It was a powerful display of wrestling, as Team USA blasted the World All-Stars, 8-3 on the raised mats in Times Square on Wednesday night before a standing-room crowd of vocal fans.
Although the USA dropped the opening match, the team ran through the lineup with some outstanding performances, finished off in the closing bout with a pin by 2012 Olympic champion and two-time World champion Jordan Burroughs at 74 kg/163 lbs. over pin Atsamaz Sanakoev of Russia in 5:58.
Although the bout was close in the early going, Burroughs opened up a big lead in the second period, to the roaring of the pro-American crowd. In the closing seconds, Burroughs hit a blast double-leg and put Sanakoev to his back for a touch-fall with two seconds to go. His career record on the Senior level extends to 82-1.
“It is an awesome experience. I have been in these matches the last couple of years since I’ve been extremely successful. I love bringing it home for my family and for my country. It has been a great experience again here in Times Square,” said Burroughs.
The event was captured by NBC Sports Network, which will air a one-hour same-day broadcast at 10:30 p.m. Eastern tonight.
The first match went to the World All-Stars, as past Junior World silver medalist Georgi Vangelov of Bulgaria scored a pushout in the closing seconds for a 5-4 win over two-time NCAA All-American Nahshon Garrett of Cornell.
The USA rebounded at 61 kg/134 lbs., where 2014 U.S. Open champion Jimmy Kennedy avenged three earlier losses to talented Russian star Alexander Bogomoev of Russia, 2-1. Neither athlete was able to get a clean takedown, but Kennedy was awarded the winning point because of his aggressiveness, putting Bogomoev on the shot clock late in the bout.
Also at 65kg/143 lbs., two-time NCAA champion Jordan Oliver stopped European runner-up Boris Novachkov of Bulgaria, 4-1. It was a battle of old college rivals, as Oliver, who wrestled for Oklahoma State, had a 2-1 record over NCAA runner-up Novachkov from Cal Poly.
The World All-Stars tied the dual at 2-2 with a big win by Haislan Garcia of Canada over three-time NCAA champion Logan Stieber at 65kg/143 lbs by a 6-2 margin. With the bout tied at 2-2, Garcia hit two front headlock turns in the second period to open up his victory.
The USA took the team lead in the next match at 65 kg/143 lbs., as two-time World Team member Brent Metcalf came from behind in a wide-open battle over 2013 World bronze medalist Magomed Kurbanaliev of Russia, 11-8. Kurbanaliev took a lead in the second period with a four-point throw, but a Metcalf takedown, followed by a two-point turn gave him a 10-8 lead. A pushout gave Metcalf the three-point win, his second career victory over Kurbanaliev.
Metcalf’s win started a four-match run by the United States which put the dual meet away.
“He’s sneaky. He score off moves I should have been scoring on. I gave him a 4 there, which is probably my 2 if I am smart. That is a 6-point swing. I had a front headlock takedown and he stepped over on me. Slick moves. I knew he was good. I have to be smarter there,” said Metcalf.
2012 World silver medalist Helen Maroulis got her offense going over veteran Pan American rival Marcia Andrades, scoring a pin at the 5:53 mark. Maroulis had secured a technical fall by throwing Andrades to her back, and finished it off with a pin. It was her fourth career win over Andrades.
Back-to-back wins by Penn State hammers David Taylor at 74 kg/163 lbs. and Ed Ruth at 86 kg/189 lbs. clinched the win for Team USA.
Taylor, a two-time NCAA champion and two-time Hodge Trophy winner, showed great poise in controlling two-time World bronze Yabrail Hasanov of Azerbaijan, 6-0. Taylor, who has been second at the U.S. Open the last two years, won all of the key scrambles in the match.
Ruth, who won three NCAA crowns for the Nittany Lions, got his offense going early from the feet, and scored a second-period 10-0 technical fall over Taymuraz Friev of Spain, 10-0. Ruth, who was third at the U.S. Open the last two years, was aggressive and athletic in dominating the bout.
The World All-Stars won their final bout at 97 kg/213 lbs., as 2004 Olympic champion and five-time World champion Khadjimurat Gatsalov of Russia stopped 2013 Junior World champion Kyle Snyder, 6-3. Snyder trailed by only one point after the first period, but was unable to stay with Gatsalov, considered one of the top stars in the world today.
