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UnderGround Forums >> Next big thing Steve Mocco debuts tonight


11/2/12 2:37 PM
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Underground Blog
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Steve Mocco is arguably the greatest high school heavyweight ever, a two-time NCAA Division I national champion, a Dan Hodge Trophy winner, four-time NCAA finalist, a 2008 Olympian among numerous other titles.

Mocco's wrestling career is one of incredible achievement, but perhaps unfulfilled potential or unmet expectations. He never won an Olympic or world championships medal. He failed to qualify for the 2012 Olympic team.

If there is an achetype for elite wrestlers who ultimately transition to MMA, it's those who made it to the absolute peak of wrestling but ended up just short of their own career goals. Mocco fits that mold.

A chance encounter with a UFC veteran and a lingering curiosity with MMA changed everything.

Tonight in Las Vegas, Nev. at Resurrection Fighting Alliance 4 on AXS TV, Mocco is set to make his professional mixed martial arts debut under the watchful eye of Ricardo Liborio and American Top Team.

MMAFighting's Luke Thomas conducted an extensive interview with what may well be the next big thing in MMA.

Luke Thomas: So a lot of guys you actually faced in college have wound up coming over to MMA and doing pretty well, Cain Velasquez chief among that. Did you have any moments where you were obviously interested in it, obviously guys were in your ear, but did you ever have any moments where you said to yourself,'Here's a guy who I beat in college and he's just kicking ass over here. I bet I could do that, too.' Did that particular kind of thought ever cross your mind?

Steve Mocco:  Not necessarily that but I see a lot of guys I went to school with and wrestled with having success and I thought it was an interesting thing to get involved with and I think as long as I'm looking at these guys and they're doing well, and a lot of them had they continued to wrestle probably would have done really well. They made the jump so it seemed like a smoother transition looking at them.

LT: There have been elite wrestlers that have come over and maybe not quite at your level but certainly good ones and there's an argument that they were pushed way too fast. They were elite and they got into fights with guys that were MMA veterans and it didn't go their way. Some would argue that they got ruined along the way. Are you conscious of there being a 'too much, too soon?' Are you looking to have a really measured entrance into mixed martial arts in terms of the quality of opponent?

SM: I'm 30 years old. I want to challenge myself. It's not like I'm 19 years old and just getting my feet wet in the sport. At the same time, I have a lot of faith in my coaches and if they think I'm ready, I know I'm ready.

Read entire interview...

 

                                       


11/2/12 2:48 PM
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Kirik
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Great card tonight, I can't wait to find out.

11/2/12 4:18 PM
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BispingsBritishWrasslin
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Mix6APlix - Does he have any striking prowess or is he going to be a grinder?

don't think he really needs to have striking prowess to not be a grinder.

look at Brock. he had pretty bad standup but finished a lot of fights. IMO he was one of the most exciting guys in the UFC when he was there. at the HW level, everyone hits hard.

look at Cormier as well. guy is never boring.

brock took people down and landed lunchboxes from the top. this guy could look to do the same.

11/2/12 4:25 PM
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BRUCEYI
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There's an Iowa wrestling documentary featuring him if anyone is interested. He's a tough as hell Phone Post
11/2/12 4:29 PM
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BRUCEYI
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There's an Iowa wrestling documentary featuring him if anyone is interested. He's a tough as hell Phone Post
11/2/12 7:31 PM
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jaytrainwreck
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Hawkeye02 - I will never route for Mocco, as he is a traitor. Expect Mocco to get great at ATT, then leave them to join a different team.
Why? Phone Post
11/2/12 7:37 PM
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domernd1
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jaytrainwreck -
Hawkeye02 - I will never route for Mocco, as he is a traitor. Expect Mocco to get great at ATT, then leave them to join a different team.
Why? Phone Post
Left Iowa to go to OKST. Phone Post
11/2/12 7:38 PM
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BrCutter
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Kirik -

Great card tonight, I can't wait to find out.

Agree. Good event from top to bottom.


Mocco!!!!!!!!!!!!! Phone Post
11/2/12 8:04 PM
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GladiatorGannon
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If it ain't Dutch, it ain't much - 
jaytrainwreck - 
Hawkeye02 - I will never route for Mocco, as he is a traitor. Expect Mocco to get great at ATT, then leave them to join a different team.
Why? Phone Post

Guys leave camps all the time, those things happen in MMA.

