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UPDATE: Covington wins gold as USA gets six medals for third place in No-Gi at Worlds in Canada

Colby Covington receives his gold medal at 77 kg in No-Gi Grappling at the FILA World Championships in Canada. Photo courtesy of Sheldon Marr

LONDON, Canada – Colby Covington (Corvallis, Ore./American Top Team) won a gold medal at 77 kg/169.5 lbs., one of six U.S. medalists in No-Gi Grappling on the final day of the FILA World Championships in Non-Olympic Styles on Saturday.

Covington, a Div. I NCAA All-American at Oregon State, won the gold medal competing in his first FILA Grappling World event. He went 3-0 on the day, including a 2-0 win over an opponent from Poland in the finals.

Claiming silver medals for the United States were Brandon Ruiz (West Jordan, Utah/Team EDGE) at +100 kg/Over 220 lbs. in the men’s division and Bahar Shahidi (Denver, Colo./Team EDGE) at 53 kg/116.75 lbs.

Ruiz finished 2-1, winning his first two bouts over Sweden and Canada. In the finals, Ruiz fell to past World champion Juan Francisco Espino of France in the finals, 2-0. Ruiz has won four FILA World medals in No-Gi, including a World title in 2011 and three silver medals.

Shahidi lost her first match, but closed it out with two victories, including a 5-1 win over her Canadian opponent to secure the silver medal. Shahidi won her second World silver medal.

Claiming bronze medals for the USA were Matt Holt (Portland, Ore., (Brazilian Top Team Portland) at 62 kg/136.5 lbs., John Albert (Puyallup, Wash., (Victory Athletics) at 66 kg/145.5 lbs. and Jayson Patino (Orlando, Fla., (American Top Team) at 71 kg/156.25 lbs.

In their bronze-medal bouts, Holt defeated an opponent from Russia, Albert stopped a French opponent and Patino beat a Canadian rival.

It was Patino’s second medal of the week, after also winning a bronze medal in Gi Grappling on Friday.

Placing fifth for Team USA were Shane Cross (Denver, Colo./Team EDGE) at 84 kg/185 lbs., Eric Brennan (Aurora, Colo./Team EDGE) at 92 kg/202.5 lbs. and Henry Todd (Chandler, Ariz./American Pankration) at 100 kg/220 lbs.

For the third straight year, the United States placed third in the No-Gi team standings, placing behind champion Sweden and runner-up Canada. This was an exceptional performance, considering the USA had only one woman on the team, and scored no points in four of the women’s weight classes.

Team USA was led by head coach Sheldon Marr and assistant coach Nick Marr.

“I'm very proud of this team. We brought nine athletes to Canada, and all nine placed in the top five in the World in their weight classes. Many of these athletes were new to the team this year. We placed third as a team beating out many very tough countries including Italy, Romania and France that had full men's and women's teams, while we forfeited in four women’s weights. We were only behind Sweden and Canada, which also had full teams,” said coach Sheldon Marr.

The performance showed that the United States remains a world power in No-Gi Grappling.

“We lost a couple of heartbreaking matches that I thought we'd probably win, but that just shows how tough the whole world is getting at this sport,” said Marr. “There have been seven FILA World Championships since 2007, and thanks to this team's effort, TEAM USA has brought home a Team Trophy all seven times!

At London, Canada, June 15

U.S. Men’s No-Gi results

62 kg/136.5 lbs. – Matt Holt, Portland, Ore., (Brazilian Top Team Portland), 3rd
WIN Canada, submission (choke)
LOSS Sweden, 1-1, criteria
WIN France, 5-2
WIN Russia, 2-1

66 kg/145.5 lbs. – John Albert, Puyallup, Wash., (Victory Athletics), 3rd
WIN France, 1-0
LOSS Poland, submission (choke)
WIN Hungary, submission (choke)
WIN France, 1-0

71 kg/156.25 lbs. – Jayson Patino, Orlando, Fla., (American Top Team), 3rd
LOSS Sweden, 1-1, criteria
WIN Romania, forfeit
WIN Canada, 4-0

77 kg/169.5 lbs. – Colby Covington, Corvallis, Ore. (American Top Team), 1st
WIN Romania, 4-0
WIN Canada, submission (choke)
WIN Poland, 2-0

84 kg/185 lbs. – Shane Cross, Denver, Colo., (Team EDGE), 5th
LOSS Italy, submission (triangle choke)
WIN Greece, 1-0
LOSS Sweden, submission (triangle choke)
WIN Japan, 1-0

92 kg/202.5 lbs. – Eric Brennan, Aurora, Colo., (Team EDGE), 5th
LOSS Canada, submission (triangle choke)
LOSS Japan, submission (knee bar)
WIN Romania, submission (arm triangle)

100 kg/220 lbs. – Henry Todd, Chandler, Ariz., (American Pankration), 5th
LOSS Russia, 0-4
LOSS Sweden, submission (choke)
WIN Italy, forfeit

+100 kg/Over 220 lbs. – Brandon Ruiz, West Jordan, Utah, (Team EDGE), 2nd
WIN Sweden, submission (rear naked choke)
WIN Canada, 6-0
LOSS Spain, 2-0

U.S. Women’s No-Gi results

53 kg/116.75 lbs. – Bahar Shahidi, Denver, Colo., (Team EDGE), 2nd
LOSS France, submission (choke)
WIN Italy, forfeit
WIN Canada, 5-1
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