Register Log In
    About Teams Events Rankings Alumni NCWA Gear 6:12 Project

UNLV Return­ing to Col­le­giate Action after Strong Off-Season

| Dan Gianoutsos

It was not a quiet off-season for the UNLV Wrestling team. The team had plenty of reasons to celebrate: placing top-8 at the NCWA National Wrestling Championships (Allen, TX), earning three All-American titles, and completing a “three-peat” of NCWA West Coast Conference Championships. While many team members went on to wrestle individually in off-season freestyle and Greco-Roman competitions, two Rebels pursued unique styles of grappling – mixed martial arts (MMA) and sumo.

UNLV Wrestler and amateur MMA fighter, Desmond Manabat, went viral for his flying knee knockout victory against David Loureiro at Tuff-N-Uff 129 in the famous Thomas & Mack Center (Las Vegas, NV). Desmond’s flying knee immediately made it’s rounds on social media. The clip was picked up by news sources like, MMA Fighting, and UFC Fight Pass, which were republished on other mainstream media outlets. Simply Google “Desmond Manabat flying knee” and you’ll see a plethora of results.

UNLV Associate Coach and former UNLV All-American/Utah Valley wrestler, Jordan Karst, received international attention as well. His success was not in a circular Tuff-N-Uff cage, however, it was on the circular sumo mat. Karst won the U.S. National Sumo Championships (Salt Lake City, UT) in the middleweight division. Karst was then invited to represent Team USA at The World Games (Birmingham, AL), where he upset the two-time world champion. Later, Karst entered the US Sumo Open (Long Beach, CA) and received the bronze medal.

Manabat and Karst’s efforts underscored an eventful offseason for UNLV Wrestling. Now, the UNLV Wrestling team looks to continue its momentum in the NCWA. For updates on wrestlers like Manabat and Karst, be sure to follow UNLV Wrestling on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook: @UNLVWrestling.