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Olympic champions Burroughs and Snyder, World champions Cox and Gilman headline U.S. men’s freestyle team for Bout at the Ballpark on Feb. 12

by Gary Abbott, USA Wrestling

Jordan Burroughs and Kyle Snyder photos by Tony Rotundo, Wrestlers Are Warriors.

USA Wrestling has announced its lineup in men’s freestyle for its match against Iran as part of the Bout at the Ballpark on February 12 at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas.

This unique event will also feature an NCAA Div. I dual meet between the two most successful programs in history, Oklahoma State University and the University of Iowa.

The Oklahoma State-Iowa collegiate meet and the United States-Iran exhibition meet will take place simultaneously beginning at 6:30 p.m. on February 12 with bouts from the two competitions alternating throughout the event on two different mats. This will mark the first time a senior-level international meet and an NCAA meet will operate in this format.

The USA team will feature two Olympic champions and four World champions, as part of a talented and experienced group of international stars.

Leading the team will be 2012 Olympic champion and five-time World champion Jordan Burroughs at 79 kg. Burroughs has won the most World titles for a U.S. men’s wrestler, capturing gold medals in 2011, 2013, 2015, 2017 and 2021. Add in his 2012 Olympic title, and his six World and Olympic titles is the most in U.S. history, tied with the great John Smith, who won four World titles and two Olympic titles. Burroughs has also won three World bronze medals in 2014, 2018 and 2019. A two-time Olympian, Burroughs has won a medal in nine of the 10 times he has represented the USA at the Olympic Games or World Championships. He won two NCAA titles for the University of Nebraska.

2016 Olympic champion and two-time World champion Kyle Snyder will wrestle at 97 kg. Snyder became the youngest American to win a World title in wrestling in 2015, then became the youngest American to win a wrestling Olympic title at the 2016 Rio Games. Snyder won World titles in 2015 and 2017. He added a second Olympic medal at the 2020 Tokyo Games with a silver medal. Add in a World silver medal in 2018 and 2021 and a World bronze medal in 2019, and Snyder has won a medal at the Olympic Games or World Championships for seven-straight years. A 2013 Junior World champion, he also won three NCAA titles for Ohio State.

Two-time World champion and 2016 Olympic bronze medalist J’den Cox will compete at 92 kg. Cox won World titles at this weight class in 2018 and 2019. His 2016 Olympic bronze medal and 2017 World bronze medal were at 86 kg, and his 2021 World bronze medal was at 92 kg. Cox has won a medal in all five of his appearances at either the Olympic Games or World Championships. He won three NCAA titles for Missouri.

2021 World champion and 2020 Olympic bronze medalist Thomas Gilman will wrestle at 57 kg. Gilman also boasts a 2017 World silver medal. Gilman was a star for the University of Iowa as a three-time All-American.

Two-time World medalist James Green will be on Team USA at 70 kg. Green captured a World silver medal in 2017 and a World bronze medal in 2015. Like Burroughs, he was a star at the University of Nebraska.

2021 World silver medalist Daton Fix will compete at 61 kg. Fix is also currently a member of the Oklahoma State wrestling team, where he has been a two-time NCAA runner-up. Fix competed in the 2019 Senior World Championships and boasts a 2017 Junior World title.

The team will also feature young stars, Yianni Diakomihalis at 65 kg, Jason Nolf at 74 kg and Zahid Valencia at 86 kg.

Diakomihalis was a member of the 2021 U.S. Senior World Team. He is a two-time NCAA champion for Cornell, where he is currently a student-athlete. He won a pair of Cadet World titles for Team USA in 2015 and 2016.

Valencia was a 2019 Senior Nationals champion, finished second at the 2018 Final X and placed third in the U.S. Olympic Team Trials. He won a silver medal at the 2017 Junior World Championships. Valencia won two NCAA titles for Arizona State.

Nolf was also a three-time NCAA champion for Penn State. He placed third in the U.S. Olympic Team Trials, which makes him a current member of the U.S. Senior National Team.

The United States is still seeking to fill the spot at 125 kg, which will be announced shortly.

U.S. men’s freestyle team

57 kg – Thomas Gilman (State College, Pa./Nittany Lion WC/Titan Mercury WC)

61 kg – Daton Fix (Sand Springs, Okla./Cowboy RTC/Titan Mercury WC)

65 kg – Yianni Diakomihalis (Rochester, N.Y./Spartan Combat WC/Titan Mercury WC)

70 kg – James Green (Blacksburg, Va./Southeast RTC/Titan Mercury WC)

74 kg – Jason Nolf (State College, Pa./Nittany Lion WC)

79 kg – Jordan Burroughs (Philadelphia, Pa./Pennsylvania RTC/Sunkist Kids)

86 kg – Zahid Valencia (Tempe, Ariz./Sunkist Kids)

92 kg – J’den Cox (Colorado Springs, Colo./USOPTC/Cliff Keen WC/Titan Mercury WC)

97 kg – Kyle Snyder (State College, Pa./Nittany Lion WC/Titan Mercury WC)

125 kg – TBA

Bout at the Ballpark will be the first event at Globe Life Field, the Home of the Texas Rangers, to feature an international competition. The two wrestling mats will be located between the areas of pitcher’s mound and second base and will be placed on raised stages to improve sightlines from the seating bowl. Floor seating will be added with the Globe Life Field capacity expected to be at least 27,000 for the matches.

Tickets for Bout at the Ballpark start as $15 and are available at

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