Pat Downey will make his professional MMA debut with Bellator MMA. According to a report from Ariel Helwani, the controversial amateur wrestler and occasional submission grappler has signed with Bellator MMA.
Downey will make his debut at middleweight.
No date has been announced for Downey’s debut.
Pat Downey was a 2015 national junior college champion in wrestling. During his college years, he wrestled for both the University of Nebraska and Iowa State University, where he would earn All-American honors in his sophomore season. Downey was removed from both teams for rules violations. After college, Downey continued his competitive career in freestyle wrestling, winning medals in 2019 at the Pan American games and the US Open.
Downey is a relative newcomer to submission grappling, but that hasn’t stopped him from competing at the highest level. In February 2020, Downey met Gordon Ryan first in a wrestling match (which Downey won), and then in a submission grappling match (which Ryan won).
In October, Downey defeated fellow top wrestler Geno Morelli at the Third Coast Grappling grand prix before losing to veteran Jake Shields.