Pat Downey, an elite wrestler, and grappler will make his professional MMA debut at middleweight with Bellator MMA. The renowned amateur wrestler and occasional submission grappler has signed with Bellator MMA, according to a report by Ariel Helwani.
Pat Downey, the American freestyle wrestler and former D1 All-American, has signed w/ Bellator.He’ll make his MMA debut with the promotion later this year. Big upside talent-wise and has an entertaining personality. He was known as one more of the more polarizing wrestlers.— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) January 7, 2022
Pat Downey's debut date has yet to be revealed.
In 2015, Pat Downey won the national junior college wrestling title. Throughout his collegiate career, he wrestled for the University of Nebraska and Iowa State University, receiving All-American honors in his second season. Downey was removed from both teams for violating the rules. After college, Downey pursued a professional career in freestyle wrestling, winning medals at the Pan American Games and the US Open in 2019.
Despite his relative inexperience in submission grappling, he has competed at the highest level. Downey met Gordon Ryan in February 2020, first in a wrestling match (which Downey won), and later in a submission grappling match (which Ryan won).
Downey won the Third Coast Grappling Grand Prix in October, defeating fellow top wrestler Geno Morelli before losing to veteran Jake Shields.