T Nation

Wrestling for Longevity


i have noticed that MMA fighters that were competitive wrestlers are not only top fighters,but they also tend to be very athletic into old age.
examples-mark the hammer coleman-42 years old
kevin randleman-the most athletic freak in pride at 36y
dan severn
randy couture-holding ufc title as 41 years old
what do you think?



Many athletes compete at 40+. And are at the top of their game.

I dont believe that MMA training has any direct effect on longevity.

However i will agree that most MMA athletes do have superior all around athleticism compared to other sports.
At any age.


Maybe... I wrestled in HS and college and I would have to say that the guys that you listed are all exceptionally hard workers that have kept up the training / wrestling lifestyle over the years. Sometimes it's easy to think that all former wrestlers are still fit by watching UFC / Pride/ etc. but I think that these guys are exceptions rather than the norm. There are more than a few former wrestlers with injuries!


Great wrestler and coach Dan Gable was still wrestling/sparring intensively with his wrestlers---even when it meant wrestling at 5 AM!!!


May be he "was" wrestling at 5 am at one time but that can no longer be the case.

As much as it pains me to say it, watching Dan Gable today on an instructional DVD you have to admit that wrestling has decidedly not had a positive effect on his health.

He is far from an agile and youthful 58 year old -no doubt due to a large extent to the hip surgeries he has endured.


It depends on how injured you are and how well you take care of your body. Good genetics help too as does good chemical assistence.


Balbos, whereever you are... we miss you dearly.


I think Randy Couture was UFC champion at age 41.He comes from wrestling background.
There are also many Gracie family members who competed at old age.


Dan Gable had the broken-down body of an old man by his early 40's. As much as I admire the guy and envy his dedication, discipline, and work ethic, I wonder if deep down he wishes that he would have followed his hard grueling work/training schedule with a little rest and recovery time on ocassion.

That said, it will be nice to see him back as an assistant coach in Iowa this year.