Mike van Arsdale

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Mike van Arsdale
Born (1965-06-20) June 20, 1965 (age 52)
Waterloo, Iowa, United States
Nationality American
Height 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
Weight 205 lb (93 kg; 14.6 st)
Division Light Heavyweight
Style Wrestling
Fighting out of San Jose, California
Team Imperial Athletics
American Kickboxing Academy
Wrestling NCAA Division I Wrestling
Mixed martial arts record
Total 13
Wins 8
By knockout 1
By submission 6
By decision 1
Losses 5
By knockout 1
By submission 4
Notable students Rashad Evans
Mixed martial arts record from Sherdog

Mike van Arsdale (born June 20, 1965, Waterloo, Iowa, United States) is an American former professional mixed martial artist who competed as Light Heavyweight. Van Arsdale competed in the UFC, World Fighting Alliance, and the IVC.


Born and raised in Waterloo, Iowa, van Arsdale has a very decorated background in wrestling. He attended Waterloo West High School, and compiled a record of 20-6 as a sophomore, went 28-2 while also winning a state championship as a junior, and then went 27-3 while being a state-runner up in his senior year. Van Arsdale then won a Junior National title and was a Junior World runner-up title before continuing his career in college at Iowa State University. A first-team freshman All-American, van Arsdale placed sixth in the NCAA tournament as a sophomore (1985) and placed third in his junior season (1986). As a senior, he was the 1988 NCAA Division 1 collegiate wrestling champion at 167 lb (76 kg). After college, van Arsdale won a World Cup Championship in 1991, a CISM (military) World Championship, was a two-time Olympic alternate, and a six-time member of the National Freestyle Wrestling team. van Arsdale was inducted into the Iowa Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2011.[1]

Mixed martial arts career[edit]

Early career[edit]

van Arsdale's professional mixed martial arts debut came in 1998 when he traveled to Brazil to compete in the no-rules International Vale Tudo Championship, a tournament in which van Arsdale won three consecutive fights in one evening to claim the title.

His first career loss was in his fifth professional fight, when he was knocked out by Wanderlei Silva.


With a record of 7-1, van Arsdale signed with the UFC and made his debut for the organization on May 15, 1998 against Gracie Jiu-jitsu representative Joe Pardo. He would compete for the UFC next on April 16, 2005 against John Marsh at UFC 52. Van Arsedale won via unanimous decision.

His next appearance was at UFC 54 on August 20, 2005 against UFC Hall of Famer Randy Couture. He was defeated via submission in the third round.

van Arsdale fought again on February 4, 2006 at UFC 57 against Renato "Babalu" Sobral and lost via rear-naked choke submission at 2:21 in the first round.


van Arsdale was the head coach for the Blackzillians when the team was initially formed in 2011. He has since moved on from the team and is currently opening a new gym in Arizona.[2]

Melvin Guillard, former UFC Lightweight and former student of van Arsdale, stirred controversy by saying that he was "glad" that van Arsdale left the Blackzilians camp.[3]

Championships and accomplishments[edit]

  • George Tragos/Lou Thesz Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame
    • George Tragos Award (2017)[4]
  • International Vale Tudo Championship
    • IVC 4 Heavyweight Tournament Winner[5]

Mixed martial arts record[edit]

Res. Record Opponent Method Event Date Round Time Location Notes
Loss 8–5 Matt Lindland Submission (guillotine choke) Raze MMA – Fight Night April 29, 2006 1 3:38 California, United States
Loss 8–4 Jorge Oliveira Submission (triangle choke) PFA – Pride and Fury 4 March 24, 2006 1 4:02 Idaho, United States
Loss 8–3 Renato Sobral Submission (rear naked choke) UFC 57: Liddell vs. Couture 3 February 4, 2006 1 2:21 Nevada, United States
Loss 8–2 Randy Couture Submission (anaconda choke) UFC 54 August 20, 2005 3 0:52 Nevada, United States
Win 8–1 John Marsh Decision (unanimous) UFC 52 April 16, 2005 3 5:00 Nevada, United States
Win 7–1 Emanuel Newton Submission (kimura) MMA Mexico – Day 1 December 17, 2004 1 1:35 Mexico
Win 6–1 Mario Lopez Submission (crucifix) EP – XXXtreme Impact December 28, 2003 1 0:28 Mexico
Win 5–1 Chris Haseman TKO (strikes) WFA 3: Level 3 November 23, 2002 2 3:10 Nevada, United States
Loss 4–1 Wanderlei Silva KO (soccer kick to the back of the head) IVC 6 – The Challenge August 23, 1998 1 4:00 Brazil
Win 4–0 Joe Pardo Submission (armlock) UFC 17 May 15, 1998 1 11:01 Alabama, United States
Win 3–0 Dario Amorim Submission (shoulder injury) IVC 4 – The Battle February 7, 1998 1 2:42 Brazil Won IVC 4 Heavyweight Tournament
Win 2–0 Marcelo Barbosa Submission (punches) IVC 4 – The Battle February 7, 1998 1 3:36 Brazil IVC 4 Heavyweight Tournament Semifinals
Win 1–0 Francisco Nonato Submission (keylock) International Vale Tudo Championship 4 – The Battle February 7, 1998 1 5:42 Brazil IVC 4 Heavyweight Tournament Quarterfinals

Submission grappling record[edit]

Result Opponent Method Event Date Round Time Notes
Win Brazil Renato Verrisimo Decision The Contenders 1997 5 5:00


  1. ^ "Iowa Wrestling Hall of Fame - Cresco, Iowa". Iowawrestlinghalloffame.com. Retrieved 2015-10-30. 
  2. ^ Dane Ford. "MMAInsider.net The Insider W/ Mike Van Arsdale". MMAInsider.net. Retrieved 2015-10-30. 
  3. ^ "Melvin Guillard: I'm glad Mike Van Arsdale is gone from Blackzilians". Mixedmartialarts.com. Retrieved 2015-10-30. 
  4. ^ Johnson, Mike (2017-04-09). "Complete details on 2017 Thesz/Tragos Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame class of 2017". Pro Wrestling Insider. Retrieved 2017-04-10. 
  5. ^ http://wrestlingdata.com/index.php?befehl=shows&show=75046

External links[edit]