April 2, 1984
|Other names||The Polar Bear|
|Height||6 ft 5 in (1.96 m)|
|Weight||120.2 kg (265 lb; 18 st 13 lb)|
|Division||Heavyweight (265 lb)|
|Fighting out of||Neenah, Wisconsin|
|Rank||NCAA Division I Wrestling|
|Mixed martial arts record|
|University||University of Minnesota|
|Notable school(s)||Freedom High School (Wisconsin)
New London High School (Wisconsin)
|Mixed martial arts record from Sherdog|
|Competitor for United States|
|Men's Freestyle wrestling|
|Pan American Championships|
|Gold||2005 Guatemala City||120 kg|
|World University Championships|
|Bronze||2006 Ulan Bator||120 kg|
Cole Konrad (born April 2, 1984) is a retired American mixed martial arts fighter. He is currently a student at the University of Minnesota and former wrestler for the Golden Gophers. Konrad won a gold medal at the 2005 Pan-American Championships. He won the NCAA wrestling championships in 2006 and 2007 at 285 pounds and finished third at the 2006 World University Championships at 120 kilograms. He was the first Bellator Heavyweight Champion.
Amateur wrestling career
After transferring from New London High School in New London, Wisconsin to Freedom High School in Freedom, Wisconsin. Konrad compiled a 101-15 record and won the 2002 Wisconsin state championship. He was listed as a first team high school All-American at 275 pounds by both the Amateur Wrestling News and Wrestling USA Magazine. During his high school career, Konrad also excelled at freestyle and Greco-Roman wrestling. He won the 2002 Junior National Championships in both styles.
Konrad wrestled at the University of Minnesota where he won two NCAA titles. The first came during an undefeated junior season of 2006 and he followed that up with another undefeated, title winning performance in 2007. His overall collegiate record finished at 155-13 with 10 of those losses coming during his freshman season.
Konrad gained notoriety in wrestling through his rivalry with Steve Mocco. Mocco is a two time NCAA champion for Oklahoma State. As Mocco attempted to win his third NCAA title during the 2006 season, Konrad beat Mocco a total of three times including a pin at the National Duals and a 5-2 victory in the NCAA title match. Konrad is the all-time Minnesota record holder for consecutive wins with 76. He recorded a pin in his final collegiate match over Penn State wrestler Aaron Anspach.
While concentrating on collegiate wrestling, Konrad has managed to develop a strong international record as well. In 2005 he won a gold medal at the Pan American Championships in Guatemala City, Guatemala and finished third at the U.S. World Team Trials. In 2006 he won the bronze medal for the 264.5 pounds freestyle weight class at the World University Championships in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia.
Mixed martial arts career
Konrad made his professional mixed martial arts debut on January 23, 2010, defeating Gary "Chief" Hamen on the Martial Arts Xtreme promotion's Max Fights 8 with a neck crank, which is a modified rear naked choke from half guard that his training partner, Brock Lesnar, nicknamed the "Polar Bear Choke". His second professional fight was a TKO in the first round over Joel Wyatt.
Bellator Fighting Championships
Konrad made his Bellator debut May 6, 2010 at Bellator 17, where he won a unanimous decision against Pat Bennett. He went on to win his next three fights by unanimous decision: Bellator 22 against John Orr, Bellator 25 against Rogent Lloret in the Bellator Season Three Heavyweight tournament quarter-final, and at Bellator 29 against Damian Grabowski in the Bellator Season Three Heavyweight tournament semi-final. Konrad won the Heavyweight tournament final and became the first Bellator heavyweight champion at Bellator 32 with an americana submission in round 1 against Neil Grove.
In 2011 Konrad won a non-title decision over Paul Buentello. This fight surprised most observers, as it was contested entirely standing, unlike most Konrad matches. More than 18 months after winning the title, Konrad finally had his first official title defense, against Season Five Tournament Winner Eric Prindle, another opponent known primarily for his striking. This time, Konrad took the fight to the ground quickly and dispatched Prindle within a minute.
