USA Wrestling Update: Metcalf beat...

Update: Metcalf beats Pico, Ramos tops Cejudo at AGON V in Iowa

By Gary Abbott USA Wrestling | April 03, 2015, 11:15 p.m. (ET)

Video capture of Brent Metcalf taking a shot on Aaron Pico in the Main Event at AGON V in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa – It was billed as Iowa vs. the World, but AGON V was really a great showcase for America’s top current and future stars, in a five-athlete professional card, with three amateur bouts.

The Main Event featured Iowa’s two-time NCAA champion and three-time World Team member Brent Metcalf who is facing one of the top young stars in the world, 18-year-old phenom Aaron Pico. Both are pursuing a spot at 66 kg/145.lbs.on the 2016 U.S. Olympic freestyle wrestling team.

Pico led after the first period, 1-0 after scoring on the shot clock. Early in the second period, Metcalf scored a slick takedown for a 2-1 lead. Metcalf received another point on a penalty for a 3-1 lead. Late in match, Pico was penalized for banging hard on Metcalf’s head, making it a 4-1 final score. The wrestlers exchanged harsh words when the match ended. Metcalf received his first Global Wrestling Championships Belt.

“That is what this about. This is a step for what really matters, winning the World Cup, the U.S. Open, the Trials and the World Championships. This is a good opponent. Aaron Pico, I respect him,” said Metcalf.

Metcalf is currently ranked No. 1 in the USA and is ranked No. 8 in the worlds, with a silver at the Yarygin International and a bronze at the Grand Prix of Paris this season.

Pico is already winning numerous Senior medals, including golds at the Cerro Pelado in Cuba and the Henri Deglane Challenge in France. Pico was a 2013 Cadet World champion and a 2014 Junior World silver medalist.

The Co-Main Event featured Tony Ramos, an NCAA champion for Iowa and 2014 U.S. World Team member, taking on 2008 Olympic champion Henry Cejudo, who is currently an undefeated MMA star with the UFC.

Trailing 8-6 with only a few seconds left, Ramos locked up a cradle, tied it up with a takedown at 8-8, then drove Cejudo over with time running out. The pro-Iowa crowd roared with delight. It was announced in the arena and on the webcast that Ramos got the fall, but according to the officials, time had run out, so the final score was 10-8. Ramos retained the Global Wrestling Championships Belt.

The match was tied at 2-2 at break. Cejudo scored a four-point counter throw in the second period and when the scramble ended, it was 8-4. Ramos closed it to 8-6 with a takedown, before winning it on the cradle.

“I did it for the fans. I did it for myself. I did it for Terry Brands. Terry Brands has been known for Henry Cejudo. Now he’s known for Tony Ramos. Thanks for showing up here. I’m glad I put on a show for you,” said Ramos.

Cejudo is coming into this match just days after his March 14 fight at UFC 185 in Dallas, where he beat Chris Cariaso in a flyweight fight. The last time Cejudo wrestled was at the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team Trials, held in Iowa City, Iowa, where he lost in the semifinals of the Challenge Tournament at 55 kg to Nick Simmons, took off his shoes and retired.

In his first full year wrestling Senior freestyle, Ramos has been very active. He won a gold medal at the Grand Prix of Paris, and competed in the Freestyle Clubs Cup in Iran and the Yarygin Grand Prix in Russia. He also won a belt in the Global Wrestling Championships earlier this season with a win over Sam Hazewinkel.

At 57 kg, another very popular Hawkeye star, two-time NCAA champion Matt McDonough, defeated another past NCAA champion, Angel Escobedo, who won his title for Indiana, by a 6-2 margin. The first period ended at 2-2, with McDonough scoring first on the edge, and Escobedo getting a counter takedown in the closing seconds. McDonough scored a pushout in the second, and an Escobedo protest was denied, making it 4-2. McDonough scored again with a counter bodylock takedown for the final score.

Escobedo was fifth at the 2013 World Championships. McDonough placed third in the 2014 World Team Trials, to secure a spot on the freestyle national team. There is some local rivalry as well, since Escobedo has joined the coaching staff at in-state rival Iowa State.

“It’s fun. It’s awesome. I haven’t wrestled in Carver for over a year. This sure feels like it, so I love this. I am next going to LA with Tony Ramos and Brent Metcalf as backup at 61 kg at the World Cup,” said McDonough.

In a rematch of the 2013 NCAA finals at 157 pounds, national runner-up Jason Welch of Northwestern edged Iowa national champion Derek St. John, 12-10 at 70 kg. The first period was wide open, with the lead going back and forth, but Welch finished with a 9-6 lead. Welch stretched it to 12-6 with a pushout and a crotch lift. St. John scored two late takedowns, but could only close the margin to two points.

“It’s an honor to wrestle for Titan Mercury,” said Welch. “It is hard to fund all these trips. Having clubs come around to support me is appreciated.”

The first pro match was at 86 kg/189 lbs., where Deron Winn defeated former Iowa star Phillip Keddy for the Global Wrestling Championships Middleweight Belt, with a 6-3 win. Keddy led 3-2 early in the second period after a takedown, but Winn scored a double leg takedown and a spin-behind takedown for the 6-3 margin.The event has an in-state rivalry involved as Keddy still trains in Iowa and Winn is training at Iowa State.

“It feels good. He beat me when I was young, a little boy. I’m a grown man now. I am aiming to get on the top of the podium at the World Championships this year,” said Winn.

There were three amateur matches, featuring nationally ranked wrestlers. In all three bouts, one of the wrestlers had made a commitment to attend the University of Iowa.

Iowa recruit Michael Kemerer of Franklin Regional High School of Pennsylvania edged Fredy Stroker of Bettendorf High School in Iowa, 5-4. Kemerer had taken a 3-2 lead midway through the final period. Stroker apparently scored a winning takedown on the buzzer, but protested. Officials gave a 2 and 2 on the scramble, giving Kemerer the victory.

Illinois state champion Austin Gomez of Glenbard North High School defeated California state champion Justin Mejia of Clovis High School, 15-8. Gomez, a Fargo national champion, led 8-6 at the break, and opened the second period with an inside trip for an 11-8 lead. After a Mejia takedown, Gomez won an upperbody throw position for a takedown and a gut wrench to win 15-8. Mejia has made a verbal commitment to Iowa.

In the first amateur high school match, Iowa recruit Alex Marinelli of St. Paris Graham High School of Ohio defeated Josh Shields of Franklin Regional High School of Pennsylvania, 9-4. Marinelli scored four takedowns to Sheilds two takedowns, the key difference in the match.

The event was webcast live on the Titan Mercury WC website.

At Cedar Rapids, Iowa, April 3

Professional Card (updated)
MAIN EVENT - Brent Metcalf dec. Aaron Pico, 4-1
CO-MAIN EVENT - Tony Ramos dec. Henry Cejudo, 10-8
Matt McDonough dec. Angel Escobedo, 6-2
Jason Welch dec. Derek St. John, 12-10
Deron Winn dec. Phillip Keddy, 6-3

Amateur Card
Mike Kemerer (PA) dec. Fredy Stroker (IA), 5-4
Austin Gomez (IL) dec. Justin Mejia (CA), 15-8
Alex Marinelli (OH) dec. Josh Shields (PA), 9-4