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  • Photo: Tony Rotundo

    Photo: Tony Rotundo

    The Wrestling Fan's Guide to the MMA Weekend (8/20/21)

    Clay Guida (left) and Mark Madsen(Photos courtesy of Tony Rotundo; WrestlersAreWarriors.com)

    There has been plenty of wrestling to watch over the last few weeks, but the MMA machine keeps on moving. This weekend, in particular, there are a variety of shows complete with former wrestlers. The slate, which consists of shows from Bellator and the UFC, features multiple former Division I wrestlers, a multiple-time All-American and even an Olympic medalist.

    Bellator 265

    Logan Storley was a four-time All-American at Minnesota who completed his eligibility in 2015. Later that same year, he made his MMA debut and has since built an 11-1 record. He returns to action here after suffering his first professional defeat against current champion Yaroslav Amosov. The comeback trail starts against a fellow wrestler as Dante Schiro was on the squad for Division III Wisconsin Whitewater.

    Taylor Johnson wrestled for Oregon State before transferring to Southern Oregon. At the new school, he became a three-time NAIA All-American and won a title in 2014. He defeated Lance Wright this past June and makes a quick turnaround here against Fabio Aguiar.

    Mike Hamel started his college career at Wyoming before returning to his home state to wrestle for Grand Canyon. There he became a Division II All-American. He currently holds a 7-5 record and takes on Bryce Logan on Friday.

    Archie Colgan also wrestled at Wyoming, where he was a four-year starter and a two-time NCAA qualifier. He came the closest to the All-American podium as a junior, where he made the bloodround but ultimately dropped an overtime match against Paul Fox of Stanford. Colgan has started his professional MMA career with back-to-back wins and is looking to make it three in a row against Ben Simons.

    Bailey Schoenfelder was a South Dakota state champion for Huron before playing football at Minnesota. He takes on another former high school wrestler from the Midwest as Kevin Childs wrestled for Ottumwa in Iowa.

    Childs will not be the only former Ottumwa wrestler on the card as fellow alumnus Kory Moegenburg fights Jeff Nielsen. This bout will also be another contest between two former wrestlers as Jeff Nielsen competed in college at Augustana.

    The preliminary card of Friday's Bellator 265 airs live on YouTube at 6:25pm ET. Showtime broadcasts the main card at 9:00pm ET.

    UFC Vegas 34

    In the main event of this weekend's UFC show, Kelvin Gastelum will take on Jared Cannonier. Gastelum was a state champion in Arizona at the high school level. He then competed for a time for North Idaho College, but ultimately left the sport to focus on MMA. Gastelum will be an underdog against Jared Cannonier, and the former "The Ultimate Fighter" winner really needs a win after dropping four of his last five fights.

    Clay Guida wrestled at Harper College and has stayed true to his roots throughout his MMA career. However, he might be up against it here. He takes on Mark Madsen, who was a six-time World/Olympic medalist in Greco. Madsen made the finals of the 2016 Olympics at 75 kg and finished with a silver medal after coming up short against Roman Vlasov.

    William Knight was a state champion for Manchester High in Connecticut . He made the UFC after an impressive performance on Dana White's Contender Series. Knight takes on Fabio Cherant this weekend.

    Saturday's entire UFC card airs live on ESPN+ starting at 7:00pm ET.

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