to the Olympic title included a win over the defending champion Taha Akgul within the 125-kilogram males’s freestyle class, earlier than coming from behind to topple three-time world champion Geno Petriashvili within the ultimate.
Steveson’s victory was made all of the extra outstanding as he was 5-8 down on the scoreboard with round 90 seconds left within the match. Battling each his opponent and an expiring clock, Steveson had solely 10 seconds to rally.
However rally he did, as he scored takedown after takedown earlier than successful with half a second to spare.
The spectacular victory noticed him grow to be one of many best free brokers in all sports activities, because it appeared like he was courting curiosity from skilled wrestling firms, MMA corporations, and even soccer groups, as reported by MMA Fighting.
Steveson signed a three-year cope with the WWE that may see him return to the College of Minnesota the place he’ll put together for one more NCAA championship, in addition to a future life in sports activities leisure.
Bellator MMA fighter Davis, although, believes an MMA profession may nonetheless be an choice for Steveson because the wrestler would carry large curiosity and fanfare with him, after a profitable interval within the WWE.
“I’m sure he’s got a good five year plan mapped out,” stated Davis. “Going to the WWE is going to give him that amazing fanbase, and give him some of that [Jake and Logan] Paul brother mystique when he comes into MMA.”
Wrestling is the most effective basis for MMA, Bellator fighters say
The promotional poster for Bellator 266.
Photograph by Bellator MMA
The principle occasion fighters for Saturday’s Bellator 266 present, Davis and Romero, each agree that out of all the person fight sports activities disciplines, it’s wrestling that gives the most effective base for MMA.
Although this implies, in concept, Steveson is well-poised to excel ought to he ever compete within the sport professionally, Romero — a former silver medalist from the 2000 Olympic Video games — stated all of it is dependent upon the athlete.
“Everything depends on the athlete,” Romero informed us in Spanish, by way of an English language translator. “Depending on how the athlete can make the transitions.
“There are athletes who do not wish to get punched within the face. There are boxers who do not wish to get kicked. I’ve pals who field, they usually do not wish to get kicked. They do not wish to get thrown or slammed.
“Or, perhaps, being a wrestler, they do not wish to get hit. All of it is dependent upon the athlete, the character. There are Muay Thai fighters who don’t love jiu jitsu.
“Sometimes when they go to the floor, they get put in a submission hold and do not like it. So they say MMA is not for them. Therefore all we have to do is wait and see.
“If he is capable of adapt to the game, all we will do is want them a fruitful and affluent profession,” Romero said, before adding: “Wrestling is a pedigree that dominates and annoys a fighter who cannot wrestler.”
Steveson is already one of the world’s best
Davis finished: “If Steveson determined to get into MMA proper now, he’d be a top-10 fighter on anyone’s roster.
“Now, to get through the top-10 is going to take some more experience. But he’s immediate top-10 just on what he can do — how he can move, how fast and strong he is, and his physicality.”
Bellator 266 takes place this weekend.
It’s 44-year-old former UFC star Romero’s debut look for the Los Angeles-based promotion.
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