USA wins first two duals to set stage for World Cup battle with Iran

By Craig Sesker USA Wrestling | March 15, 2014, 6:28 p.m. (ET)

American Angel Escobedo takes control in his win over Armenia at the World Cup on Saturday morning. Larry Slater photo 

INGLEWOOD, Calif. – The showdown between freestyle powerhouses is set.

The United States and Iran both went unbeaten in the first session of the World Cup on Saturday before 2,000 fans at the Forum, presented by Chase. 

That sets the stage for a much-anticipated matchup between the Iranians and the Americans on Saturday night at 6:30 p.m. Pacific Time.

Iran is the two-time returning champion in this event and has been backed by a vocal crowd of wrestling-mad Iranian fans here in California. The Iranians also won the team title at the 2013 World Championships in freestyle.

The U.S. placed third in the World Cup the last two years, falling to Iran last year in Tehran. 

The U.S. opened with a 7-1 win over Armenia before rallying from an early deficit to down India 6-2 in Pool A. Americans Brent Metcalf, Jordan Burroughs and Tervel Dlagnev each went 2-0 in the first session. 

Burroughs, an Olympic gold medalist and two-time World champion, pumped up the crowd by notching a pair of pins in the first session. He is now 73-1 in his international career.

“I had more pins today than I’ve had in my whole career in freestyle,” Burroughs said. “This is awesome. It’s a great crowd – everyone’s cheering and everyone’s excited so I’m just trying to get the ball rolling and hopefully get some more pins. I just went out there and tried to wrestle hard.” 

Burroughs is scheduled to face Iran’s Ezzatollah Akbarizarinkolaei on Saturday night. Burroughs beat the Iranian 4-0 in the 2013 World finals in Budapest, Hungary.

“It will be an interesting matchup,” Burroughs said. “Hopefully, I can score more points than I did against him the last time. I know he’s excited to wrestle me again. I know they’ve scouted me well and I know he will be ready to wrestle me." 

Iran shut out Armenia 8-0 in its first dual. Two-time World champion Reza Yazdani of Iran and World champion teammate Hassan Rahimi earned wins in the victory over Armenia.

Iran will face Turkey in the first match of the second session at 5:30 p.m. and then battle the U.S. after that. The Americans have just the match with Iran in the second session. 

The top 10 freestyle wrestling countries in the world have gathered in a dual-meet format.

The two-day World Cup continues on Sunday. The first session is scheduled at 11 a.m. with the finals set for 6 p.m. Sunday. 

The U.S. will face Turkey in its final pool match at 11 a.m. Sunday before competing in a placing match later in the day.


Saturday, March 15

The Forum, Inglewood Calif.


