Bellator has penned a deal with a controversial former college wrestling standout.
Earlier this week, Bellator signed Pat Downey III, a former NCAA Division I All-American wrestler, to a contract, the promotion confirmed with ESPN on Friday.
Downey, 29, has yet to make his MMA debut. He will compete in Bellator’s middleweight division.
Downey, who is training out of the vaunted Sanford MMA in Deerfield Beach, Florida, has had several out-of-competition issues, including being kicked off the Iowa State University wrestling team in 2017 because of repeated violations of team rules. In November 2009, Downey was charged with assault after beating up a Towson University student, breaking his jaw and knocking out four of his teeth. Downey pleaded guilty in the case and served six days in jail.
In 2020, Downey was dropped by the New Jersey Regional Training Center for derogatory tweets about Greco-Roman and women’s wrestling.
Downey, who is from Baltimore, was an All-American at Iowa State in 2016. He won a U.S. national championship in wrestling in 2019.