Throughout the past decade we have seen some of the most phenomenal heavyweights walk the face of this planet. Not just on the senior level, even the guys on the college scene have evolved to new heights such as Kyle Snyder and Gable Steveson winning Olympic Gold Medals while they were still in college. Now what about the guys that maybe did not win a NCAA Title, maybe it was just because they had one of the best wrestlers of all time in front of them, maybe it was because injuries took a toll on their career, or maybe it was because they got a late start and made up for it on the senior level. We will be taking a look at the best heavyweights to never win a NCAA Title. Let’s get started. This list will only be post 2010 for the fact that there would be way too many studs and so many would get left out.
#5 Ryan Flores (American)
Maybe a guy that is not looked at a lot. He fell in the 2011 NCAA Finals to Zach Rey who went on to have one of the better senior level careers out of the heavyweights we have seen. He was stuck behind Tervel Dlagnev which did not do his skill any justice. Flores beat Zach Rey for the EIWA Title but fell just short for the NCAA Title which is pretty much what makes him get into this top 5. He also has a big win over Jarod Trice of Central Michigan in the NCAA Semifinals.
#4 Dom Bradley (Mizzou)
Dom Bradley did not have the best showing in his college career, but that being said he did make the podium every year that he was the starter. That is not what puts him onto this list. What puts him on this list is his accolades after college. He never made a World or Olympic team but at the end of the day this is the most stacked heavyweight weight class has ever been. He has wins over some of the best guys this weight class has seen such as Anthony Cassar, Gable Steveson, Tony Nelson, and Nick Gwiazdowski. He also has the longevity factor to his name which breaks him onto this list still competing at 32 years of age.
#3 Adam Coon (Michigan)
Adam Coon proved you do not have to be dominant on attacking the legs to have success in this weight class. He was in the time where this weight class was evolving to a point where bigger guys who were not able to take low shots would not have a lot of success. He proved them all wrong. He made 2 NCAA finals in his time at Michigan and only fell to two of the greatest collegiate heavyweights ever and both current World Team members Kyle Snyder and Nick Gwiazdowski. If that does not do it for you let me add this. He lost both matches by a single point. Since then he has had the most exciting outlook on his future after being a major in Aerospace Engineering, being in the NFL for a bit, and making a World Final while he was at it. He did not try to make the 2021 World Team at 130kg but he should be back and the return will be fun.
#2 Alan Gelogaev (Oklahoma State)
We put Dom Bradley on this list because of his performances after college, Alan Gelogaev was the exact opposite. He did not have much of a career after college and this was mainly due to injury. These stats alone put him number two on this list. 16-5 major decision win over Tony Nelson, and 20-3 technical fall over Nick Gwiazdowski. Now his performance at the NCAA Tournaments may not have been the most impressive but in my eyes he will be the greatest heavyweight who never got the chance. There is really nothing else to say about that.
#1 Mike McMullan (Northwestern)
Back when I used to run my podcast I interviewed many top level heavyweights who wrestled in college around 2013-2016. Every single one of them praised Mike McMullan for how good he was. He placed 3rd three times and made an NCAA Final but fell to none other than Tony Nelson. His wins are insane; they include: Tony Nelson, Bobby Telford, Adam Coon, Nick Gwiazdowski, and Dom Bradley. A lot of people may have different lists with maybe Coon at number 1, maybe Bradley at number 1 but McMullan by far was the overwhelming majority in my polls and rightfully so. He was a very undersized wrestler but he was strong, quick, savvy, and would scrap. He was just never quite able to put it together he needed to but he is by far the best to never win a NCAA Title.