Konrad retired from MMA competition on September 12, 2012.
Championships and accomplishments
- Bellator Fighting Championships
- Fight Matrix
- 2010 Rookie of the Year
- International Federation of Associated Wrestling Styles
- 2007 Sunkist Kids International Open Senior Greco-Roman Bronze Medalist
- 2005 Pan American Championships Senior Freestyle Gold Medalist
- International University Sports Federation
- 2006 FISU World University Championships Freestyle Bronze Medalist
- USA Wrestling
- USA Senior Freestyle National Championship Runner-up (2007)
- USA University Freestyle National Championship (2006)
- USA University Folkstyle National Championship (2003)
- USA Junior Freestyle National Championship (2002)
- USA Junior Greco-Roman National Championship (2002)
- ASICS Tiger High School All-American First Team (2002)
- USA Junior Greco-Roman National Championship Runner-up (2001)
- Northern Plains Junior Freestyle Regional Championship Runner-up (2001)
- Northern Plains Junior Greco-Roman Regional Championship (2001)
- 2004 South Regional Olympic Team Trials Qualifier Senior Greco-Roman Winner
- 2003 FILA Junior Freestyle World Team Trials Winner
- 2003 FILA Junior Greco-Roman World Team Trials Winner
- National Collegiate Athletic Association
- Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association
Mixed martial arts record
|Professional record breakdown|
|9 matches||9 wins||0 losses|
|Win||9–0||Eric Prindle||Submission (kimura)||Bellator 70||May 25, 2012||1||1:00||New Orleans, Louisiana, United States||Defended Bellator Heavyweight Championship.|
|Win||8–0||Paul Buentello||Decision (unanimous)||Bellator 48||August 20, 2011||3||5:00||Uncasville, Connecticut, United States||Non-title bout.|
|Win||7–0||Neil Grove||Submission (keylock)||Bellator 32||October 14, 2010||1||4:45||Kansas City, Missouri, United States||Bellator Season 3 Heavyweight Tournament Final; Won inaugural Bellator Heavyweight Championship.|
|Win||6–0||Damian Grabowski||Decision (unanimous)||Bellator 29||September 16, 2010||3||5:00||Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States||Bellator Season 3 Heavyweight Tournament Semifinal.|
|Win||5–0||Rogent Lloret||Decision (unanimous)||Bellator 25||August 19, 2010||3||5:00||Chicago, Illinois, United States||Bellator Season 3 Heavyweight Tournament Quarterfinal.|
|Win||4–0||John Orr||Decision (unanimous)||Bellator 22||June 17, 2010||3||5:00||Kansas City, Missouri, United States|
|Win||3–0||Pat Bennett||Decision (unanimous)||Bellator 17||May 6, 2010||3||5:00||Boston, Massachusetts, United States|
|Win||2–0||Joel Wyatt||TKO (punches)||Matrix Fights 1||February 27, 2010||1||2:23||Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States|
|Win||1–0||Gary Hamen||Submission (neck crank)||Max Fights 8: Elimination||January 23, 2010||1||1:13||Fargo, North Dakota, United States|
Notes and references
- "SHERDOG FIGHTFINDER - Cole Konrad". Sherdog.com. Retrieved October 12, 2009.
- "Pan American Championships". USA Wrestling. 2005-05. Retrieved 2006-12-27.
- "World University Championships". USA Wrestling. 2006-06. Retrieved 2006-12-27.
- 2007 brackets
- 2006 brackets
- "Bellator confirms retirement of heavyweight champ Cole Konrad; title's future to be decided". mmajunkie.com. Retrieved 2012-09-13.
- Professional MMA record for Cole Konrad from Sherdog
- Cole Konrad profile at the National Wrestling Hall of Fame
- 285 pound NCAA Finals match, 2006. Konrad vs. Steve Mocco, Part I on YouTube
- 285 pound NCAA Finals match, 2006. Konrad vs. Steve Mocco, Part II on YouTube
- The Official Minnesota Gopher Website
- The Official Wrestling site of the NCAA
- The Official site of USA Wrestling