clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Jesse Delgado considering joining Illinois wrestling staff, MMA

2-time NCAA champion is weighing his post-graduate options.

Reese Strickland-USA TODAY Sports

Jesse Delgado left the California sun for harsh Midwest winters to become a national champion at Illinois. Delgado accomplish that goal twice and is now looking to give back to the program that has given him so much.

In an interview with Flowrestling, Delgado opened up about his senior season that was cut short by a torn right hamstring and never got off the ground with a torn labrum the second match of the season.

"(Ben) Askren has been wanting me to go train (MMA) with him," said Delgado. "So, maybe I'll talk to him."

Askren is a four-time NCAA finalists and two-time national champion from Missouri. He also won a match at 74 kg. at the 2008 Olympics and trains at Roufusport in Milwaukee, Wisc. where he is the wrestling coach.

"Ben has been really adamant about me fighting," Delgado said. "But I don't know if my mom would like that too much...Lot of people don't want me to do, but I think it could be fun."

Delgado also is considering coaching.

"Mark (Perry) is going to want me to stay," Delgado added. "I wouldn't mind helping these guys accomplish something I couldn't do this year, but did the last couple years. I don't know, it's exciting. I feel like the world's at my fingertips and I have the potential to do whatever I want, I guess."

Bringing Delgado back on staff would be a huge move for the program. Redshirt freshman Jered Cortez will fill Delgado's spot at 125 and Zane Richards will be back at 133 would benefit the most from his return.

Cortez, a Glenbard North product and four-time IHSA state champion, was also a Cadet Freestyle and Junior Freestyle National Champion. Richards was ranked as high as No. 3 in the country this season, but fell short of All-American status.

Cortez is advocating with Perry to get Delgado to stay.

Watch more videos on FloWrestling

Follow The Champaign Room on Twitter at @Champaign_Room and Like us on Facebook. You can follow Brandon Cain on Twitter at @BrandonMCain