Freestyle Wrestling Highlights: Beat the Streets 2018

    USA's Jordan Burroughs celebrates after winning the men's freestyle wrestling -74kg category final at the FILA World Wrestling Championships in Paris on August 26, 2017. /

    Relive the magic with GIFs and videos of the best takedowns, scrambles, and throws from amateur wrestling matches throughout the year. These are MMASucka‘s wrestling highlights.

    Freestyle Wrestling Highlights: Beat the Streets

    It was a busy week for freestyle wrestling. The 2018 World Team Trials tournament featured hundreds of matches between the best in the nation, all vying for an opportunity to represent the United States at the Wrestling World Championships. But the best matches of the week may well have taken place just hours before.

    Beat the Streets (BTS) is a non-profit organization focused on improving the lives of youth in underserved populations via the community and lessons learned through amateur wrestling. BTS has been fortunate enough to grow and develop a star-studded annual wrestling exhibition event. 2018’s “Rumble on the River in lower Manhattan boasted a world-class lineup of US freestyle wrestlers facing off with athletes from Cuba, Nigeria, Azerbaijan, and Italy.

    The main event featured a “super match” between the golden boy of USA WrestlingJordan Burroughs, facing off against a two-time world champion and electrifying athlete in Italy’s Frank Chamizo. Also featured were superstar champions like Kyle Snyder and Helen Maroulis. All the action was presented and streamed by the fantastic team at FloWrestling.

    Enjoy the best wrestling highlights of Beat the Streets 2018!

    Match Highlights

    Although the bouts were considered exhibitions, national pride and bragging rights were on the line. Each wrestler was uniquely challenged by a very slippery mat. The slick surface made it difficult for some wrestler to plant their feet and gain traction, while others benefitted from this environmental factor.

    Kyle Snyder (USA) vs. Reineris Salas Perez (Cuba)

    In the most dramatic bout of the evening, Captain America himself Kyle Snyder was in a world of trouble early on. A three-time NCAA champion, two-time world champion, and 2016 Olympic champion at just 22 years old, no one expected a significant threat from the wily veteran Reineris Salas Perez.

    Perhaps he was underestimated, or he was aided by the slippery mats, but the three-time world medalist shocked the crowd by drawing first blood. 

    Snyder has dropped matches in the past, but we haven’t seen him moved around so easily in many years. The former Ohio State wrestler moved forward aggressively to get back into the match, opening up a huge opportunity for one of the best counter artists in the sport. 

    Driving out of bounds, Salas Perez timed a beautiful foot sweep and planted Snyder flat on his back for another four points. The pound-for-pound best wrestler on the planet was down 8-1.

    But the clutch gene is strong with Kyle Snyder. He worked an exhausting pace, backing up the Cuban and chipping away with pushouts to narrow the gap. Salas Perez was going to try to sit on his lead, and that allowed Snyder to focus on offense, implementing his brutal snap-downs.

    It was two low ankle attacks followed by intense scrambles that allowed Snyder to mount a dramatic comeback for the United States. 

    Pat Glory (Princeton) vs. Gavin Teasdale (Penn State)

    Earlier in the night was a rivalry match between two of the best high school wrestlers in the country. The four-time Pennsylvania state champion Gavin Teasdale had won their last bout, but historically New Jersey’s Pat Glory has given Teasdale fits with his scrambling.

    In their first high profile freestyle meeting, Glory was able to use the positions he normally found in folkstyle to open up a powerful chest wrap on the way to a technical fall. 

    Helen Maroulis (USA) vs. Odunayo Adekuoroye (Nigeria)

    The featured women’s freestyle bout was between the pound-for-pound best woman in the world, Helen Maroulis, and Nigeria’s World silver medalist Odunayo Adekuoroye.

    In her young career, Maroulis has won gold at the 2015 and 2017 World Championships, but the highlight was her 2016 Olympic Games gold medal victory over the greatest of all time, Japan’s Saori Yoshida. Yoshida had claimed a staggering thirteen world championships and was working on her fourth Olympic title before being stopped by Maroulis.

