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|FLASH: Monson wins gold, USA is third in No-Gi at Grappling Worlds in Poland with six medals|
By Gary Abbott USA Wrestling
KRAKOW, Poland – Jeff Monson won a gold medal in the unlimited weight class, and Team USA placed third as a team in No-Gi Grappling at the FILA Grappling World Championships in Krakow, Poland on Saturday.
Monson claimed his fourth FILA No-Gi Grappling World title, to go along with his World titles in 2007, 2008 and 2009. Monson , who competed in wrestling for Oregon State and Illinois, is well known for his career in professional Mixed Martial Arts.
Winning silver medals for the United States were men’s grapplers Matt Betzold at 62 kg/136.5 lbs., Shane Cross at 77 kg/169.5 lbs. and Mike Kelly at 84 kg/185 lbs.
Betzold and Kelly are past FILA Grappling No-Gi World medalists for the United States, while Cross won his first FILA World medal in No-Gi Grappling.
On Friday, Betzold won a gold medal at the same weight class in FILA’s Amateur MMA tournament.
Claiming No-Gi FILA World bronze medals for Team USA were Dan Huber at 100 kg/220 lbs. in the men’s division and Gabriella Foster at 58 kg/127.75 lbs. in the women’s division. For both, it was their first FILA World medal in Grappling.
Placing fifth at 71 kg/156.25 lbs. in men’s No-Gi was Nick Marr. On Friday, Marr also placed fifth in Amateur MMA in his division.
Complete match-by-match results will be posted when received.
The USA team is coached by Ricardo Liborio of American Top Team in Florida and Sheldon Marr of Grapplers Edge in Colorado.
The event was originally scheduled for Moscow, Russia, but was moved to Poland only a few weeks prior to the event, after many athletes had already made travel plans. Due to the change in location, a number of athletes were not able to attend and some alternates were included on the final U.S. roster. In spite of the challenges, the team was still able to bring home a team trophy.
The USA was third in the team standings, which combined both men and women’s results. Placing ahead of Team USA were team champions Poland, and runner-up Sweden. This was the same team standings from the 2011 Grappling World Championships held in Belgrade, Serbia.
The USA will also be entering athletes in Sunday’s Gi Grappling competition.
The United States has one of the best Grappling nations in the world, with consecutive team titles in the FILA Grappling World Championships from 2006 through 2010 in No-Gi Grappling, and third place finishes the last two years.
GRAPPLING WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS
At Krakow, Poland, November 17
U.S. Men’s No-Gi placements
62 kg/136.5 lbs. – Matt Betzold, 2nd
66 kg/145.5 lbs. – Ryan Vottero, dnp
71 kg/156.25 lbs. – Nick Marr, 5th
77 kg/169.5 lbs. – Shane Cross, 2nd
84 kg/185 lbs. - – Mike Kelly, 2nd
92 kg/202.5 lbs. - – Jeff Funicello, dnp
100 kg/220 lbs. – Dan Huber, 3rd
+100 kg/Over 220 lbs. - – Jeff Monson, 1st
U.S. Women No-Gi placements
53 kg/116.75 lbs. – Diana Anchondo, dnp
58 kg/127.75 lbs. – Gabriella Foster, 3rd
No-Gi World Team trophy winners
3. United States