Posted On:10/24/2012 4:26pm
Olympic wrestling champion Jeff Blatnick dead at 55
Olympic wrestling gold medalist and longtime MMA advocate Jeff Blatnick has died after complications from heart surgery.
Blatnick took home the gold in Greco-Roman wrestling in 1984 and was also a member of the 1980 U.S. Olympic team, which remained home after President Carter announced a boycott of the Summer Olympics in Moscow because of the Soviet Union's invasion of Afghanistan.
Blatnick was a commentator in the early days of UFC before being replaced after UFC 32 in June 2001.
Blatnick, who helped develop some of the rules of MMA still used today, became a licensed judge with the New Jersey State Athletic Commission.
At the time of his death, Blatnick was a varsity wrestling coach at Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake High in Glen Falls, N.Y.
55 is very young, RIP.
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Posted On:10/24/2012 9:02pm
He was an Olympic gold medalist wrestler and an announcer for the UFC during its early days. In recent years, he was also a judge. For a while it was thought he actually coined the term "Mixed Martial Arts," but that's probably not true. In any case, he was heavily involved in the sport's pioneer days.
Posted On:11/10/2012 1:50pm
He might have lived only 55 years, but damn did he achieve a lot in them.
Rest in peace, Jeff.
Posted On:11/10/2012 6:10pm
From a cancer survivor to Olympic gold and working diligently for MMA since early 90s. Great man.
Curiosity killed the cat. But damn it had a blast.
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