USA Wrestling

Nov 05 Brandon Ruiz wins loaded 110 kg No Gi division at U S Grappling Trials in Las Vegas

By Gary Abbott USA Wrestling | Aug. 12, 2011, 1:33 p.m. (ET)
Brandon Ruiz of Grappler's Edge battles with Kelly Anundson of American Top Team in 110 kg No-Gi finals at the U.S. Grappling World Team Trials at Xtreme Couture in Las Vegas. Larry Slater photo

LAS VEGAS, Nev. - There was no doubt that the 110 kg/242 lbs. division in No-Gi Grappling was the most competitive weight class at the U.S. Grappling World Team Trials at Xtreme Couture on Saturday.

The weight class included three Grappling World Team members, as well as an athlete who was a Team USA member in both freestyle and Greco-Roman wrestling. These big men were all talented, experienced and motivated.

When it was all over, it was Brandon Ruiz of Grapplers Edge who was able to celebrate his victory and earn the spot at 110 kg on the U.S. team which will compete at the Grappling World Championships in Serbia in late September.

Ruiz won the gold medal match over Kelly Anundson of American Top Team, 6-1. The match was tied at 1-1 late in the period, when Ruiz scored a leg attack takedown for a 2-1 lead, then sunk his legs in for four more points on the mat.

It was a rematch of the 2009 Grappling World Championships finals, which Anundson won by a 4-0 margin.

In the semifinals, Ruiz scored a submission over Gabe Barahona of American Top Team, who was fifth in both No-Gi and Gi at the 2010 World Championships. Anundson also had a semifinal submission over Brian Keck of Xtreme Couture, who was a national team member in both freestyle and Greco-Roman during a long and successful career.

"That win avenges a loss at the 2009 World Championships. It felt real good" said Ruiz. "Kelly is a great competitor. There's not an ounce of quit in him and he keeps coming at you. It was a tough, tough match. I felt whoever had a better bottom game would win the match. Near the end, I got a takedown, got on top, put my hooks in and got the points."

Ruiz is the older brother of Justin Ruiz, 2005 World bronze medalist in Greco-Roman for the United States and top-ranked 96 kg wrestler in the nation. Brandon was a Team USA member in Greco-Roman earlier in his career, before he concentrated fully on his Grappling and martial arts career.

The U.S. Grappling World Team is a talented group of athletes, many with past World-level achievements. The USA has won the No-Gi team title at the last two FILA Grappling World Championships. Only the winner in each weight class earned a U.S. World Team spot.

Grappling, also known as submission wrestling, is growing in popularity in the United States and around the world.

Anundson entered the Absolute division, which is open to all participants in the competition, and won the title and a spot on the U.S. World Team. He stopped a gritty Shane Cross of Grappler's Edge in the finals by submission. Cross was giving up as much as 60 pounds to Anundson in the match.

Earlier, Shane Cross had earned a spot on the U.S. World Team by winning the gold medal at 80 kg/180.5 lbs., winning a three-athlete roundrobin. Cross will be competing in his first Grappling World Championships.

Past Grappling World medalists who qualified for the U.S. team in No-Gi include Matt Betzold of the Den at 60 kg/132 lbs., Tom LeCuyer of Torres Martial Arts at 70 kg/154 lbs. Michael Kelly of Old School Wrestling at 90 kg/198 lbs. and Lisa Ellis at 50 kg/110 lbs. in the women's division.

Betzold won a five-athlete round-robin with a 4-0 record, with two submissions and two decisions. He was a silver medalist at the 2009 Grappling World Championships. Betzold is one of the most inspiring athletes in Grappling, with one of his legs amputated below his knee.

LeCuyer, a 2009 Grappling World champion and bronze medalist in 2010, won a five-athlete round-robin with three submissions and a decision.

Kelly, who was a Grappling World bronze medalist the last two years, defeated Shawn Dillion of American Top Team, 1-0 in overtime to capture the title. Kelly has moved up a weight class, after winning his last World medal at 75 kg.

Ellis won her weight class in a best-of-three series, winning two straight over Tresa Marchi of American Pankration by submission. Her maiden name was Lisa Ward, and she won Grappling World gold medal in No-Gi in 2010, and a silver medal in 2009.

