Some people will swear that wrestling is more than just a sport. To them, wrestling isn’t just a highly competitive undertaking that ends when the participants walk off the mat and take off their singlets. To them, it might even provide a person with valuable traits that they can use long after they’ve secured their last pin or takedown.

On the wrestling mat, Casey Hudson became the man he is today. The strenuous physical and mental tasks he faced shaped him into an individual capable of taking on the many challenges the world throws at him.

“Wrestling has molded my lifestyle and how I go about everyday life,” Hudson told The MMA Corner in an exclusive interview. “It taught me self-discipline, gave me great work ethic and made me mentally tough. Those traits are so beneficial to have in the real world.”

The helpful traits gained from his decade of time in wrestling would give Hudson a solid platform as he embarked on his new sporting journey as a fighter. Mental toughness combined with a strong grappling pedigree gave him a foundation upon which he could continue his evolution in the new field by adding a striking arsenal through his hard work ethic in the gym.

“As an MMA fighter, you are always striving to become better,” he explained. “Better at everything—better boxer, a better grappler, and we try to make our diets better, our health better. It never ends, and in the real world if you strive to get better at everything you do, you have no other option but to be successful.”

Eventually with all of the blessings and lessons gained from his long venture, it’s only natural for this dedicated fighter, who trains out of the Fitness Factory in Colleyville, Texas, to want to pass along this knowledge to other athletes. As the head wrestling coach at the University of Texas at Arlington, Hudson shares his expertise with his wrestling apprentices.

Times can be tough for an individual training and competing in wrestling. Nevertheless, whether it’s running numerous sprints, intense sparring or toppling an opponent, the tough love Hudson administers on his combatants has a major purpose that centers on a vision that far exceeds the battles encountered on the mat.

“There comes a time and a point when you can’t compete anymore, and that’s the time you start giving back to the sport,” Hudson said. “It was my calling, really, and I love every second of it. MMA has given me extreme confidence and I try to carry that over to my wrestlers constantly. It comes back to that mental toughness and self-discipline thing. When I’m coaching and I finally see one of my wrestlers begin to believe in themselves and start building their self-confidence, I know we are going to be successful. It’s a beautiful thing!”

The winning formula seems to have had a strong impact on the collegiate wrestlers. In a twist, however, seeing his students excel has been a great inspirational tool for Hudson in his own journey as a mixed martial artist. It is said that it is best to practice what you preach, and Hudson definitely follows this rule.

Just like the high expectations he has for his wrestlers, those same guidelines are embedded within himself, which makes him even more willing to fight hard to make it to the top of the MMA ladder and showcase to his students what type of leader they train under.

“My wrestlers motivate the hell out of me,” Hudson admitted. “As a coach, I make it a point to lead by example. So how can I ask my wrestlers to give everything they’ve got if I can’t do the same when I compete? So if we are going through a practice and I’m wrestling with them or doing conditioning with them, I’m going to out-work them in every aspect. I carry that over to the cage. I expect to see them win on mat just as they expect the same from me in the cage.”

Motivation has an unusual way of positively changing a person’s attitude. Battling in the cage, guiding others to perfection or simply jumping out of his bed in the morning is all in a day’s work for Hudson. His motivational demeanor exemplifies true craftsmanship and devotion to becoming better, which sets up a great layout for him in reaching the greater feats that the fight game has to offer.

Photo: Casey Hudson (Facebook)

About The Author

Monta Wiley
Staff Writer

Monta Wiley is an aspiring sports journalist that has covered the world of MMA and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. He has been a regular contributor to US Combat Sports. Monta has a Bachelor's degree in Aviation Administration from California State University-Los Angeles. Outside of his writing, you can find Monta at the gym honing his BJJ technique.

  • Jeff Hudson

    I am biased but this is a great article.