While watching mixed martial arts this past weekend (both Jon Fitch and Matt Mitrione were scheduled to fight), it occurred to me that Purdue has been home to many high quality MMA fighters. Very few universities could rival our impressive list of Slayter Hill Sluggers. Oklahoma State is the only school I can think of that would stand a fighting chance against our beloved Boilers. Below is a list of fighters that have called Purdue their home at one point or another. Boiler Up, Hammerfist Down!
Stephan Bonnar - (born April 4, 1977) is a retired American professional mixed martial artist and a UFC Hall of Famer who competed as a Light Heavyweight for the UFC. Bonnar was the runner-up on The Ultimate Fighter 1. His TUF Ultimate Finale loss to Forrest Griffin is considered to be one of the most important fights in the history of the UFC.
Jon Fitch - (born February 24, 1978) is an American mixed martial artist, competing in the welterweight division of World Series of Fighting. Fitch formerly competed in the Ultimate Fighting Championship, and during his tenure in the UFC was considered a top contender for the Welterweight championship. Fitch received a title shot against the UFC Welterweight champion, Georges St-Pierre, on August 9, 2008.
Matt Mitrione - (born July 15, 1978) is an American mixed martial artist and former NFL football player with the Minnesota Vikings. He was a cast member of Spike TV's The Ultimate Fighter: Heavyweights and is currently fighting in the UFC heavyweight division with a 7-3 professional record, including a win of Youtube sensation Kimbo Slice.
Miguel Angel Torres - (born January 18, 1981) is a Mexican-American professional mixed martial artist currently competing in the World Series of Fighting's Bantamweight division. He is a former WEC Bantamweight Champion and has also formerly competed for the UFC and Ironheart Crown. Torres, who has a 42-7 professional record received his black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu from Carlson Gracie Jr. in September 2008.
Jake O'Brien - (born September 25, 1984) is an American professional mixed martial artist. He has fought as a Heavyweight and Light Heavyweight for the UFC, WEC, and DREAM. O’Brien has fought against some of the very best fighters in the world today including UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones and UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez.
Matt Hamilll - (born October 5, 1976) is a retired American mixed martial artist and wrestler who last competed in the Light Heavyweight division of the UFC. He is a three-time NCAA Division III National Champion in wrestling (167 lb class in 1997, 190 lb class in 1998 and 197 lb class in 1999) while attending the Rochester Institute of Technology. Hammill attended the Rochester Institute of Technology for 3 years transferring there following a year at Purdue University. Hamill also has a silver medal in Greco-Roman Wrestling and a gold medal in Freestyle Wrestling from the 2001 Summer Deaflympics. Although he is technically the only man to defeat the current UFC Light Heavyweight Champion and the current #1 pound-for-pound fighter in the world, Jon Jones, he was being dominated in the fight until Jon Jones was disqualified for using downward elbows to the head. Hammill also has a win over MMA legend Tito Ortiz and finished his career with a solid 11-5 professional record.