USA dominates Mongolia with five tech falls, will wrestle Japan for World Cup bronze

By Taylor Miller, USA Wrestling | March 17, 2019, 12:58 a.m. (ET)

Photo: Hayden Zillmer at the 2019 Men’s Freestyle World Cup. Photo by Sachiko Hotaka, United World Wrestling.

YAKUTSK, Russia – The United States finished off its pool play at the 2019 Men’s Freestyle World Cup with a 2-1 record, defeating Mongolia in an overpowering 8-2 performance tonight in Yakutsk, Russia.

After bouncing back from a loss on criteria to Iran early Saturday, Team USA will compete for bronze later tonight against Japan.

Mongolia won the first bout of the night as 2018 Senior World bronze medalist and 2014 University World champion Tuvshintulga Tumenbileg defeated Zane Richards in a 6-0 victory.

The USA responded with five-straight wins, including four technical falls.

At 61 kg, National Team member Nico Megaludis put up a pair of takedowns with exposure for a 6-1 win over Otgonbaatar Gansukh.

Zain Retherford, Jason Chamberlain, Isaiah Martinez and Tommy Gantt combined for four tech falls in a row to give the United States huge momentum.

Retherford, a 2017 Senior World Team member and 2012 Cadet World champion, put on a takedown clinic, scoring five takedowns on 2014 University World and Military World bronze winner Batmagnai Batchuluun for the W at 65 kg.

2018 Final X runner-up Chamberlain showed his prowess on top, turning 2019 Yarygin bronze medalist Byambadorj Enkhbayar for a 10-0 shutout.

At 74 kg, Final X runner-up and 2017 U23 World Team member Martinez scored takedown after takedown for a dominating 11-0 performance against Byambadorj Bat Erdene.

Trailing 3-2 at the break, Tommy Gantt turned in an impressive win with a takedown and five leg laces in the second period for a 14-3 tech fall against 2018 Junior World bronze medalist Bat-Erdene Byambasuren in the 79 kg bout.

Mongolia picked up a win by fall at 86 kg, but the USA clinched the dual in the very next bout at 92 kg.

Multiple-time freestyle and Greco-Roman World Team member Hayden Zillmer sealed up his already dominating win with a four-point takedown to defeat Ulziisaikhan Baasantsogt, 11-0.

National Team members Kyven Gadson and Tony Nelson finished the dual strong for the Red, White and Blue, each picking up decisive victories.

Gadson, who was the 2018 Final X runner-up at 97 kg, took out Batzul Ulziisaikhan, scoring a four-point takedown and a turn inside the final 45 seconds of the match for an 8-0 win.

Nelson battled 2016 Olympian and 2015 World Military Games silver medalist Khuderbulga Dorjkhand at 125 kg. Nelson led 3-0 at the break and tacked on three second-period takedowns for a 9-0 win.

The third-place match against Japan is scheduled for Sunday at 2:15 a.m. ET live on

USA 8, Mongolia 2
57 kg: Tuvshintulga Tumenbileg (Mongolia) dec. Zane Richards (USA), 6-0
61 kg: Nico Megaludis (USA) dec. Otgonbaatar Gansukh (Mongolia), 6-1
65 kg: Zain Retherford (USA) TF Batmagnai Batchuluun (Mongolia), 10-0
70 kg: Jason Chamberlain (USA) TF Byambadorj Enkhbayar, (Mongolia), 10-0
74 kg: Isaiah Martinez (USA) TF Byambadorj Bat Erdene (Mongolia), 11-0
79 kg: Tommy Gantt (USA) TF Bat-Erdene Byambasuren (Mongolia, 14-3
86 kg: Uitumen Orgodol (Mongolia) fall Sam Brooks (USA)
92 kg: Hayden Zillmer (USA) TF Ulziisaikhan Baasantsogt (Mongolia), 11-0
97 kg: Kyven Gadson (USA) dec. Batzul Ulziisaikhan (Mongolia), 8-0
125 kg: Tony Nelson (USA) dec. Khuderbulga Dorjkhand (Mongolia), 9-0