NCAA champion AJ Ferrari has been slowly transitioning from life at the top of the wrestling game to his new career as an MMA fighter, and he’s been doing some BJJ training sessions under Rodolfo Vieira to speed up his progress. Ferrari has exactly the kind of resume that could make him a fantastic MMA fighter and a real threat to anyone in his weightclass, having won the NCAA Division I wrestling championship in 2021. He’s an incredibly talented wrestler and it’s clear that he’s taking his future in the cage very seriously given that he’s already working on his striking and submission skills at this point.
Although he’s likely quite a while away from making his actual debut, even at the amateur level, he has been spending time with some of the best on the planet in order to prepare for it already. Not only has AJ Ferrari been putting in the work on the pads and putting on a gi for the first few times, but he’s also managed to get some training alongside ADCC legend and UFC veteran Rodolfo Vieira. The two are actually somewhat similar, in that Vieira was also a veteran grappler before he ever set foot in the cage, winning five IBJJF World Championships and an ADCC world championship before his MMA career began.
Since then though, Vieira has gone on to put together an 8-2 professional MMA record that includes three impressive submission wins in the UFC octagon. It’s likely that he’d have a lot of wisdom to impart on Ferrari, who’ll no doubt be looking to have similar success once he does make his debut. Although it will still be a while before fans get to see Ferrari competing in the cage, they probably won’t have to wait long after that to see him at the highest level. Historically, wrestlers with a high pedigree and good initial performances get fast-tracked into the UFC and if they’re able to continue their success there then their name value tends to help them work their way up the rankings quickly.
AJ Ferrari has been sharing his journey as he transitions from wrestling to MMA over the last few months, including his recent training session with ADCC and UFC veteran Rodolfo Vieira, on his official Instagram account: