BY C. A. RAY
Kole Seifert, 24, is a product of Brandon Gruchow’s intense West Central Area/Ashby/Brandon-Evansville wrestling program. Once he graduated from WCA in 2015, he found he missed the excitement of extreme sports. So he tried bull riding! Then, three years ago, Seifert discovered Mixed Martial Arts (MMA), a sport that combines wrestling, boxing, and judo. Fighters can use their hands, feet, or any other part of their body to score points. They wear four ounce gloves, not unlike the 10 ounce boxing gloves, except they have fingers to grab their opponent with.
Seifert explains the MMA scoring system:
“There’s typically three judges and it’s on a 10-9 scoring system. Judges look at: effect striking/ grappling; aggression (moving forward or pressuring); and ring control. The winner always gets ten points and the loser will get nine but if the round is really lopsided, the judges may give the loser of the round eight points instead. Referees may also take points away for committing certain fouls, like eye pokes or hair pulling. If the fight goes the distance, it will go to the judge’s score cards for the decision.”
Seifert had his first fight in 2019 and acquired a record of 2-0 before COVID-19 shut things down.
He was actually ranked third in the state in the 165 pound weight class, out of over 300 other fighters.
Seifert trains in St. Cloud and belongs to the Start BJJ (Brazilian Jiu-jitsu) team for training purposes.
“It’s an individual sport with a team aspect,” Seifert said. “We practice as a team, but you are by yourself, as far as scoring goes.”
Seifert was driving a couple days a week from Barrett to St. Cloud, but recently moved there.
“It’s an intense sport,” said Seifert. “Anyone who has wrestled knows that it can be a grind, rewarding, but a grind, to keep at it for an entire season, and you have to work hard to get good. With MMA, there is no off-season.”
Seifert has a match coming up (they are three, three minute rounds) on June 26 in Walker, MN. Pros fight five, five minute rounds. He is working to get a live feed that can be shown The Barrett Inn 2 1/2, that evening. If not, they will have a recording of the fight later.