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The City Journals

Copper Hills wrestler turns MMA fighter

Oct 31, 2016 10:55AM ● By Greg James

Jordan Marshall was a two-time state placer in his wrestling weight class. (Jordan Marshall/Victory MMA)

By Greg James | [email protected]

West Jordan, Utah - Copper Hills High School graduate Jordan Marshall, a highly proficient high school wrestler, is adding to his wrestling background by pursuing a mixed martial arts fighting title.

“I am nervous for this, but I am confident in myself and my abilities. I hope I have enough skills to pull out the victory,” said Marshall before his first MMA match.

Marshall’s first experience in the ring lasted 53 seconds. He secured the victory over Trevor Mortimer with a technical knockout in the first round. Marshall landed a hard left hand to the head of his opponent and took him to the mat where he punched him three more times before the referee stepped in.

“He has the mentality to never quit,” said Victory MMA Gym coach Cam Tueller. “He has always gone out and laid it on the line. I know he wants to make a career out of this, and he already has promoters ready to sign him after his amateur career is over. He can turn pro if he wants to work hard.” 

Marshall began wrestling at the age of 6. His family had encouraged him to participate in a sport, and his uncle talked him into giving wrestling a try. He closed out his high school wrestling career in June when he graduated from Copper Hills. He was a three-time state qualifier and placed twice in his weight class. 

In February, he finished fourth overall in the 125-pound class at the Utah State 5A wrestling championships. He was the divisional champion headed into the state tournament.

“Wrestling taught me a lot about dedication and what is needed when you participate in a sport,” Marshall said.

As a wrestler, Marshall has the ground skills needed to fight MMA. His biggest hurdle was learning the stand-up boxing and kicking part of the sport.

“He has a strong wrestling background and is catching on well to the stand-up part,” Tueller said. “He takes muay thai training classes three times a week and is working on his boxing. His stand-up is getting so good that he can go up or take the guy to the ground with no problem.” 

Tueller runs Victory MMA Gym and is an assistant wrestling coach at Copper Hills High School. He has helped coach Marshall for many years. He encouraged him to try MMA fighting after his high school wrestling career was over.

The sport of MMA has grown in popularity all around the world. According to, MMA is the fastest growing sport in the world. MMA is the name of the sport and the Ultimate Fighting Championship  is its premier fighting organization, similar to the National Basketball Association .

It encompasses disciplines from various martial arts and Olympic sports, such as wrestling, boxing, kickboxing, karate, jiu-jitsu, muay thai, taekwondo and judo. 

A common misconception to MMA is that there are no rules. On the contrary; there are many rules, including no head-butting and 25 other listed fouls. There are eight weight classes, and the fights are judged by three ringside judges each evaluating MMA techniques.

“I started training a little over a year ago,” Marshall said. “I was really encouraged by my high school coaches. Right now I train two to three hours a day. My strength has to be the ground stuff like wrestling, but I picked up on the other stuff quickly. My goal would be to make it to the UFC. I have watched and dreamed of fighting since I was young.” 

His first fight was sanctioned by Steel Fist Fight Night. He is scheduled to fight again in January.