The Ultimate Fighting Championship is getting into
the college wrestling business.

According to a press release on Thursday, the promotion has issued
its first-ever college sponsorship to the Iowa Hawkeyes. In
particular, the UFC will be issuing support and marketing for the
wrestling departments of the University of Iowa, which recently
created a women’s wrestling program a year ago. The organization
will place signs inside the Carver-Hawkeye Arena in Iowa City,
Iowa, as well as running content on its radio shows and social
media services.

The head coach of the men’s wrestling team, Tom Brands, was
thrilled about the arrangement, saying, “The partnership between
Iowa wrestling and UFC is a perfect fit. We both celebrate tough,
physical athletes who compete at the highest level. There is a
bridge between wrestlers and fighters across the two sports. With
this agreement, it is even more significant.”

Several UFC competitors and renowned trainers have come up through
the University of Iowa wrestling system, mostly notably active
competitor Jordan
. Additionally, talents such as Paul
and Royce Alger
wrestled as Hawkeyes before plying their trade in the sport of MMA.
, who coaches wrestling at
American Top Team
, won the 2003 National Championship, and was
also a Division I All-American with the University of Iowa in 2002
and 2003.

“We’re proud to support the Iowa Hawkeyes men’s and women’s
wrestling programs,” Lawrence Epstein, UFC Chief Operating Officer
stated. “Many of the best UFC athletes were skilled and experienced
collegiate wrestlers. Wrestling provides an excellent foundation of
athleticism, discipline, determination, and respect that is needed
to have a successful MMA career. We’re looking forward to seeing
the Hawkeyes continue their tradition of excellence and
sportsmanship and compete for NCAA championships for many years to

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UFC to Sponsor Men’s, Women’s Wrestling Programs for University of Iowa Hawkeyes