A training partner to former UFC heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar, 27-year-old Cole Konrad has put together a professional record of 8-0 and has picked up the Bellator heavyweight championship along the way.
Mostly, The Polar Bear has earned his victories by virtue of his impressive wrestling acumen, honed during his time spent competing for The University of Minnesota. Having captured two NCAA Divsion-1 titles, Konrad’s wrestling prowess is undeniable, but, in his most recent fight against notable striker Paul “The Headhunter” Buentello, his striking skills were on full display.
Konrad threw Buentello off with a surprising aptitude on his feet, which he recently told Sherdog.com has come about as a result of his training with K-1 level striker Pat Barry.
“I’ve been fortunate to have Pat Barry up here training with me every day,” Konrad said. “When you exchange punches with a guy like that every day, you have no choice but to get better. … Having him in the room has helped me immensely. He’s been great to work with, both with my standup and then me helping him with his wrestling and ground game.”
Konrad explained that he’s always put effort into improving his striking skills, but he’s never developed the confidence in his skills to really implement them in a fight until now.
“I was training it before, but I wasn’t throwing it before,” Konrad said. “The confidence to throw it, just seeing when it’s there, being able to throw it — I think that just comes from training with a guy like that who does throw a lot of leg kicks when we’re training. You pick up a lot of the little tweaks to it to know how to throw it properly and how to time it.”