World Cup, United States, Cuba, Russia, Mongolia, Los Angeles

Susceptible Russian Side Leaves Door Open for USA, Cuba and Mongolia

By Tim Foley

Men’s Freestyle World Cup: Group A Preview

LOS ANGELES (April 8) – Without a single World or Olympic medalist on the roster for the 2015 United World Wrestling World Cup team, fans looking to see the dominance of the Russian Federation at this weekend’s World Cup at the Forum in Los Angeles, California, might have to wait. 

The 2014 Word Cup finalists won’t be the heavy favorites many wrestling fans may have expected after the country’s dominant performance at last year’s United World Wrestling Championships.

One of the most successful wrestling nation in Olympic history, the Russian Federation won five of the eight gold medals in Tashkent, Uzbekistan at September’s World Championships and placed first as a team in freestyle. With none of those champions traveling to Los Angeles, Group A squads Mongolia, Cuba and the United States have the opportunity to upend the Russians and move into Sunday’s gold medal finals.

Maybe the biggest threat to Russian dominance are the host Americans, who have two Olympic gold medalists from London in their lineup, Jake VARNER (97kg) and Jordan BURROUGHS (74kg). Burroughs has won three world titles and won a bronze in Tashkent, while Varner failed to place. 

Also looking to help the U.S. in its quest for a 14th team title will be Olympic bronze medalist Coleman SCOTT (65kg) along with world No. 8 Brent METCALF (65kg) who earned a runner-up finish earlier this year at the Yarygin Grand Prix in Krasnoyarsk, Russia. Clayton FOSTER (86kg), who ranks No. 10 in the world, will likely split mat time with Ed RUTH (86kg), a member of the 2014 U.S. world team.

While the Americans are hoping for expected outcomes from seasoned veterans, the Russians are hoping for exceptional output from young performers.

Israel KASUMOV (70kg) has seen plenty of success on the mats, winning the 2014 Yarygin Grand Prix and earning a bronze medal in the 2015 edition. A former world No. 1, Kasumov is currently ranked No. 8 at 70kg. 

Akhmed CHAKLAEV (65kg), ranked 16th in the world, was second in the 2009 Yarygin Grand Prix and won bronze in the 2014 Ivan Yarygin. He was the 2011 and 2013 Ramzan Kadyrov Cup champion in Russia and the 2013 International Ukrainian Tournament champion.  

Russian upper weight and 2010 World University champion Yuri BELONOVSKI (97 kg) comes to Los Angeles ranked No .13 in the world.

The Cubans, who’ve won two World Cup titles in freestyle, bring a loaded squad of world and continental medalists to the Forum. Highlighting the island nation’s pool of medalists is 74kg star Livan LÒPEZ, who earned bronze at the 2012 Olympics, a silver medal in Tashkent, and bronze medals at the 2011 and 2014 World Championships 

Three-time World medalist Reineris SALAS PEREZ (86 kg) and 2014 bronze medalists Yowlys BONNE RODRIGUEZ (61kg) and Javier CORTINA LACERRA (97kg) are also expected to take the mats. 

Mongolia will be led by 2014 World bronze medalist ENKHSIAKN Nyam-Ochir (61kg) ranked No. 5 in the world, and 2014 world bronze medalist GANZORIG Mandakhnaran (65kg) who comes in ranked sixth.

Talented youngster and 2013 Junior world silver medalist BATBOLD Nomin is expected to compete at 57kg and is ranked 13th in the world. 

Competition Schedule
Saturday, April 11 (All Times Listed are Pacific Standard Time)
Session I
3:00 p.m. – Mat A: USA vs. Cuba; Mat B: Iran vs. Belarus
4:30 p.m. – Mat A: Russia vs. Mongolia; Mat B: Azerbaijan vs. Turkey
Session II
6:15 p.m. – Opening Ceremonies
6:30 p.m. – Mat A: USA vs. Russia; Mat B: Iran vs. Turkey
8:00 p.m. – Mat A: Mongolia vs. Cuba; Mat B: Belarus vs. Azerbaijan
Sunday, April 12
Session III
11:00 a.m. – Mat A: USA vs. Mongolia; Mat B: Turkey vs. Belarus
12:30 p.m. – Mat A: Azerbaijan vs. Iran; Mat B: Cuba vs. Russia
2:00 p.m. – Mat A: Fifth Place Dual; Mat B: Seventh Place Dual
Session IV
4:15 p.m. – Mat A: Third Place Dual
5:45 p.m. – Mat A: Championship Dual

World Cup

USA, Azerbaijan Announced as Hosts for World Cups

By United World Wrestling Press

CORSIER-SUR-VEVEY, Switzerland (January 20) – In a historic step, United World Wrestling and USA Wrestling will host a combined Men's and Women's World Cups in Iowa, USA.

UWW announced the host of the three World Cups after a Bureau meeting held at its headquarters in Switzerland. The Bureau approved the combined World Cup for '22 and '23 in the USA, while the 2022 Greco-Roman World Cup was provisionally awarded to Baku, Azerbaijan pending a venue inspection visit.

UWW President Nenad LALOVIC said that the organization continues to progress with a dynamic host city process and the 2022 calendar is something the fans can look forward to.

“We are pleased to finalize the 2022 calendar and looking forward to high-level events with elite competition,” Lalovic said. "We continue to progress the sport with a dynamic host city process which works with organizers in a partnership approach.

"The 4 ranking Series events, Continental Championships, a World Championships in Belgrade, and an updated World Cup format will certainly be moments to look forward to in 2022.”

The '22 World Cup in Iowa is scheduled for December 10-11, while the '23 competition will take place December 9-10. The Greco-Roman World Cup in Baku is slated for November 5-6.

"USA Wrestling is excited to once again bring one of the most important wrestling competitions on the planet to the Coralville/Iowa City community, which is truly an international wrestling hotbed," Rich Bender, USA Wrestling Executive Director, said. "We are extremely pleased that we will be able to showcase the world's best men's and women's freestyle wrestlers in the same location. The atmosphere will be electric and fans will not want to miss this action."

The '22 World Cups, and moving forward, will be held in an updated format from earlier editions. The top five teams from the World Championships earn an invitation to the tournament. In addition, United World Wrestling will comprise the sixth team with the remaining wrestlers who participated in the World Championships.

USA Wrestling has hosted the men's freestyle World Cup 30 times in the past -- the most for any nation. Coralville, Iowa, will become the 10th USA city to host the tournament.

The other US cities which have hosted the World Cup include Toledo, Ohio (17 times); Los Angeles, California (three times); Chattanooga, Tenn. (twice); Spokane, Washington (twice); Stillwater, Oklahoma (twice); Baltimore, Maryland.; Fairfax, Va., Boise, Idaho and Iowa City, Iowa.

The Bureau provisionally approved Baku, Azerbaijan as the Greco-Roman World Cup host pending a venue inspection visit. The tournament will be held on November 5-6. 

If approved, the Greco-Roman World Cup will return to UWW's calendar after five years, when Abadan City, Iran, hosted the competition in 2017.

Furthermore, Baku will return to the UWW's event calendar after a long absence. Apart from the Golden Grand Prix final, Baku last hosted a UWW event back in 2012 – the Cadet World Championships.

For a full list of United World Wrestling's events, please visit's event page