Most folks go to Hawaii for the scenery or surfing. Mark Ellis is going to fight.
The former University of Missouri wrestler — who won the heavyweight title at the 2009 NCAA Division I championships — will be making his MMA (mixed martial arts) debut Aug. 27 in Hawaii, according to multiple published reports.
Ellis will be facing former University of Hawaii linebacker Jake Heun at ProElite’s late August event at Neal Blaisdell Center in Honolulu.
Nicknamed “The Animal,” the 24-year-old Heun stands 6’2″, weighs in at 225 lbs. Sherdog.com. reports the Anchorage native has a 1-0-0 record as a professional in MMA, defeating Brandon Morgan (with a 5-3-0 record) by submission in the second round of their April 23, 2011 bout. Heun wrestled at Palmer High in Alaska.
Various media reports list Mark Ellis’ height as 6’2″ or 6’3″. According to the official weigh-in sheets at the 2010 NCAAs, the former Mizzou Tiger tipped the scales at 247 pounds as a senior.
Ellis announced his MMA career one year ago by signing a management deal with Zinkin Entertainment. He has been training with American Kickboxing Academy (AKA) in San Jose, Calif., working out with fellow former NCAA All-American wrestlers Daniel Cormier (who wrestled at Oklahoma State) and UFC heavyweight champ — and former Arizona State big man — Cain Velasquez.
A native of Overland Park, Kan., Ellis wrestled at Raymore-Peculiar High School in Missouri, where he won the 215-pound state title as a senior in 2005. At the University of Missouri, Ellis was a four-time qualifier for the NCAA championships, winning the heavyweight crown as a junior in 2009 by defeating Konrad Dudziak of Duke in the finals, becoming only the second Mizzou wrestler to win a national collegiate mat title (the first being Ben Askren). At the 2010 NCAAs, Ellis was knocked out of title contention by eventual champ David Zabriskie of Iowa State, placing sixth, and earning NCAA All-American honors for the second straight year.
Want to know more? To learn more about the ProElite event scheduled for Aug. 27, check out this article in the Honolulu Star-Advertiser… ProMMA.com… and BleacherReport.com.
Keep up with college wrestling all year ’round! There’s always something new going on — coach firings and hirings, new programs, new recruits, awards and honors, and more. Click the “subscribe” button on this page to make sure you do..n’t miss a single thing. It’s absolutely FREE!
NCAA Heavyweight Champs Yahoo group: Photos and info of the NCAA Division I heavyweight champs since 2000, including Mark Ellis.
College Wrestling 101: Links to College Wrestling Examiner articles answering basic questions about wrestling, including rules, scoring, uniforms, more
Follow College Wrestling Examiner Mark Palmer on Twitter