Dake to battle Julfalakyan in Greco-Roman Main Event at Grapple at the Garden on Dec. 21

By Larry Torres Madison Square Garden | Nov. 19, 2014, 10:24 a.m. (ET)
FOUR-TIME NCAA CHAMPION KYLE DAKE TAKES ON 2014 WORLD CHAMPION ARSEN JULFALAKYAN IN MAIN EVENT AT THE GRAPPLE AT THE GARDEN PRESENTED BY MUSCLEPHARM ON SUNDAY, DECEMBER 21

New York, NY (November 19, 2014) – MSG Sports announced today that four-time NCAA champion and top Olympic hopeful Kyle Dake will take on 2014 World Champion Arsen Julfalakyan in a Greco-Roman wrestling match as the main event of the Grapple at the Garden presented by MusclePharm at Madison Square Garden on Sunday, December 21.

Dake makes his return to Madison Square Garden after competing in the inaugural Grapple at the Garden in 2012 while a senior at Cornell University, where he became the first wrestler to win four NCAA Division I titles in four different weight classes. He is also one of only three four-time Division I champions, joining Pat Smith of Oklahoma State and Cael Sanderson of Iowa State.

"When Nick Garone of X-Cel Worldwide approached me with the opportunity to compete in Greco-Roman style wrestling, my response was, ‘Only if we can get the World Champion,’” said Dake. “It is a tremendous honor and challenge to face Arsen Julfalakyan, and I will be ready to compete at the highest level."

USA Wrestling Head Coach Matt Lindland added: “Kyle Dake is a household name in American Wrestling. USA Greco-Roman needs Kyle Dake in our program. I am excited about this match, and love that Kyle is always up for a new challenge."

Since graduation, Dake has been successful on the Senior level in freestyle wrestling, placing second at the 2013 U.S. World Team Trials. He was also a champion at the 2014 Cerro Pelado International in Cuba in freestyle. He is coming off an injury which kept him out of the World Team Trials process in 2014.

The main event bout will be in Greco-Roman, a style which Dake excelled at during his age-group years. He was a member of the 2008 Junior World Greco-Roman Team when he was still a high school star in Lansing, New York. He also was a 2008 FILA Junior National champion as well as a 2008 FILA Junior World Team Trials champion and finished second in the 2007 FILA Cadet Nationals in Greco-Roman.

Julfalakyan, of Armenia, won the Gold Medal at the 2014 World Championships in Tashkent, Uzbekistan. It was his first World title after winning four previous World-level medals. He was a 2012 Olympic Silver Medalist, and also boasts a 2010 World Silver Medal as well as 2011 and 2013 World Bronze Medals. Julfalakyan was also a 2007 Junior World champion.

"I am very intrigued and excited about this unique challenge versus American folkstyle legend Kyle Dake,” said Julfalakyan. “It has always been a dream of mine to compete at Madison Square Garden, and I look forward to support from the Armenian community in New York."

With his World title, he became part of a historic father-and-son Greco-Roman World Champion combination. His father, Levon Julfalakyan, was a 1986 World Champion, competing for the former Soviet Union. Levon Julfalakyan was also a 1988 Olympic Champion and 1989 World Bronze Medalist.

MusclePharm, an American nutritional supplement company that provides sports nutrition products and supplements for athletes of all kinds, has signed on to be the presenting sponsor for the annual Grapple at the Garden.

The much anticipated Grapple at the Garden will bring together the largest group of college programs, including 14 Division I, three Division II, four Division III, and two Community Colleges featuring four currently Top-20 ranked programs including Corenll (#3), Lehigh (#11), Edinboro (#13) and Northern Iowa (#18). Other Division I teams include: Army, Bucknell, Davidson, Drexel, Duke, George Mason, Hofstra, Maryland, Princeton, and Rutgers. Division II will be represented by LIU Post, Minnesota State–Moorhead, and Wheeling Jesuit. Division III will be represented by Muhlenberg, Mount Saint Vincent, Southern Maine and Stevens. In addition, junior college teams from SUNY Sullivan and Middlesex County College and club teams from Stony Brook and Montclair State will also participate.

The Grapple at the Garden presented by MusclePharm will once again feature the NYC Mayor’s Cup high school competition pitting the best New York City high school wrestlers from the Public Schools Athletic League (PSAL), Catholic High School Athletic Association (CHSAA) and independent school wrestlers in each weight class as they compete for the title of “Best in the City.” In addition, a USA Wrestling Middle School event and an elementary school championship is also included on the card.

