Kevin Jackson was interviewed by the famous New Yorker reporter, Eddie Goldman (No Holds Barred), to review the spectacular wrestling events at the London Olympic Games. As a reminder, Mr. Jackson became Olympic Champion in 1992 (freestyle 82kg), pursued his career as pro MMA fighter, and is now working as head wrestling coach for the Iowa State Cyclones. He was also inducted to the FILA Hall of Fame (freestyle division ) in 2005. The interview can be played or downloaded at the following link.
Eddie Goldman and Kevin Jackson notably discussed Jordan Burroughs' stunning performance which led him to the gold in freestyle 74kg without going to one clinch. They also spoke about Jake Varner, second American wrestler to become Olympic Champion (freestyle 96kg), who used to be trained by Coach Jackson in his senior college year in Iowa State. Kevin Jackson mentioned the important role played by collegiate wrestling programs in the United States to help prepare wrestlers for international competitions. Many other great accomplishments at the 2012 Olympics were discussed, including three wrestlers winning their third straight Olympic title, that is: Kaori Icho and Saori Yoshida (JPN) in women's freestyle and Artur Taimazov (UZB) in men's freestyle. At last, Kevin Jackson commented on the world-class wrestlers who pursue their career in professional MMA.
Eddie Goldman has been a long-time wrestling expert and was pointed out as one of the two journalists (the other one being Ikuo Higuchi of the Japanese Wrestling Federation) to have made the best Olympic predictions with 10 correct picks out of the 18 weight categories.
The Belgian daily newspaper "La Dernière Heure" published a very good article on 07 July 2012 about the European Grappling, Pankration & Mixed Martial Arts Championship that was held in Brussels on 27-30 June 2012. The article also covers the role played by FILA in developing amateur Mixed Martial Arts as a sport in its own right, based on a safe set of rules and an objective scoring system. All videos of the European Championship are available on the FILA WebTV.
The Grappling, Pankration and Mixed Martial Arts European Championship was organised in Brussels (BEL) on 27-30 June 2012 and counted a record participation of 22 countries and 200 athletes. It was held at Palais du Midi in the city centre and was also the occasion for the delegations to enjoy the cultural and gastronomic offer of the Capital of Europe. The organisation was conferred to the Belgian Committee of Associated Wrestling Styles (B.A.W.S.) chaired by Mr. Carlo La Torre and member of the Royal Belgian Wrestling Federation. Despite its recent creation and limited staff, B.A.W.S. delivered a high-quality event with an innovative visual identity, the support from the City of Brussels through its Sport Commissioner, Mr. Bertin Mampaka, the participation of serveral sponsors among which Ice Watch, Performance, Gameness and Ataste that all gave prizes to the medallists, the broadcast on Beinsport, Life TV and GnP TV, and the use of the Dartfish video system that allowed a fast and effective management of the challenge replays and the upload of all videos on the FILA WebTV after the competition. The competition also inaugrated the participation of several new National Federations, that is: Germany, Georgia, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Belgium. Lebanon was also represented by Mr. Nadim Nassif, national spokesman, who took the international referee's exam.
The first day was dedicated to the pankration competition that was dominated by Ukraine, thanks notably to the victories of Dmytro Baranov in 62kg (2011 Athlete of the Year) and Oleksandr Vysotskiy in 77kg (2010 Athlete of the Year). The Russian and French competitors also performed well and brought their team to the second and third steps of the podium. Check out the complete results.
The grappling competition was held on the second day and the European titles went to Poland (4), Sweden (4), Spain (2), France (1), Ukraine (1) and Russia (1). To be noted Oceane Talvard's performance who once again won the 53kg category after having been crowned Athlete of the Year in 2011 and 2010. Maciej Polok and Karolina Zawodnik (2010 Atheltes of the Year) also confirmed their leading position by winning the 71kg and 54kg categories. The team ranking ended up as such: 1) Poland, 2) Sweden, 3) France. Check ou the complete results.
The gi grapplng competition followed on the third day and the gold medals went to Poland (6), Italy (2), Sweden (1), Germany (1), Serbia (1) and Russia (1). To be noted the double titles (gi and no-gi) of Amir Albazi (62kg), Oceane Talvard (53kg) and Karolina Zawodnik (64kg), as well as the second places won by the Dutch Jordi Peute (62kg) and Daan Westra (77kg) upon their first participation in a FILA Championship. The team ranking was again led by Poland with a crushing total of points of 102 over Italy (62) and France (45). Check out the complete results.
