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Olympic Gold Medalist Gable Steveson Meeting With Dana White for UFC Contract

Tim Daniels@@TimDanielsBRFeatured Columnist IVAugust 20, 2021

JACK GUEZ/AFP via Getty Images

UFC President Dana White said he's planning to meet with Gable Steveson, who recently captured a gold medal in wrestling at the Tokyo Olympics, in Las Vegas this weekend.

"[Gable] will be in town this weekend, and I think we're gonna hook up and talk," White told TMZ Sports in an interview released Friday. "... Obviously there's a lot of work for him to do before he could make it to the UFC, but we'll see what happens."

Steveson is in the midst of a banner year. He won the Big Ten and NCAA wrestling titles at 285 pounds for the University of Minnesota, and then he won gold medals on the wrestling mat at the Pan American Championships and the Summer Olympics at 125 kilograms (275.6 pounds) for the United States.

Now he's looking to take the first step in a professional career. He's expressed interest in either the UFC or WWE, and the 21-year-old Indiana native told Justin Barrasso of Sports Illustrated he even heard from a couple of NFL teams after his Olympic triumph.

"So many great organizations and teams have reached out. A scout from the Bills, there is a connection with the Ravens," Steveson said. "The Olympic gold medal is helping me see the world, so my next step is going to be a big decision. I'm going to decompress now and think about it."

It appears WWE may be making the biggest initial push, as Steveson wrote on Twitter he'd be taking in SummerSlam, one of the company's premier events, in Las Vegas:

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Gable Steveson @GableSteveson

I will be at Summer Slam this week <a href="https://twitter.com/WWE?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@WWE</a> 👀

The WWE transition would probably be the easiest for the breakout star, as numerous former wrestlers, including fellow Golden Gophers alum Brock Lesnar and Olympic gold medalist Kurt Angle, have made the jump to the squared circle without issue. Lesnar also showed it's possible to make a move to the UFC later in a career.

Although learning the ropes in the UFC would take a little longer, especially in his stand-up fighting and defense, there's little doubt he'd find success over time.

Henry Cejudo, who won wrestling gold at the 2008 Olympics before going on to win the flyweight and bantamweight UFC titles, told TMZ he thinks Steveson could become a top heavyweight contender in the promotion within two or three years.

So there are numerous paths open for Steveson, and he hasn't provided a timetable for a final decision.

He could end the speculation with an in-ring impact at SummerSlam, but since he also has a meeting with White on tap, he could take his time deciding where to sign.

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