Lisa Ellis, shown at the 2011 Grappling World Team Trials, won her third career FILA Grappling World title in the No-Gi division. Larry Slater photo
BELGRADE, Serbia -- Three U.S. grapplers claimed gold medals in the No-Gi competition at the FILA Grappling World Championships in Thursday.
Capturing World titles were:
- Lisa Ellis, Olympia, Wash. (United Fight Team) at 50 kg/110 lbs. for women
- Brandon Ruiz, West Jordan, Utah (Grappler`s Edge) at 110 kg/242 lbs. for men
- Jason Soares, Key Largo, Fla. (Freestyle Fighting Academy) at 65 kg/143 lbs. for men
It was the third career World No-Gi Grappling title for Ellis. She also won No-Gi World titles in 2008 and 2010, and was a World No-Gi silver medalist in 2009.
Ruiz was a No-Gi World silver medalist in 2009. He is the brother of 2005 Greco-Roman World bronze medalist Justin Ruiz.
Soares was competing in his first Grappling World Championships.
Winning a silver medal at Matt Betzold (Phoenix, Ariz./The Den) at 60 kg/132 lbs. Betzold won his second career World silver medal in No-Gi, also placing second in 2009
Dropping a bronze-medal match to place fifth was Eddy Ellis, Olympia, Wash. (United Fight Team) at 75 kg/165 lbs. Ellis, who was competing in his first Grappling World Championships, is married to Lisa Ellis.
"We are absolutely competitive at this level" said U.S. coach Sheldon Marr. "We are still the No. 1 team in the world We had a few heartbreaking matches that didn't go our way today. However, we had four athletes in the gold-medal finals and five athletes fighting for a medal, which is a good performance."
A complete update will be posted when available.
The No-Gi Absolute weight class will be contested on Friday, along with the Gi Grappling division.
2011 U.S GRAPPLING WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS
Men No-Gi placement
60 KG / 132 lbs - Matt Betzold, Phoenix, Ariz. (The Den), 2nd
65 KG / 143 lbs. - Jason Soares, Key Largo, Fla. (Freestyle Fighting Academy), 1st
70 KG / 154 lbs - Tom LeCuyer, Plano, Ill. (Torres Martial Arts), did not medal
75 KG / 165 lbs. - Eddy Ellis, Olympia, Wash. (United Fight Team), 5th
80 KG / 176 lbs. - Shane Cross, Denver, Colo. (Grappler`s Edge), did not medal
90 KG / 198 lbs - Michael Kelly, Hebron, Ill. (Old School Wrestling), did not medal
110 KG / 242 lbs. - Brandon Ruiz, West Jordan, Utah (Grappler`s Edge), 1st
Women's No-Gi placement
50 KG / 110 lbs. - Lisa Ellis, Olympia, Wash. (United Fight Team), 1st