Wrestler Pat Downey has stated his interest in competing in mixed martial arts. Finally, the ‘Lizard King’ is set to have his professional MMA debut in Bellator MMA.
Last year, during a talk with MMA Junkie, Pat Downey expressed his interest in fighting inside a cage. Even though he is a wrestler, he said that he also loves striking.
“It couldn’t be more official but ever since I can remember, I’ve enjoyed fighting and the whole concept of one-on-one, whether it’s judo, jiu-jitsu, wrestling, boxing, or just fighting street fights as a kid. Whatever it is, I’ve always loved it.” Downey said.
His MMA debut is finally scheduled. Pat Downey will make his debut at Bellator 277 event that will be held on April 15. The 29-year-old will face off against Daniel Compton in a middleweight bout. This news was initially reported by the MMA journalist Ariel Helwani.
There were many obstacles for Downey to start his MMA journey. He was scheduled to make his amateur MMA debut in 2019. However, the bout was canceled. In May 2021, he was rumored to be making his professional MMA debut at LFA 108, but he never showed up.
Pat Downey was a 2019 Pan American Games medalist and the 2019 US Open National champion. He was also an NCAA Division I All–American in 2016 for the Iowa State Cyclones and an NJCAA champion for Iowa Central Community College.
While Downey’s wrestling career was a huge success, he was also involved with many legal controversies. In 2009, he was charged with first-degree assault after he beat up a student from another college. In 2010, Downey and his friend were charged with second-degree assault after brawling in a nightclub. He was also accused of degrading female wrestlers.