Simpson wrestler tries his hand at ultimate fighting

Simpson wrestler tries his hand at ultimate fighting

by Ashley KatchStaff Writer

On Aug. 8 of last summer, sophomore Wade Dowling took part in an ultimate fighting match at Vieux Carre in Des Moines. On Wednesday nights last summer Dowling enjoyed watching the fights. Dowling is a wrestler at Simpson and some of his friends thought that he should give it a try.

Ultimate fighting is a sport that has been gaining a lot of popularity over the last few years. It is a combination of wrestling, boxing and jiu-jitsu. Dowling was pretty bored with summer, so he decided to sign up for a fight. Due to the fact it was an amateur fight, he was not allowed to use knees or elbows.

After he decided that he was going to fight, he signed up. He had to tell the club his body weight so they could find an opponent of his size.

There are different reasons that people want to participate in ultimate fighting.

“Some people want just to do it for fun,” Dowling said. “Other people do it to improve their combat skills.”

Dowling had some training to do before he was ready to fight on Aug. 8.

“My training consisted of running 4 miles a day, lifting weights and then boxing on a boxing bag for about 20 minutes,” Dowling said.

Dowling won his fight without suffering any injury.

“There was a lot of punching on the ground,” Dowling said. “My opponent was on his back a lot.”

Dowling had a lot of support during his fight. Many of Dowling’s friends came to support him and cheer him on.

Sophomore Stephanie Eide came out to support Dowling. There were times when she got nervous couldn’t watch.

“I had to look away at times,” Eide said. “It’s a lot easier to cheer on people and not think about it when you’re not good friends with them.”

Senior Emily Salberg was also at the fight.

“There were a lot of people there supporting Wade so the crowd definitely got louder and more supportive when it was his turn in the ring,” Salberg said. “I think that pumped everyone’s adrenaline, including Wade’s, even higher.”

Another Simpson wrestler and friend of Dowling’s, sophomore Sammy Collora, was unable to make Dowling’s fight but would come to the next one.

“I definitely would like to see Wade fight and will be there if he decides to do it again,” Collora said. “It is something I might try when I am done with wrestling.”

Dowling thinks that he would like to do another fight sometime after wrestling is over.

“I would like to learn more boxing and jiu-jitsu skills before I fight again,” Dowling said.

When Dowling steps back in the ring, he will have Salberg and Eide’s support again.

“I would most likely go again,” Eide said. “It’s especially fun because someone I know is fighting. It’s scary but it gives you a real purpose for being there. You feel closer to the fighting experience, and not like so much of an outsider.”