LOS ANGELES – The U.S. needed a big win in a big match.
And veteran big man Tervel Dlagnev was the perfect guy to send onto the mat.
Dlagnev won by technical fall in the final match to send the U.S. to a dramatic win over perennial power Russia in the World Cup before 2,411 enthusiastic fans on Saturday night at the L.A. Forum.
The dual ended in a 4-4 deadlock, but the U.S. won the match by virtue of outscoring the Russians 17-16 in total classification points.
“I haven’t wrestled for a while, so I was hungry and very excited to get back out there,” Dlagnev said. “It was a lot of fun. I came out looking to attack and score points. I knew that match helped our team advance and it was great to be able to help the team. I just went out there and tried to do my best. I knew I had to tech him or pin him, and not let him score a point.”
Dlagnev needed to win by technical fall or fall in the final bout and he did exactly that with a 10-0 win over Arslanbek Aliev at 125 kg/275 lbs. Dlagnev is a two-time World bronze medalist.
“It went right down to the wire,” U.S. coach Bruce Burnett said. “You have some expected things and you have some unexpected things happen. When that takes place, somebody has to rise up. I’m really proud of the team. Everybody on the team competed hard, top to bottom.”
The U.S. was down 16-13 in classification points entering the final match and Dlagnev’s win by technical fall was worth four points. If the teams would’ve finished tied 16-16, Russia would have won on the second criteria for most falls. Russia had the only pin of the dual.
Dlagnev led 6-0 after the first period.
“I didn’t tell Tervel we had to shut him out and tech him until the break,” Burnett said. “I felt like he had enough pressure on him going into the match. But he responded after the break. He’s a smart guy, and he’s been wrestling a long time. He just did a great job.”
The U.S. went 2-0 on the day and will face Mongolia at 11 a.m. Sunday in its final pool match. Russia and Mongolia each went 1-1 and Cuba 0-2 in the U.S. pool on Saturday. If the U.S. wins its pool, it will face Sunday morning’s Iran-Azerbaijan winner in the championship dual at 5:45 p.m. Sunday.
Olympic gold medalist and two-time World champion Jordan Burroughs earned his 100th career win after rolling to a 10-0 technical fall over Russia’s Iakubali Shikhdzhamalov at 74 kg/163 lbs.
“My intentions were to come out as hard as I could the entire match,” Burroughs said. “As you could see, there was a lot of swinging, a lot of head-butting and a lot of blood. Fortunately, I was able to come out with a win.”
Burroughs is now 100-2 in his brilliant international career in freestyle wrestling.
“I don’t think anybody’s ever had this good of a winning percentage over 100 wins,” Burroughs said. “I feel good about it and it feels great. I’m just trying to wrestle to the best of my ability. Every time I step out there, I think about creating a legacy for my career. If I decide to step off the mat in 2016 or go all the way until 2020, I want to make sure all the fans remember me whenever they get a chance to see me wrestle live.”
Americans Tony Ramos and Brent Metcalf also earned victories for the U.S. against Russia.
Ramos downed Omak Syuruun 4-2 and Metcalf used a strong second period to overpower Akhmed Chakaev 14-3.
“It was just a matter of time before you get to him,” Metcalf said. “When you get to him, you got to put him out. The gut wrenches on top were huge. It changed the match. When you feel that guy let up, you take him to the house.”
The U.S. started the day with a 6-2 win over Cuba, dropping the first two matches before rattling off the next six over a strong team that featured five World medalists.
2014 World Team member Ed Ruth rallied from a 13-6 deficit to down two-time World silver medalist Reineris Salas of Cuba 22-13.
Burroughs took control late in the first period en route to a 6-2 win over Olympic and World medalist Livan Lopez of Cuba at 74 kg/163 lbs.
Olympic gold medalist Jake Varner fired in on an ankle pick for a takedown en route to defeating 2014 World bronze medalist Javier Cortina of Cuba 3-0 at 97 kg/213 lbs.
World Team members Brent Metcalf and Nick Marable also prevailed against Cuba as did heavyweight Zach Rey.