    Maroulis and Adekuoroye have a history of tightly contested matches, and this was no different. It was not highly publicized, but Maroulis is still recovering from a severe concussion and is not wrestling at 100% capacity. The match was decided by the defense and reattacks of Maroulis. 

    Josh Rodriguez (USA) vs. Reineris Andreu Ortega (Cuba)

    A wrestling nomad of sorts, Californian Josh Rodriguez has found a home at the Nittany Lion Wrestling Club at Penn State after graduating from North Dakota State. Although he has some freestyle and Greco chops of his own, Rodriguez was outmatched against Cuba’s Reineri Andreu Ortega, a 2017 U23 World Champion.

    While Rodriguez was consistently able to snap and get to shots against his more credentialed opponent, it was was the blinding speed and freakish hips of the Cuban that decided the match. 

    Kyle Dake (USA) vs. Livian Lopez Azcuy (Cuba)

    It has been a long time coming for Cornell‘s four-time NCAA champion Kyle Dake. “Kid Dynamite” has always been one of the very best in the world, unfortunately in the same weight class as his king and countryman, Jordan Burroughs.

    Now that additional weights have been added, the world is feeling the explosive fury of Kyle Dake. He faced Livian Lopez Azcuy, a three-time world and one-time Olympic medalist for Cuba.

    Dake has made a habit of quickly disposing of his foreign opponents with high amplitude leg attacks. Lopez was just another victim of the baby-faced powerhouse.

    Jordan Oliver (USA) vs. Togrul Asgarov (Azerbaijan)

    The co-main event and first “super-match” of the night pit Oklahoma State‘s two-time NCAA champion Jordan Oliver against the recently suspended Togrul Asgarov. Asgarov has been at the top of the sport, winning gold in the 2012 Olympic games and silver in 2016. Oliver has often fallen just short of making World and Olympic teams, we do not usually see him against the best international opponents.

    The match was frustrating at times, both men consistently interlocked fingers, causing breaks in the action. But Asgarov became relaxed, and Oliver was able to fire off a slick swing single leg takedown for two points. 

    Oliver fought to retain his lead, frustrated by Asgarov’s continuous finger lacing and the slick mats. Maintaining position was too difficult without the grip of his shoes, and Oliver attacked relentlessly to run down the clock.

    His strategy paid off and Oliver notched one of the biggest victories of his career.

    Jordan Burroughs (USA) vs. Frank Chamizo (Italy)

    To the delight of fans around the world, Cuban export Frank Chamizo decided to move up to 74 KG to take on America’s finest, Jordan Burroughs. Chamizo is one of the most crowd-pleasing wrestlers active today, using his baffling balance and hips to engage in breathtaking scrambles.

    At 65 KG, Chamizo won 2015 World gold and 2016 Olympic bronze. Last year Chamizo bumped up to 70 KG to win World gold once again. Burroughs is the far more accomplished wrestler, winning four World gold medals, one Olympic gold, and one World bronze. All of this was at 74 KG.

    Facing a herculean task, Chamizo struck first. Feeling the pressure of the larger man, Chamizo hit a slide by and outmaneuvered Burroughs for the first two points of the match. 

    After a full night of matches, the mat slicker than ever. The smooth, athletic maneuvers of Chamizo were almost given a boost by the lack of friction. When Burroughs was finally able to latch on to a leg, Chamizo exploded into a switch counter. 

    But Burroughs had gained ground, the two-on-one tie was opening up the single leg attack. Going back to the well, JB scored his first takedown.

    Not to be outdone, Burroughs began to display some savvy defensive scrambling of his own. 

    The tide was turning, and the crowd felt the momentum shift drastically when Burroughs out scrambled Chamizo to cut his lead to one point. 

    In recent years, fans have seen less and less of Burroughs’ signature move, the blast double leg. In an environment where it’s difficult to plant your feet and push off, a move of that nature is a huge risk.

    But with less than a minute to go, Burroughs barreled through the dynamic champion and finally took the lead. 

    Main Photo
    Embed from Getty Images

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