No NCAA fan ever accused Penn State’s Roman Bravo-Young of being boring, and he’s assuring those who follow his venture into submission grappling he’s not about to change that.
“He may not be as loud as the other guys, but he would fly circles around them on the mat with his technique,” Josiah Hritsko of Fanco Wrestling praised. “Literally, his flying squirrel takedowns in college wrestling were always ESPN highlight moments. RBY doesn’t just win; he does it with ease and he innovates with new moves along the way.”
The hardest part about being a Penn State photographer for the last few years was most likely which picture of the high-flying 133-pounder to use for every article.
With a resting heartrate of seemingly less than 30 beats per minute, it makes sense that Bravo-Young would be so hard to impress when he’s putting on video game performances every time he steps out on the mat.
“I come with a little swagger and it is obviously my wrestling style,” Bravo-Young explained. “I’m fast and I always do crazy crap and I am always out there putting on a show and I have my own style that not a lot of other people have. And it is just the way that I carry myself, as well.”
The Penn State grad may not bring a black belt with him, but what he lacks in traditional BJJ training he makes up for in athleticism, high pace, excitement and a cat-like tendency to land on his feet in a scramble.
UFC lightweight and longtime wrestling fan Chase Hooper sees what Bravo-Young brings to the FIGHT PASS Invitational, and asserts he’s exactly the style of athlete that makes him tune in.
“The pace in college wrestling is unmatched and it is kind of ironic that the higher level you go in jiu jitsu, generally the less scrambling there is and the more boring the match becomes,” Hooper said. “To have a guy coming from the sport of wrestling, where it is more focused on scrambling and bringing that intensity, it is going to be fun to watch.”
For the last five years, the pressure to win is enough to cause anybody to wrestle not to lose instead of wrestling to win. Still, in the face of pressure, Bravo-Young was turning heads every match he wrestled. Now taking a break to compete in a sport full of super fights, as opposed to strict tournament formats, RBY has even less pressure to remain conservative.
“I’m going to let it fly,” Bravo-Young said. “I am going to make it fun, and people want to see fun. Can I not get submitted for 10 minutes? Absolutely. I can stay in good position, but that isn’t why I am doing it. I am trying to bring some energy and roll around and jump around. I don’t want to not engage and play the time. I want it to be fun.”
From certain lenses, you could argue that the name of the game may be to put the opponent in so much pain they’re forced to admit defeat, but Bravo-Young isn’t interested in the brutality of the match. The chess match of baiting your opponent into submissions and overcoming “no win” positions are what put the two-time National Champion on the map.
Any Nittany Lion fans unsure about investing the time into tuning in to a whole new sport, bear in mind that the same flash that drew you to the Tucson kid years ago might only shine brighter at the FIGHT PASS Invitational 4.
“I am just going out there for fun and enjoying myself. I like a challenge and it is just good on both sides. Nobody is there to break ankles; that is not what I do. I just want to grapple and wrestle.”
Do not miss the submission grappling debut of Penn State legend Roman Bravo-Young at the FIGHT PASS Invitational 4, LIVE Thursday, June 29, ONLY on UFC FIGHT PASS!