Aden Valencia, pictured at the 2023 U.S. Senior Nationals, earned the 65 kg gold medal at the Henri Deglane Grand Prix.
Tony Rotundo, Wrestlers Are Warriors

Aden Valencia, pictured at the 2023 U.S. Senior Nationals, earned the 65 kg gold medal at the Henri Deglane Grand Prix.


Valencia, McDanel, Macchiavello, Zillmer grab gold at Henri Deglane Grand Prix; 11 total men’s freestyle medalists for Team USA

by Richard Immel, USA Wrestling

NICE, France – The U.S. men’s freestyle squad turned in a solid performance on Saturday at the Henri Deglane Grand Prix in Nice, France. Aden Valencia, Camden McDanel, Michael Macchiavello and Hayden Zillmer turned in gold medal efforts, while Team USA earned 11 total medals.

It was an international breakout for Valencia, who earned his first Senior-level international gold medal with his win at 65 kg. The 18-year-old went 5-0 on the day with three technical falls and a pair of come-from-behind wins in the semis and finals.

Valencia popped through a head pinch at the buzzer to take out Canada’s Peiman Biabani, formerly a U20 World champion for Iran, in the semifinals. He added to the dramatics with a finals-clinching takedown at the 15-second mark to beat 2022 U20 World bronze medalist Khamzat Arsamerzouev of France, 3-2.

To add further scope on Valencia’s title run, he topped a weight class that included two past NCAA champions, Nahshon Garrett and Anthony Ashnault, plus NCAA All-American and U.S. Open finalist Matthew Kolodzik. All three veteran competitors were unable to make the podium.

It was an all-American final at 97 kg between U.S. National Team member Macchiavello and recently crowned Zagreb Open champion Nathan Jackson. The low-scoring match was primarily dictated by Jackson’s length advantage until the final moments. After repeated attempts, Macchiavello finally broke through Jackson’s head and hands defense to snag the winning takedown going out-of-bounds with one second on the clock, taking the gold, 4-2.

Past U.S. World Team member Zillmer controlled all aspects of his finals match at 125 kg against fellow American and Gopher WC-RTC teammate Trent Hillger, a past NCAA All-American at Wisconsin. Zillmer capped his five-win tournament with a 9-2 win over Hillger.

2023 U20 World bronze medalist and U20 Pan American champion McDanel earned his first Senior-level title with a punishing 11-0 technical fall win against Abdimanap Baigenzheyev of Kazakhstan. McDanel, who is a Nebraska commit and Elite Accelerator Program resident in Colorado Springs, Colo., broke his finals opponent with relentless forward pressure, icing the match with a takedown-to-lace sequence.

The U.S. dropped a pair of highly anticipated finals bouts. Past U.S. National Team member Daniel Deshazer fell to Mexico’s Roman Bravo-Young, 2-1, off a pair of shot clock points in the 57 kg finals. Three-time age-group World champion Mark Hall was outmatched by reigning European champion and Russian expat Dauren Kurugliev of Greece, 10-4, in the 86 kg finals.

Earning bronze medals for Team USA were Pan American Games champion Tyler Berger and two-time U17 World bronze medalist Alex Facundo at 74 kg, plus Taylor Lujan at 86 kg, who earned his second-straight bronze medal at this event.

The Henri Deglane Grand Prix concludes on Sunday with the Greco-Roman competition, which begins at 10:30 a.m. local time in Nice, France. The U.S. has one entrant in the field, Taylor LaMont at 60 kg.

A live stream of the Henri Deglane Grand Prix is being provided through France Lutte. Complete brackets and updated match-by-match results are available on Smoothcomp.

Henri Deglane Grand Prix, Nice, France, Jan. 20

Men’s freestyle results

57 kg

Gold – Roman Bravo-Young (Mexico)

Silver – Daniel Deshazer (United States)

Bronze – Diamantino Iuna Fafe (Guinea Bissau)

Bronze – Ivaylo Tisov (Bulgaria)

5th – Darian Cruz (Puerto Rico)

5th – Cael Nasdeo (United States)

Gold – Roman Bravo-Young (Mexico) dec. Daniel Deshazer (United States), 2-1

Bronze – Diamantino Iuna Fafe (Guinea Bissau) dec. Darian Cruz (Puerto Rico), 2-2

