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Exclusive: Former NCAA Champ and Lesnar Sparring Partner Cole Konrad has Sights on Early-2010 Debut

ColeKonradCould a former two-time NCAA heavyweight champion be on the verge of crossing over to mixed martial arts? If sources are to be believed, yes. has learned that Cole Konrad, who finished first in the NCAAs in 2006 and 2007 in the 285 lbs. division and proceeded Brock Lesnar on the University of Minnesota wrestling team, is set to make his MMA debut early this year. And according to sources close to the fighter, his debut could come as soon as this month.

While Conrad’s entry into professional mixed martial arts may sound rushed, the 26-year old Wisconsin native has actually been training MMA for the past two years. Soon after Marty Morgan resigned as a coach with the University of Minnesota wrestling team to join Lesnar as his full-time wrestling coach, he recruited Konrad to serve as a full-time training partner to the current UFC heavyweight champion.

After college, the four-time All-American’s initial goal was to follow in the footsteps of fellow former NCAA heavyweight champion and current New England Patriots All-Pro OL Stephen Neal and make it in the NFL. Despite not having played football in college, Konrad was invited to try out for the New York Jets prior to the 2008 regular season.

Now a full-time resident of Minnesota, Konrad splits his time training at Greg Nelson’s Minnesota Martial Arts Academy in Minneapolis and also at Lesnar’s home training facility in Alexandria, Minn. In addition to training with Lesnar and also sharing a similar pedigree, Konrad is also co-managed by Lesnar’s manager, Brian Stegeman.

Sources also have revealed to that Konrad is already drawing significant interest from both DREAM as well as the upstart Bellator Fighting Championships in the United States, which could conduct its first-ever heavyweight tournament this August.

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