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Next Ronda Rousey? Forrest Molinari announces transition to MMA

LockerRoom Team
Calendar Icon18 June 2024

Forrest Molinari, a top U.S. female wrestler, has announced her transition to MMA, signalling her commitment to the sport publicly. Molinari, who has trained at several gyms to learn the basics, has yet to choose a full-time training camp but plans to do so soon.

"Over the last two years, my focus has been on wrestling, especially during the pre-Olympic and Olympic years, preparing for the Olympic trials," Molinari said. "But now, it's time to chase a new goal."

Molinari finished as the runner-up at the Olympic trials in April, losing to 20-year-old phenom Amit Elor in the 68 kg category. With a decorated wrestling career that includes a bronze medal at the 2021 World Championships, she is one of the most accomplished female wrestlers to switch to MMA.

At 28, Molinari could have pursued another Olympic cycle but felt the timing was right to transition to fighting. "Age was a significant factor," Molinari told MMA Fighting. "I'm not going to do MMA just to do it. I aim to be the best. Logistically, it's the right time. I'm just entering my prime in wrestling, but in MMA, I'm still young and have a lot to learn. I can always return to wrestling if I choose, but for now, MMA comes first."

Molinari's interest in MMA began several years ago, but the intense focus required for international wrestling competitions delayed her move. Over the past few years, she incorporated MMA training into her regimen when possible. Now, her full attention is on fighting.

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"While deep in my wrestling career, I thought, 'That might be cool to do one day,'" Molinari said about MMA. "I started studying it more closely and, as my wrestling career progressed, I realized I wanted to be the best in the world in MMA, just as I did in wrestling. The decision became more serious over the past couple of years. At this point, I want to fight."

Molinari's transition to MMA marks a new chapter in her athletic career, one she is ready to fully embrace.


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