Bronze – Ivaylo Tisov (Bulgaria) dec. Cael Nasdeo (United States), 17-10

61 kg

Gold – Arman Eloyan (France)

Silver – Georgi Vangelov (Bulgaria)

Bronze – Joseph Silva (Puerto Rico)

Bronze – Ravi Kumar (United World Wrestling)

5th – Dario Dittrich (Germany)

5th – Kairat Amirtayev (Kazakhstan)

Gold – Arman Eloyan (France) dec. Georgi Vangelov (Bulgaria), 8-5

Bronze – Joseph Silva (Puerto Rico) tech. fall Dario Dittrich (Germany), 10-0

Bronze – Ravi Kumar (United World Wrestling) dec. Kairat Amirtayev (Kazakhstan), 3 cautions

65 kg

Gold – Aden Valencia (United States)

Silver – Khamzat Arsamerzouev (France)

Bronze – Peiman Biabani (Canada)

Bronze – Stefan Coman (Romania)

5th – Matthew Kolodzik (United States)

5th – Mikyay Naim (Bulgaria)

Gold – Aden Valencia (United States) dec. Khamzat Arsamerzouev (France), 3-2

Bronze – Peiman Biabani (Canada) dec. Matthew Kolodzik (United States), 6-5

Bronze – Stefan Coman (Romania) dec. Mikyay Naim (Bulgaria), 6-4

70 kg

Gold – Seyfulla Itaev (France)

Silver – Alaxander Semisorow (Germany)

Bronze – Rifat Saibotalov (Kazakhstan)

Bronze – Marc Dietsche (Switzerland)

5th – Kaloyan Atanasov (Bulgaria)

5th – Yernur Nurgazy (Kazakhstan)

Gold – Seyfulla Itaev (France) tech. fall Alaxander Semisorow (Germany), 10-0

Bronze – Rifat Saibotalov (Kazakhstan) dec. Kaloyan Atanasov (Bulgaria), 5-4

Bronze – Marc Dietsche (Switzerland) dec. Yernur Nurgazy (Kazakhstan), 5-2

74 kg

Gold – Mohammad Mottaghinia (Spain)

Silver – Stas David Wolf (Germany)

Bronze – Tyler Berger (United States)

Bronze – Alex Facundo (United States)

5th – Joey Lavallee (United States)

5th – Shamil Ustaev (Germany)

Gold – Mohammad Mottaghinia (Spain) dec. Stas David Wolf (Germany), 8-1

Bronze – Tyler Berger (United States) dec. Joey Lavallee (United States), 8-6

Bronze – Alex Facundo (United States) fall Shamil Ustaev (Germany), 5:29

79 kg

Gold – Pouria Taherkhani (Germany)

Silver – Gabriel Iglesias (Spain)

Bronze – Adam Kakhriev (France)

Bronze – Yerkhan Bexultanov (Kazakhstan)

5th – Saifedine Alekma (France)

5th – Richard Schroeder (Germany)

Gold – Pouria Taherkhani (Germany) fall Gabriel Iglesias (Spain), 5:11

Bronze – Adam Kakhriev (France) dec. Saifedine Alekma (France), 7-7

Bronze – Yerkhan Bexultanov (Kazakhstan) tech. fall Richard Schroeder (Germany), 10-0

86 kg

Gold – Dauren Kurugliev (Greece)

Silver – Mark Hall (United States)

Bronze – Taylor Lujan (United States)

Bronze – Joshua Morodion (Germany)

5th – Lars Schaefle (Germany)

5th – Ethan Ramos (Puerto Rico)

Gold – Dauren Kurugliev (Greece) dec. Mark Hall (United States), 10-4

Bronze – Taylor Lujan (United States) dec. Lars Schaefle (Germany), 5-1

Bronze – Joshua Morodion (Germany) dec. Ethan Ramos (Puerto Rico), 9-2

92 kg

Gold – Camden McDanel (United States)

Silver – Abdimanap Baigenzheyev (Kazakhstan)

Bronze – Benjamin Greil (Austria)

Bronze – Michal Bielawski (Poland)

5th – Sali Saliev (Bulgaria)

5th – Islyambek Ilyassov (Kazakhstan)

Gold – Camden McDanel (United States) tech. fall Abdimanap Baigenzheyev (Kazakhstan), 11-0

