Every sport has a breeding ground for its future stars. In the case of mixed martial arts, the worlds of grappling, kickboxing and amateur wrestling are most likely to spawn the next Demian Maia, Mirko CroCop or Brock Lesnar. Collectively, these sports fall under the umbrella of “combat sports.” Every Wednesday, MMA DieHards reports on the biggest happenings in each of these realms of combat.

Amateur Wrestling
by Staff, The Open Mat

Rollie Peterkin (photo courtesy of AmateurWrestlingPhotos.com)

After surprising most of us by starting the season at 141 pounds for the Binghamton Open, Penn’s Rollie Peterkin dropped down to 133 and has been on a tear going 7-0 with only two of those bouts being regular decisions. Raising his record to 10-1, Peterkin seems to be finding his comfort zone and I’m interested to see how he fairs at the Southern Scuffle or more likely the Midlands in the month of December. Rollie has been a blue chip wrestler since his prep days and is looking to break thru from the round of 12 and become an All-American this season. We should have a better idea where he stands in the 133 mix. (In-depth coverage)

A few weeks ago some people felt I was harsh on Rutgers after their showing in the Oklahoma Gold. Well, I guess now they get to say “I told you so” after RU’s very impressive weekend at the Northeast duals. The Scarlet Knights went 3-0 including a win over No. 12 Missouri, which might have been the biggest win for the program to date. December should be interesting for Rutgers more on the individual level as they have George Mason and Princeton coming in and there are some great individual matchups in those duals, plus I am really interested in seeing how Rutgers stacks up at the Midlands. In the past, RU has brought only one or two wrestlers, but this year we can expect almost a full squad and a few guys with legitimate chances of placing high. (In-depth coverage)

Sometimes a wrestler’s record can be deceiving. Take the case of George Mason’s 184-pounder Bagna Tovuujav. Holding a record of 1-4 on the season, you may think he is a liability in the line up. Not true at all – all of Tovuujavs losses come by one point, including one to Lehigh’s No. 9-ranked Robert Hamlin. Last season he was 30-10 and a CAA runner up. He may fly under the radar, but if he can get his offense going he may be a surprise at 184 this season, especially considering that folkstyle is new to him and he had never wrestled it before he came to St Benedict’s Prep in high school.

The Northeast Duals is a road trip Dom Bradley will want to forget, as the No. 2-ranked heavyweight went 0-3. It is not as devastating as it sounds – all three of his losses were to top 10 wrestlers. It’s safe to say he will probably bounce back from this and be a threat all year, but a 0-3 day never feels good and the fact that he seemed to fade later in matches is something he will have to go back to work on.

Top 10 Teams in DI Wrestling

1. Cornell
2. Penn State
3. Oklahoma State
4. Minnesota
5. Iowa
6. Wisconsin
7. Boise State
8. Oklahoma
9. Illinois
10. Oregon State

A complete listing of individual and team rankings can be found on The Open Mat website.

Kickboxing & Muay Thai
by Rob Tatum

Sergei Kharitonov

K-1 recently announced a superfight and reserve bouts for its Dec. 11 Grand Prix.

The superfight will pit Sergei Kharitonov against Singh Jaideep. Kharitonov looks to continue working his way back up the ranks after an impressive performance against Takumi Sato at this year’s Final 16. Jaideep won the 2009 Asian GP, but was defeated by Everton Teixiera.

The reserve bouts will feature the aforementioned Teixeira taking on Errol Zimmerman. Both fighters reached the Grand Prix’s final 8 in 2008 and 2009, but were eliminated this year. The fight is a rematch of a 2008 opening round matchup that saw Zimmerman claim victory. The second reserve fight will include It’s Showtime champion Hesdy Gergesv, but an opponent has yet to be secured. Initial rumors indicated it would be Badr Hari taking the fight, fresh off his release from prison in Amsterdam, but he has since declined.

