College wrestling bad boy Pat Downey makes his highly anticipated professional debut this Friday at Bellator 284, and he feels no pressure.
Bo Nickal isn’t the only stud college wrestler to make a splash this week. Division I All–American Downey faces Jeff Souder at Bellator 284 in his professional MMA debut.
While some athletes might feel nervous or under some pressure ahead of their professional debut, especially in a big promotion, Downey feels none of it. For the simple fact that he has been competing in front of huge crowds for most of his adult life.
“There’s definitely a little extra added hype as opposed to a typical pro debut.”
“Hell no, I insisted on this, man. I chose this. I don’t feel pressure. Like on the contrary, I would feel shitty making my debut in one of these rinky-dink promotions. No bashing the promotions or the guys that compete for them- respect,” Downey told Cageside Press in a recent exclusive interview. “But like, once you’ve competed All American at Madison Square Garden in front of 20,000 people, you’ve been in 50 countries representing your country, you know, once you’ve done these things, I don’t even get excited unless I’m going to compete for a world team or a world title or a gold medal somewhere.”
Downey added that “It’s the best rush; you know what I mean? But yeah, I don’t feel pressure because I asked for this. This is what I expected of myself. That’s the standard. That’s a testament to my self-belief.”
“And sh*t, my accolades, you know, I gotta live up to them. If you look at my wrestling accolades, what do I look like? I was also talking to the Khabib League, and I was talking about taking a few in the regional shows and getting the UFC fight pass deal going, and trying to get into UFC. But like, at the end of the day, I’m also putting my faith and trust in my management and my team. And I’ve said this before, where I’m at is very calculated, and by design, it’s not by mistake.”
“There’s definitely a little extra added hype as opposed to a typical pro debut. I’ll give you that,” Downey added.
Sometimes wrestlers like to show off their boxing, but Downey isn’t trying to hide his game plan whatsoever. He is going to take his opponent down and smash him.
“Oh yeah, you’re not gonna see one of the best wrestlers in the world go out there and not wrestle. I’m coming out like a big Khabib [Nurmagomedov]. Y’all motherf*ckers can know what I’m gonna do. Good luck stopping it, buddy. I’m gonna take this guy down and beat the sh*t out of him,” Downey said. “That is the game plan. Look at Khabib and look at a bigger guy. That’s me.”
“I’m gonna finish this guy. The ref is going to pull me off of him because he’s tapping out or he’s not defending himself…I definitely want to finish this guy. I want to finish all the opponents. I want to be efficient. I’m not getting paid by the minute out there. I want to get in and get out.”
If all goes right for Downey, he wants to turn around and fight in Ireland in September. “Downey is pretty Irish, and I’ve never been to Dublin. Maybe I’ll show Conor McGregor some restaurants.”
Watch the rest of our interview with Pat Downey above. Bellator 284 goes down this Friday, August 12, 2022 at the Sanford Pentagon in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.