The last day was dedicated to the amateur MMA competition that was perfectly managed by the refereeing body led by Mr. Clint Kingsbury and that reported no serious injury. The European titles went to Poland (3), Ukraine (3), Russia (3), France (2) and Moldova (1). To be noted the victories of Oleksandr Doskalchuk in 62kg who was crowned 2011 Athlete of the Year and of Piotr Podstawczuk (66kg), Mateusz Gamrot (71kg), and Mateusz Kalinarczyk (77kg) upon their first participation in the European Championship. The team ranking ended up as such: 1) Ukraine, 2) Russia, 3) France. Check ou the complete results.
The European Championship was the third leg in the World Ranking and gave 17 points to the winners. As shown in the provisional ranking, some athletes have already dug the distance. The next major step will be World Championship in Moscow that will not only give points to the winners, but also qualify two athletes per category for the 2013 World Combat Games in St-Petersburg.
FILA congratulates the Belgian Committee of Associated Wrestling Styles for the commitment and dynamism that led to a great Championship!
Guam Amateur Wrestling Federation has recently taken formal steps towards the recognition of grappling, pankration, and combat grappling. The Federation appointed Mr. Melchor Manibusan to coordinate the development of the non-Olympic styles throughout the island and quite some work has already been accomplished. The first official clinic was held on 27-28 August 2011 under the supervision of Mr. Larry Papadopoulos, FILA Instructor and World Grappling & Pankration Committee member, who gave in-depth lectures on the various regulations, tournament procedures, refereeing systems, and on mat techniques. All participants from Guam and E.F. Micronisia highly enjoyed the course and are now ready to apply their knowledge to the national qualifier for this year's Cadet, Junior, Veteran World Championship. Guam will also compete with 4 athletes in the Senior World Championship that will take place in Belgrade from 29 September till 01 October 2011 and play an important role by hosting the 2013 Oceania Championship in all Olympic and non-Olympic wrestling styles.
The city of Yuzhny in South Ukraine hosted the 2011 European Championship in Grappling, Pankration and Combat Grappling from 9 till 11 June 2011. The Championship was placed under the responsibility of the Ukraine Pankration Federation and its 1st Vice-president, Mr. Alexander Mandrik, also member of the FILA World Grappling & Pankration Committee. The organising committee offered optimum hospitality and competition conditions to the 180 athletes who all spent an unforgettable time in Yuzhny. The FILA President and Secretary General honored the event with their presence and used the opportunity to award the six 2010 athletes of the year, that is: Océane Talvard (FRA) and Maciej Polok (POL) in no-gi grappling, Karolina Zawodnik (POL) and Grzegorz Kloc (POL) in gi grappling, Galyna Mateichuk (UKR) and Oleksandr Vysotskiy (UKR) in pankration.
The combat grappling competition was led by Ukraine that won the team title over Russia and Italy. To be noted the fourth place won by the Moldavian team upon its first participation in a FILA event with 1 gold, 1 silver, and 1 bronze medal. If Oleksandr Agafonov (UKR) lined up the victories and won the 80kg title in both pankration and combat grappling, the first place remains to Sergey Kovalov (UKR), winner of the first two legs of the world ranking series. In women's combat grappling, no participant entered the FILA Grand Prix in Martigny and all five gold medallists share the first place of the world ranking. The combat grappling competition was highly appreciated by the public and showed once again the special place occupied by amateur MMA within the FILA championship system. Men and women showed great technical skills and all matches were fast-paced and a treat to the eye. Consult the complete combat grappling results.
The Championship was also the occasion for a World Committee meeting with the attending members: Mr. Raphaël Martinetti, FILA President, Ms. Anne Pellaud, Coordinator of the Committee, and MM. Italo Morello (ITA), Clint Kingsbury (CAN), Alexander Mandrik (UKR), Hideo Kamaga (JPN), and Lazaros Papadopoulos (AUS). The 2012 and 2013 calendars were discussed as well as the strategies to further promote our disciplines. The event pictures are available under each sport's section and the videos will soon be uploaded in the WebTV.
FILA gives its appreciation to the Ukraine Pankration Federation and its President, Mr. Viktor Korzh, for its excellent organisation and awaits all teams in Belgrade for the 2011 World Championship.