"Trading a circle for an octagon"-Three-time NCAA All-American Tyler Berger announces retirement from wrestling

Tyler Berger
Tyler Berger switching to MMA from wrestling

American wrestler Tyler Berger has announced retirement from professional wrestling, and will now compete in the MMA octagon.

Berger was part of Nebraska University and earned the All-American honors thrice in his career in 2017, 2018, and 2019. The 28-year-old was the NCAA Wrestling Championship’s runner-up in 2019. While he finished third in 2018, he took the fifth spot in 2017.

Berger has been part of Team USA since 2022. His notable achievements during the tenure include the 2023 U.S. Open Championship, runner-up in the 2023 Final X, and the 2022 Bill Farrell Memorial International champion. The former NCAA wrestler wasn't part of this year's U.S. Wrestling Olympic Team Trials, and now, the reasons are finally out.

Tyler Berger announced via an Instagram post that he was retiring from the sport and making a career switch to Mixed Martial Arts (MMA). He expressed that God had blessed him with so many things through wrestling, but it was time to bid adieu to the sport.

"How do you say goodbye to something you’ve known your whole life? I’m not sure I even know how. God has used wrestling to bless me in more ways than I’ll ever be able to explain. I have felt an overwhelming sense of gratitude this past week reflecting on how my career played out. An absolutely beautiful journey that will never be replaced. Everyone who has helped me along the way, thank you. The list is too long to write out", he wrote.

Berger added that there was another sport, MMA, which had been calling the 3x All-American for a while now, and he needed to go.

"There’s another sport that’s been calling my name for some time now. Trading a circle for an octagon….what’s the worst that can happen?😉", wrote Tyler Berger.

Tyler Berger was an assistant coach at University of Pennsylvania

US Olympic Trial: Wrestling
US Olympic Trial: Wrestling

Berger joined the University of Pennsylvania as the assistant wrestling coach in September 2023. Berger was one of the standout wrestlers for Pennsylvania Regional Training Center, making it twice to the U.S. national team.

In April last year, Berger won the 2023 US Open Championships in the 70 kg weight class and was eventually named to the Final X squad. He wrestled world medalist Zain Retherford for a spot on the World Team but fell short in the best-of-3 series.

For the University of Huskers, Tyler Berger had amassed a record of 116-32 during his collegiate career. He has finished as a finalist at the 2019 NCAA Championship, and Big Ten Championships,

Quick Links

App download animated image Get the free App now