In an effort to provide you with the most comprehensive coverage of the mixed martial arts (MMA) world and especially all things which relate to the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), MMAmania.com is proud to be your home for live coverage of the 2012 NCAA Division 1 wrestling tournament, which kicked off today at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis, Missouri.
A virtual breeding ground for next generation fighters.
As most MMA fans know, American collegiate wrestling has steadily produced a bevy of top fighters from the first UFC event up to present day. The first UFC Heavyweight champion, Mark Coleman, was an NCAA champion. Mark Kerr and Randy Couture, two MMA legends, finished first and second at the 1992 championships in the 190-pound weight class.
Moving to present day, Bellator champions Ben Askren and Cole Konrad both won multiple NCAA titles. UFC Welterweight contender Johny Hendricks is another multiple time champion and the list of elite wrestlers who are finding success in MMA goes on and on.
Mat fans can check out the results of every NCAA championship dating back to 1928. Pretty cool stuff.
The NCAA Division 1 wrestling tournament is a three day event held in March of each year, with a 32-man tournament in each of the 10 official collegiate weight classes:
- 125 lb
- 133 lb
- 141 lb
- 149 lb
- 157 lb
- 165 lb
- 174 lb
- 184 lb
- 197 lb
- Heavyweight (183 lb to 285 lb)
This year's brackets for each weight class can be found here at the official NCAA website, in addition to a wealth of information relating to the tournament with a handy printable schedule of events in .PDF form.
For those who are interested in watching the action as it happens, you can watch it on ESPN 3, the online streaming service provided by the world wide leader in sports. There are two sessions per day, the first from 12:00-3:00 p.m. ET and the second running from 7:00-10:00 p.m. ET.
The first session of the day has just wrapped and we'll give you the match results for the top five seeded wrestlers in each class. (Complete results can be found here, or here, if that first link doesn't work for you.)
125 pound division
1st seed: Matt McDonough (Iowa) won by pin at 3:24 over Jared Germaine (Eastern Michigan)
2nd seed: Zachary Sanders (Minnesota) won by pin at 6:00 over Austin Miller (Bucknell)
3rd seed: Alan Waters (Missouri) won by tech fall (15-0) over Pat Rollins (Oregon State)
4th seed: Jesse Delgado (Illinois) won by decision (6-1) over Jerome Robinson (Old Dominion)
5th seed: Nicholas Bedelyon (Kent State) won by major decision (13-2) over Cory Finch (Iowa State)
As you can see, each of the top five seeds were victorious in their opening matches. Although he did win by a fairly comfortable margin, fourth-seeded Jesse Delgado had the closest match. For those who aren't up on their wrestling lingo, a tech fall is essentially the wrestling version of a mercy rule, with any match that has a score differential of 15 points coming to an immediate end.
133 pound division
1st seed: Jordan Oliver (Oklahoma State) won by pin (2:07) over Frank Martellotti (Penn State)
2nd seed: Logan Stieber (Ohio State) won by pin (5:52) over Mason Beckman (Lehigh)
3rd seed: Tony Ramos (Iowa) won by decision (9-2) over Brian Owen (Boise State)
4th seed: Bernard Futrell (Illinois) won by pin (4:14) over Nick Soto (Chattanooga)
5th seed: Joe Colon (Northern Iowa) won by major decision (10-1) over Ridge Kiley (Nebraska)
Again, all five of the top seeds advanced to the second round, with top seeded Jordan Oliver getting a pin in his opening round match in an impressive two minutes and seven seconds.
141 pound division
1st seed: Kellen Russell (Michigan) won by decision (6-1) over Nicholas Hucke (Missouri)
2nd seed: Kendric Maple (Oklahoma) won by pin (4:48) over Nathan Hoffer (Arizona State)
3rd seed: Michael Mangrum (Oregon State) won in overtime (6-4) over Joshua Kindig (Oklahoma State)
4th seed: Montell Marion (Iowa) won by decision (8-4) over Mike Morales (West Virginia)
5th seed: Hunter Stieber (Ohio State) won by decision (4-2) over Richard Durso (Frank. & Marsh)
A number of close calls for the top seeds in this division, as only top seeded Kellen Russell of Michigan and Kendric Maple of Oklahoma were able to get the decisive victories. Michael Mangrum survived a scare from Joshua Kindig to win in overtime by two points, while Montell Marion and Hunter Stieber also had close matches but ultimately were able to get through to the round of 16.
149 pound division
1st seed: Frank Molinaro (Penn State) won by major decision (9-0) over Christopher Villalonga (Cornell)
2nd seed: Ian Miller (Kent State) won by pin (0:57) over Eric Terrazas (Illinois)
3rd seed: Donald Vinson (Binghamton) LOST by decision (9-4) to Nick Lester (Oklahoma)
4th seed: Cole VonOhlen (Air Force) won by pin (4:34) over Kaleb Friedley (Northwestern)
5th seed: Jamal Parks (Oklahoma State) won by decision (7-2) over Augustus Sako (Virginia)
Our first major upset of the tournament came in the 149-pound division, as third seeded Donald Vinson was beaten 9-4 by unseeded Nick Lester. Also of note is the quickness with which Ian Miller dispatched Eric Terrazas, taking less than 60 seconds to get the pin. Impressive stuff. Lester will face fellow unseeded Kevin Tao in one of the must-see matches in the second round, going later this evening.
