Former cowboy wrestling star Nick Piccininni begins MMA career on Friday night
STILL WATER – Former Oklahoma State Wrestler Nick piccininni will follow in the footsteps of many other Cowboys as they transition from wrestling to mixed martial arts on Friday night.
He’s Oklahoma State’s newest addition to the MMA pipeline that has produced the most UFC champions of any school with three. Piccininni’s quest to be the fourth begins when he enters the Octagon to face Chancey Wilson at XFN 371.
He believes the state of mind developed during his time at OSU will help him achieve his goals in his new journey.
“I think that’s the reason you’re going to the state of Oklahoma,” Piccininni said. “You’re trained by the staff there to program you to be a champion, so you know what it takes to work hard. You know what hard work looks like, what it feels like, so I’ve been living it for five. years old. I know what hard work is and I apply it to martial arts. When I miss I go back to my days in Oklahoma State and say “how I felt there and what did I do there to make sure I’m doing enough. ‘ It certainly helped OSU program your mindset and work ethic. “
Since leaving Stillwater, Piccininni has moved to San Jose, Calif., Where he trains at the American Kickboxing Acadrmy with former OSU teammates Jacobe Smith and Kyle Crutchmer.
“These guys aren’t just my teammates, they’re my roommates,” Piccininni said. “They are my brothers and every day we go through the same trials. Whether we are just to eat or go anywhere, we are always together. It was good to have Kyle there first with him already at through the process and keep fighting. It has been a blessing to have him with Jacobe, two guys I know very well and have worked with before. “
Outstanding for four years in the Cowboys’ 125-pound roster, Piccininni has won All-America honors three times during his OSU career, finishing in fourth place in 2017. The New York native went on to become the ninth wrestler in program history to win four individual victories. conference titles and ended his college career with a 110-17 record.
Throughout his training, Piccininni took on the challenge of developing other skills such as jiu-jitsu and hitting to complement his wrestling abilities.
“It is becoming well versed in other disciplines of the sport, not just with wrestling,” he said. “I adapt to these other sports and use what I’ve learned in wrestling and apply my mindset and work ethic to those.”
While he doesn’t have a clear vision of how he wants the fight to end, he does know how he wants the fight to go.
“My expectation is to go out there and dominate,” Piccininni said. “To do what I’ve always done in wrestling and apply it to MMA. I want to be very tactical and get a hold of this guy, pull him down and do what I do best. I want to dominate. in all positions and in all aspects of the cage. “
Taking place at the River Spirit Casino in Tulsa, a stream of the event will be available starting at 5 p.m. with the UFC Fight Pass.