|Volkmann to battle Askren in U.S. Grappling World Team Trials finals|
By Gary Abbott USA Wrestling
PHOENIX, ARIZ. - Fans will have a marquis matchup at 84 kg/185 lbs. this afternoon, when 2008 Grappling World champion Jacob Volkmann (MMMA) will face 2008 Olympic freestyle wrestler Ben Askren (Sunkist Kids) for the championship.
Volkmann, an All-American wrestler for the Univ. of Minnesota, returned to repeat as a Grappling World Team Trials champion. The weight classes are different this year, as Volkmann won his World title last year at 80 kg/176 lbs. Volkmann is currently also competing in Mixed Martial Arts.
Askren, who took a year off from wrestling last year to compete in Mixed Martial Arts, is entering his first USA Grappling event. He has experience in Grappling, competing in the Abu Dhabi Championships earlier this year. Askren announced that he will also compete in freestyle wrestling in Sunday's Sunkist Kids International Open.
Volkmann is the only one of the five U.S. men Grapplers who won gold medals at the 2008 U.S. Grappling World Championships in Switzerland to try out this year for the team.
The U.S. Grappling World Team Trials is the qualifying event for the U.S. team which will compete at the FILA Grappling World Championships in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., December 11-13.
One weight class has already been completed, the women's 50 kg/110 lbs. division. A best-of-three series was held between two veteran Grappling stars for the United States. Felicia Oh (Big John McCarthy's Ultimate Training Academy) won in two straight matches over Lisa Ward (Victory Athletics). Oh won the first match, 9-8, and won the second match, 3-0.
Oh and Ward were teammates on the last two U.S. Grappling World Teams at different divisions. Both won World gold medals at the 2008 World Wrestling Games. At last year's World Championships, Ward was a World champion in both No-Gi and Gi at 48 kg/105.5 lbs., while Oh was a silver medalist in No-Gi at 55 kg/121 lbs.
The finals in other weight classes in both the men's No-Gi and women's No-Gi Grappling have been set and will be held at the 3:00 p.m. Pacific Time session, which will be webcast live on TheMat.com. In weight classes which are round-robin competitions, the final round of matches will also be held at the 3:00 p.m. session.
There will be 15 match videos from the morning session of the U.S. Grappling World Team Trials which have already been posted on the Special Section on TheMat.com.
U.S. Grappling World Team Trials final round at 3:00 p.m. Pacific
To be live webcast on TheMat.com
Men's No-Gi Grappling final session
60 kg/132 lbs. - Zachary Makovsky (Philadelphia Fight Factory) vs. Matt Kucala (Gilbert Grappling)
66 kg/145.5 lbs. - Tom LeCuyer (Atlas XT/Torres MA) vs. Dennis Prokopos (10th Planet Jiu Jitsu)
74 kg/163 lbs. - Alex Pacheco (American Top Team) vs. Ian McAlpine (American Pankration)
84 kg/185 lbs. - Jacob Volkmann (MMMA) vs. Ben Askren (Sunkist Kids)
96 kg/211.5 lbs. - (final roundrobin)
Ryan Gillespie (Takedown Elite) vs. Dan Griffith (unattached)
120 kg/264.5 lbs. - (final roundrobins)
Kelly Anundson (Black Knight WC) vs. Babak Ranjbarian (Demon Jiu Jitsu)
Kellan Flickiger (Sunkist Kids) vs. Kenny Lester (Sunkist Kids)
Absolute (final roundrobins)
Mario Rinaldi (American Top Team) vs. Kenny Lester (Sunkist Kids)
John Bagget (unattached) vs. Shane Cross (Grapplers Edge)
50 kg/110 lbs. - Felicia Oh (Big John McCarthy's Ultimate Training Academy) dec. Lisa Ward (Victory Athletics), 2 matches to 0
55 kg/121 lbs. - (final roundrobin)
Shasta McMurry (American Pankration) vs. Stephanie Murata (Sunkist Kids)
59 kg/130 lbs. - Tara LaRosa (Philadelphia Fight Factory), uncontested
63 kg/138.75 lbs. - (final roundrobin)
Miesha Tate (Victory Athletics) vs. Sara McMann (Sunkist Kids)
Angelic Rein (Grappler's Edge) vs. Shayna Baszler (CSW/Next Edge)
67 kg/147 lbs. - Tori Adams (Sunkist Kids), uncontested.