California Wrestlers to MMA

Here is a list of the California high school wrestlers who have gone on to compete in MMA. If there are any we are missing, please contact us so we can add them to the list.

CalGrappler - MMA

Antonio Banuelos

Height: 5’3″
Weight: 125 lbs.
High School: Clovis West (CS)
College:
3rd State
CalGrappler - MMA

Chad “Money” Mendes

Height: 5’6″
Weight: 145 lbs.
High School: Hanford (CS)
College: Cal Poly
3rd, 5th & 8th in the State, 2nd NCAA D1 Championships, Pac-10 Wrestler of the Year
CalGrappler - MMA

Charlie Valencia

Height: 5’3″
Weight: 135 lbs.
High School: Mark Keppel (CCS)
College: Fresno State
6th State, Jr. College State Champion
CalGrappler - MMA

Chuck Liddell “The Iceman”

Height: 6’2″
Weight: 205 lbs.
High School: San Marcos (SS)
College: Cal Poly
Former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion
CalGrappler - MMA

Cody Bollinger

Height: 5’10”
Weight: 135 lbs.
High School: Sultana (SS)
College: Cerritos College
CalGrappler - MMA

Cody Gibson

Height: 5’7″
Weight: 135 lbs.
High School: Mt. Whitney (CS)
College: Bakersfield JC, Menlo College
2 Time State Qualifier, Top 12 in state, 2nd in C.S, Two time JC all American, JC state finalist. MMA record is 11-3
CalGrappler - MMA

Dan Henderson

Height: 6’1″
Weight: 205 lbs.
High School: Victor Valley (SS)
College: Arizona State
2x State Placer, Former Olympic Wrestler
CalGrappler - MMA

Daniel “el Leon” Hernandez

Height: 5’9″
Weight: 155 lbs.
High School: Arroyo (SJS)
College: Cal State Fullerton
4th State
CalGrappler - MMA

Danny “Last Call” Castillo

Height: 5’9″
Weight: 155 lbs.
High School: Laguna Creek (SJS)
College: Menlo
NAIA All-American
Freddie Aquitania

Freddie “Bigg” Aquitania

Height: 6’1″
Weight: 238 lbs.
High School:
College: Skyline CC
2x State Placer & NHSCA All-American, 3rd JC State
CalGrappler - MMA

Gilbert “El Nino” Melendez

Height: 5’9″
Weight: 153 lbs.
High School: Santa Ana (SS)
College: San Francisco State
2x State Qualifier, Master Champion, Former WEC Lightweight Champion
 CalGrappler - MMA

Hector Ramirez “Sick Dog”

Height: 5’10”
Weight: 205 lbs.
High School: John Glen (SS)
College: East Los Angeles
Jake Shields

Jake Shields

Height: 6’0″
Weight: 170 lbs.
High School: Calaveras (SJS)
College: Cuesta College
Four-year varsity wrestler and CIF state qualifier. Finished 2nd place at the Amateur Athletic Union National Freestyle Championships, qualified for U.S.A./ FILA Nationals & World Team Trials in both the junior & university men’s divisions.
CalGrappler - MMA

Joe “One Bad Mofo” Soto

Height: 5’6″
Weight: 135 lbs.
High School: Porterville (CS
College:
CIF State Champion, Junior Collegiate Championship Runner-up (2007), Junior Collegiate Championship 3rd Place (2006),NHSCA Senior All-American (2005)
CalGrappler - MMA

Joe Stevenson

Height: 5’6″
Weight: 135 lbs.
High School: Silverado (SS)
College: Victor Valley JC
He won season 2 of the ultimate fighter and eventually lost to B.J Penn in a title fight.
CalGrappler - MMA

Joey Beltran “The Mexicutioner”

Height: 6’1″
Weight: 205 lbs.
High School: Carlsbad (SDS)
College:
CalGrappler - MMA

Lewis “Lethal” Gonzalez

Height: 5’10”
Weight: 155 lbs.
High School: Turlock (SJS)
College:
2x State Champion
 CalGrappler - MMA

Marvin Eastman “The Beast Man”

Height: 5’9″
Weight: 207 lbs.
High School:
College:
State Champion
CalGrappler - MMA

Mark Munoz “The Filipino Wrecking Machine”

Height: 6’0″
Weight: 185 lbs.
High School: Vallejo (SJS)
College: Oklahoma State
2x State Champion, NHSCA National High School Champion, 2x Big-12 Champion, NCAA D1 National Champion, 2x NCAA D1 All-American
Nate Diaz

Nate Diaz

Height: 6’0″
Weight: 169 lbs.
High School: Tokay (SJS)
College:
He was the winner of The Ultimate Fighter 5.
Nick Diaz

Nick Diaz

Height: 6’0″
Weight: 170 lbs.
High School: Tokay (SJS)
College:
He has competed for PRIDEStrikeforceEliteXC, the WECDREAM, and Shooto. He is a former Strikeforce Welterweight Champion and a former WEC Welterweight Champion. Diaz played a role in the award winning MMA documentary Fight Life, released in 2013.
CalGrappler - MMA

Stephen Abas

Height: 5’5″
Weight: 135 lbs.
High School: James Logan (NCS)
College: Fresno State
3x State Champion, 4x state placer, NHSCA National High School Champion, 3x NCAA D1 National Champion, 4x NCAA D1 All-American, Silver in 2004 Olympics
CalGrappler - MMA

Tito Ortiz “The Huntington Beach Bad Boy”

Height: 6’2″
Weight: 205 lbs.
High School: Huntington Beach (SS)
College:
4th State, 2x Jr. College State Champion, Former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion
CalGrappler - MMA

T.J. Dillashaw

Height: 5’6″
Weight: 135 lbs.
High School: Bret Harte (SJS)
College: Cal State Fullerton
2x State Placer
CalGrappler - MMA

Urijah Faber “The California Kid”

Height: 5’6″
Weight: 135 lbs.
High School: Lincoln (SJS)
College: UC Davis
Former WEC Featherweight Champion