It’s Showtime has announced that L’houcine Ouzgni will face Artem Levin at its Dec. 18 event for the vacant 77kg (169.8-pound) title. The promotion recently stripped Cosmo Alexandre of the title and removed him from future events. A decorated Muay Thai combatant, Levin’s most recent accomplishment was winning the 75kg (165.3-pound) division at the SportAccord Combat Games. He holds victories over Vitaly Hurkou, Yodsaenklai Fairtex, and Dmitry Shakuta.

Recent K-1 MAX Champion Giorgio Petrosyan will return from surgery on his broken hand to take on Yohan Lidon on Jan. 29 at the Thai Boxe Mania show in Italy. Other bouts on the card include Kaoponlek taking on Andrei Kulebin, and Fabio Pinca rematches Sudsakorn sor. Klinmee, and Petrosyan’s brother Armen facing Abdallah Mabel. Mabel recently lost a decision to Khem Sitsongpeenong at the Nuit des Champions event in France.

In other K-1 MAX news, Albert Kraus quickly returned to competition, taking out Muhammed Gur by decision at a Klash event in Germany.

At the Rumble of the Kings event, Bob Sapp was demolished by Jorgen Kruth, requiring Sapp’s corner to throw in the towel. Also in action was MMA veteran Gary Goodridge, who was battered by Catalin Morosanu. Other notable results saw Artur Kyshenko defeat Marcus Oberg by decision, Dzhabar Askerov deliver a second round TKO of William
Sriyapai and Rickard Nordstrand claim victory over Jiri Zak.

Finally, Evolution 22 from Australia saw Nathan Corbett knock out Frank Munoz in the third round, Eli Madigan defeat Harlee Avison after a cut stopped the bout, Frankie Giorgi provide a knockout victory over Bruce Macfie in the second and Yud Rawai take home a split decision over Michael Thompson.

Grappling & Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu
by Bryan Henderson

From left: Nascimento, Wilson, Lang and Vieira (photo courtesy of GracieMag)

The 11th Pan-Pacific Jiu-Jitsu Championship went down in Melbourne, Australia last weekend. Alan “Finfou” do Nascimento was a big winner at the event, taking first places finishes in the 79kg (174.2-pound) gi and nogi divisions and the gold in the absolute gi division with a win over Mick Wilson. The 249-pound Wilson, meanwhile, claimed top honors in the absolute and +97kg (plus-213.8-pound) nogi divisions. Standout performances were also turned in by lightweight gi division winner Carlos Vieira and medium heavyweight gi division champion Rafael Lang.

The Arab trials for the Abu Dhabi Pro World Cup took place Nov. 26 & 27 in Amman, Jordan. Haidar Rasheed took top honors in the open weight purple belt division. Other first place finishers included Ghaleb Odeh at -64kg (under-141.1-pound), Saddam Abdallah at -68kg (under-150), Abdallah Nabas at -74kg (under-163.1), Qasem Smadi at -80kg (under-174.4), Zaid Jarandouka at -86kg (under-189.6), Faisal Souqi at -92kg (under-202.8) and Ali Shareef at +92kg (plus-202.8).

There is a possibility that the 2011 edition of the ADCC submission wrestling world championships could take place in Brazil, according to Wagner Gomes, secretary of ADCC in Brazil. The last time ADCC held its top event in Brazil was in 2003.

Marcos Souza, the absolute champion of the 2010 Asian Open Jiu-Jitsu Championship, is venturing into mixed martial arts. He’s currently in Brazil preparing for his MMA debut, a January superfight against Korea’s Park Jeong Gyo at a Deep event in Macau.

The year’s final major event is almost upon us. Grapplers Quest’s 2010 World Series of Grappling takes place Dec. 4 in Asbury Park, N.J. Among the expected competitors will be 2010 World’s Best Grappler winner João Assis, 2010 No Gi Worlds Absolute division champ Roberto “Cyborg” Abreu and ADCC North American trial winner Rustam Chsiev. UFC veteran Kurt Pellegrino will be in attendance for a special free Meet & Greet with fans at the event.

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