Experienced U.S. World Grappling team to compete in Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan, Sept. 21-22

By Gary Abbott, USA Wrestling | Sept. 21, 2019, 2:32 a.m. (ET)
John Hansen, shown at the 2019 Grappling Trials, will compete for Team USA in both Gi and No-Gi at heavyweight. Patricia Fox photo.

There is another U.S. Senior World Team in Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan, battling for World titles and medals. The 2019 U.S. Grappling Team in No-Gi and Gi Grappling will be showcased in the Barys Arena, the same venue as the World Wrestling Championships.

Competition begins with No-Gi Grappling on Sunday, September 21. The Gi Grappling competition is set for Monday, September 22.

One of the most successful U.S. Grapplers in history, five-time World champion and eight-time World medalist Lisa Ellis of Olympia, Wash. will compete in both styles at 53 kg. Ellis has won four No-Gi golds (2007, 2008, 2010 and 2011) and a Gi gold medal in 2008.

Seven-time Grappling World medalist Mike Kelly will compete in Gi Grappling at 77 kg. Kelly boasts two World silvers and five World bronzes, all in No-Gi competition.

A pair of World silver medalists from the 2018 U.S. World Team return this year, Steven Ramos of Nyack, N.Y. and Carlos Soto of West Lafayette, Ind. Ramos will compete at 77 kg in No-Gi, the weight where he won his World silver last year. Soto, who is competing in both styles in Nur-Sultan, won a World silver in Gi last year at 100 kg.

Laree Calihan, who won a Grappling World silver medal in No-Gi and a bronze in Gi back in 2016, is returning to compete in both styles again this year at the +71 kg weight class.

2015 Grappling World No-Gi bronze medalist Daniel Rodriguez will be competing at 71 kg in No-Gi this year.

Others with previous Grappling World experience are Luis Quinones, who is competing at 66 kg in both styles, Koffi Adzitso, the 100 kg No-Gi entry, and Jeff Anderson, who is entered at 92 kg in Gi.

Competing in their first U.S. Senior World Team will be Juan Carlos Cholula (62 kg both styles), Jonathan Becerra (84 kg both styles), John Hansen (+100 kg both styles), Diana Betanzo (71 kg in No-Gi), William Kroegher (71 kg in Gi) and Mary Niedrauer (71 kg in Gi).

The event will be broadcast live in the United States by FloGrappling.

2019 U.S. GRAPPLING WORLD TEAM

Men's No-Gi Grappling

62 kg - Juan Carlos Cholula, Lafayette, Ind.
66 kg - Luis Quinones, Los Angeles, Calif
71 kg - Daniel Rodriguez, LaSalle, Ill.
77 kg – Steven Ramos, Nyack, N.Y.
84 kg - Jonathan Becerra, Santa Ana, Calif.
92 kg - Carlos Soto, West Lafayette, Ind.
100 kg - Koffi Adzitso, Logan, Utah
+100 kg - John Hansen, Omaha, Neb.
Women’s No-Gi Grappling
53 kg – Lisa Ellis, Olympia, Wash.
71 kg – Diana Betanzo, Hillsborough, Calif.
+71 kg – Laree Callihan, Burke, Va.

Men’s Gi Grappling
62 kg – Aaron Johnson, Greenwood, Ind.
66 kg - Luis Quinones, Los Angeles, Calif.
71 kg - William Kroegher, Lafayette, Ind.
77 kg – Michael Kelly, Hebron, Ill.
84 kg - Jonathan Becerra, Santa Ana, Calif.
92 kg - Jeff Anderson, Zeeland, Mich.
100 kg - Carlos Soto, West Lafayette, Ind.
100kg+ - John Hansen, Omaha, Neb.
Women’s Gi Grappling
53 kg – Lisa Ellis, Olympia, Wash.
71 kg – Mary Niedrauer, West Lafayette, Ind.
+71 kg – Laree Callihan, Burke, Va.
Coach: Gabe Beauperthuy, Colorado Springs, Colo.
Referee: Rich Tado, Chicago, Ill.

Event Schedule


Sunday, September 22

9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. – Preliminaries No-Gi Grappling

Monday, September 23
9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. – Preliminaries Gi Grappling
4:00 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. – Finals No-Gi Grappling
6:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. – Finals Gi Grappling