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. Earlier today we had the results from the first session, which consisted of the play in matches and the opening round of 32 in each of the ten weight classes. Tonight's session saw the completion of the round of 16 and we have the results after the jump:
First, though, 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.
(Comprehensive results, including the consolation brackets, can be found here)
125 pound division
1st: Matt McDonough (Iowa) won by pin (2:56) over Trent Sprenkle (North Dakota State)
2nd: Zachary Sanders (Minnesota) won by decision (2-0) over Jonathon Morrison (Oklahoma State)
4th: Jesse Delgado (Illinois) won by pin (5:12) over Camden Eppert (Purdue)
5th: Nicholas Bedelyon (Kent State) won by decision (10-7) over 12th: Steve Bonanno (Hofstra)
6th: Frank Perrelli (Cornell) won in overtime (4-3) over 11th: Matthew Snyder (Virginia)
8th: Ryan Mango (Stanford) won by major decision (15-6) over Levi Mele (Northwestern)
Anthony Zanetta (Pittsburgh) won in overtime (4-2) 3rd Alan Waters (Missouri)
10th: Nicholas Megaludis (Penn State) won by decision (7-3) over 7th: Jarrod Patterson (Oklahoma)
The top seeds moved on for the most part in the 125 pound division. Pitt's Anthony Zanetta took out third seed Alan Waters in a tactical battle that needed overtime to find a winner in the groups only real upset.
133 pound division
1st: Jordan Oliver (Oklahoma State) won by pin (1:30) over Shelton Mack (Pittsburgh)
2nd: Logan Stieber (Ohio State) won by pin (1:19) over Jordan Thome (Army)
3rd: Tony Ramos (Iowa) won by decision (3-1) over Aaron Kalil (Navy)
4th: Bernard Futrell (Illinois) won by pin (1:06) over Zach Zehner (Wyoming)
5th: Joe Colon (Northern Iowa) won by decision (9-2) over Zach Horan (Central Michigan)
8th: Zachery Stevens (Michigan) won by decision (14-9) over 9th Cashé Quiroga (Purdue)
10th: C. Dardanes (Minnesota) won by decision (7-3) over 7th Aaron (A.J.) Schopp (Edinboro)
11th: Steven Keith (Harvard) won by decision (8-6) over 6th Devin Carter (Virginia Tech)
Again, all five of the top seeds advanced to the round of eight. Top seeded Jordan Oliver got another pin in quick fashion, bringing his total match time to 3:37. Logan Stieber and Bernard Futrell also had quick pins, setting the stage for what should be an electric set of quarter finals.
141 pound division
1st: Kellen Russell (Michigan) won by major decision (10-2) over Luke Vaith (Hofstra)
2nd:Kendric Maple (Oklahoma) won by major decision (13-2) over Michael Nevinger (Cornell)
3rd: Montell Marion (Iowa) won by decision (6-1) over Mitchell Port (Edinboro)
4th: Michael Mangrum (Oregon State) won by decision (6-4) over William Ashnault (Rutgers)
5th: Hunter Stieber (Ohio State) won by decision (7-4) over 12th: Tyler Small (Kent State)
6th: Borislav Novachkov (Cal Poly) won by decision(6-4) over Justin LaValle (Old Dominion)
9th: Nick Dardanes (Minnesota) won by decision (4-2) over 8th: Darius Little (North Carolina State)
Zach Neibert (Virginia Tech) won by decision (4-2) over 7th: Nick Nelson (Virginia)
Another division with no real upsets. Zach Neibert will be the only unseeded wrestler in the quarters, having beaten the 10th and 7th seeds respectively. The top two seeds were dominant, with Kellen Russell and Kendric Maple both scoring major decisions to carry a lot of momentum into Friday morning.
149 pound division
1st: Frank Molinaro (Penn State) undefeated won by decision (6-5) over Scott Sakaguchi (Oregon St.)
2nd: Jamal Parks (Oklahoma St.) won by decision (7-2) over Josh Wilson (Utah Valley)
3rd: Cole VonOhlen (Air Force) won by decision (7-4) over Steve Santos (Columbia)
6th: Tyler Nauman (Pittsburgh) won by decision (6-0) over Bryce Busler (Bloomsburg)
7th: Dylan Ness (Minnesota) won by decision (11-7) over Corey Jantzen (Harvard)
8th: Eric Grajales (Michigan) won by decision (4-1) over Nick Brascetta (Virginia Tech)
Justin Accordino (Hofstra) won by pin (3:33) over 5th: Ian Miller (Kent St.)