What camp did he leave? It's a fighters job to win and be the best fighter he can be. If the camp is not giving him the tools to do this, it's his duty to go elsewhere.

his job: to win
their job: to get him prepared to win.
11/2/12 8:09 PM
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Tommy Gunnz
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well even if he isn't good at MMA, the guy is obviously very smart to leave Iowa to go to Oklahoma State!
11/2/12 8:23 PM
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slugshot331
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If it ain't Dutch, it ain't much - 
jaytrainwreck - 
Hawkeye02 - I will never route for Mocco, as he is a traitor. Expect Mocco to get great at ATT, then leave them to join a different team.
Why? Phone Post

Guys leave camps all the time, those things happen in MMA.

11/2/12 8:32 PM
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SinCityHustler
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Iowa and Oklahoma State are bitter rivals.  Mocco started out at Iowa and won a national title and finished 2nd another year.  He then took a year off to train for the Olympics and when he returned to college, he popped up at Oklahoma State fro his junior and senior season.  He would finish with another championship and another runner up, (Cole Konrad).  The word was he went there to train under John Smith in order to develop his leg attacks and imporve his chances at world and Olympic titles.  He did make an Olympic team but he fail to medal.  He never did get his leg attacks going, relying mostly on his foot sweeps for tke downs.  Iowa fans hate(d) him for the move and Oklahoma State fans embraced him as one of their own.  He eventually left OSU and went to Lehigh to coach there.  

11/2/12 8:34 PM
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grafzep
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I've always liked this guy, he's a beast. I hope his debut goes well
11/2/12 8:51 PM
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cbeebe5
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High level wrestlers always have trouble adjusting to getting punched in the face. Lets see how Mocco deals. Phone Post
11/2/12 9:24 PM
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GriffinQ
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SPOILERS BELOW











Mocco won by submission in the 2nd and looked pretty good leading up to it according to journalists there Phone Post
11/2/12 9:45 PM
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Tyson86
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Sub for video, or pics, or gifs, or some sort of thing
11/2/12 10:04 PM
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Malachy Friedman
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play by play detail?
11/2/12 10:05 PM
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cheesesteak
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He's been learning from Dan Severn too...

 

11/2/12 10:08 PM
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ausgepicht
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cbeebe5 - High level wrestlers always have trouble adjusting to getting punched in the face. Lets see how Mocco deals. Phone Post
Yes, as evidenced by all the wrestlers who have become champions in MMA. are you knew to the sport? Phone Post
11/2/12 10:35 PM
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Stone Free
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BispingsBritishWrasslin - 
Mix6APlix - Does he have any striking prowess or is he going to be a grinder?

don't think he really needs to have striking prowess to not be a grinder.

look at Brock. he had pretty bad standup but finished a lot of fights. IMO he was one of the most exciting guys in the UFC when he was there. at the HW level, everyone hits hard.

look at Cormier as well. guy is never boring.

brock took people down and landed lunchboxes from the top. this guy could look to do the same.


Cormier actually has good standup though. They said he picked up the boxing part of the game easily.

11/2/12 10:36 PM
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blacksamurai
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domernd1 -
jaytrainwreck -
Hawkeye02 - I will never route for Mocco, as he is a traitor. Expect Mocco to get great at ATT, then leave them to join a different team.
Why? Phone Post
Left Iowa to go to OKST. Phone Post
Not that bad imo they're not even rivals just in the same conference... I could see if it was iowa state... Phone Post
11/2/12 10:40 PM
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blacksamurai
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cheesesteak -

 

He's been learning from Dan Severn too...

 

What do you mean by that? Phone Post
11/2/12 10:43 PM
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blacksamurai
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SinCityHustler -

Iowa and Oklahoma State are bitter rivals.  Mocco started out at Iowa and won a national title and finished 2nd another year.  He then took a year off to train for the Olympics and when he returned to college, he popped up at Oklahoma State fro his junior and senior season.  He would finish with another championship and another runner up, (Cole Konrad).  The word was he went there to train under John Smith in order to develop his leg attacks and imporve his chances at world and Olympic titles.  He did make an Olympic team but he fail to medal.  He never did get his leg attacks going, relying mostly on his foot sweeps for tke downs.  Iowa fans hate(d) him for the move and Oklahoma State fans embraced him as one of their own.  He eventually left OSU and went to Lehigh to coach there.  

Are Ok State, and Oklahoma not bitter rivals? That whole conference is intense its like the SEC of wrestling... Phone Post
11/2/12 10:52 PM
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cheesesteak
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blacksamurai - 
cheesesteak -

 

He's been learning from Dan Severn too...

 

What do you mean by that? Phone Post

11/3/12 12:01 AM
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cheesesteak
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what a failure I am! waaaaaaaaa...waaaaaaaaaahhhh

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