Bronze – Benjamin Greil (Austria) tech. fall Sali Saliev (Bulgaria), 14-3

Bronze – Michal Bielawski (Poland) tech. fall Islyambek Ilyassov (Kazakhstan), 11-1

97 kg

Gold – Michael Macchiavello (United States)

Silver – Nathan Jackson (United States)

Bronze – Adlan Viskhanov (France)

Bronze – Agca Ertugrul (Germany)

5th – Lukas Krasauskas (Lithuania)

5th – Tarik Azzouzi (Belgium)

Gold – Michael Macchiavello (United States) dec. Nathan Jackson (United States), 4-2

Bronze – Adlan Viskhanov (France) tech. fall Lukas Krasauskas (Lithuania), 11-0

Bronze – Agca Ertugrul (Germany) tech. fall Tarik Azzouzi (Belgium), 10-0

125 kg

Gold – Hayden Zillmer (United States)

Silver – Trent Hillger (United States)

Bronze – Jonovan Smith (Puerto Rico)

4th – Omar Eyubov (Kazakhstan)

Gold – Hayden Zillmer (United States) dec. Trent Hillger (United States), 9-2

Bronze – Jonovan Smith (Puerto Rico) dec. Omar Eyubov (Kazakhstan), 1-1

Men’s freestyle results

57 kg – Kael Lauridsen (Bennington, Neb./Elite Accelerator Program), 7th place

LOSS Roman Bravo Young (Mexico), tech. fall, 14-4

WIN Razvan Kovacs (Romania), forfeit

LOSS Ivaylo Tisov (Bulgaria), 14-11

57 kg – Cael Nasdeo (Williamsport, Pa./Titan Mercury WC/Nittany Lion WC), 5th place

WIN Razvan Kovacs (Romania), fall, 2:21

WIN Gary Giordmaina (Malta), tech. fall, 10-0

LOSS Daniel Deshazer (United States), tech. fall, 10-0

LOSS Ivaylo Tisov (Bulgaria), 17-10

57 kg – Daniel Deshazer (Wichita, Kan./Gopher WC-RTC), silver medal

WIN Darian Cruz (Puerto Rico), tech. fall, 10-0

WIN Cael Nasdeo (United States), tech. fall, 10-0

LOSS Roman Bravo-Young (Mexico), 2-1

61 kg – Ramon Salazar (Firestone, Colo./Elite Accelerator Program), 13th place

LOSS Zangar Kabylbekov (Kazakhstan), 9-6

LOSS Julien Zinser (Germany), 6-2

65 kg – Nahshon Garrett (Bethlehem, Pa./Titan Mercury WC/Lehigh Valley WC), 9th place

LOSS Stefan Coman (Romania), 8-6

WIN Anthony Ashnault (United States), 13-12

WIN Quentin Sticker (France), 9-8

LOSS Ayub Musaev (Belgium), 7-3

65 kg – Aden Valencia (Morgan Hill, Calif./Titan Mercury WC/California RTC), gold medal

WIN Marwane Yezza (France), tech. fall, 14-4

WIN Nico Megerle (Germany), tech. fall, 11-0

WIN Benjamin Boejthe (Romania), tech. fall, 12-2

WIN Peiman Biabani (Canada), 5-3

WIN Khamzat Arsamerzouev (France), 3-2

65 kg – Matthew Kolodzik (Princeton, N.J./New York AC/New Jersey RTC), 5th place

WIN Daniel Sandu (Romania), tech. fall, 11-1

LOSS Khamzat Arsamerzouev (France), 3-3

WIN Nico Megerle (Germany), tech. fall, 11-0

WIN Ayub Musaev (Belgium), tech. fall, 11-0

LOSS Peiman Biabani (Canada), 6-5

65 kg – Anthony Ashnault (New Brunswick, N.J./Titan Mercury WC/New York City RTC), 17th place

