Power Ranking the Top 8 Fighters Who Came from Oklahoma State

Sean SmithAnalyst IMarch 10, 2012

Power Ranking the Top 8 Fighters Who Came from Oklahoma State

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    Recently, I released an article detailing the long list of MMA fighters who attended Arizona State University—the school many consider the best collegiate talent farm for future UFC talent.

    However, a strong argument could be made that Oklahoma State University, home of the most dominant wrestling program in NCAA history, has produced an even more impressive stable of MMA fighters.

    Oklahoma State has produced a UFC champion, Strikeforce champion, two early-UFC tournament champions and is the alma mater of several elite fighters competing in the sport today.

    Whether Oklahoma State has produced a more successful stable of MMA fighters than Arizona State or not, the school is one of the best at pouring out future MMA stars.

    Let's take a look at the top eight MMA fighters who attended Oklahoma State. 

8. Jake Rosholt

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    After three fights, Jake Rosholt was released from the UFC following a loss to Kendall Grove, but not before the former Oklahoma State wrestler earned a Submission of the Night award against Chris Leben.

    Since his loss against Grove in November 2009, the 29-year-old Rosholt has only lost once and could be on his way back to a major MMA promotion.

    While in college, Rosholt became a three-time NCAA wrestling champion and four-time All-American. En route to his three NCAA title, Rosholt beat future UFC fighters Phil Davis, Chris Weidman and Gerald Harris. 

7. Shane Roller

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    At Oklahoma State, Shane Roller was a three-time All-American wrestler.

    Roller has hit a rough patch in his MMA career, losing three straight fights after beating Thiago Tavares in his UFC debut. However, Roller was once considered one of the top contenders in the WEC lightweight division.

    In addition to his win over Tavares, Roller picked up Submission of the Night honors against Jamie Varner and Danny Castillo.

6. Daniel Cormier

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    A two-time All-American at Oklahoma State, Daniel Cormier competed on the world stage of amateur wrestling before pursuing a career in MMA. In 2007, Cormier earned the bronze medal in freestyle wrestling at the world championships.

    Since making his debut in MMA, Cormier has gone undefeated in nine fights and earned an impressive knockout win over Antonio Silva in his most recent performance.

    Later this year, Cormier will take on Josh Barnett in a fight that will determine the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix champion. If Cormier can beat Barnett, he will immediately become one of the top contenders for the UFC heavyweight title, as the Strikeforce heavyweight division is folding into the world's premier MMA organization.

5. Muhammed Lawal

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    Though he is currently serving a suspension for testing positive for a banned substance, Muhammed Lawal has been very successful in MMA during his three years as a fighter.

    In his seventh fight, Lawal captured the Strikeforce light heavyweight title, which he lost one fight later in the only defeat of his career against Rafael Cavalcante.

    While at Oklahoma State, Lawal became an All-American and captured a Big 12 Conference title.

4. Johny Hendricks

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    Arguably the best amateur wrestler to ever compete in MMA, Johny Hendricks was a four-time All-American and two-time NCAA champion while wrestling at Oklahoma State.

    Coming off a knockout win over long-time contender Jon Fitch, Hendricks is now within a win or two of getting a shot at the UFC's 170-pound title.

    Hendricks has also defeated the likes of Mike Pierce, Charlie Brenneman and Amir Sadollah during his MMA career.

3. Mark Munoz

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    An NCAA champion and two-time All-American at Oklahoma State, Mark Munoz has used his aggressive wrestling style to achieve success in MMA.

    Four straight wins put Munoz in position for a fight with Chael Sonnen that could have earned the former Cowboy a shot at the UFC middleweight title. However, an injury forced Munoz out of that bout, so he will now have to wait for another big fight once he's healthy.

    During his MMA career, Munoz has defeated Demian Maia, Chris Leben, Mike Pierce and many other talented opponents.

2. Don Frye

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    Don Frye spent time wrestling under Dan Severn at Arizona State before transferring to Oklahoma State, where he was a part of 1989's best NCAA wrestling program.

    Years later, Frye became one of the pioneers of MMA by winning multiple UFC tournaments and producing one of the most memorable fights of all time against Yoshihiro Takayama in Pride.

    Despite his late-career troubles, Frye will always be remembered for the run he had in his first 16 professional fights.

    During that time, Frye only lost one fight and defeated Ken Shamrock, Tank Abbott, Gary Goodridge and Gilbert Yvel.  

1. Randy Couture

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    Before he was the MMA legend who he is today, Randy Couture was a three-time All-American at Oklahoma State.

    Couture's 19-11 record doesn't do his career justice, as "The Natural" was a five-time UFC champion, earning belts in both the heavyweight and light heavyweight divisions. 

    A UFC Hall of Fame fighter, Couture is the best mixed martial artist to come out of Oklahoma State, but many up-and-coming fighters are using his accomplishments as motivation to achieve even bigger and better things.