Freestyle World Cup
The Forum, Los Angeles, Calif.
USA 6, CUBA 2
57 kg/125.5 lbs. – Yowlys Bonne Rodriguez (Cuba) pinned Tony Ramos (USA), 4:57
61 kg/134 lbs. – Antonio Perez Gonzalez (Cuba) dec. Coleman Scott (USA), 8-1
65 kg/143 lbs. – Brent Metcalf (USA) dec. Franklin Maren Castillo (Cuba), 7-2
70 kg/154 lbs. – Nick Marable (USA) won by tech. fall over Andy Yoan Moreno Gonzalez (Cuba), 10-0
74 kg/163 lbs. – Jordan Burroughs (USA) dec. Livan Lopez (Cuba), 6-2
86 kg/189 lbs. – Ed Ruth (USA) dec. Reineris Salas (Cuba), 22-13
97 kg/213 lbs. – Jake Varner (USA) dec. Javier Cortina (Cuba), 3-0
125 kg/275.5 lbs. – Zach Rey (USA) dec. Eduardo Mesa, 3-0
IRAN 8, BELARUS 0
57 kg – Hassan Rahimi (Iran) dec. Ulandzislau Andreyeu (Belarus), 5-2
61 kg – Behnam Ehsanpoor (Iran) dec. Dzianis Maksimau (Belarus), 7-0
65 kg – Seyed Ahmad Mohammadi Pahnehkalaei (Iran) won by tech. fall over Azamat Nurykau (Belarus), 11-0
70 kg – Hassan Yazdani Charati (Iran) won by tech. fall over Zhan Safyan (Belarus), 12-1
74 kg – Morteza Rezaei Ghaleh (Iran) dec. Ali Shabanau (Belarus), 4-4
86 kg – Alireza Karimimachiani (Iran) dec. Amarhajy Mahamedau (Belarus), 7-4
97 kg – Reza Yazdani (Iran) won by tech. fall over Ivan Yankouski (Belarus), 10-0
125 kg – Parviz Hadibasmanj (Iran) dec. Aleksei Shemarov (Belarus), 6-0
RUSSIA 5, MONGOLIA 3
57 kg – Omak Syuruun (Russia) dec. Tsogtbaatar Damdinbazar (Mongolia), 8-1
61 kg – Egor Ponomariov (Russia) dec. Nemekhbayar Batsaikhan (Mongolia), 3-1
65 kg – Mandakhnaran Ganzorig (Mongolia) dec. Zaurbek Sidakov (Russia), 5-4
70 kg – Israil Kasumov (Russia) pin Ankhbayar Batchuluun (Mongolia), 2:16
74 kg – Unurbat Purevjav (Mongolia) dec. Isa Daudov (Russia), 6-6
86 kg – Dauren Kurugliev (Russia) tech. fall Usukhbaatar Purevee (Mongolia), 10-0
97 kg – Yury Belonovskiy (Russia) dec. Khuderbulga Dorjkhand (Mongolia), 2-0
125 kg – Chuluunbat Jargalsaikhan (Mongolia) dec. Arslanbek Aliev (Russia), 8-1
AZERBAIJAN 7, TURKEY 1
57 kg – Yashar Aliyev (Azerbaijan) dec. Sezar Akgul (Turkey), 9-3
61 kg – Haji Aliyev (Azerbaijan) tech. fall Munir Recep Aktas (Turkey), 17-4
65 kg – Toghrul Asgarov (Azerbaijan) tech. fall Sefa Aksoy (Turkey), 11-0
70 kg – Ruslan Dibirgadzhiyev (Azerbaijan) won by forfeit
74 kg – Jabrayil Hasanov (Azerbaijan) pin Soner Demirtas (Turkey), 5:57
86 kg – Aleksandr Gostiyev (Azerbaijan) dec. Serdar Boke (Turkey), 4-2
97 kg – Sharif Sharifov (Azerbaijan) dec. Ibrahim Bolukbasi (Turkey), 2-0
125 kg – Tanju Gemici (Turkey) pin Jamaladdin Magomedov (Azerbaijan)
