Independent Student Newspaper of UW Oshkosh Campuses

The Advance-Titan

Independent Student Newspaper of UW Oshkosh Campuses

The Advance-Titan

Independent Student Newspaper of UW Oshkosh Campuses

The Advance-Titan

Wrestling seniors prepare for final season

Courtesy of Adib Korabi — UWO’s Adib Korabi attacks his opponent in a meet last season. Korabi was born in New Jersey but lived in both Syria and Saudi Arabia.

UW Oshkosh wrestling seniors Adib Korabi and Cody Welker are hoping to leave their mark in their final season with the Titans. 

Korabi was born in the United States, but lived in Syria and Saudi Arabia. He said that when he was young and still living in the Middle East, he enjoyed wrestling; however, when he came to the U.S., he began his career after being urged by his mother to pursue wrestling professionally. 

“I wrestled and fought, but I didn’t know about the sport. In 2013 I moved back to the U.S. and I received a paper in the mail about wrestling tryouts,” he said. “After the first day I hated it, but my mom wanted me to stay. After the second day, I fell in love with it.”

Korabi said that he credits his mother for him reaching this point in wrestling. 

“If it wasn’t for her I probably wouldn’t still be in the sport,” he said. 

While looking at colleges, Korabi said that he had no intention of coming to UW Oshkosh; however, due to wrestling recruiting, he fell for the school and didn’t look back. 

“I had no intention of coming here. I planned to stay in Jersey and wrestle DII or DIII, but the former coach called and recruited me,” he said. “After that, there was nowhere else I would have rather gone.” 

Being a member of a team is give and take between the players and the program. Korabi said his contribution to the program is his spirit and in return, the program has made him grow as a person. 

“What I give is that I make the energy in the room higher. I push people to be better, more physical and on a path to championships,” he said. “The team has given me brotherhood, knowledge of the sport and has made me grow as a man.” 

Korabi said that he has high hopes for the season, and that it’s off to a better start than last season, even before they’ve begun competing.

“All the weights this year will be filled and I’m hoping to have a better record than last season, because a lot of guys from the 2024 class are returning,” he said. “There’s better energy in the room than last year.” 

Korabi said that after his team won the team’s Black and Gold Classic, he was impressed with everyone’s performances. 

Welker said that he began his wrestling career around the same age as Korabi; after their parents had found out about their respective programs and pushed their kids to go.

“I was a kid about 5 or 6 years old and all I did was play video games and my mom and dad figured it was time to make me do something,” he said. “They found an ad on the floor and my dad committed me from there. It took me a while to get into it, but I’ve been doing it since.” 

During high school, Welker qualified multiple times for state and was a champion several times in his conference (sectional and regional). His highest achievements were placing fourth in state his junior year and fifth-place his senior year. 

Welker said that when deciding colleges, Oshkosh stood out for its team. Welker’s friends and previous teammates had also coordinated to attend the same school. 

“The biggest thing was the team that was here and the friends I came to school with,” he said. “A few of my friends that I came with are still on the team to this day. It was a group decision to be honest and we came here together.” 

Welker said that the team dynamic is special and that choosing Oshkosh for its closeness has paid off in the relationships its given him. 

“Our team is special in that aspect, I’ve known so many [of my teammates] for a big part of my life. When I came here on my visit, me and my friends found it easy to get along with everyone on the team and to set the culture of family on the team. There’s no one on the team I wouldn’t consider my best friend or brother.” 

A previous UWO wrestler also inspired Welker, as he said that the player had coached him before UWO and was a powerful Titan athlete at Oshkosh.

“Nazar Kulchytskyy is one of my club coaches from before UWO and he’s a big part of why I came to Oshkosh,” he said. “He’s one of the biggest names to come out of UW Oshkosh and I’ve looked up to him since I’ve met him.” 

Welker said that the team has never been as close as in his years as an athlete, and that he expects that culture to continue once he leaves. 

“The team dynamic will continue for many years; there will never be another UWO wrestling team that is not close to each other compared to past years,” he said. 

Korabi is pursuing a degree in the College of Business, but he intends to pursue a career in professional fighting. 

“My major is project management… at the moment I don’t have any jobs lined up,” Korabi said. “My biggest dream as a kid was to fight, so I plan to pursue MMA after college. It’s up in the air, but I plan on training in Texas or Florida.” 

Welker intends to stay in Wisconsin for work, while also bringing up the next generation of Wisconsin’s wrestlers. 

“I’m a marketing major and I don’t have anything lined up, but I hope to go into the sales or marketing field,” Welker said. “I’ll probably stay in Wisconsin and coach a youth club in Oshkosh. (I) have family in Wisconsin, so I’d like to stay in the region.”

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