Former Gophers in Action This Weekend

Pat Smith Competes at Worlds, while Mitch McKee Headlines LFA168

MINNEAPOLIS – A pair of former Minnesota wrestlers are in action starting Friday as they look to showcase their respective talents to the world.

Pat Smith begins competition Friday at the 2023 World Championships in Belgrade, Serbia.

Competing in Greco-Roman at 72 kg for Minnesota Storm, Smith is set to open with a matchup against No. 13 Kamil Czarnecki of Poland. A victory would set up a bout with No. 5 Ibragim Magomadov of Kazakhstan.

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Former Gophers wrestler Logan Storley climbing rankings of Bellator MMA

Former Gophers wrestler Logan Storley continues to dominate the world of mixed martial arts, starring as one of the best fighters on the Bellator circuit.

He dominated Brennan Ward back in his home state of South Dakota at the Sanford Pentagon during Bellator 298 in August. That improved his record to 15-2.

Storley currently is the No. 1 contender for the Bellator Welterweight World Championship and hoping to get another crack at the only fighter he’s ever lost to and current champion, Yaroslav Amisov.

We caught up with Storley recently to hear about his recent domination, his days as a Gophers wrestler, and more. View/Continue reading at →

Where are they now: 10 years after vanishing, Cole Konrad is one of MMA’s greatest what-ifs

The saga of Cole Konrad has long been an obsession of mine. Or rather, how it ended and what happened afterward. The mystery and absurdity beneath it all.

I may be the only person under age 35 to feel that way, but I can’t help it. Because 10 years later, Konrad is still the unicorn. The undefeated champion who pulled off one of the sport’s great escapes. The 300-pound goliath who woke up one morning, tiptoed out the back door and vanished into thin air, never to be heard from again. Why? It’s a page of MMA lore that will forever read like a Mad Libs on meth: One of the most decorated American heavyweight wrestlers of his era, famously hailed by Brock Lesnar as “the strongest son of a b**** I’ve ever met,” yet he throws it all away overnight without even a look back?

Just to work in dairy??

“Cole Konrad was the toughest guy in the room. In Brock Lesnar’s room, with all the Minnesota wrestlers, he was the guy,” remembers longtime coach Erik Paulson. Continue reading at →

Storley Remains Undefeated at Bellator 197

It was a wrestling clinic for Gopher wrestling alumnus Logan Storley at Bellator 197 in St. Louis, Missouri last night. Storley moved his professional MMA record to 8-0 after the unanimous decision over Missouri native Joaquin Buckley (8-2).

“I feel great, and at the end of the day, I got the win,” Storley said after the fight. “The biggest thing tonight was when I stepped into this cage, it felt like home. I wasn’t worried, I wasn’t nervous. I went in there, and did my job. I listened to my corner, and got the ‘W’.”

Storley was never in danger of losing his undefeated record. The wrestler turned fighter smothered Buckley over three rounds to pick up the win by scores of 30-27, 30-26 and 30-26.

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Logan Storley: From the mat to the cage

The former Gophers Wrester Logan Storley recently signed with Bellator MMA.

After four years as an All-American wrestler for Minnesota, Logan Storley is taking on a different fighting technique.

Storley signed with Bellator MMA in late June, and is prepping for his first match with the club on July 14. The 2015 Minnesota graduate will debut for the club at Bellator 181 at the Winstar Casino in Thackerville, Oklahoma.

“[Signing with Bellator] made sense for right now,” Storley said. “They offered me some things the [Ultimate Fighting Championship] couldn’t offer me at this time in my career, and I had to do what was right for me financially and for this point in my career.”

While he is 5-0-0, Storley will face Kemmyelle Haley, whose record is 7-4-0. Continue reading at

Gopher Alum Logan Storley Signs with Bellator

Logan Storley, who wrapped up his Gopher career in 2015 by becoming the program’s 10th four-time All-American, announced yesterday that he has signed a contract to fight for Bellator MMA. His first fight with Bellator is scheduled for July 14.

Storley has emerged as one of the top young prospects in mixed martial arts since graduating from Minnesota two years ago. Storley has a 5-0 career record fighting (five knockouts) under the Legacy Fighting Alliance (LFA) banner, most recently picking up a win on April 29 in Sioux Falls.

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Wrestling is a Family Affair

By Brian Jerzak

From a very young age, Marty Morgan has been involved in some aspect of wrestling. From youth wrestling, through his time as the Minnesota Gophers’ head wrestling assistant, and beyond, Morgan has been involved in the sport. Wrestling has always been a big influence on his life. It has had almost as much influence as his family. For Morgan, wrestling has always been – and always will be – a family affair.

“My three oldest brothers were all professional boxers, and my dad ended up switching to wrestling. Three of us, the younger brothers – we had six boys total – the three younger ones, we all switched into wrestling. I just followed my brothers who were older than me. We were at Kennedy High School, which was a strong program in the early 80’s in which we were state champions twice. My brothers both went on to become college All-Americans and were both on the Olympic team. I had some good mentors right in my own house.”

Morgan was a very good high school wrestler, but could never get over the hump and become a state champion. After he got into college Morgan got over the hump. He won two national championships – one with (at the time) Division II North Dakota State and one with Minnesota.

“When I got to college I became an NCAA champion which is probably my number one athletic moment.”

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