It was a great day for the Ellis family, as her husband Eddie Ellis won the men's title at 75 kg/165 lbs. in a four-athlete round-robin. His key victory was over 2009 Grappling World bronze medalist Alexis Pacheco of Bambusa, 3-1.

The Ellis husband and wife team said they were planning to compete together in Serbia for the U.S. team.

Other individual No-Gi champions were Jason Soares of Freestyle Fighting Academy at 65 kg/143 lbs. in the men's divisions, and Tara LaRosa of Philadelphia Fight Factory at 60 kg/132 lbs. and Shayna Baszler of Next Edge Academy at 65 kg/142 lbs.

Soares won a three-athlete round-robin for his title. LaRosa and Baszler, past World medalists for the United States, won their divisions uncontested.

In the Gi competition, two athletes who were No-Gi champions scored an impressive double title by also winning the Gi title: LeCuyer and Anundson.

LeCuyer won a best-of-three series at 70 KG / 154 lbs. with two straight submissions over Brian Mahecha of American Top Team, a World bronze medalist in both styles in 2009.

Anundson won the Absolute division in Gi with a 2-0 record in a three-athlete roundrobin. His key victory was a submission over runner-up Kenny Lester of American Pankration.

Winning a competitive five-athlete division at 90 KG / 198 lbs was Travis Conley of KCBJJ. In the final round-robin match, he edged 2010 Grappling World medalist Jeff Funicello of American Pankration by a 1-0 score.

U.S GRAPPLING WORLD TEAM TRIALS
At Las Vegas, Nev., August 6, 2011

Men's No-Gi results


60 KG / 132 lbs
1st Place - Matt Betzold of The Den
2nd Place - Nate Hansen of Next Edge Acadamy
3rd Place - Taylor McCorriston of FTCC
4th Place - Jose Corones of American Pankration
5th Place - Leonard Snow of Grappler`s Edge
Round 1 - Jose Corones (American Pankration) won by submission over Leonard Snow (Grappler`s Edge) (Sub. 3:14)
Round 1 - Nate Hansen (Next Edge Acadamy) won by decision over Taylor McCorriston (FTCC) (Dec 4-1)
Round 2 - Matt Betzold (The Den) won by decision over Nate Hansen (Next Edge Acadamy) (Dec 3-0)
Round 2 - Taylor McCorriston (FTCC) won by submission over Leonard Snow (Grappler`s Edge) (Sub. 2:45)
Round 3 - Matt Betzold (The Den) won by decision over Taylor McCorriston (FTCC) (Dec 1-0)
Round 3 - Nate Hansen (Next Edge Acadamy) won by decision over Jose Corones (American Pankration) (Dec 7-1)
Round 4 - Matt Betzold (The Den) won by submission over Jose Corones (American Pankration) (Sub. 4:15)
Round 4 - Nate Hansen (Next Edge Acadamy) won by submission over Leonard Snow (Grappler`s Edge) (Sub. 2:43)
Round 5 - Matt Betzold (The Den) won by submission over Leonard Snow (Grappler`s Edge) (Sub. 4:40)
Round 5 - Taylor McCorriston (FTCC) won by major decision over Jose Corones (American Pankration) (Maj 10-0)

65 KG / 143 lbs
1st Place - Jason Soares of Freestyle Fighting Academy
2nd Place - Tyler Weathers of Subfighter MMA
3rd Place - Brett Tellis of Grappler`s Edge
Round 1 - Jason Soares (Freestyle Fighting Academy) won by submission over Brett Tellis (Grappler`s Edge) (Sub. 3:51)
Round 2 - Jason Soares (Freestyle Fighting Academy) won by submission over Tyler Weathers (Subfighter MMA) (Sub. 2:18)
Round 3 - Tyler Weathers (Subfighter MMA) won by decision over Brett Tellis (Grappler`s Edge) (Dec 3-1)

