Bellator signs 2011 NCAA wrestling champion Bubba Jenkins

Another top-notch wrestler has signed to Bellator MMA.

Friday, the company announced a deal with Bubba Jenkins, the 2011 NCAA wrestling champion at 157 pounds for Arizona State.

Jenkins, who trains with the American Top Team, is 3-0 in his career with three first-round submission victories. He'll be brought along on a developmental track, rather than be thrown into the company's trademark tournaments.

"Bubba Jenkins is MMA's top young prospect and we have the optimal developmental program to maximize that talent," Bellator CEO and chairman Bjorn Rebney said. "Our mission is to sign and develop the world's best fighters. Bubba's development will be strategic and disciplined, taking all appropriate preliminary steps prior to his facing the rigors of the toughest tournament in sports."

Jenkins said that signing with Bellator was the right move for this time and place in his career.

"After sitting down with Bjorn, I really felt comfortable with the opportunity laid out for me, and this is where I want to be," Jenkins said. "Bellator is doing a lot of great things right now and I want to be a part of it. I'm not here to step on any toes, I'm here to develop as an elite fighter, get my shot in the tournament and eventually compete for a world championship."

Jenkins, who fights at lightweight, defeated current Bellator champion Michael Chandler of Missouri at the 2007 NCAA tourney while wrestling for Penn State, defeating Chandler 15-3.

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