US National Wrestling Champion Pat Downey signs with Bellator MMA

Credit: Mike McClory / Cageside Press

Pat Downey, the 2019 U.S. National Freestyle Championships gold medalist, has signed a deal with Bellator MMA.

Downey, who has yet to compete in mixed martial arts, will make his MMA debut sometime in 2022. The move fits in with Bellator’s trend to sign unproven but promising prospects from the start, with Earlier names like AJ McKee and Aaron Pico paying off in spades.

In addition to his victory at the US Nationals, Downey won silver at the 2012 world junior championships, bronze at the 2016 Big 12 championships and bronze at the 2019 Pan American Games. He was also All- American from NCAA Division I in 2016 for Iowa State.

Downey, who has had an often tumultuous run outside of wrestling, including assault and theft charges in 2010, was linked with a fight under the LFA banner last year. The fight never took place; Instead, Downey competed in submission grappling, going 1-1 for the year.

Ariel helwani was the first to break news of Downey’s signing with Bellator on Thursday. Bellator president Scott Coker then confirmed the reservation, welcoming the wrestler into the promotion. Downey is expected to compete at 185 pounds.

Downey then released a statement on social media. “Tthanks Scott Coker and Bellator MMA for this a new career opportunity. Well done to everyone who supported me throughout this tumultuous journey. That being said; you middleweights are screwed.

The Bellator MMA begins its 2022 year with the Bellator 273 on January 29 at the Footprint Center in Phoenix, AZ. Ryan Bader and Valentin Moldavsky will unify the heavyweight title of the promotion in the main event.


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