70 KG / 154 lbs
1st Place - Tom LeCuyer of Torres Martial Arts
2nd Place - Peter Sutton of Stable Jiu Jitsu
3rd Place - Brian Mahecha of American Top Team
4th Place - Kyle Dubay of American Pankration
5th Place - John Jones of American Pankration
Round 1 - Tom LeCuyer (Torres Martial Arts) won by submission over Brian Mahecha (American Top Team) (Sub. 3:54)
Round 1 - Peter Sutton (Stable Jiu Jitsu) won by submission over John Jones (American Pankration) (Sub. 1:32)
Round 2 - Peter Sutton (Stable Jiu Jitsu) won by submission over Kyle Dubay (American Pankration) (Sub. 3:47)
Round 2 - Tom LeCuyer (Torres Martial Arts) won by submission over John Jones (American Pankration) (Sub. 4:27)
Round 3 - Kyle Dubay (American Pankration) won by submission over John Jones (American Pankration) (Sub. 4:06)
Round 3 - Peter Sutton (Stable Jiu Jitsu) won by submission over Brian Mahecha (American Top Team) (Sub. 3:08)
Round 4 - Brian Mahecha (American Top Team) won by submission over Kyle Dubay (American Pankration) (Sub. 0:00)
Round 4 - Tom LeCuyer (Torres Martial Arts) won by decision over Peter Sutton (Stable Jiu Jitsu) (Dec 4-0)
Round 5 - Tom LeCuyer (Torres Martial Arts) won by submission over Kyle Dubay (American Pankration) (Sub. 2:38)
Round 5 - Brian Mahecha (American Top Team) won by submission over John Jones (American Pankration) (Sub. 2:33)

75 KG / 165 lbs
1st Place - Eddy Ellis of United Fight Team
2nd Place - Alexis Pacheco of Bambusa
3rd Place - Joseph Calavitta of Finish Strong
4th Place - Ryan Vottero of DMWC
Round 1 - Eddy Ellis (United Fight Team) won by submission over Ryan Vottero (DMWC) (Sub. 2:51)
Round 1 - Alexis Pacheco (Bambusa) won by decision over Joseph Calavitta (Finish Strong ) (Dec 5-0)
Round 2 - Eddy Ellis (United Fight Team) won by decision over Alexis Pacheco (Bambusa) (Dec 3-1)
Round 2 - Joseph Calavitta (Finish Strong ) won by submission over Ryan Vottero (DMWC) (Sub. 2:57)
Round 3 - Eddy Ellis (United Fight Team) won by decision over Joseph Calavitta (Finish Strong ) (Dec 6-5)
Round 3 - Alexis Pacheco (Bambusa) won by submission over Ryan Vottero (DMWC) (Sub. 3:37)

80 KG / 176 lbs
1st Place - Shane Cross of Grappler`s Edge
2nd Place - Andre Blake of American Pankration
3rd Place - Adam Watts of Finish Strong
Round 1 - Shane Cross (Grappler`s Edge) won in overtime over Adam Watts (Finish Strong ) (OT 3-1)
Round 2 - Shane Cross (Grappler`s Edge) won by decision over Andre Blake (American Pankration) (Dec 1-0)
Round 3 - Andre Blake (American Pankration) won by decision over Adam Watts (Finish Strong ) (Dec 1-0)

90 KG / 198 lbs
1st Place - Michael Kelly of Old School Wrestling
2nd Place - Shawn Dillion of American Top Team
3rd Place - Travis Conley of KCBJJ
4th Place - Jeff Funicello of American Pankration
1st Place Match - Michael Kelly (Old School Wrestling) won in overtime over Shawn Dillion (American Top Team) (OT 1-0)
3rd Place Match - Travis Conley (KCBJJ) won by decision over Jeff Funicello (American Pankration) (Dec 1-0)

110 KG / 242 lbs
1st Place - Brandon Ruiz of Grappler`s Edge
2nd Place - Kelly Anundson of American Top Team
3rd Place - Daniel Huber of American Pankration
4th Place - Henry Todd of American Pankration
1st Place Match - Brandon Ruiz (Grappler`s Edge) won by decision over Kelly Anundson (American Top Team) (Dec 6-1)
3rd Place Match - Daniel Huber (American Pankration) won in overtime over Henry Todd (American Pankration) (OT 1-0)

