With each passing generation, like any other sport, the athletes that comprise it get better and better. Mixed martial arts is showing itself to be no different. One of those young men is a multi-weight class champion in American Kombat Alliance. This young fighter recently won the conference championship in wrestling at the 174lb weight class as a Sophomore at Texas Wesleyan University. This fighter is Don Doyle. Under the tutelage of UFC veteran and former BKFC champion, Johnny Bedford, Doyle has already won his professional debut and is on the path to an amazing professional career.
Destined for MMA Greatness
When entering the realm of MMA at the age of 15, Doyle understood the importance of excelling at all aspects of the sport. “I originally started MMA at 15. I began to do jujitsu and kickboxing tournaments in my first two years. Once I turned 17, I had my first MMA fight and won by first-round TKO. Then, I wrestled my senior year of high school and began wrestling and fighting simultaneously. What got me into MMA and wrestling was simply me just enjoying fighting in general. That’s what made me seek out an MMA gym, which led me to F3 [Fight Fight Factory],” Doyle told MyMMANews. Doyle realizes in order to continue his growth in the sport, he needs great coaches behind him. He has all of the potential in the world of becoming a star on the biggest stages of MMA.
“I have had a ton of coaches who have contributed to my career thus far. Obviously, Johnny Bedford has been a huge part in teaching me the physical side of fighting and the tactics behind it. I have never met a better corner man than him and he is someone who can take me to the top of the sport. Another two mentors of mine are Ray Bedford and Jared Habberman. They are my coaches as Texas Wesleyan University and they have contributed tremendously to my success. No just as a fighter, but as a man. Their wrestling, strength, and conditioning knowledge and sheer competitive mindset rubs off on me and it pairs very well with the MMA knowledge I get at F3,” said Doyle.
The classic MMA argument is if you have to have a background in one form of combat sport, what art should it be? Many will say and go with wrestling. Doyle is no doubt one of those fighters with solid wrestling as the foundation to his MMA game. Still working and improving that game every day, Doyle is currently a member of the Texas Wesleyan University wrestling team.
“My time wrestling for Texas Wesleyan has been some of the best moments of my life. There are many times that it is miserable due to how hard we are pushed. However, this forces us to embrace the difficulty and rise to the occasion or be crushed,” said Doyle. “I have met some of my best friends on the wrestling team and I love representing them and Spartan Mat Club because of how much they have invested in us. They are a family to me and I look forward to representing them in the big show one day.”
As a sophomore and just in their second year of competition in 2021, the university won the conference championship. Four of the teams’ members went to nationals, one of those being the sophomore Doyle. Doyle won the conference champion in the 174lb division. “It was amazing for us to win our conference as a team. it shows a lot about our coaching staff and our athletes and that we can have success regardless of us being a second year program. Going to nationals was an experience and it showed me where I need to be next year. I am so proud of my team and I cannot wait to see us surpass our goals once gain next season,” stated Doyle.
Having the honor of seeing Doyle compete multiple times, he showed more in his professional debut at AKA 16 than in all of his amateur championship bouts. Doyle’s opponent in his debut, Nicholas Horton, was no easy test, with two wins in his own amateur career over UFC star Khaos Williams. Facing a touch onslaught in the beginning of the bout, Doyle fought back and won the bout with a second-round TKO stoppage. It’s easy to compete win you have the upper hand, but Doyle’s true character in the cage came out when his back was against the wall. It is only a matter of time until we see Doyle on the biggest of MMA stages.
I am a life-long MMA fan who has been a fan since UFC 1. I was born in Illinois but raised in South Louisiana, home of many great mixed martial artists. I started martial arts at the age of 4 and continued into my adult years where I served nearly 10 years in law enforcement. I feel my job is to convey the stories of the MMA fighters we enjoy to watch and share their stories with the world.
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