Perhaps Sheboygan North’s Colby Meissner doesn’t go 5-0 at the Plymouth Wrestling Duals Jan. 4 if not for a new offseason training regimen.
In September, the senior was in his first MMA amateur match and become mentally stronger because of it.
“It’s way tougher than a wrestling match, so now it makes every wrestling match easier,” Meissner said.
Wouldn’t just lifting more weights or running an additional mile or two have sufficed?
“I’ve always liked fighting, I guess,” Meissner said.
So last spring Meissner began kickboxing lessons with North assistant coach Jimmy Zidek, who was already an MMA fighter, and continued his training by adding jiu-jitsu to his workout.
“Besides just a work ethic and kind of getting beat down, building yourself and kind of a humbling thing, it’s made him a better athlete and wrestler overall,” Golden Raiders’ coach Mitchell Elmer said. “Just his aggression, mat awareness, body control, it’s helped him in different areas.
“Training, working out constantly and having another goal in the offseason – weight management, lifting weights, running, competing against one person – yeah, it’s definitely helped him. It’s way better than doing nothing or just lifting weights.”
Meissner, who wrestles at 145 pounds this season, made his MMA debut in Superior.
“It was like the craziest feeling ever,” he said. “I was just sitting in the back thinking it’s going to be like another wresting match, and then as I get out there and the fight starts, the first punch I completely forgot how to do everything.
“So I just started wrestling and it was like a super-huge adrenaline rush. And then an adrenaline dump. I don’t really remember anything from the fight but I remember the feeling was awesome.”
It helps that Meissner won the three-round match by a split decision.
“I was kind of surprised because I kept getting punched in the face, but I took him down so many times, so I won,” he said.