Saturday’s results


Session I


Pool A


USA 7, Armenia 1

57 kg/125.5 lbs. – Angel Escobedo (USA) dec. Artak Hovhannisyan (Armenia), 11-4

61 kg/134 lbs. – Reece Humphrey (USA) dec. Valodya Frangulyan (Armenia), 5-4

65 kg/143 lbs. – Brent Metcalf (USA) dec. Artur Arakelyan (Armenia), 11-1

70 kg/154 lbs. – Davit Apoyan (Armenia) dec. Nick Marable (USA), 10-7

74 kg/163 lbs. – Jordan Burroughs (USA) pinned Varuzhan Kajoyan (Armenia), 3:38

86 kg/189 lbs. – Keith Gavin (USA) dec. Vahe Tamrazyan (Armenia), 6-1

97 kg/213 lbs. – Dustin Kilgore (USA) dec. Viktor Kazishvili (Armenia), 10-0

125 kg/275 lbs. – Tervel Dlagnev (USA) dec. Andranik Galstyan (Armenia), 11-0


India 5, Turkey 3

57 kg – Amit Kumar (India) dec. Nebi Uzun (Turkey), 7-0

61 kg – Bajrang Bajrang (India) dec. Recep Topal (Turkey), 4-2

65 kg – Selahattin Kilisalayan (Turkey) dec. Rajneesh Rajneesh (India), 15-7

70 kg – Amit Kumar Dhankhar (India) dec Mustafa Kaya (Turkey), 8-4

74 kg – Parveen Rana (India) dec. Murat Erturk (Turkey), 8-6

86 kg – Fatih Erdin (Turkey) dec. Pawan Kumar (India), 6-1

97 kg – Saywart Kadian (India) over Ali BĀ­onceoglu (Turkey) Dec 6-2

125 kg – Hamza Ozkarhdeniz (Turkey) won by forfeit


USA 6, India 2

57 kg – Amit Kumar (India) dec. Andrew Hochstrasser (USA), 4-3

61 kg – Bajrang Bajrang (India) dec. Jimmy Kennedy (USA), 10-6

65 kg – Brent Metcalf (USA) dec. Rajneesh Rajneesh (India), 7-6

70 kg – Moza Fay (USA) dec. Amit Kumar Dhankhar (India), 11-0

74 kg – Jordan Burroughs (USA) pinned Parveen Rana (India), 2:44

86 kg – Clayton Foster (USA) dec. Pawan Kumar, 10-0

97 kg – J.D. Bergman (USA) dec. Saywart Kadian (India)

125 kg – Tervel Dlagnev (USA) won by forfeit


Iran 8, Armenia 0

57 kg – Hassan Rahimi (Iran) dec. Artak Hovhannisyan (Armenia), 10-0

61 kg – Masoud Esmailpoor Jouybari (Iran) dec. Valodya Frangulyan (Armenia), 11-1

65 kg – Meisam Nasiri (Iran) dec. Artur Arakelyan (Armenia ), 14-4

70 kg – Mostafa Hosseinkhani (Iran) dec. Davit Apoyan (Armenia), 11-0

74 kg – Ezzatollah Akbari Zarinkolaei (Iran) dec. Varuzhan Kajoyan (Armenia), 11-1

86 kg – Ehsan Lashgari (Iran) dec. Vahe Tamrazyan (Armenia), 10-0

97 kg – Reza Yazdani (Iran) dec. Viktor Kazishvili (Armenia), 2:33

125 kg – Komeil Ghasemi (Iran) dec. Andranik Galstyan (Armenia), 15-4


Pool B


Japan 5, Georgia 3

57 kg – Fumitaka Morishita (Japan) pinned Beka Bujiashvili (Georgia), 2:45

61 kg – Beka Lomtadze (Georgia) dec. Katsuyoshi Kawase (Japan), 10-0

65 kg – Daichi Takatani (Japan) dec. Zurabi Iakobishvili (Georgia), 9-3

70 kg – Ken Hosaka (Japan) dec. Levan Kelekhsashvili (Georgia), 7-6

74 kg – Sohsuke Takatani (Japan) over Giorgi Marsagishvili (Georgia) Dec 9-4

86 kg – Atsushi Matsumoto (Japan) dec. Levan Gogritchiani (Georgia), 3-2

97 kg – Eldar Kurtanidze (Georgia) dec. Koki Yamamoto (Japan), 4-2

125 kg – Giorgi Sakandelidze (Georgia) dec. Nobuyoshi Arakida (Japan), 10-0


Russia 4, Mongolia 4

(Russia wins on criteria)

57 kg – Batbold Nomin (Mongolia) dec. Viktor Lebedev (Russia), 10-6

61 kg – Murad Nukhkadiev (Russia) dec. Enkhsaikhan Nyam-Ochir (Mongolia), 12-4

65 kg – Ganzorig Mandakhnaran (Mongolia) over Alibeggadzhi Emeev (Russia), 4-0

70 kg – Ankhbayar Batchuluun (Mongolia) dec. Ramazan Shamsutdinov (Russia), 6-1

74 kg – Akhmed Gadzhimagomedov (Russia) dec. Purevjav Unurbat (Mongolia), 11-5

86 kg – Shamil Kudiamagomedov (Russia) dec. Orgodol Uitumen (Mongolia), 10-0

97 kg – Vladislav Baicaev (Russia) dec. Dorjkhand Khuderbulga (Mongolia), 10-0

125 kg – Jargalsaikhan Chuluunbat (Mongolia) dec. Anzor Khezriev (Russia), 6-6


Session II


Pool A

5:30 p.m. – Iran vs. Turkey; Armenia vs. India

6:30 p.m. – USA vs. Iran; Turkey vs. Armenia


Pool B 

7:30 p.m. – Mongolia vs. Georgia; Japan vs. Ukraine

8:30 p.m. – Georgia vs. Ukraine; Russia vs. Japan


Sunday’s schedule


Session III 

11:00 a.m. – Iran vs. India, USA vs. Turkey

12:00 noon – Russia vs. Georgia; Ukraine vs. Mongolia

1:30 p.m. – Seventh-place match and Ninth-place match

2:30 p.m. – Fifth-place match


Session IV

5:00 p.m. – Third-place match

6:00 p.m. – First-place match and Award Ceremonies