Former Newberry College NCAA All-American wrestler Kelly Anundson has signed a multi-match contract with mixed martial arts organization Bellator Fighting Championships, the South Carolina school announced Thursday.
Anundson, a three-time NCAA Division II Wrestling Championships qualifier, earned NCAA All-American honors at 197 pounds in 2008.
Since college, Anundson, 29, has won national grappling titles, and compiled a 6-2 record in MMA since launching his professional career in Jan. 2010. Nicknamed “the Patriot”, the 5’11”, 205-pound Anundson has won his last five bouts in the first period, four by submission, with the most recent win by TKO.
In announcing his signing with the Bellator organization, Anundson said, “I was looking for a permanent place where I can get consistent fights with top competition in the world.”
The Sparks, Nev. native added that he hopes to compete in Bellator’s upcoming light-heavyweight (205 pounds) tournament.
Anundson follows in the footsteps of other former college mat stars who once competed for Bellator, including Ben Askren, two-time NCAA champ for the University of Missouri who later became a Bellator welterweight titleholder (now with ONE FC), and Cole Konrad, who, after winning two 285-pound crowns as a University of Minnesota wrestler, held onto the Bellator heavyweight championship until his retirement from MMA to enter the business world in 2012.
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