Nixa’s Zan Fugitt figures there are naysayers who scoff at the notion of a mighty mite being considered the best pound-for-pound wrestler in the state.
The 132-pound Fugitt holds that title, according to MissouriWrestling.com and its pound-for-pound rankings, going into the State Wrestling Championships this weekend at Columbia’s Mizzou Arena.
A UFC aficionado, Fugitt recalls the uproar when former UFC flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson was pegged the UFC’s top pound-for-pound fighter in 2017. Likewise, he’s sure there are fellow wrestlers, coaches and fans statewide who think a reigning state champion at 175, 190 or 215 should be ranked the best pound-for-pound wrestler.
“I'm sure there are doubters on that,” Fugitt said. “I’ve got to go out and wrestle as hard as I can to prove (myself).”
Fugitt usually doesn’t pay much attention to MissouriWrestling.com's rankings, but admits the pound-for-pound rankings intrigue him.
“My Dad has always taught me that rankings don't really matter and that's proven throughout the year,” he said. “But it's still (been) cool to look at that one and see that I'm up there."
A two-time State champ, Fugitt (46-1) hasn’t lost to a Missouri opponent since splitting two matches with Seneca’s Brady Roark two years ago.
Nixa’s Brennan Carey is ranked No. 1 in Class 4 at 215. He’s seeking a gold medal after being third at 190 at State last year.
“I’m going after the top of the podium,” Carey said. “I’m looking for that state championship.”
The Eagles’ Curtis Glossip will try for a podium finish at 144 to cap his freshman season.
“I want to make a name for myself," Glossip said. “I've wrestled tough opponents all season. I'm trying to get a state championship and be a four-timer. To be a four-time placer would also be very exciting.”
He isn’t worried about being overwhelmed by the atmosphere at State.
“It's going to be very exciting,” Glossip said. “But I can usually zone out (everything); my coaches on the mat, that's all I hear.”
Nixa’s Nate Brower at 175 and Aidan Ward at 138 also will be looking for their first State medals.
No comments on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here