Nick Lester (Oklahoma) won by tech fall (16-0) over Kevin Tao (American)
After fourth seeded Donald Vinson went down in the first round, fifth seed Ian Miller was taken out by unseeded Justin Accordino, by pin no less. The top three seeds all won by decision, and top seeded Frank Molinaro of tournament Penn State was pushed in a back and fourth match with Scott Sakaguchi, eventually winning 6-5.
157 pound division
1st: Kyle Dake (Cornell) won by pin (1:31) over Joshua Kreimier (Air Force)
2nd: Derek St. John (Iowa) won by decision (8-4) over Roger Pena (Oregon State)
3rd: Jason Welch (Northwestern) won by decision (10-4) over Tommy Churchard (Purdue)
5th: Ganbayar Sanjaa (American) won by decision (3-2) over 12th: Steven Monk (North Dakota State)
7th: Dylan Alton (Penn State) won by decision (2-1) over 10th: Anthony Jones (Michigan State)
8th: Hickman (Bloomsburg) won by decision (7-4) over 9th: Justin Lister (Binghamton)
11th: James Green (Nebraska) won in overtime over 6th: James Fleming (Clarion)
Daniel Kolodzik (Princeton) won by decision (10-5) David Bonin (Northern Iowa)
Top seed Kyle Dake marched on with another quick pin, this time taking out Joshua Kreimier early on in their match. For the most part the action has been closely contested in this division. Unseeded Daniel Kolodzik was one of five unseeded wrestlers to make it to the quarter finals.
165 pound division
1st: David Taylor (Penn State) won by pin (1:52) over Brandon Wright (Chattanooga)
2nd: Shane Onufer (Wyoming) won by decision (6-3) over Daniel Yates (Michigan)
3rd: Andrew Sorenson (Iowa St.) won by decision (4-2) over Marshall Peppelman (Cornell)
4th: Bekzod Abdurakhmonov (Clarion) won by major decision (11-3) over Coleman Gracey (Army)
7th: Josh Asper (Maryland) won by decision (5-2) over Dominic Kastl (Cal Poly)
8th: Robert Kokesh (Nebraska) won by decision (5-4) over Patrick Graham (Oklahoma)
11th: Brandon Hatchett (Lehigh) won by decision (4-2) over Dallas Bailey (Oklahoma St.)
12th: Paul Gillespie (Hofstra) won by decision (3-2) over 5th: Michael Evans (Iowa)
Top seeds really justified their position on the opening day, and David Taylor of powerhouse Penn State was no exception, getting his second pin to start his run. Second seed Shane Onufer had a tight battle with Daniel Yates, as did third ranked Andrew Sorenson. Taylor looks to be well on his way to a championship.
174 pound division
1st: Edward Ruth (Penn State) won by pin (1:26) over Dorian Henderson (Missouri)
2nd: Chris Perry (Oklahoma St.) won by decision (6-2) over Curran Jacobs (Michigan St.)
3rd: Nick Amuchastegui (Stanford) won by major decision (8-0) over Tyler Koehn (Nebraska)
4th: Logan Storley (Minnesota) won by decision (2-0) over Lance Bryon (West Virginia)
5th: Ethen Lofthouse (Iowa) won by decision (5-3) over Jimmy Sheptock (Maryland)
6th: Ryan DesRoches (Cal Poly) won in overtime (5-4) over 11th: Justin Zeerip (Michigan)
7th: Jordan Blanton (Illinois) won by decision (6-1) over Ryan Leblanc (Indiana)
9th: Nick Heflin (Ohio St.) won in overtime (3-2) over 8th: Leroy Munster (Northwestern)
Yet another top seed from Penn State getting a pair of pins in his first round matches. Edward Ruth the man this time. Nick Amuchastegui won his second straight comfortable decision, while the top seven seeds all advanced through.
