Isaiah Martinez: "I am not trying to protect anything. I am going out there, having fun and wrestling hard."

By USA Wrestling | Oct. 11, 2017, 11:26 a.m. (ET)
Two-time NCAA champion and three-time finalist Isaiah Martinez of Illinois has tried out for a number of U.S. World-level teams, but had not yet competed at a World Championships. He made the 2016 University World Team, but did not compete when the USA did not enter when it was held in Turkey. He was an early entry at the U23 World Team Trials at 74 kg, but ultimately, only one other wrestler went at his weight, 2017 University Nationals champion Chance Martsteller. In the finals best-of-three series, Martinez won bout one 8-1, and scored a late takedown to win bout two 7-6. Martinez, in his senior year at Illinois, will take some time away from college season to compete at the U23 Worlds in Poland in late November. Cover photo by Mark Lundy, Lutte Lens.