Bringing the fight to Buffalo State


Dave DeLuca/The Record

Left to right: Joshua Godley, Obioma Onwuka, Chad Williams and Terrence Anuku plan to be members of the wrestling/MMA club that they hope will become recognized by USG soon.

Patrick Koster, News Editor

Chad Williams was king of the mat in high school. During his senior year at Midwood High School, he was the top-ranked Public Schools Athletic League D-I wrestler in New York City in his 170-pound weight class.

Williams decided to attend SUNY Buffalo State. When he found out Buffalo State didn’t have a wrestling team, he wanted to start a club.

He posted flyers around campus with hopes that some would contact him to express similar interest in his beloved sport. It didn’t take long before Williams gathered about 15 students who are ready to fight.

Now, Williams and others are on the verge of creating the campus’s first-ever wrestling/mixed martial arts club.

“Wrestling makes you a new person,” Williams said. “It gives you determination, responsibility and you train hard while you do it. Basically, it makes you a new person. You can reinvent yourself and become a better person overall.”

His love for wrestling started when he was younger, wrestling with his cousin for fun. His cousin wrestled in high school. Soon enough, Williams followed his footsteps.

The Brooklyn native and now-freshman economics major wrestled for three years at his school and a club called Beat the Streets in Manhattan. But Williams couldn’t go to the state championships because he blew out his shoulder and was unable to compete. As a result, colleges didn’t recruit him to wrestle.

Fast forward to 2016. The proposed club is still in its beginning phases. They are working on getting a faculty advisor and creating a constitution. But those interested are committed.

Sophomore economics major Obioma Onwuka found out about the club from one of the flyers in the Sports Arena gym.

“It would mean a lot to me because I personally wish that I wrestled earlier in my high school career because I wrestled only my senior year,” Onwuka said. “Having this here is giving other people an opportunity to branch out to something they may have not thought of before, to get them to places to where they may have never thought they could be.”

Freshman forensic science major Joshua Godley has been wrestling since he was in 7th grade. Godley broke his ankle in 9th grade, didn’t wrestle in 10th and 11th grade and only wrestled for part of his senior year.

When Godley saw the flyer, he took it as an opportunity to pick up where he left off.

“It would mean a lot,” Godley said. “It would basically give me my second chance that I didn’t have back in high school.”

Both Godley and Onwuka think the club would have a positive impact on campus.

Williams has been working with NIA Peer Mentor and former United Students Government President Derek Jorden, who has been guiding Williams through the process of creating an on-campus club. Jorden said many students try to start clubs, but they aren’t willing to put in work to get their clubs recognized.

“I wanted to see Chad’s passion about the club,” Jorden said. “I thought it would die down after a few weeks, and it didn’t. Every week he came back.”

He said once they are a club, any facilities are tentatively available for the students. The Sports Arena gym is a likely candidate as of now.

Jorden said it’s very likely the club can be officially recognized within the next year or two. He said the club will bring more diversity to campus and attract incoming freshmen.

“Eventually, hopefully, it would turn into a team. It would turn it into a Buff State team,” Williams said. ”For now, when I start the club, I want to go to open tournaments and we can train.”

Williams said his wrestling coach would help him find tournaments in the area. He said there are a few experienced fighters who are interested in teaching students who may not know as much about the different fight styles. There is a female student who is interested. She has MMA experience and would most likely teach the MMA aspect of the club.

Anybody interested in joining can contact Williams at (347) 422-2710 or via email at [email protected].

email: [email protected]

Twitter: @KatPoster