LOSS Mikyay Naim (Bulgaria), 9-4

LOSS Nahshon Garrett (United States), 13-12

70 kg – Anwar Alli (Ashley, Ohio/Elite Accelerator Program), 17th place

LOSS Moukhammad Sangariev (France), 6-2

LOSS Yernur Nurgazy (Kazakhstan), tech. fall, 10-0

70 kg – Yahya Thomas (Chicago, Ill./Titan Mercury WC/New Jersey RTC), 9th place

WIN Yernur Nurgazy (Kazakhstan), 7-0

WIN Muhammad Abdurachmanov (Belgium), tech. fall, 10-0

LOSS Rifat Saibotalov (Kazakhstan), 2-2

LOSS Yernur Nurgazy (Kazakhstan), 3-3

70 kg – Tony Tolbert (King of Prussia, Pa./New York City RTC), 17th place

LOSS Seyfulla Itaev (France), tech. fall, 10-0

LOSS Kaloyan Atanasov (Bulgaria), tech. fall, 10-0

74 kg – Tyler Berger (Philadelphia, Pa./Sunkist Kids WC/Pennsylvania RTC), bronze medal

WIN Nico Zarb (Malta), tech. fall, 10-0

WIN Shamil Ustaev (Germany), 4-2

LOSS Mohammad Mottaghinia (Spain), tech. fall, 10-0

WIN Joey Lavallee (United States), 8-6

74 kg – Alex Facundo (Essexville, Mich./Titan Mercury WC/Nittany Lion WC), bronze medal

WIN Mihail Georgiev (Bulgaria), 4-2

WIN Stefan Kaeppeler (Germany), tech. fall, 11-1

LOSS Stas David Wolf (Germany), 5-4

WIN Shamil Ustaev (Germany), fall, 5:29

74 kg – Joey Lavallee (Northampton, Pa./Titan Mercury WC/Lehigh Valley WC), 5th place

LOSS Mohammad Mottaghinia (Spain), 3-3

WIN Marian Subtirica (Romania), tech. fall, 14-1

WIN Stefan Kaeppeler (Germany), fall, 2:58

WIN Khairiddine Ben Tlili (Tunisia), tech. fall, 1-0

LOSS Tyler Berger (United States), 8-6

86 kg – Mark Hall (Philadelphia, Pa./Titan Mercury WC/Pennsylvania RTC), silver medal

WIN Alans Amirovs (Latvia), 4-4

WIN Joshua Morodion (Germany), fall, 0:46

LOSS Dauren Kurugliev (Greece), 10-4

86 kg – Taylor Lujan (Waterloo, Iowa/Titan Mercury WC/Panther WC), bronze medal

LOSS Dauren Kurugliev (Greece), tech. fall, 11-0

WIN Matteo Monteiro (Cape Verde), tech. fall, 10-0

WIN Alans Amirovs (Latvia), fall, 2:50

WIN Krzysztof Sadowik (Poland), 9-0

WIN Lars Schaefle (Germany), 5-1

92 kg – Camden McDanel (Circleville, Ohio/Elite Accelerator Program), gold medal

WIN Islyambek Ilyassov (Kazakhstan), fall, 1:45

WIN Benjamin Greil (Austria), 7-2

WIN Abdimanap Baigenzheyev (Kazakhstan), tech. fall, 11-0

97 kg – Michael Macchiavello (Northampton, Pa./Titan Mercury WC/Lehigh Valley WC), gold medal

WIN Mohamed Saadaoui (Tunisia), tech. fall, 11-1

WIN Lukas Krasauskas (Lithuania), tech. fall, 11-0

WIN Tarik Azzouzi (Belgium), tech. fall, 10-0

WIN Nathan Jackson (United States), 4-2

97 kg – Nathan Jackson (Princeton, N.J./New York AC/New Jersey RTC), silver medal

WIN Florin Tripon (Romania), tech. fall, 13-0

WIN Adlan Viskhanov (France), 9-1

LOSS Michael Macchiavello (United States), 4-2

125 kg – Trent Hillger (Holly, Mich./Gopher WC-RTC), silver medal

WIN Lucas Gansi (Germany), tech. fall, 11-0

WIN Omar Eyubov (Kazakhstan), 7-0

WIN Jonovan Smith (Puerto Rico), 2-0

LOSS Hayden Zillmer (United States), 9-2

125 kg – Hayden Zillmer (Crosby, Minn./Gopher WC-RTC), gold medal

WIN Levan Lagvilava (France), tech. fall, 10-0

WIN Johannes Ludescher (Austria), 5-0

WIN Jonovan Smith (Puerto Rico), tech. fall, 10-0

WIN Omar Eyubov (Kazakhstan), 6-0

WIN Trent Hillger (United States), 9-2