UPDATE2: Five U.S. Grapplers win golds leading USA to the team title at Pankration Worlds in Hungary

By Gary Abbott USA Wrestling | Oct. 24, 2014, 5 p.m. (ET)
Photo of U.S. Grappler Laura Anderson, who won the World gold medal at 53 kg, is courtesy of the Hungarian Grappling and Pankration Federation.

KECSKEMET, Hungary – The United States No-Gi Grappling Team had a strong performance, with five individual gold medal winners in the Pankration-Submission division at the 2014 Pankration World Championships in Kecskemet, Hungary on Friday.

U.S. men capturing gold medals were Matt Betzold (Phoenix, Ariz./Team EDGE) at 57 kg/125.5 lbs., Jayson Patino (Orlando, Fla./American Top Team) at at 71 kg/156 lbs. and James Clay (Rancho Cucamonga, Calif. (Gene Lebell) at 84 kg/185 lbs.

U.S. women capturing gold medals were Laura Anderson (Indo, Calif./Brea Wrestling Club) at 53 kg/116.5 lbs., Colleen Schneider (Los Angeles, Calif./Combat Submission Wrestling) at 64 kg/140.75 lbs. Both U.S. women who won golds were in their first World Championships.

"Wow, what a Final Round! We came away with five golds and two silvers to add to the two bronzes we already won earlier in the day. We had such a final round that we thought we might sneak by the host country Hungary in the team race... and we did!!! I'm so proud of everyone on the team. Although we did have a couple of upsets, most of the team competed beyond what I expected, and I expected a lot! Congratulations Team USA, you know how proud I am of you,” said Team USA Coach Sheldon Marr.

The United States won the team title, with Hungary in second place and Ukraine in third place. The United States also won No-Gi Grappling World Team titles in 2010 in Krakow, Poland, 2009 in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., 2008 in Lucerne, Switzerland and 2007 in Antalya, Turkey. The USA also won Gi Grappling team titles in 2008 and 2009.

For Betzold, it was his fifth career World Grappling medal, but his first gold. He had won three previous No-Gi silver medals, plus a bronze medal in Gi Grappling. Betzold defeated Seiduali of Kazakhstan with a rear naked choke submission, then stopped Nykonets of Ukraine 4-1.

Patino added a gold medal to his 2013 Grappling World bronze medal. He won three straight matches to claim the title. He opened with a rear naked choke submission of Adilet of Kyrgyzstan, then beat Szalkoczi of Hungary, 1-0 and Filanovych of Ukraine, 2-0.

Clay, competing on his first World team, also won three matches for the title. All three were shutouts, 1-0 over Serkibayev of Kazakhstan, 4-0 over Aliantsevich of Belarus and 3-0 over Nazarenko of Ukraine, 3-0.

Anderson went 3-0 in her round-robin, with an arm bar submission over Zhanat of Kazakhstan, a 2-0 decision over Skrypnyk of Ukraine and an 11-2 thrashing of Lemak of Hungary, 11-2. Anderson, who is a varsity women’s wrestler at Simon Fraser University, is currently nationally ranked in women’s freestyle wrestling in the United States

Schneider won both of her roundrobin matches for the title. She opened with a 3-1 win over Poslavska of Poland, then scored a rear naked choke submission over Lajcsak of Hungary.

Capturing silver medals were 2012 Grappling World champion Brandon Ruiz (Taylorsville, Utah/Team Edge) at 100 kg+ (unlimited) division in the men’s division and Angela Marino (Bakersfield, Calif./American Pankration) at 71kg./156 lbs. in the women’s division.

For Ruiz, it was a fifth career World medal in No-Gi Grappling and his fourth career World silver medal. He was a World champion in 2011. Ruiz went 2-1 in his roundrobin. Marino finished with a 1-1 record in her roundrobin.

Taking bronze medals for Team USA were Mark Huls (Terre Haute, Ind./McVicker MMA) at 62 kg/136.5 lbs and Michael Kelly (Hebron, Ill./Old School) at 77 kg/169.5 lbs. It was a sixth career World Grappling medal for Kelly, with a silver medal and five bronzes. He is now tied for the most No-Gi medals in USA Grappling history with six, along with the great women’s star Tara LaRosa.

Vaider Kymera (Tempe, Ariz./American Pankration) placed fifth at 100 kg/220 lbs.

The rules of Pankration-Submission and No-Gi Grappling are basically the same, and USA Wrestling sent its No-Gi Grapplers to participate in this style.

A more complete update will be posted when full results are received. Special thanks to Coach Sheldon Marr for getting the results sent in.

PANKRATION WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS
At Kecskemet, Hungary, October 24

U.S. No-Gi Grappling performances

Men’s division

57 kg/125.5 lbs - Matt Betzold, Phoenix, Ariz. (Team EDGE), 1st
WIN Seiduali (Kazakstan), submission
WIN Nykonets (Ukraine), 4-1

62 kg/136.5 lbs –Mark Huls, Terre Haute, Ind. (McVicker MMA), 3rd
LOSS Shuto (Japan), submission
WIN Tabriz (Azerbaijan), submission

71 kg/156 lbs. - Jayson Patino, Orlando, Fla. (American Top Team), 1st
WIN Adilet (Kyrgyzstan), submission
WIN Szalkoczi (Hungary), 1-0
WIN Filanovych (Ukraine), 2-0

77 kg/169.5 lbs. - Michael Kelly, Hebron, Ill. (Old School Wrestling), 3rd
WIN Erlan (Kyrgyzstan), 2-1
LOSS Koyomi (Japan), 0-1
WIN Roland (Romania), submission

84 kg/185 lbs. - James Clay, Rancho Cucamonga, Calif. (Gene Lebell), 1st
WIN Serkibayev (Kazakhstan), 1-0
WIN Aliantsevich (Belarus), 4-0
WIN Nazarenko (Ukraine), 3-0

100 kg/220 lbs. - Vaider Kymera, Tempe, Ariz. (American Pankration), 5th
LOSS Basco (Hungary), 0-3
LOSS Niculae (Romania), 1-4

100+ kg/unlimited - Brandon Ruiz, Taylorsville, Utah (Team EDGE), 2nd
WIN Dudchenko (Ukraine), submission
LOSS Yomoyuki (Japan), 1-3
WIN Robatka (Hungary), 0-0 ot ref. dec.

U.S. No-Gi Grappling women’s results

53 kg/116.5 lbs. - Laura Anderson, Indo, Calif. (Brea Wrestling Club), 1st
WIN Zhanat (Kazakhstan), submission
WIN Skrypnyk (Ukraine), 2-0
WIN Lemak (Hungary), 11-2

64 kg/140.75 lbs. - Colleen Schneider, Los Angeles, Calif. (Combat Submission Wrestling), 1st
WIN Poslavska (Poland), 3-1
WIN Lajcsak (Hungary), submission

71kg./156 lbs.- Angela Marino, Bakersfield, Calif. (American Pankration), 2nd
LOSS Aigerim (Kazakhstan), 2-4
WIN Krifka (Hungary), 10-1

Standings, with medal count
1. United States, 7 medals (5 gold-2 silver-2 bronze)
2. Hungary, 8 (2-4-2)
3. Ukraine, 9 (1-3-5)
4. Kazakhstan, 6 (2-1-3)
5. Japan, 3 (1-2-0)
6. Moldova, 2 (1-0-1)
7. Georgia, 1 (1-0-0)
8. (tie). Belarus and Romania, 1 (0-0-1)
No other nations won medals