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Top 5 Athletes from Another Sport

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Curious to see the top athletes from another sport you guys wished you would've love to seen wrestle. (Assume they grew up in the sport)

My top 5

1) Bo Jackson: I believe if Bo Jackson wrestled starting in his youth he'd tech Cael aka Karl and would've been the greatest folk style, freestyle, and greco wrestler ever.  I personally think Bo is the greatest athlete in our lifetime

2) Brian Urlacher: 6' 4" MONSTER  who would've terrified men like Mocco or Kyle Snyder

3) Jim Thorpe:  Greatest Athlete of the early 20th Century

4) Lawrence Taylor: Another big man on my list but we all know the upper weights are lacking raw athleticism 

5)  Alex Honnold:  I climbed myself and think outside of wrestling the only other two comparable sports are rock climbing and gymnastics.  Professional Rock Climbers are hands down the pound for pound champs in mental strength and body awareness.  

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In terms of athletes who have the quickness/balance that I think is key to wrestling I'd go with Barry Sanders for men's wrestling and Simone Biles for women's wrestling.  I agree that Bo Jackson is a better pure athlete than Sanders, but imagine Sanders in scrambles and his ability to quickly explode/change directions. I feel like those skills are more translatable.   Nobody has a better football highlight tape than Barry Sanders, and I can't imagine what his wrestling highlight tape would be-but I'd love to see it.  

Edited by Billyhoyle

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1 hour ago, portajohn said:

Curious to see the top athletes from another sport you guys wished you would've love to seen wrestle. (Assume they grew up in the sport)

My top 5

1) Bo Jackson: I believe if Bo Jackson wrestled starting in his youth he'd tech Cael aka Karl and would've been the greatest folk style, freestyle, and greco wrestler ever.  I personally think Bo is the greatest athlete in our lifetime

2) Brian Urlacher: 6' 4" MONSTER  who would've terrified men like Mocco or Kyle Snyder

3) Jim Thorpe:  Greatest Athlete of the early 20th Century

4) Lawrence Taylor: Another big man on my list but we all know the upper weights are lacking raw athleticism 

5)  Alex Honnold:  I climbed myself and think outside of wrestling the only other two comparable sports are rock climbing and gymnastics.  Professional Rock Climbers are hands down the pound for pound champs in mental strength and body awareness.  

great list.

For heavy weight, I would add Reggie White to the list. The way he manhandled 300 pounders was awesome. Get them off balance and then toss them aside using speed and strength. I feel like all of that would translate.

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9 hours ago, Billyhoyle said:

In terms of athletes who have the quickness/balance that I think is key to wrestling I'd go with Barry Sanders for men's wrestling and Simone Biles for women's wrestling.  I agree that Bo Jackson is a better pure athlete than Sanders, but imagine Sanders in scrambles and his ability to quickly explode/change directions. I feel like those skills are more translatable.   Nobody has a better football highlight tape than Barry Sanders, and I can't imagine what his wrestling highlight tape would be-but I'd love to see it.  

Gayle Sayers 

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9 hours ago, 1032004 said:

Lebron

Gronk

Mike Trout

J.T. Realmuto (John Smith’s nephew)

Ashton Eaton (2x Decathlon Olympic gold medalist, according to Wikipedia he did wrestle as a kid)

Dude, Lebron is almost 7 feet tall! Center of gravity is way, way, WAY too high for wrestling :D 

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56 minutes ago, Heisenberg said:

I would be most interested in seeing how the freakish tall, long athletic type NBA players would translate to wrestling, most notable Giannis Antetokounmpo

They'd do quite poorly, Walter White. 

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8 hours ago, Wrestleknownothing said:

great list.

For heavy weight, I would add Reggie White to the list. The way he manhandled 300 pounders was awesome. Get them off balance and then toss them aside using speed and strength. I feel like all of that would translate.

The Minister of Defense :D 

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11 hours ago, portajohn said:

Curious to see the top athletes from another sport you guys wished you would've love to seen wrestle. (Assume they grew up in the sport)

My top 5

1) Bo Jackson: I believe if Bo Jackson wrestled starting in his youth he'd tech Cael aka Karl and would've been the greatest folk style, freestyle, and greco wrestler ever.  I personally think Bo is the greatest athlete in our lifetime

2) Brian Urlacher: 6' 4" MONSTER  who would've terrified men like Mocco or Kyle Snyder

3) Jim Thorpe:  Greatest Athlete of the early 20th Century

4) Lawrence Taylor: Another big man on my list but we all know the upper weights are lacking raw athleticism 

5)  Alex Honnold:  I climbed myself and think outside of wrestling the only other two comparable sports are rock climbing and gymnastics.  Professional Rock Climbers are hands down the pound for pound champs in mental strength and body awareness.  

