Michael Blockhus MMA Bellator: On August 11, 2023, at the Sanford Pentagon in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, the Bellator 298 event featuring a match between Michael Blockhus and Eli Mefford.
Michael Blockhus, a wrestler from the University of Minnesota, who decided to forego his remaining year of NCAA eligibility in order to venture into the world of mixed martial arts. He shared this decision through his social media channels in the past. As of today, he is not only embarking on his MMA journey but also has a fight scheduled in Bellator MMA.
Accomplished College Career
The fifth-year senior still had an extra year of eligibility remaining due to COVID-19. Blockhus spent his first two years competing for Northern Iowa before transferring to Minnesota. He was a four-time NCAA tournament qualifier and earned All-American status this past season, capping off an impressive senior campaign where he also reached the Big Ten finals.
Over the course of his stellar collegiate career, Blockhus established himself as one of the top wrestlers in the country at 149 lbs. His technical skills and athleticism made him a consistent threat to reach the podium at nationals. Achieving All-American status with an 8th place finish was a fitting end to his time as an NCAA competitor.
Long-Talked MMA Aspirations
Blockhus has been vocal over the years about his aspirations to transition to mixed martial arts after finishing up with wrestling. He frequently posts videos on social media of himself training MMA skills and workouts during wrestling’s offseason. Last week, he spent time in Florida training at Kill Cliff FC alongside former Minnesota teammate Mitch McKee.
It’s clear Blockhus has had MMA in his plans for a while now. He has put in work to refine his overall MMA skillset in addition to his world-class wrestling abilities. Now that his senior season is complete, Blockhus is ready to shift his full focus to preparation for a professional MMA career.
Minnesota MMA Pipeline
Blockhus is the latest in a growing line of Minnesota wrestlers finding success in MMA. The Gophers program has become well-known for producing MMA prospects over the last decade.
Former Minnesota heavyweight Mitch McKee is currently 4-0 in his professional MMA career. In 2022, fellow former Gophers wrestler Logan Storley captured the interim Bellator welterweight title. Going back further, legendary Minnesota heavyweights like Brock Lesnar and Cole Konrad also transitioned smoothly into the MMA world. Lesnar notably won the UFC heavyweight title during his stint in the promotion.
Minnesota’s coaching staff have clearly made it a priority to foster wrestlers with strong MMA skillsets in addition to their credentials on the mat. The pipeline from Minneapolis to the cage continues with Michael Blockhus as the next promising prospect.
Forgoing Final Year of Eligibility
While surprising to some, Blockhus deciding to forgo his final year of college eligibility makes sense from an MMA perspective. As a fifth-year senior who has already accomplished a great deal, there isn’t much left for him to prove at the NCAA level.
Blockhus has maximized his wrestling potential after four trips to nationals and an All-American finish. At 25 years old, he’s on the older side for an MMA prospect. The time is right for Blockhus to make the jump and capitalize on his athletic prime years while avoiding injuries that another season could bring.
Starting his MMA training full time now gives him a head start on preparations for his first professional bouts. His wrestling coach Brandon Eggum gave Blockhus his full blessing on the decision. Eggum and the Minnesota staff support Blockhus chasing his MMA dreams.
Bright MMA Future – Michael Blockhus MMA Bellator
The ceiling is high for Michael Blockhus in MMA. His Minnesota wrestling career has showcased elite athletic talents built on incredible technique and work ethic. Those attributes are the perfect formula for excelling in mixed martial arts.
Of course, being an accomplished wrestler doesn’t automatically equal MMA success. Blockhus will have to continue evolving his overall game with top coaches and training partners. But with his skills and potential, most expect Blockhus to thrive in this next chapter.
Keep an eye out for Michael Blockhus as he embarks on his professional MMA career. If his initial few fights are any indication, this All-American wrestler will likely be making plenty of waves in the sport very soon. The Minnesota MMA pipeline has produced another promising prospect.