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  • Photo: Tony Rotundo

    Photo: Tony Rotundo

    The Wrestling Fan's Guide to the MMA Weekend (11/12/21)

    Aaron Pico at the 2016 Olympic Trials (Photo/Tony Rotundo; WrestlersAreWarriors.com)

    Last weekend's UFC show was dominated by former wrestlers, and those former mat stars put on several memorable performances. The same can't be said about this weekend's UFC card, but Bellator is back on Friday night with three key former wrestlers: Tyrell Fortune, Aaron Pico and Cody Law. Also on Sunday, Mo Miller returns to action in a bout that will be broadcast on UFC Fight Pass.

    Tyrell Fortune returns to heavyweight action after picking up perhaps the biggest win of his career over Matt Mitrione. During his collegiate days, Fortune was a two-time NJCAA champion at Clackamas and eventually transferred to Grand Canyon. At the new school, he won an NCAA Division II title. Fortune also excelled in both freestyle and Greco, as he came one match away from picking up a pair of bronze medals at the 2013 World University Games. On Friday, he takes on veteran Linton Vassell, who challenged Ryan Bader for the Bellator light heavyweight title in 2017.

    Aaron Pico was once considered the greatest prospect in MMA history. He famously decided to forego college in order to wrestle freestyle and eventually transition into MMA. He won a Cadet World championship in 2013 and holds a bronze and silver medals from the Junior World Championships. Pico rebounded nicely from some early adversity in his MMA career, and he is currently riding a four-fight winning streak. He faces a tough test at Bellator 271 as he is scheduled to face Justin Gonzales. The “J-Train” is undefeated at 12-0 in his MMA career and is coming off a split-decision victory over former Ohio wrestler Tywan Claxton.

    Cody Law was a Division II champion for Pitt-Johnstown and spent time at Penn State. He made his professional debut in Bellator last year and has built a 4-0 record in the promotion. On Friday's show, he takes on Colton Hamm, who is 4-3 as a professional and will be making his promotional debut.

    Fortune and Pico will both compete on the main card of Bellator 271, which airs live on Showtime at 10:00pm ET. Law's bout will be on the preliminary card that begins at 7:00pm ET on YouTube.

    On Sunday, Mo Miller will return to action for the first time since his bout on Dana White's Contenders Series. He will take on Jose Johnson in the co-main event of Fury FC 53, which airs live on UFC Fight Pass. Miller was a three-time Division II All-American for Notre Dame.

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