Rollie Peterkin, a three-time state wrestling titleholder while at Wellesley High School as well as a National freestyle champion in the early 2000s, has written a book documenting his evolution from an excellent University of Pennsylvania wrestler to a Wall Street bond trader to a mixed martial arts fighter in Peru.
The 29-year-old Peterkin has been blogging about his adventures and now has published a book titled “The Cage: Escaping the American Dream” that he says took about a year to write and edit. The elevator pitch: “From yuppie Manhattanite to blood-soaked warrior in South America, The Cage traces Rollie’s fight for meaning, substance, and true value.”
As you might imagine, MMA was rough on Peterkin’s body (“I got black eyes and fat lips and concussions and cauliflower ear.”). Though you should have seen the other guys: Peterkin was 3-0 in professional matches and 2-0 in amateur fights during his year in Peru a couple of years back. He fought under the nickname Omega (his real middle name) and later El Loko.
Peterkin survived and enjoyed the experience, though has since moved to Madrid and now teaches English there. That’s a far cry from Upham Elementary School, which is where Peterkin went to school upon his family’s move to Wellesley. Peterkin started wrestling in the Wellesley youth program when he was seven years old, and credits much of his wrestling success to coaching from Dave Paltrineri at Wellesley High. Though it’s a pretty good bet that neither the coach nor anyone else foresaw where Peterkin’s wrestling and other talents would take him.