Absolute
1st Place - Kelly Anundson of American Top Team
2nd Place - Shane Cross of Grappler`s Edge
3rd Place - Aaron Yoches of Grappler`s Edge
4th Place - Peter Sutton of Stable Jiu Jitsu
1st Place Match
1st Place Match - Kelly Anundson (American Top Team) won by submission over Shane Cross (Grappler`s Edge) (Sub. 2:10)
3rd Place Match
3rd Place Match - Aaron Yoches (Grappler`s Edge) won by submission over Peter Sutton (Stable Jiu Jitsu) (Sub. 2:07)

Women's No-Gi results

50 KG / 110 lbs
1st Place - Lisa Ellis of United Fight Team
2nd Place - Tresa Marchi of American Pankration
Round 1 - Lisa Ellis (United Fight Team) won by submission over Tresa Marchi (American Pankration) (Sub. 1:00)
Round 2 - Lisa Ellis (United Fight Team) won by submission over Tresa Marchi (American Pankration) (Sub. 2:15)

60 kg/132 lbs.
1st Place - Tara LaRosa of Philadelphia Fight Factory

65 kg/142 lbs.
1st Place - Shayna Baszler of Next Edge Academy

Men's Gi results

60 KG / 132 lbs
1st Place - Jose Corones of American Pankration

65 KG / 143 lbs
1st Place - Dustin Smith of unattached

70 KG / 154 lbs
1st Place - Tom LeCuyer of Torres Martial Arts
2nd Place - Brian Mahecha of American Top Team
Round 1 - Tom LeCuyer (Torres Martial Arts) won by submission over Brian Mahecha (American Top Team) (Sub. 1:44)
Round 2 - Tom LeCuyer (Torres Martial Arts) won by submission over Brian Mahecha (American Top Team) (Sub. 3:41)

80 kg/180.5 lbs.
1st Place - Andre Blake of American Pankration

90 KG / 198 lbs
1st Place - Travis Conley of KCBJJ
2nd Place - Jeff Funicello of American Pankration
3rd Place - Scott Garcia of The Den
4th Place - Shawn Stallings of Camp Pendleton
5th Place - Shaun Dillon of American Top Team
Round 1
Round 1 - Travis Conley (KCBJJ) won by decision over Shaun Dillon (American Top Team) (Dec 3-2)
Round 1 - Jeff Funicello (American Pankration) won by decision over Shawn Stallings (Camp Pendleton) (Dec 5-2)
Round 2
Round 2 - Scott Garcia (The Den) won by submission over Shawn Stallings (Camp Pendleton) (Sub. 4:11)
Round 2 - Jeff Funicello (American Pankration) won by forfeit over Shaun Dillon (American Top Team) (FF)
Round 3
Round 3 - Jeff Funicello (American Pankration) won in overtime over Scott Garcia (The Den) (OT 1-0)
Round 3 - Travis Conley (KCBJJ) won by submission over Shawn Stallings (Camp Pendleton) (Sub. 0:45)
Round 4
Round 4 - Travis Conley (KCBJJ) won by submission over Scott Garcia (The Den) (Sub. 3:26)
Round 4 - Shawn Stallings (Camp Pendleton) won by forfeit over Shaun Dillon (American Top Team) (FF)
Round 5
Round 5 - Scott Garcia (The Den) won by forfeit over Shaun Dillon (American Top Team) (FF)
Round 5 - Travis Conley (KCBJJ) won by decision over Jeff Funicello (American Pankration) (Dec 1-0)

110 KG / 242 lbs
1st Place - Gabe Barahona of American Top Team

Absolute
1st Place - Kelly Anundson of American Top Team
2nd Place - Kenny Lester of American Pankration
3rd Place - Dustin Smith of Unattached
Round 1
Round 1 - Kelly Anundson (American Top Team) won by submission over Kenny Lester (American Pankration) (Sub. 3:41)
Round 2
Round 2 - Kelly Anundson (American Top Team) won by submission over Dustin Smith (Unattached) (Sub. 3:36)
Round 3
Round 3 - Kenny Lester (American Pankration) won by submission over Dustin Smith (Unattached) (Sub. 4:12)

Women's Gi results

50 kg/110 lbs.
1st - Tresa Marchi (American Pankration)
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