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The Journey For Cody Chittum Officially Begins | UFC Fight Pass

Where Does Cody Chittum Feel Expectations Belong Now That He’s Officially Making The NCAA Walk?

What a ride it’s been to his first NCAA season, but Cody Chittum has officially arrived.

Few wrestlers have dealt with the fan and media outcry and scrutiny leading into their freshman season the way that Iowa State’s Cody Chittum has. The polarizing move to join the Iowa State Cyclones would have message boards across the country with his name on their fingertips and their eyes planted on his every move.

You don’t get to the top of the heap in a sport based on controlling your emotions in both the best and worst of times by sweating how others perceive you in the moment. Chittum’s summer has gone the same as his entire competitive career: control what you can control and block out 100% of energy-wasting battles.


“My mindset is pretty much the same,” Chittum said. “I don’t really look at the rankings or all those things. I just think that I had to find a place where the partners were good, and the coaches were dedicated and had to do a couple stops here and there through my high school year and last year and said, ‘you know what, I think this is my happy place.’”

Despite being an above average competitor, Chittum is still an average human being with the ability to feel attacked, offended and insulted. It would be one of the most human responses in the world for him to let the enormity of his celebrity in the wrestling world overcome him, but pressing forward is exactly what’s made him the sought-after star he is today.

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There’s only so much time in the day; why waste it concerning yourself with thoughts you can’t control when you could gear up for the next mountain to climb.

“Everything is like a little air of restarts,” Chittum explained. “You go from being a good middle school kid, restart in high school, being a good high school kid, to restart in college, and it’s the same thing with seeing the gaps and levels to each aspect of wrestling. Now I’m a part of that college level, so I’ve got to grind, wrestle my style and pursue what I’m good at and prove myself.”

The kicker of it all is Chittum’s indifference toward the spotlight. The better you wrestle, the more eyeballs on you, the more eyeballs on you, the more microphones and media requests coming your way. Chittum is in the thick of it now. But to get to a place that makes sense to him, Chittum must also enter a world that doesn’t add up in his eyes.

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“I wouldn’t say I’m a big interview guy; I like to keep to myself,” Chittum explained. “I like to have my style of wrestling talk for who I am. I’m not a big social media guy and I don’t really do too much in that world. I’m not really good at it, first of all, and then second of all, I don’t like to get caught into all the drama. I just like to keep my things going and keep the ball rolling. You get a whole bunch of wrestlers talking crap with each other, and you’re like, ‘really?’ It all settles down to when you go in the middle and shake hands. They can do whatever they want on the outside, but training is training and it’s how hard you train against that guy. If your off-break is talking crap on Twitter, then I don’t think that’s a good recovery.”

With the hype coming into the season where it was, it’s tough to imagine where Chittum may have put the expectations for himself in his freshman season. Before his first match, people have already spoken his name nearly as much as some of the biggest names in the sport. Is it National title or bust for the highly touted freshman, or is it fair to let him get some matches under his belt and have his career come to him?

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No wrestler is going to say they don’t want to win a National championship, but does Chittum feel more pressure to stand atop the podium now that his name was up there with the likes of Shane Griffith, Bernie Truax, Gable Steveson and more?

“Winning Nationals is the goal, but I don’t know, I never see it as a fail, but I always see it as a learning point,” Chittum explained. “When I’m wrestling, or let’s say I lose a match, [I’ll say], ‘Well, what’s something I need to change in that?’ and each time, I improve that. I think winning a National title is the goal and if it doesn’t happen, I wouldn’t see my season as a failure but I would say there are definitely improvements to be made. I still have a few years to get ready and have a good mindset throughout my whole career. If I didn’t qualify for All-American, my year would be a failure.”

The journey for Chittum and the Iowa State Cyclones begins at Perry High school.

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