Definitely Jim Thorpe would've been a badass on the mat. Not so sure about the rest, and I wouldn't be surprised if one or more of those guys actually did wrestle but not pursue it after HS.  

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If I remember correctly from his biography, Bo Jackson was made to wrestle for a time in high school. Apparently he was undefeated for awhile and ran into a kid that kept pinching him. Eventually, Bo body slammed him, got DQ'ed and never wrestled again. But yeah, he's on my list of the greatest athlete of my lifetime and I'd love to see what he could've done on a wrestling mat. 

Another incredible athlete from my home state VA is Allen Iverson. Most of the athletes mentioned above are heavyweight-ish. Iverson would have been more of a normal sized wrestler. With his foot-speed, creativity, and toughness, he could have been special on a wrestling mat. Was an awesome dual-threat QB too.

Georges St. Pierre. He ended up training in wrestling for MMA and working with the Canadian Olympic team, but I always thought it was incredible that he could outwrestle Josh Koscheck (for MMA at least). 

Ronda Rousey

Serena Williams

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There's also a legendary story about Brian Urlacher trying to bully kickboxer and early MMA-pioneer Bas Rutten. Urlacher asked him to step outside to which Rutten replied "Sure". Someone told Urlacher who Bas was and he backed down....so I don't know about him. 

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12 hours ago, 1032004 said:

Lebron

 

2 hours ago, TobusRex said:

Dude, Lebron is almost 7 feet tall! Center of gravity is way, way, WAY too high for wrestling :D 

If I had to pick one big man it'd be a toss up between Shaq and Hakeem Olajuwon

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Many years ago, I was touring the Jim Thorpe Home in Yale, OK, just a few miles from Stillwater. There was a friendly lady taking admission at the front door and we started talking. She was Grace Thorpe, Jim's daughter. She asked me where I worked and when I said at the USA Wrestling office in Stillwater, she said that her father loved to wrestle in "the backyard", and against anyone, any rules. She smiled and said "he never lost, ever."  Also, George Foreman wrestled in a youth club before taking up boxing and Buck Deadrich, 1972 Olympian in Greco-Roman, was his coach. He said George was very good and could have had a bright future in the sport had he not chosen boxing instead.

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4 hours ago, TobusRex said:

Definitely Jim Thorpe would've been a badass on the mat. Not so sure about the rest, and I wouldn't be surprised if one or more of those guys actually did wrestle but not pursue it after HS.  

Lawrence Taylor was a state champion in High School - In his auto biography LT said his proudest achievement in his sporting life was that state championship.  Quite a statement from someone  with his record of success in the NFL. 

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5 hours ago, Earl said:

If I remember correctly from his biography, Bo Jackson was made to wrestle for a time in high school. Apparently he was undefeated for awhile and ran into a kid that kept pinching him. Eventually, Bo body slammed him, got DQ'ed and never wrestled again. But yeah, he's on my list of the greatest athlete of my lifetime and I'd love to see what he could've done on a wrestling mat. 

Another incredible athlete from my home state VA is Allen Iverson. Most of the athletes mentioned above are heavyweight-ish. Iverson would have been more of a normal sized wrestler. With his foot-speed, creativity, and toughness, he could have been special on a wrestling mat. Was an awesome dual-threat QB too.

Georges St. Pierre. He ended up training in wrestling for MMA and working with the Canadian Olympic team, but I always thought it was incredible that he could outwrestle Josh Koscheck (for MMA at least). 

Ronda Rousey

Serena Williams

I was going to say Iverson.  Put him at 157/165 and he would be a beast.  Explosiveness and quickness that would be hard to stop.
 

Bo Jackson would have been great at anything he tried.   He is absolutely the greatest athlete of the 20th century.  The guy high jumped 6’9”, ran a 10.4 100M, threw the shot over 50 feet, and yet he was primarily a baseball player in the spring.  He qualified for the NCAA’s in the indoor 60 M, while built like a middle linebacker, and also playing football and baseball.  I got to see him beat out a routine ground ball while playing for Kansas City.   What a freak of a human being.  

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