Can AJ Ferrari's wrestling skills translate to MMA success, or is he biting off more than he can chew?

Months after intense clash with Hawkeye senior Zach Glazier at the 2023 Soldier Salute Tournament in Coralville, Iowa, heavyweight wrestler AJ Ferrari made a pivotal decision: he parted ways with the Iowa Wrestling Program. Since then, Ferrari has been on a quest to find the ideal college where he can reignite his collegiate career, which began spectacularly when he became the third true freshman at Oklahoma State to claim an individual NCAA Championship in 2021. 

Eyeing a return to glory now, Ferrari aims to secure his place in wrestling history by aiming for his fifth NCAA title, this time in the 197-pound category. His ambitious pursuit not only underscores his determination but also sets the stage for an eagerly anticipated comeback in collegiate wrestling.

In an Instagram post, wrestler AJ Ferrari eagerly shared with his fans, “I’m thrilled to announce 📢 that the one and only, 🚨Mr. Fast ⚡Twitch© AJ Ferrari 🏎️💨will be back in action next year! AJ, the 🇮🇹quido who clinched the 2021 Light Heavyweight 197-pound National 🏆Championship at just 19 years old. is returning stronger💪, better 🧐and more improved 📈 than ever.” With a massive “665-pound deadlift baby©” under his belt, AJ Ferrari, now in his 20s, is hitting his peak strength and reaching full maturity. He spoke about his incredible journey training in MMA. He has traveled worldwide to master Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Kickboxing, Boxing, and Muay Thai. 


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Aiming to fulfill his dream of becoming an MMA World Champion, for now, AJ Ferrari is thrilled to announce his return to college wrestling. Having parted ways with Iowa Wrestling, he is now in the process of exploring his options for the upcoming season. Originally planning to join the Iowa Hawkeyes alongside his brothers Angelo and Anthony last winter, Ferrari’s plans shifted after his disqualification in the Soldier Salute finals following a contentious match with Iowa NCAA qualifier Zach Glazier. With three years of eligibility remaining, Ferrari is determined to make the most of his collegiate career.

In June, Ferrari took to Instagram to announce his departure from Iowa and the commencement of official visits, stating, “I’m leaving Iowa, and start official visits today. I am young and starving for success on and off the wrestling mat.” In a previous tweet, he boldly claimed to be the “most technical 197 lbs college division 1 Wrestler of All Time.” During his hiatus from college wrestling, AJ Ferrari remained active in the sport. Recently, he was spotted on the campus of the University of Northern Colorado, posing in front of the bear statue and meeting with the university president. Perhaps this is the college where Ferrari envisions his next chapter.

AJ Ferrari’s career highlights: From MMA dreams to NCAA glory


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AJ Ferrari was one of the best wrestlers to have ever originated from Oklahoma State. Between 2019 and 2021, he dominated the 197-pound weight class category. It resulted in an impressive 20-1 record. He defeated Nino Bonaccorsi of Pittsburgh University with a final score of 4-2. Adding to the list, he also defeated major opponents like Kent’s Colin McCracken, ranked at 29 as well as SDSU’s Tanner Sloan, ranked at 13, and Iowa’s Jacob Warner, ranked at 5. Notably, he defeated rank 1 Myles Amine of Michigan University. Additionally, he won the Big 12 Conference Championship the same year, defeating Wyoming’s Stephen Buchanan, who was seeded 2 with a score of 13-8.

He became the first true freshman since 2005 to be named the Most Outstanding Wrestler of the tournament. While Ferrari has chosen not to compete in a postseason since 2021, he has had several high-profile victories. Especially against two current top-ten ranked 197-pounders, Stephen Buchanan at 2 and Joey Novak at 10. This makes him a formidable opponent whose return to NCAA is sure to stir things up. His dedication to both sports reflects his relentless drive and competitive spirit. This dual commitment sets the stage for an exciting future where AJ Ferrari aims to make a significant impact, both in wrestling and potentially in the world of MMA.