Team USA won its second women’s match at 69 kg/152 lbs., as 2008 Olympic bronze medalist Randi Miller took and early lead and continued to score from her feet with an 11-5 win over 2013 World champion Alina Makhinya of Ukraine. Miller, who took five years off from wrestling before returning to competition this season, was strong in all positions and did not allow Makhinya to get any big throws.
“It’s a lot of fun. We are not used to so much support when we normally compete. Being here is awesome. The pressure on me came because she is the current World champ. I wanted to wrestle a good match and see where I stood with the current World champ. She’s still the camp. Winning here is winning here. You have to win when it counts,” said Miller.
Burroughs closed the show with an offensive explosion and the USA was able to get a very exciting win. It was the third time that Beat the Streets had held an event in Times Square, in a new location between 42nd and 43rd Street.
A series of youth matches featuring boys and girls from New York City and New Jersey was held prior to the Olympic caliber action.
Beat the Streets founder and president Mike Novogratz estimated that $1.6 million had been raised for youth wrestling in the city through the event and following Gala celebration.
New National Freestyle Coach Bruce Burnett was there to support the USA Team, as Assistant National Coach Bill Zadick coached the U.S. men, with National Women’s Coach Terry Steiner coaching the women. Each athlete had their club and personal coaches in the corner for their bouts.
“The excitement in the crowd is so good for wrestling. What Mike Novogratz has done is so impressive. For our athletes to have the opportunity to showcase their talents, what an evening!! We got to see our best athletes compete against the best in the world. I felt good about how the young guys are progressing in their freestyle wrestling, like Ed Ruth and David Taylor. Jordan Burroughs continued to wrestle to the very last second. That is pretty impressive work,” said Burnett.
UFC president Dana White was matside with Novogratz and USA Wrestling Executive Director Rich Bender, and a variety of wrestling greats were on hand to support Team USA and the Beat the Streets program.
BEAT THE STREETS TEAM USA VS THE WORLD DUAL
United States 8, World All-Stars 3
57 kg/125.5 lbs. –George Vangelov (Bulgaria) dec. Nahshon Garrett (USA), 5-4
61 kg/134 lbs. – Jimmy Kennedy (USA) vs. Aleksandr Bogomoev (Russia), 2-1
65 kg/143 lbs. – Jordan Oliver (USA) dec. Boris Novachkov (Bulgaria), 4-1
65 kg/143 lbs. –Haislan Garcia (Canada) dec. Logan Stieber (USA), 6-2
65 kg/143 lbs. – Brent Metcalf (USA) vs. Magomed Kurbanaliev (Russia), 11-8
55 kg/121 lbs. – Helen Maroulis (USA) pin Marcia Andrades (Venezuela), 5: 53
74 kg/163 lbs. – David Taylor (USA) dec Yabrail Hasanov (Azerbaijan), 6-0
86 kg/189 lbs. – Ed Ruth (USA) tech. fall Taymuraz Friev (Spain), 10-0
97 kg/213 lbs. –. Khadjimurat Gatsalov (Russia) dec. Kyle Snyder (USA), 6-3
69 kg/152 lbs. – Randi Miller (USA) dec. Alina Makhinya (Ukraine), 11-5
74 kg/163 lbs. – Jordan Burroughs (USA) pin Atsamaz Sanakoev (Russia), 5:58
BEAT THE STREETS YOUTH MATCHES
100 lbs. girls – Amy Farusho (NJ) dec. Ronnie Green (NYC), 9-2
130 lbs. girls – Samantha Oye-Gonzalez (NYC) dec. Nazareth Saavedra (NJ), 14-6
145 lbs. boys – Anthony Giraldo (NJ) dec. Said Yokub Kakhramonov (NYC), 8-2
170 lbs. boys – Dillon Artiglieri (NJ) tech fall Adis Radoncic (NYC), 15-0
195 lbs. boys – Christian Gallucci (NJ) tech. fall Vincent Feola (NYC), 12-0
195 lbs. boys – Jordan Fox (NJ) tech. fall Miguel Perez (NYC), 12-0
220 lbs. boys – Anthony Cassar (NJ) dec. Nathaniel Rose (NY), 8-6