SANTA MONICA, Calif. (August 19, 2015) – Bellator MMA is proud to announce the signing of highly sought after wrestling prospect Tyrell Fortune to an exclusive, multi-fight contract.
The 25-year-old’s focus is currently set on the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio, which he will attempt to qualify for during Olympic Trials next April. Regardless of whether or not he does make the team, Fortune hopes to have his first heavyweight mixed martial arts contest in early 2016.
“Wrestling in the Olympics and representing The United States of America has always been a dream of mine,” Fortune said. “Now that the dream is nearly a reality, I have taken the necessary steps to make sure I’m able to provide for myself going forward and there’s no better place to do that than with Scott Coker and Bellator MMA. I can’t wait to show the heavyweight division what I can do inside the cage and I look forward to being one of the names that continues to propel Bellator MMA to the top of the mixed martial arts landscape.”
Fortune attended high school at Lakeridge in Oregon, where he won state championships in nearly every national age-group championship in both freestyle and Greco-Roman wrestling. The accolades didn’t stop there, with Fortune accepting an offer to wrestle at Ohio State University, before ultimately settling in at the renowned Grand Canyon Universities program. Since graduating college, Fortune has represented Team USA in Olympic style wrestling, which he ultimately hopes culminates in the American National Anthem playing while he stands atop a podium in Rio.
Splitting time between wrestling training in Arizona alongside fellow Bellator MMA competitor and Olympic hopeful Ed Ruth and mixed martial arts training with the Blackzilians in Florida, Fortune has spent a great deal of time honing his striking talents and submission defense.
For a full analysis of Fortune’s time as a wrestler, take a look at Michael Riordan’s article on Bloody Elbow from 2014, where he offered Fortune high praise: “I fully expect him to establish himself as the best MMA heavyweight in the entire world within five years.”
Fortune joins blue-chip amateur wrestling prospect Aaron Pico and Ruth on the roster. All three competitors will turn their focus to MMA following the Olympic Games next year. When the time comes, Fortune will be competing in Bellator’s heavyweight division alongside current title-holder Vitaly Minakov, Cheick Kongo, Lorenzo Hood, Kimbo Slice, Tony Johnson,Bobby Lashley, amongst others.