Fryia, who a CIS silver medal-winning wrestler at Lakehead a few years back, has been
training in Korea in a bid to establish himself in mixed martial arts. Fryia has a 4-1 record fighting in a regional circuit that holds cards in the midwestern U.S., but moved to Korea to stimulate body and mind:
"I think that when I do not have something new keeping me on my toes I get stagnant and am constantly looking for ways to avoid that ... You know how sharks have to keep moving to stay alive? That’s kind of how I feel. Yes I realize that’s a terrible metaphor, but I am going to leave it in there because sharks are awesome."A lot of MMA combatants, most notably Brock Lesnar, come from a wrestling background. There are a few graduates of CIS wrestling program who have shifted to the sport, such as Sean Pierson, who was a national champion at Brock and fellow former Badger Adrian Wooley. Fryia's alma mater, Lakehead, can also count alumni such as Ray Gowlett in the ranks. Another ex-LU grappler, Andrew Elliott, started his pro career 4-0 but has not fought in a year due to concussion issues.
There are probably others still who wrestled in CIS and are fighting in MMA. A long-time SID related a wrestling coach once told him several years ago, that there may be more CIS grads competing professionally in mixed martial arts than in the more traditional big sports. It is an open question of whether the highers-up will embrace this and call attention to the fact they had a hand in shaping professional fighters.
Getting back to Brent Fryia, who is fighting at 70 kilograms (154 pounds): He had to pull out of a fight in Japan next weekend due to a bum ankle, but plans to fight twice early this year and return to Canada. One has to wish him well in his MMA endeavours; he has booster group on Facebook and a blog (mmatlas.blogspot.com) if you are interested in regular updates.
Introducing Brent Fryia (Top MMA News)