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Wichita State's independent, student-run news source

The Sunflower

Wichita State's independent, student-run news source

The Sunflower

Computer engineering major sets sights on career in the octagon

Tyrell Burns is a Wichita State graduate who has set his sights on a wrestling career. (Image courtesy of Tyrell Burns)

Tyrell “The H3ro” Burns is graduating this semester as a computer engineering major, utilizing his skills at Koch Industries in the Information Technologies department. Despite this, Burns said he has another career path in sight outside of computer engineering.

Burns is an amateur mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter and said his ultimate goal with MMA is to make it to the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC).

“I think it’d be cool to make it to the UFC from Wichita,” Burns said. “The MMA scene in Wichita isn’t as grand as it is in other places, and I want to try to shed some light on that by going to the UFC.”

As of now, Burns holds a 3-3 record in the cage, and according to Tapology, he is ranked No. 11 in Oklahoma, No. 25 in Kansas and Missouri, and No. 41 in the United States Southwest.

Burns has been training for four years, fighting for the last two, and said his coaches, Cody Bitler, David “Caveman” Rickels and Chris Harris have helped him achieve his success.

“I met him (Harris) last year,” Burns said. “He’s helped me elevate and learn more principles, learn more about my foundation of fundamentals, and overall, become a better fighter.”

Burns trains as a striker, employing boxing and kickboxing techniques. He said his strong suit in the octagon is keeping his distance, making his opponent fight his fight and being open to whatever his opponent gives him.

Despite throwing punches and leg kicks, Burns won his matches by guillotine submission; he could put a choke hold around the front of his opponent’s neck and lock his legs around him, forcing his opponent to tap out.

“I was going against people that were strikers,” Burns said. “And because I outstruck them, they wanted to shoot on me and try to engage in grappling, and that’s where I got the upper hand.” 

Burns said he is improving his wrestling skills and jiujitsu bottom game, trying to get off the mat quicker.

“That’s the fault of my last couple of fights,” Burns said. “Not getting up quick enough. Or being too comfortable on my back, trying to get a submission.”

Burns said he is taking a break from competitively fighting until after graduation.

“I want to take this last semester just to be a college student,” Burns said.

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About the Contributor
Owen Prothro
Owen Prothro, Reporter
Owen Prothro is a reporter for The Sunflower. He is a junior at Wichita State, studying journalism and media production. This is Prothro’s first year on staff. He also competes in disc golf at Wichita State. Prothro uses he/him pronouns.

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