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Bellator officials confirmed the news to FloWrestling.
Trice, 27, spent the majority of his collegiate career in the heavyweight division, where he earned NCAA All-American honors three times. He wrestled freestyle and won a national title at 120kg before switching to Greco-Roman, where he won a national title at 120kg.
Last season, Trice made a stunning 50-pound drop to the 98kg/216lb class, rendering his "Doughboy" nickname obsolete nearly overnight. He won another Greco-Roman national title in his new weight class.
In signing with Bellator, Trice follows in the footsteps of fellow wrestling standouts Ed Ruth, Tyrell Fortune and Aaron Pico, who is considered one of the biggest prospects in the history of the sport.
Unlike Ruth, Pico and Fortune, however, fans won't have to wait long for Trice to step in the cage. Promotion officials told FloWrestling that his debut is targeted before the end of the year.
Bellator MMA has drawn massive television ratings on Spike TV by putting together what President Scott Coker calls "fun fights" that feature mainstream names like Ken Shamrock and Kimbo Slice. But the promotion has also quietly amassed a roster of legitimate prospects, many from the wrestling world.
“We’re excited to be adding yet another world-class wrestling talent to our ever-growing roster of fighters here at Bellator,” Coker said. “I’ve always taken great pride in our ability to identify and build stars in this business, and I have great confidence that we’ve found a gem in Jarod Trice.”
Trice's decision to sign with Bellator was influenced by seeing other wrestlers travel the same path.
“Following in the footsteps of guys like Ruth and Fortune to Bellator MMA was a no brainer for me. Scott Coker is a promoter that treats the fighters with so much respect, and dealing with him and his team through this signing process has been amazing," Trice said. "I’m really looking forward to fighting for Coker, the Bellator promotion, and for every wrestling and MMA fan out there before the end of the year.
"If you aren’t familiar with my name yet, you will be as soon as I get in that cage.”