MMA's ties with NCAA wrestling were evident on Saturday, as Randy Couture, Ben Askren and Tyron Woodley presented awards and several other fighters were in the stands cheering on the wrestlers. The mats were filled with future fighters. Not all have professed an interest in making the jump to MMA, but here are the ones I hope will make the jump at some point, whether it's as soon as they graduate or after making a run towards Olympic gold.
Kyle Dake, Cornell -- Because even though he already has three national titles under his belt, Dake is still growing and getting better. He has jumped a weight class every year, and dominated every new weight. Rumor has it that Dake is headed to medical school, so cagefighting probably isn't in his future. It's still fun to dream, right?
David Taylor, Penn State -- The sophomore pinned his way to the finals, then finished off his Most Outstanding Wrestler award-winning performance with a technical fall. His smooth takedowns had opponents on the ground before they knew what happened.
Tony Ramos, Iowa -- Another sophomore, Ramos won his third-place match by coming from out of nowhere to pin Minnesota's Chris Dardanes. At 133 lbs, his size and speed could find a home a fly or bantamweight.
Jordan Oliver, Oklahoma State -- He may have lost his final on a controversial call, but that doesn't take away the junior's accomplishments in the tournament. He pinned his way to the final with a nasty takedown that could wreak havoc in the cage.
Christopher Honeycutt, Edinboro -- The runner-up at 197 lbs. has already indicated his plans to go into MMA, and opponents will have a hard time dealing with his strength and size. He told reporters that he is fascinated by the challenge of mastering so many disciplines of MMA, and won't be the first Fighting Scot to try fighting. Josh Koscheck won a national championship for Edinboro.