Steve Mocco (born December 28, 1981) is an American amateur wrestler and mixed martial artist originally from North Bergen, New Jersey. Starting his collegiate wrestling career at the University of Iowa, Mocco was the 285-pound NCAA Division I runner-up in 2002 and champion in 2003. After taking an Olympic redshirt year, Mocco transferred to Oklahoma State University to wrestle for coach John Smith. In his first year at OSU, Mocco won the 285 title in 2005 without losing a match.
|Born||December 28, 1981|
North Bergen, New Jersey, United States
|Height||1.82 m (5 ft 11 1⁄2 in)|
|Weight||117.9 kg (260 lb; 18.57 st)|
|Reach||75 in (191 cm)|
|Fighting out of||Coconut Creek, Florida, United States|
|Team||American Top Team|
|Mixed martial arts record|
|University||University of Iowa |
Oklahoma State University
|Mixed martial arts record from Sherdog|
last updated on: May 3, 2013
In high school, Mocco was one of the most dominant heavyweights in recent history. He won four NJ prep state titles and four prep national titles, two of which were at wrestling powerhouse Blair Academy in Blairstown, New Jersey. He also won three Junior National titles in wrestling and one in judo. Mocco also won two Beast of the East championships. Mocco swept the "Big Four" of national high school wrestling awards as he was named the 2001 ASICS Tiger High School Wrestler of the year, the 2001 Junior Hodge Trophy winner, NHSCA National High School Wrestler of the Year, and was awarded the Dave Schultz High School Excellence Award. He was one of the most sought-after recruits in history and signed on to wrestle for coach Jim Zalesky and the Iowa Hawkeyes.
For a time, Mocco was a controversial figure in American college wrestling. After he first announced that he wanted to leave Iowa, there was rampant speculation that he would transfer to Lehigh University; his decision to go to Oklahoma State was seen as controversial. Oklahoma State and Iowa are the two most successful programs in college wrestling history and are bitter rivals. After announcing that he would transfer to Oklahoma State, Mocco became an instant figure of derision in Iowa. He won the 2005 NCAA title in overtime with his trade-mark 'foot sweep.'
In 2005, Mocco was awarded the Dan Hodge Trophy, as the best collegiate wrestler.
On January 15, 2006, Mocco was pinned by Cole Konrad of the University of Minnesota in the finals of the National Duals. This loss, the first pin of Mocco's collegiate career, ended an 85-match win streak. Mocco also lost to Konrad in November 2005, but that match (at the NCWA All-Star Meet) was considered an exhibition. He lost again to Konrad on March 18, 2006, in the 2006 NCAA title match.
In August 2006, with one year of college eligibility left, Mocco joined the Oklahoma State football team. Listed as a senior defensive lineman, he played in five games for the Cowboys and was credited with two total tackles, one solo, according to the university's athletic web site.
In February 2007, Mocco made a return to freestyle wrestling. Mocco finished second to Tommy Rowlands in the 2007 U.S. World Team Trials. This marked the third straight year in which Mocco finished as the runner-up in this event, with his two previous losses coming at the hands of Tolly Thompson.
Mocco's 2009 season started off with first-place finishes in two major Russian tournaments, the Ivan Yarygin Memorial Golden Grand Prix and the Alexander Medved Invitational.
In April 2009, he won his first Senior National title in freestyle at 120 kg. A few weeks later at the Pan American Championships, Mocco also won gold by pinning Canada's Michael Neufeld in the finals.
For more information see Wrestling at the 2008 Summer Olympics
On June 15, 2008, Mocco defeated one of his college rivals, Tommy Rowlands, in a best-of-three series at the U.S. Olympic Trials to make the Olympic team. Rowlands had defeated Mocco a few weeks earlier in the finals of the U.S. Nationals.
Wrestling at the 120 kg weight class, Mocco first wrestled India's Rajiv Tomar in the round of 16. Winning the match 1-0, 3-0, Mocco advanced to the round of eight and faced China's Liang Lei. With a win in that match, also by the scores of 1-0, 3-0, Mocco advanced to the quarterfinal round to meet Russia's Bakhtiyar Akhmedov. Mocco lost that match 0-1, 1-0, 2-0, but would advance to the repechage round due to the Russian's semifinal victory. Competing in the second repechage, Mocco faced Iran's Fardin Masoumi. In a 3-1, 4-1 defeat, Mocco was eliminated from competing for the bronze medal.
Mixed martial artsEdit
Steve Mocco was brought into the American Top Team to help Antonio "Bigfoot" Silva prepare for his fight with Cain Velasquez at UFC 146. He had a nice experience in training and was welcomed greatly by American Top Team. After being unable to get past the trials to enter the 2012 Olympics in London, Steve Mocco signed with American Top Team and made his MMA debut in November 2012.
World Series of FightingEdit
Mocco returned to the promotion following his first loss to face Juilano Coutinho on April 10, 2015 at WSOF 20. He won the fight via TKO in the first round.
Mixed martial arts recordEdit
|Professional record breakdown|
|6 matches||5 wins||1 loss|
|Win||5–1||Juilano Coutinho||TKO (punches)||WSOF 20||April 10, 2015||1||4:02||Mashantucket, Connecticut, United States|
|Loss||4-1||Smealinho Rama||Decision (unanimous)||WSOF Canada 1||February 21, 2014||3||5:00||Edmonton, Alberta, Canada|
|Win||4-0||Alonzo Roane||Submission (arm-triangle choke)||Fight Time 17 - Undisputed||November 1, 2013||3||0:47||Fort Lauderdale, Florida, United States|
|Win||3-0||Lew Polley||Decision (unanimous)||RFA 9 - Munhoz vs. Curran||August 6, 2013||3||5:00||Los Angeles, California, United States|
|Win||2-0||Rashad Brooks||Submission (north-south choke)||Extreme Challenge||May 3, 2013||1||1:03||Bettendorf, Iowa, United States|
|Win||1–0||Tyler Perry||Submission (kimura)||RFA 4 - Griffin vs Escudero||November 2, 2012||2||1:34||Las Vegas, Nevada, United States|
- Abbott, Gary. "NYAC beats Russia, 14-11 in freestyle and Romania 14-12 in Greco-Roman in dual meet in New Jersey" Archived April 1, 2008, at the Wayback Machine, United States Olympic Committee, November 16, 2007. Accessed December 1, 2007. "Hometown hero Steve Mocco, who grew up in nearby North Bergen, N.J., stopped Soslan Gagloev of Russia, 1-0, 2-0."
- "Mocco captures NCAA title", The Record (Bergen County), March 23, 2003. Accessed December 1, 2007. "Mocco, a sophomore from North Bergen who competed for Blair Academy, scored a 7-3 decision over the Air Force's Kevin Hoy at the NCAA Division I wrestling championships Saturday before 16,436 at Kemper Arena."
- Lehigh Mountain Hawks - Staff Directory
- Magaraci, Joel. "North Bergen's Steve Mocco has rough ending in freestyle wrestling", NJ.com, August 21, 2008.
- Olympian Steve Mocco Joins American Top Team for Transition Into MMA | MMAWeekly.com
- RFA 4 - Griffin vs. Escudero
- Ariel Helwani (2014-01-17). "Heavyweight Steve Mocco signs with World Series of Fighting". mmafighting.com. Retrieved 2014-01-17.
- "WSOF Canada: Ford Vs. Powell Set For Feb. 2, Rama Vs. Mocco Completes Main Card". TopMMANews.com. 2014-02-06. Retrieved 2014-02-06.