Cornell wretlers visited the UFC Performance Institute (Photo/UFC.com)
The UFC Performance Center is just the ticket for mixed martial arts fighters ... and, it turns out, great for amateur wrestlers, too.
Before stepping onto the mat at the U.S. Open in Las Vegas this week, ten Cornell University wrestlers and their coach Rob Koll spent a couple hours at the Vegas-based UFC Performance Institute.
At its website, the UFC Performance Institute describes itself as "the global destination in high performance for MMA." This 30,000 square foot, state-of-the-art facility features a grappling area, a regulation Octagon, boxing ring ... along with a strength and conditioning facility, a physical therapy suite, hydrotherapy area, even nutrition consultation.
That last part -- nutrition consultation -- is where Clint Wattenberg comes in. A Cornell grad who wrestled for the Big Red, Wattenberg is now UFC PI's director of nutrition. He decided to invite the wrestlers and head coach Rob Koll for a training session at the UFC Performance Center.
"To be able to support these guys and provide them with the resources of the UFC PI is incredible," Wattenberg told Gavin Porter of UFC.com. "We will continue to build a strong network that is unique to combat sports that develops and enhances performance. The UFC PI really wants to expose the fact that we have unmatched resources and we want to use them to cultivate athletes."
Coach Koll saw the value of bringing wrestlers such as four-time NCAA champion Kyle Dake and two-time national champ Yianni Diakomihalis to the UFC Performance Institute.
"It's just exciting for the guys to be in this building," Koll said. "To be training around Clint and around Forrest Griffin is special to them. The PI takes us out of that old school training mindset and helps us realize there is a science behind what we do. It isn't merely what you see in Rocky. The PI adds a legitimacy and respect to combat sports."