The ‘Combat Wombat’ Rides Again

Ben Sosoli does not mince words. He has a gentle demeanor and a self-deprecating sense of humor that rears its head when he’s asked about weight cutting or hard training — two aspects of MMA for which he is less than motivated. However, he does not grandstand or avoid difficult questions. You get the sense that honesty is hardwired into him. There is no spin or ego. There is just the father of five, the loyal partner, the guy who moved to Australia to pursue Rugby but pivoted to combat sports after a leg injury temporarily stole his mobility, the beloved “Combat Wombat” reliably improving under the tutelage of former Ultimate Fighting Championship middleweight and Olympic judoka Dan Kelly, the guy looking to shoot his shot on Dana White’s Contender Series after falling short on Season 28 of “The Ultimate Fighter” reality series.

Sosoli was Kevin Gastelum’s first heavyweight pick on “The Ultimate Fighter” but lost a decision in the opening bracket to eventual winner Juan Francisco Espino Dieppa. In typical understated fashion, the setback did nothing to shake the Samoan-Australian’s determination to lock down a UFC contract, and he spent the remainder of his time on the show dutifully helping prepare his teammates for their fights. Reflecting on his time in the house, Sosoli was quick to emphasize the positives of the experience, from the consistency of training to the collegiality with his fellow heavyweights, and sees it as an indispensable part of the journey towards redemption.

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