USA 4, RUSSIA 4 (USA wins on criteria)
57 kg – Tony Ramos (USA) dec. Omak Syuruun (Russia), 4-2
61 kg – Murshid Mutalimov (Russia) dec. Coleman Scott (USA), 10-1
65 kg – Brent Metcalf (USA) won by tech. fall over Akhmed Chakaev (Russia), 14-3
70 kg – Israil Kasumov (Russia) dec. Nick Marable (USA), 6-4
74 kg – Jordan Burroughs (USA) won by tech. fall over Iakubali Shikhdzhamalov (Russia), 12-0
86 kg – Dauren Kurugliev (Russia) pinned Ed Ruth (United States), 0:51
97 kg – Yury Belonovskiy (Russia) dec. Jake Varner (USA), 4-0
125 kg – Tervel Dlagnev (United States) won by tech. fall over Arslanbek Aliev (Russia), 10-0
IRAN 7, TURKEY 1
57 kg – Sezar Akgul (Turkey) dec. Younes Sarmastidizaji (Iran), 13-10
61 kg – Behnam Ehsanpoor (Iran) dec. Munir Recep Aktas (Turkey), 5-0
65 kg – Masmoud Esmailpour (Iran) won by tech. fall over Sefa Aksoy (Turkey), 10-0
70 kg – Hassan Yazdani Charati (Iran) won by forfeit
74 kg – Peyman Yarahmadi (Iran) won by forfeit
86 kg – Meisam Mostafajoukar (Iran) over Serdar Boke (Turkey) TF 10-0
97 kg – Mohammad Hossien Mohammadian (Iran) dec. Ibrahim Bolukbasi (Turkey), 4-4
125 kg – Komeil Ghasemi (Iran) over Tanju Gemici (Turkey), 1:08
MONGOLIA 5, CUBA 3
57 kg - Yowlys Bonne Rodriguez (Cuba) tech. fall Tsogtbaatar Damdinbazar (Mongolia), 15-5
61 kg - Nemekhbayar Batsaikhan (Mongolia) dec. Antonio Perez Gonzalez (Cuba), 9-5
65 kg - Mandakhnaran Ganzorig (Mongolia) tech. fall Franklin Maren Castillo (Cuba), 11-0
70 kg - Ankhbayar Batchuluun (Mongolia) tech. fall Andy Yoan Moreno Gonzalez (Cuba), 11-0
74 kg. - Livan Lopez Azcuy (Cuba) dec. Unurbat Purevjav (Mongolia), 6-4
86 kg - Usukhbaatar Purevee (Mongolia) won by forfeit
97 kg - Javier Cortina Lacerra (Cuba) dec. Khuderbulga Dorjkhand (Mongolia), 3-1
125 kg - Chuluunbat Jargalsaikhan (Mongolia) tech. fall Eduardo Mesa Rabi (Cuba), 10-0
AZERBAIJAN 6, BELARUS 2
57 kg - Jalal Suleymanor (Azerbaijan) tech. fall Ulandzislau Andreyeu (Belarus), 12-2
61 kg - Haji Aliyev (Azerbaijan) tech. fall Dzianis Maksimau (Belarus), 12-2
65 kg - Toghrul Asgarov (Azerbaijan) dec. Azamat Nurykau (Belarus), 6-2
70 kg - Ruslan Dibirgadzhiyev (Azerbaijan) dec. Zhan Safyan (Belarus). 8-0
74 kg - Jabrayil Hasanov (Azerbaijan) dec. Ali Shabanau (Belarus), 1-1
86 kg - Amarhajy Mahamedau (Belarus) dec. Aleksandr Gostiyev (Azerbaijan), 1-1
97 kg - Sharif Sharifov (Azerbaijan) tech. fall Ivan Yankouski (Belarus), 11-1
125 kg - Aleksei Shemarov (Belarus) dec. Jamaladdin Magomedov (Azerbaijan), 4-3