Tickets, priced at $20, $35 and $55, are currently on sale and can be purchased online at www.thegarden.com, all Ticketmaster locations and the Madison Square Garden box office.

GRAPPLE AT THE GARDEN PRESENTED BY MUSCLEPHARM
Madison Square Garden, New York, N.Y., Sunday, December 21


7:15 AM: Mats 1-8 – YOUTH TOURNAMENT FINALS

8:00 AM: Mat 1– HIGHSCHOOL: MAYOR’S CUP VS. METRO
Mat 2 – LIU POST VS. MINN. ST. - MOORHEAD
Mat 3 - STONY BROOK VS. MONTCLAIR STATE
Mat 4 - SO. MAINE VS. STEVENS
Mat 5 – SUNY SULLIVAN VS. MIDDLESEX CC
Mat 6 – NORTHERN IOWA VS. DUKE
Mat 7 – MT. ST. VINCENT VS. WHEELING JESUIT
Mat 8 – HIGH SCHOOL: MAYOR’S CUP VS. METRO

10:00 AM: Mat 1 – DAVIDSON VS. BUCKNELL
Mat 2 - LEHIGH VS. PRINCETON
Mat 3 – RUTGERS VS. ARMY
Mat 4 – MARYLAND VS. HOFSTRA
Mat 5 – DUKE VS. GEORGE MASON
Mat 6 – NORTHERN IOWA VS. DREXEL
Mat 7 – EDINBORO VS. CORNELL
Mat 8 – SO. MAINE VS. MUHLENBERG

12:00 PM: Mat 1 – ARMY VS. PRINCETON
Mat 2 - LEHIGH VS. EDINBORO
Mat 3 – DAVIDSON VS. RUTGERS
Mat 4 – HOFSTRA VS. BUCKNELL
Mat 5 – MARYLAND VS. DUKE
Mat 6 – DREXEL VS. GEORGE MASON
Mat 7 – NORTHERN IOWA VS. CORNELL
Mat 8 – SPECIAL ATTRACTIONS

2:10 PM: Mat 9 – (center) Kyle Dake vs. Arsen Julfalakyan (Greco-Roman 75 kg/165 lbs.)

Additional Grapple at the Garden Presented by MusclePharm information will be announced at a later date.

About The Madison Square Garden Company
The Madison Square Garden Company is comprised of three business segments: MSG Sports, MSG Media and MSG Entertainment and is built on a foundation of iconic venues and compelling content that the company creates, produces, presents and/or distributes through its programming networks and other media assets. MSG Sports owns and operates the following sports franchises: the New York Knicks (NBA), the New York Rangers (NHL), the New York Liberty (WNBA), the Westchester Knicks (NBADL) and the Hartford Wolf Pack (AHL). MSG Sports also features the presentation of a wide variety of live sporting events including professional boxing, college basketball, bull riding and tennis. MSG Media is a leader in production and content development for multiple distribution platforms, including content originating from the Company’s venues. MSG Media’s television networks consist of regional sports networks, MSG Network and MSG+, collectively referred to as MSG Networks. MSG Entertainment is one of the country's leaders in live entertainment. MSG Entertainment creates, produces and/or presents a variety of live productions, including the Radio City Christmas Spectacular and the New York Spring Spectacular, both featuring the Rockettes. MSG Entertainment also presents or hosts other live entertainment events such as concerts, family shows and special events in the Company’s diverse collection of venues. These venues consist of Madison Square Garden, The Theater at Madison Square Garden, Radio City Music Hall, the Beacon Theatre, the Forum in Inglewood, CA, The Chicago Theatre, and the Wang Theatre in Boston, MA. More information is available at www.themadisonsquaregardencompany.com.

About MusclePharm
MusclePharm® is a scientifically-driven, performance lifestyle company that currently develops, manufactures, markets and distributes branded nutritional supplements. The company offers a complete range of powders, capsules, tablets and gels. Its portfolio of recognised brands, including MusclePharm® Hybrid and Core Series, Arnold Schwarzenegger Series™ and FitMiss™, are marketed and sold in more than 110 countries and available in over 35,000 retail outlets globally. These clinically-proven and scientific nutritional supplements are developed through a six-stage research process utilising the expertise of leading nutritional scientists, doctors and universities. MusclePharm is the innovator of the sports nutrition industry. For more information, visit www.musclepharm.com.

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