Small Minnesota town with big wrestling history developing MMA programFrazee, MN (WDAY TV) -- The small town of Frazee, Minnesota is quickly becoming a Mecca for MMA fighters.
By: Todd Kurtz, WDAY
Frazee, MN (WDAY TV) -- The small town of Frazee, Minnesota is quickly becoming a Mecca for MMA fighters.
The town is rich with wrestling history, racking up team and individual state titles year after year. All of that talent is finding a smooth transition to the fastest growing sport in the US.
Every young athlete has the same dream; you're out playing a sport, pretending you're one of the pros making it big and having the money and fame to go along with it. This dream was generally for hockey, basketball, football players and so on, but with the recent rise of the UFC, young wrestlers out there can now dream on too.
Kyler Wegner is getting ready for his next fight in the Octagon,
he's one of the latest former frazee wrestlers to take up MMA.
Kyler Wegner: "A lot of people say wrestling is 50-60% of fighting, maybe even more than that. If you're a good wrestler you're probably going to be a good fighter."
Wegner and 3 other Frazee guys are weighing in for an MMA fight in Mitchel, South Dakota tomorrow night. Wegner fought in Aberdeen last month at his first MMA fight. It was his first real combat since high school wrestling.
Kyler Wegner: "There's definitely a lot more opportunity to get hurt, i mean there's a guy trying to hit you in the face. We're used to wrestling in front of pretty big crowds, going down to state you know but it wasn't bad walk in the gate they put the pin in and it's like I've got to either knock him out or I'm going to get knocked out."
Former Frazee standout Kody Sorenson will be testing out the MMA world for the first time tomorrow night, this guy is a Minnesota state champion, 5th at nationals that same year and now on a D-1 wrestling scholarship.
Kody: "After college I might think about it. It just depends on where my career is and you know how much i really like it after this fight."
There's so much talent in Frazee, the official MMA site has an ad telling the sport's coaches to head to the small town.
These guys are fighting in South Dakota to try and get their names out there, maybe one day make it here. This is a pay-per-view fight from March and that is Brian Heden, also a former Frazee wrestler, So far, the only Hornet to see the big stage, this knockout here delivered him a pay day of around 18-thousand bucks.
And then you have Luke Hanson, the one exception in the group of Frazee guys fighting tomorrow, he's never wrestled, never boxed, never been in a fight, just a buddy of Wegners and thought he'd give it a shot.
Luke: "but one thing i always got wrestled with with them so i had to learn quick, i'm a little excited to see how exactly I'm going to take it but a little nervous though i just don't know what I'm getting into yet."
Hanson said he was inspired to do this during Wegner's Aberdeen fight,
and was sold when he saw this. egner knocked out his opponent in the 2nd minute of the first round.
Wegner coaches wrestling at Frazee, he said next years team is filled with studs, possibly a state championship year, and says most of the guys want to get into MMA right when they're done.
One day we could be talking about Frazee wrestlers in the UFC like we talk about Moorhead hockey players in the NHL.