Almost all of us know what it’s like to have a famous person from your hometown, but very few of us know what it’s like to grow up with a pioneer of a sport the way the University of Iowa’s Brody Teske does.
It’s hard for most of us to imagine what it would be like to be one of the key pieces to the second-ranked school in the nation. It’s hard for most of us to imagine a world where they could drop everything they’re doing and have success in the world of mixed martial arts. With years of training and the childhood environment Brody Teske grew up with, it’s been a long time since he was relatable to the average person.
“I grew up with a kid in Fort Dodge, Iowa who is kind of training stuff right now, too; his dad is Matt Hughes,” Teske said. “I grew up watching fighting. I spent some time in Hillsboro, Illinois, as a little boy and obviously I’ve been wrestling since I was knee-high too. I’ve always been involved in combat sports.”
As if the relationship between MMA and wrestling wasn’t close enough in the United States, Teske found himself in a unique position where when his dad wasn’t coaching him and Brandon Mills, they were watching Mills’ dad fighting for or defending the UFC welterweight title.
As Teske would get older, he would not only continue his friendship with Mills, but would eventually make his way to the Iowa Central Community College wrestling room, where, as a youth, he would rub shoulders with the future superstars of MMA.
“I’m from Fort Dodge, Iowa, so when I was wrestling it was in the Iowa Central [Community College] wrestling room,” Teske said. “I spent a lot of time around Jon Jones, Cain Velasquez, obviously the list goes on and on.”
The premier JuCo wrestling room would also house fighters such as Richie Lewis, Colby Covington, Phil Hawes and many more while Teske was cutting his teeth and preparing for a life on the podium.
As is usually the case, Teske’s accomplishments in the NCAA world have led him to even more mat time with MMA stars. The difference now is that it’s no longer by accident. After spending his early days of college bunked up with Roman Bravo-Young, Teske entered the world of UFC coaching and training camps and hasn’t looked back.
“In the summer we meet up and train a lot down in Arizona and on the west coast,” Teske said. “I really took a liking for it when one of those summers we spent some time at The Treigning Lab; I think it was during COVID, actually. We were there with TJ Dillashaw, Cub Swanson, got in there with those guys, throwing punches and wrestling them.”
As if there wasn’t enough reason for a college student to look forward to summer, Teske has grown quite used to the life of spending summer months out west with UFC fighters. The one-time “cool experience” never has to end if you’re as devoted to the craft as Teske.
“I got to kind of experience a fight camp and that sold me,” Teske explained. “That showed me all of the ins and outs and the whole lifestyle, and I fell in love. Now I watch as much as I can. Every Saturday I’m watching the UFC and tapping into all of the other organizations. The last couple summers I’ve trained out west with Dominick Cruz and Team Alliance. Jeremy Stephens – Iowa guy. We offer wrestling and they offer everything else that comes with it.”
UFC 30th Anniversary: Changing the Game
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UFC 30th Anniversary: Changing the Game
Teske can hear Joe Rogan and Jon Anik’s voices now, listing off the murderer’s row of fighters he’s spent his life around, beginning with Matt Hughes. The right place, right time scenario of growing up in the same place at the same time as the UFC Hall of Famer’s son has transformed in recent years. He’s now the guy fighters call for summer training camps when they need to sharpen their wrestling.
There’s a lot of things all pointing to a future in MMA, but Teske isn’t committing to anything just yet. MMA will likely remain a part of his life as long as he can physically keep up with it, but as for dedicating his life to racking up cage time, it’s too early to tell.
Just don’t be too surprised if you see Brody Teske in your favorite fighter’s Instagram reels until he decides his time is over.
“I’m definitely keeping my options open and living my life in the unknown. If I start limiting options, I start putting limits on my future,” Teske explains. “If fighting becomes a thing, I definitely have an extreme background. That’s beneficial when you get into fighting. There’s a lot more to it than being the guy who steps into the cage and fights. They’re looking for wrestlers to join camps, they’re looking for coaches and guys with good attitudes and people who can provide good energy for their weight cuts. Whatever it is, there’s so much that’s involved in the game that, who knows, don’t limit any options.”
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