184 pound division
1st: Joe LeBlanc (Wyoming) won by major decision (11-3) over Erich Smith (Pennsylvania)
2nd: Robert Hamlin (Lehigh) won by decision (8-3) over Tony Dallago (Illinois)
3rd: Ben Bennett (Central Michigan) won by major decision (9-0) over Victor Avery (Edinboro)
4th: Steve Bosak (Cornell) won by major decision (10-0) over Nathan Schiedel (Binghamton)
5th: Kevin Steinhaus (Minnesota) won by decision (7-6) over 12th: Jonathan Fausey (Virginia)
6th: Quentin Wright (Penn State) won by major decision (10-2) over 11th: Ben Clymer (Hofstra)
7th: Josh Ihnen (Nebraska) won by decision (3-2) over 10th: Jacob Swartz (Boise State)
9th: Austin Trotman (Appalachian S.) won by decision (8-2) over 8th: Ryan Loder (Northern Iowa)
Another tidy bracket, as the top seven all advanced with decision victories. Three out of the top four had major decision victories, setting up what should be a competitive group of quarterfinals.
197 pound division
1st: Cam Simaz (Cornell) won by tech fall (22-7) over Morgan McIntosh (Penn State)
2nd: Christopher Honeycutt (Edinboro) won by decision (6-3) over Daniel Rinaldi (Rutgers)
3rd: Matthew Wilps (Pittsburgh won by decision (11-6) over A.J. Kissel (Purdue)
5th: Cayle Byers (Oklahoma State) won by decision (5-2) over 12th: Joseph Kennedy (Lehigh)
9th: Alfonso Hernandez (Wyoming) won by decision (7-6) over 8th: Matt Powless (Indiana)
James Nakashima (Nebraska) won by decision (7-5) over Cody Reed (Binghamton)
6th: Brent Haynes (Missouri) won by decision (6-0) over 11th: Micah Burak (Pennsylvania)
10th: Sonny Yohn (Minnesota) won by decision (8-5) over 7th: Mario Gonzalez (Illinois)
Cam Simaz had the most points of the evening session, scoring 22 in a technical fall victory over Morgan McIntosh. The rest of the group was tightly contested. James Nakashima will be the lone unseeded wrestler in the divisions final 8.
1st: Ryan Flores (American) won by pin (2:21) over Wesley Schroeder (Eastern Michigan)
2nd: Anthony Nelson (Minnesota) won by decision (6-0) over Peter Sturgeon (Central Michigan)
3rd: Clayton Jack (Oregon St.) won by tech fall (17-2) over Kevin Innis (Boston U)
4th: Zachery Rey (Lehigh) won by decision over (2-1) Brandon Williamson (West Virginia)
5th: Bobby Telford (Iowa) won by decision (4-1) over Peter Capone (Ohio State)
6th: Cameron Wade (Penn State) won by decision (8-2) over Maciej Jochym (Cornell)
10th: Michael McMullan (Northwestern) won by pin (4:05) over 7th: Jeremy Johnson (Ohio)
Andrew Delaney (Citadel) won by decision (9-6) over Steve Andrus (Michigan State)
Seventh seeds had the toughest time advancing to the quarters, as only five made it through. Ryan Flores had to wrestle in a play down match, but he didn't let it phase him and he has used the momentum of a quick pin to lead him into the final 8 with three pins in three matches. He is a beast. Anthony Nelson, the second seed, is from team championship contender Minnesota. A match up between Flores and Nelson in the finals could have real team championship implications.
The team standings after one day can be found at the same spot as the comprehensive results. Penn State leads the way with 38.5 points, with Minnesota within striking distance at 33. Minnesota has eight wrestlers into the quarters, while Penn has one less. Should be a very close battle right down to the wire. Oklahoma State, Cornell and Iowa round out the top five.
Friday should be the most entertaining day of the tournament. The 10 finals will be great but there is going to be 40 elimination matches tomorrow morning, then another 20 in the evening. I'll take 60 big time wrestling matches over 10 any day, even if they aren't championships. These guys are the best in the nation and it's a real treat to get to watch them all in one place.
What do you think of the action so far? Who has impressed you the most? I personally like what Ryan Flores and Jordan Oliver have brought to the table. I wonder if anyone has talked to them about MMA yet ...
UPDATE: For detailed NCAA 2012 tournament wrestling results for Day 2, Session 1 on March 16, 2012, click here.