Olympic Champions and MMA Superstars to Wrestle in the 3rd annual Grapple at The Garden
A collection of Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) icons, including Gray Maynard, Joe Warren and “King Mo” Lawal will join Olympic Gold Medalist and five-time world champion Khadjimurad Gatsalov of Russia, Olympic hopeful Kyle Dake of the U.S. and world champion Arsen Julfalakyan of Armenia in the much-anticipated Grapple at The Garden, presented by MusclePharm live on pay-per-view from Madison Square Garden on Sunday, December 21.
Grapple at The Garden, presented by MusclePharm is being distributed in North America by Integrated Sports Media for live viewing at 12:00 p.m. ET / 9:00 a.m. PT on both cable and satellite pay-per-view in the USA via iN Demand, DISH, and Vubiquity and Bell TV, Shaw PPV, Rogers, SaskTel, TELUS and MTS in Canada for a suggested retail price of only $14.95. Viewer’s world-wide can order on-line at www.GFL.TV.
Dake will collide with Julfalakyan in the Greco-Roman rules main event of the third annual “Grapple at The Garden” event presented by MusclePharm, while Gatsalov will face off with world bronze medalist Tervel Dlagnev. Team Joe Warren, assembled by the reigning Bellator MMA champion and consisting of half of the event’s MMA stars, will take on Team Renzo Gracie, a squad formed by the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu legend and former MMA champion.
The Team Joe Warren vs. Team Renzo Gracie matchups include Warren, an All-American at Michigan, competing at 150 pounds against Scott Jorgenson, a former collegiate star at Boise State and current UFC fighter.
A 140-pound contest will pit Olympic silver medalist and three-time NCAA champion Stephen Abas on the Renzo Gracie team against Rollie Peterkin, the former Univ. of Penn star and talented freestyler, who left Wall Street to become an MMA fighter.
Two current Olympic hopefuls will battle at 155 pounds, as Oklahoma State NCAA champion Jordan Oliver, currently ranked No. 2 on Team USA, will take on Frank Molinaro, the Penn State NCAA champion who is ranked No. 3 on Team USA.
Shawn Bunch, an All-American at Edinboro who competed on the 2009 U.S. World Team in freestyle, will take on Damacio Page at 150 pounds. Bunch competes for Bellator MMA, while Page wrestled at Cerritos College, and has competed in the UFC and other mixed martial arts promotions..
Maynard, a three-time All-American at Michigan State and a current UFC star, will battle World Series of Fighting standout Ozzy Dugulubgov at 170 pounds.
Three members of the world-famous Gracie family will also take the mat. At 185 pounds, Gregor Gracie will square off with Darryl Christian, a former Greco-Roman Team USA member, University of Oregon star and MMA coach. At 190 pounds, Igor Gracie will battle Brennan Ward, a current Bellator MMA star who wrestled for Johnson and Wales. At heavyweight, Lawal, the 2005 Freestyle World Team member, Oklahoma State All-American and current Bellator star, will go up against Rolles Gracie.
All three of the Gracies competing have extensive professional MMA backgrounds coupled with tremendous success in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.
Coaching Team Joe Warren are Chad Ravannack (Oklahoma State) and Damion Logan (Michigan). Renzo Gracie will coach his team, along with Mario Mercado (Syracuse) and Hamid Kemanshah (New York AC).
The exciting feature and co-feature matchups will be championship matches with the new Global Wrestling Championships promotion, with prize money awarded to the participants. The Dake vs. Julfalakyan match will be for the Greco-Roman Welterweight Belt, while the Dlagnev vs. Gatsalov will be for the Freestyle International Heavyweight Belt.
Gatsalov won the Olympic gold medal in 2004 and added World titles in 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009 and 2013. His other World medals include a silver medal in 2010 and a bronze medal in 2014. He moved up to the heavyweight class in 2013, where he has won a World gold medal and World silver medal in back-to-back seasons. He was a 2001 Junior World champion before moving up to Senior-level success.
Dlagnev won World bronze medals in 2009 and 2014, and was fifth in the 2012 Olympic Games. He also placed fifth at the 2011 and 2013 World Championships. A two-time NCAA Div. II national champion for Nebraska-Kearney, Dlagnev won a University World gold medal before moving to the Senior level and becoming one of the best heavyweights in the world.
