Kenny Monday, college and Olympic wrestling great and former mixed martial arts competitor, will be the president of BattleGrounds USA, a new MMA promotion, the website BloodyElbow.com reported Tuesday.
Based in Oklahoma, BattleGrounds MMA will have Monday at the helm, while Rich Chou, former Strikeforce matchmaker, will serve as vice-president and promoter.
“I’m very excited about BattleGrounds,” said Monday, a three-time NCAA All-American at Oklahoma State. “It came together through the work of Bryan O’Rourke, Rich Chou and some others. Those guys are really into the game and are doing a lot of good things promoting the fights.”
“Since the time I fought in ’98, I’ve always been interested and had my nose to the ground, especially watching my friends like Dan Severn compete,” the two-time Olympic medalist continued. “I don’t fight anymore, but I still coach wrestling, so I really couldn’t go full time into MMA, but I really wanted to find a niche, a way I could contribute to the sport. I do train some guys from time to time. They’ll come to me before their fights and want to get some work in. With BattleGrounds, I’ve found that niche.”
A native of Tulsa, Kenny Dale Monday made a name for himself at Oklahoma State, where he won the 150-pound title at the 1984 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships. Wearing the orange and black, Monday compiled an impressive 121-12-2 overall record.
After graduating from Oklahoma State, Monday continued to make headlines in wrestling, this time in international freestyle competition. Among his accomplishments: gold medals at the 1988 Seoul Olympics, 1989 World Championships, and the 1991 Pan-American Games. Monday also brought home a silver medal from the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona.
According to both Sherdog.com and MixedMartialArts.com, Monday had one professional MMA fight, scoring a second-round TKO over John Lewis in 1997.
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