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Anthony Cassar’s Wrestling Reputation Causing Problems

It’s Been A Rough Layoff For The Penn State National Champion And His Hands Are Tied From A Promotional Standpoint, But Make No Mistake About It, He’s Ready For War.

You know you’re a threat when you can’t even build your fight without fear of your opponent pulling out.

It’s no secret that the UFC has its eye on star power as well as fighting. While Anthony Cassar put himself on the NCAA radar in his senior year at Penn State, he’s going into his second professional MMA fight with his ability to grow his personality in the new sport limited.

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With how hard it was to find an opponent after his MMA debut, Cassar feels that it’s almost in his best interest to avoid building the fight. A small record and a National Championship is the recipe for hearing “pass” from potential regional opponents.

“It’s definitely different in this situation,” Cassar explained. “I’m trying to hold back as much as I can leading up to these, at least the regional fights. When I’m in a bigger promotion it’s different but, for now, I want to build them up as much as I can until it’s too late and then I can speak with my actions.”

All Cassar can do is hold back a “I shouldn’t say anything” grin when opponent John Gianatasio explains his gameplan of hitting him with bigger shots than he’s experienced before and exhaust the New Jersey native late or catch him in the first.

“I would hope he has a plan,” Cassar laughed. “I know they always do - with my past opponent, my past wrestling opponents and even just walking with Bo in this last year. You know everyone’s always confident going in until they feel what I bring to the table.”

The straightforward gameplan of Gianatasio was little more than useless information for the National Champion. As much of a power threat as Gianatasio is, Cassar refuses to let what he considers “a best case scenario” plan for an opponent get in his head.

“There’s nothing that he’s going to say or any opponent is going to say that’s going to sway me,” Cassar explained. “I’m not an arrogant guy that’s going to feel like I have to prove anything. I’m in there to win and to dominate in a way where I see fit.”

With a wrestling background that gives him a leg up on a lot of opponents, and almost a year between fights to do nothing but improve, Cassar’s hands might be catching up to explosive ground game.

“Now that I’ve been in the game for almost a year, full-time MMA training, I feel confident with my sparring and with being able to strike if I want to,” Cassar said. “I’m going to feel much more comfortable with this one and basically dictate where this one goes. If I want to take it to the ground I can at any point and finish it there, but I’m not, in any way, hesitant to be on my feet and strategically strike.”

What Cassar explains to up and coming fighters who go into fights expecting to learn takedown defense in a camp and rely on natural power is that unless you’ve dedicated years of your life to wrestling, you better do yourself a favor and have the strongest will and most adaptable game in MMA.

“This is wrestling that they can’t imagine or replicate unless they did it for 15-plus years,” Cassar said. “You can come in and strike all you want, I’m down to play that game, but, at the end of the day, I’m going to dominate that first round.”


Catch the return of Anthony Cassar for FREE on the FIGHT PASS Facebook and YouTube channels Sunday, October 22 at Fury Challenger Series 8!