There will be 25 college teams competing, representing NCAA Div. I, NCAA Div. II, NCAA Div. III, NJCAA junior colleges, and NCWA club programs. The currently ranked teams competing are #3 Cornell, which will face #13 Edinboro and national power Northern Iowa, #12 Lehigh (facing Edinboro and Princeton), and #23 Rutgers. All of the college dual meets will be available on www.flowrestling.org.
In addition, this event will feature the Grapple at The Garden high school tournament and the NYC Mayor’s Cup will, once again, feature the best New York City high school wrestlers from the Public Schools Athletic League (PSAL), Catholic High School Athletic Association (CHSAA) and independent school wrestlers in each weight class as they compete for the title of “Best in the City”. Additional information about the NYC Mayor’s Cup can be found at www.facebook.com/nycmayorscup. On Saturday, December 20, the 2014-15 NYC Mayor’s Cup Wrestling Championships will take place at Riverbank State Park, after which the winners and runners-up from each weight class will take on the best high school wrestlers from the Metropolitan Division.
The Metropolitan Division portion of the Grapple at The Garden high school invitational will take place on Saturday, December 20 at Clarkstown South High School and will include: Long Beach (NY), Long Branch (NJ), Clarkstown South (NY), Hasbrouck Heights (NJ), Columbia (NY), West Milford (NJ), John Glenn (NY), Colonie (NY),Eastport South Manor (NY) and Nutley (NJ).
For information and to register individuals and/or clubs for the Grapple at The Garden Elementary School and Middle School Championships please visitwww.wrestlereg.com.
The event will also feature a special musical performance by rapper Kosha Dillz. Dillz, aka Rami Even-Esh, is a former Edison High School New Jersey Region 5 finalist and Rutgers Division I wrestler, who was recently announced as perform on all 40 dates of the 2015 Vans Warped Tour. He has appeared in everything from the BET Hip Hop Awards w/ RZA of the Wu Tang Clan to world tours with fellow Jewish reggae artist Matisyahu. The former stand out wrestler prides himself in training at Team Hammer of Lakewood NJ in the late 90’s. Currently, he trains at Rhino Wrestling Club and Underground Strength Gym of Edison with his brother Zach Even-Esh. Besides rapping, he is a world wide inspirational speaker who frequently speaks to students and at risk youth about addiction, jails and recovery, with over 10 years substance // alcohol free.
Tickets, priced at $20, $35 and $55, are currently on sale and can be purchased online at www.thegarden.com, all Ticketmaster locations and the Madison Square Garden box office.
GRAPPLE AT THE GARDEN PRESENTED BY MUSCLEPHARM
Madison Square Garden, New York, N.Y., Sunday, December 21
7:15AM: Mats 1-8 – YOUTH TOURNAMENT FINALS
8:00AM: Mat 1– HIGHSCHOOL: MAYOR’S CUP VS. METRO
Mat 2 – LIU POST VS. MINN. ST. – MOORHEAD
Mat 3 – STONY BROOK VS. MONTCLAIR STATE
Mat 4 – SO. MAINE VS. STEVENS
Mat 5 – SUNY SULLIVAN VS. MIDDLESEX CC
Mat 6 – NORTHERN IOWA VS. DUKE
Mat 7 – MT. ST. VINCENT VS. WHEELING JESUIT
Mat 8 – HIGH SCHOOL: MAYOR’S CUP VS. METRO
10:00AM: Mat 1 – DAVIDSON VS. BUCKNELL
Mat 2 – LEHIGH VS. PRINCETON
Mat 3 – RUTGERS VS. ARMY
Mat 4 – MARYLAND VS. HOFSTRA
Mat 5 – DUKE VS. GEORGE MASON
Mat 6 – NORTHERN IOWA VS. DREXEL
Mat 7 – EDINBORO VS. CORNELL
Mat 8 – SO. MAINE VS. MUHLENBERG
12:00PM: Mat 1 – ARMY VS. PRINCETON
Mat 2 – LEHIGH VS. EDINBORO
Mat 3 – DAVIDSON VS. RUTGERS
Mat 4 – HOFSTRA VS. BUCKNELL
Mat 5 – MARYLAND VS. DUKE
Mat 6 – DREXEL VS. GEORGE MASON
Mat 7 – NORTHERN IOWA VS. CORNELL
Mat 8 – TEAM JOE WARREN VS. TEAM RENZO GRACIE
2:10PM: Mat 9 – (center) Co-Main Event: Tervel Dlagnev vs. Khadzhijurat Gatsalov (Freestyle)