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Which Olympic athletes are the MMA stars of tomorrow?

The Olympics have officially started, which means you’re going to be seeing a million billion articles on how MMA should totally be an Olympic sport (it’ll never happen) and which Olympic competitors could make it to the UFC some day in the future. From that pile is Ronda Rousey’s former judo teammate Kayla Harrison, and freestyle wrestling standout Jordan Burroughs. Those excited for Burroughs’ transition to MMA might have to wait a while though:

Jordan Burroughs, the 24-year-old reigning world champion from New Jersey, would seem to be the big catch. But MMA might be on a long fishing trip, as Burroughs said in an interview last year with the MMA Nation radio show that while he does have plans to enter the cage, it won’t be until 2017. He still has goals in wrestling, beginning this summer in London. “John Smith from Oklahoma State was the greatest American wrestler of all time. He was a four-time world champ and two-time Olympic champ,” said Burroughs, who competes at 163 pounds. “So for me, in order to catch him or surpass him, I’ll have to wrestle every Olympics and every world championship from now to 2017. And that’s the goal: to win all of those, and once I’m done with that, to try and get into MMA.”

It’s not all that bleak, though. Burroughs could totally flub things and fail to medal this year, and then his plan to become the Michael Phelps of wrestling is totally borked. And without medals to draw sponsors, life as an Olympic athlete can be pretty threadbare and bleak. At that point, he might decide wrasslefucking his way up the MMA rankings isn’t such a bad idea after all. So cross your fingers for defeat. Crushing, goal-destroying defeat!

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