Dylan Palacio battles Iowa's Michael Kemerer in the NCAA quarterfinals (Photo/Tony Rotundo, WrestlersAreWarriors.com)
Two former wrestlers with Long Island roots -- Chris Weidman and Dylan Palacio -- will be featured guests at the first-ever "Wrestling Takes Down Drugs" event Saturday, Feb. 16 at Nassau Community College Field House Gym in Garden City, Long Island, N.Y. The event runs from 9:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. Doors open at 8:30 a.m. There's no charge for admission.
Weidman and Palacio are expected to provide wrestling instruction to participants. Nassau County Police Commissioner Patrick Ryder told CBS New York that he expects some 500-600 students to participate.
Weidman, 34, former UFC middleweight (185-pound) champ, was a New York state wrestling champ for Baldwin High School on Long Island who went on become an All-American at Nassau Community College before earning NCAA All-American honors twice at Hofstra University. In his decade-long career in MMA, Weidman crafted a 14-4 record.
Fellow Long Island native Palacio, a New York state mat champ for Long Beach High, went on to wrestle at Cornell University in upstate New York, where he was a two-time EIWA (Eastern Intercollegiate Wrestling Association) champ and twice an NCAA All-American.
"I'm hoping that it kind of will be something that has helped me," Weidman told CBS. "Wrestling was a big part of my life for a long time. I think the main thing that helped me stay on the straight path was being goal-oriented and having these goals, not being afraid to win or lose, and learning how to do both those with class."
More information about "Wrestling Takes Down Drugs" is available here.