Collin Anglin was in wrestling shoes from pretty much the time he could walk. So it’s no surprise that when he took up MMA as a freshman in college that wrestling was his go-to discipline.
“I’ve taken the time to get comfortable in the other parts of MMA. For a long time, when I first started, all I did was wrestle people. I didn’t want to stand up,” Anglin said. “I did, but I was kind of fearful of it. Because I wasn’t that good at it.
In his Contender Series bout last September against Muhammadjon Naimov, Anglin showed off a little taste of what he’s capable with his takedowns. Despite his opponent having an impressive grappling background in his own right, Anglin dominated the exchanges. However, Anglin also showed off some vastly improved striking – which he said is one of the big advantages to having good wrestling.
“The reason I think [wrestling] is one of the most dominant aspects of MMA is because as a wrestler, a good wrestler, you can dictate where the fight goes,” he said. “If I feel like I’m beating him on the feet, I can decide I want to keep it on the feet and he’s not taking me down.”
Having the ace in the hole that is a strong wrestling base let’s him feel out his hands to determine if he has an advantage there. While it may not seem intuitive for him to want to do that against Melsik Baghdasaryan, since he is a professional boxer/kickboxer, that doesn’t mean that Anglin sees it that way.
“I like a war and I feel like he will bring one. That’s something I like right off the bat,” Anglin said. “He’s a kickboxer, but I don’t see him beating me there – I feel like I’m better than him on the feet.”
While the wrestler sees himself as far more and sees himself getting things done with the hands, he does like to know that he has his old friend in his back pocket. And he thinks either of those methods are going to be more than enough to pick up the ‘W’.
“On the ground, my wrestling is better than his. I just don’t see where he beats me,” he said. “So right there, I love that.”
You can catch Anglin’s bout with Baghdasaryan as part of the prelims of UFC Vegas 33 on ESPN+ this Saturday.
You can listen to the entire audio of this interview at 38:45.