157 pound division
1st seed: Kyle Dake (Cornell) won by pin (1:13) over John Nicholson (Old Dominion)
2nd seed: Derek St. John (Iowa) won by major decision (9-1) over Drake Houdashelt (Missouri)
3rd seed: Jason Welch (Northwestern) won by decision (4-1) over Matt Lester (Oklahoma)
4th seed: Walter Peppelman (Harvard) LOST by pin (2:55) to David Bonin (Northern Iowa)
5th seed: Ganbayar Sanjaa (American) won in overtime (6-4) over Josh Demas (Ohio State)
Another upset in the 157-pound division, with Walter Peppelman losing, by pin no less, to David Bonin. Nick Lester's brother Matt was unable to join his sibling as a victorious underdog, although he was a very game opponent for Jason Welch. Top seeded Kyle Dake impressed with his quick pin of John Nicholson, while fifth seeded Ganbayar Sanjaa had to work the extra time period to get by Josh Demas.
165 pound division
1st seed: David Taylor (Penn State) won by pin (1:40) over Corey Lear (Bucknell)
2nd seed: Michael Evans (Iowa) won by decision (5-2) over Kyle Blevins (Appalachian State)
3rd seed: Andrew Sorenson (Iowa State) won by decision (9-5) over Joe Booth (Drexel)
4th seed: Bekzod Abdurakhmonov (Clarion) won by decision (7-4) over Gabriel Burak (Northern Colorado)
5th seed: Shane Onufer (Wyoming) won by decision (4-1) over Benjamin Jordan (Wisconsin)
A bunch of close matches in the 165-pound division, with only top seeded David Taylor securing a pin victory. The rest of the high seeds all won close decisions by no more than four points.
174 pound division
1st seed: Edward Ruth (Penn State) won by pin (1:43) over Jim Resnick (Rider)
2nd seed: Chris Perry (Oklahoma State) won by decision (9-4) over Chris Moon (Virginia Tech)
3rd seed: Nick Amuchastegui (Stanford) won by pin (2:01) over Peter Huntley (Navy)
4th seed: Logan Storley (Minnesota) won by major decision (11-2) over Levi Clemons (Chattanooga)
5th seed: Ethen Lofthouse (Iowa) won by decision (7-2) over Seth Creasy (Lock Haven)
Nothing out of the ordinary here either, with Edward Ruth and Nick Amuchastegui getting quick pins, while Chris Perry, Logan Storley and Ethen Lofthouse won fairly comfortable decisions to advance.
184 pound division
1st seed: Joe LeBlanc (Wyoming) won by decision (9-4) over Mike Larson (Missouri)
2nd seed: Robert Hamlin (Lehigh) 30-1 won by major decision (10-2) over Casey Newburg (Kent State)
3rd seed: Ben Bennett (Central Michigan) won by major decision (9-1) over Erich Schmditke (Oklahoma)
4th seed: Steve Bosak (Cornell) won by decision(5-0) over Braden Atwood (Purdue)
5th seed: Kevin Steinhaus (Minnesota) won by pin (6:21) over Steven Cressley (Clarion)
The top four seeds in the 184-pound division were forced to go to decision to get into the round of 16. Fifth seeded Kevin Steinhaus got the only pin of the favorites, making him someone to watch as the tournament progresses.
197 pound division
1st seed: Cam Simaz (Cornell) won by major decision (12-1) over Brandon Palik (Drexel)
2nd seed: Christopher Honeycutt (Edinboro) won by major decision (11-3) over Keldrick Hall (Oklahoma)
3rd seed: Matthew Wilps (Pittsburgh) won by decision (7-3) over Bagna Tovuujav (George Mason)
4th seed: Christian Boley (Maryland) LOST by decision (2-1) to Cody Reed (Binghamton)
5th seed: Cayle Byers (Oklahoma St.) won by major decision (12-3) over Brent Chriswell (Boise State)
A third upset marked the action in the 197-pound decision, as Cody Reed was able to eek out a 2-1 victory over fourth seeded Christian Boley. If he can get past James Nakashima in the second round, he'll be up against another seeded opponent, as fifth seeded Cayle Byers faces twelfth seeded Joseph Kennedy in their portion of the bracket.
1st seed: Ryan Flores (American) won by pin (4:23) over Devon Mellon (Missouri)
2nd seed: Anthony Nelson (Minnesota) won by major decision (8-0) over Nick Gwiazdowski (Binghamton)
3rd seed: Clayton Jack (Oregon State) won by decision (4-1) over Benjamin Apland (Michigan)
4th seed: Zachery Rey (Lehigh) won in overtime (6-4) over Adam Chalfant (Indiana)
5th seed: Bobby Telford (Iowa) won by decision (6-1) over Blayne Beale (Northern Iowa)
A pretty straight forward set of matches for the top heavyweights in the country except for fourth seeded Zachery Rey, who beat Adam Chalfant but had to go to overtime to do so.
So there you have the results for the top five seeds in each weight class. Not a lot of upsets thus far, but that is probably to be expected. The round of 16 takes place tonight and I'll be back to recap all the action after the matches have been completed.
Any of you Maniacs watching this as it goes down?
UPDATE: For detailed NCAA 2012 tournament wrestling results for Day 2, Session 1 on March 16, 2012, click here.