NEW YORK PITBULLS HEAVYWEIGHT BRYAN VETELL WINS GOLD IN USA WRESTLINGGRAPPLING QUALIFIER, TAKES BIG STEP TOWARD QUALIFYING FOR FIRST-EVER USAGRAPPLING TEAM FOR WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS
Hofstra University grad, Long Island native will compete in the USAWrestling Grappling World Team Trials in Las Vegas June 9-10
NEW YORK May 21, 2007 – The International Fight League (OTC.BB: IFLI),the world’s number one team-based professional mixed martial artsleague, today announced that New York Pitbulls heavyweight Bryan Vetellhas qualified for the USA Wrestling Grappling World Team Trials on June9-10 at the Las Vegas Convention Center in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Vetell took gold in the USA Wrestling Grappling qualifier in VirginiaBeach, Va. last week, and now will compete for a spot on the first-everU.S. Grappling World Team that will go to the Wrestling World Games inAntalya, Turkey in September. Grappling (also called submissionwrestling) was recognized earlier this year by FILA, the internationalwrestling federation, to be a style of international wrestling. FILAgoverns the Olympic styles of wrestling (freestyle and Greco-Roman), aswell as additional styles of the sport including Grappling, Sombo andBeach wrestling.
“We are very proud of Bryan, and think this is a great example of howour partnership with USA Wrestling can work really well,” said KurtOtto, IFL co-founder and commissioner. “This shows how our relationshipwill be a great two way street…giving MMA athletes a chance to followOlympic dreams if they are accomplished grapplers, while providing a greatprofessional athletic career for elite wrestlers once their amateur careerends. It’s a win-win for everyone involved and will really raise thevisibility of both groups.”
Vetell is a Hofstra University graduate and Long Island native who hascompeted for Renzo Gracie’s Pitbulls, training out of the Gracie Academyin Manhattan, during the inaugural IFL season. He has split his last twoPitbulls matches, winning over the Chicago Red Bears Mo Fowzi on Feb. 23and losing a highly entertaining bout to the Portland Wolfpacks Devin Coleon April 13 at Mohegan Sun Arena. The KO loss to Cole made Vetellineligible to compete in the Pitbulls next event (in Las Vegas on June 19)but he is expected to be available should the second place Pitbulls makethe IFL playoffs, slated for August 2 at Continental Airlines Arena.
Vetell claimed a gold medal at the USA Wrestling Grappling Qualifier inVirginia Beach, Va., one of four USA Wrestling sanctioned qualifiers forthe World Team Trials. Five other qualifying events from other promoterswithin the Grappling community will complete the field of participants atthe World Team Trials. The Grappling World Team Trials will be heldalongside the U.S. World Team Trials in men’s freestyle, men’sGreco-Roman and women’s freestyle in Las Vegas that weekend.
Currently no less than 30% of IFL coaches and athletes come from awrestling background, many with international and college success. Theyinclude Olympic medalist Matt Lindland (Nebraska), two-time Olympian DanHenderson, past national champion Don Frye (Arizona State) and currentathletes Wayne Cole (Oklahoma), Jay Hieron (Nassau Community College andHofstra University), Gerald Harris (Cleveland State), Ryan McGivern(Iowa), Mike Whitehead (Missouri), Aaron Stark (Wisconsin), Ryan Schultz(Nebraska), Reese Andy (Wyoming), Shad Lierley (NYU) and others.
For more information on USA Wrestling’s World Team Trials in Las Vegas,visit:
usawrestlinglasvegas dot com
The IFL/USA Wrestling partnership announced earlier this year will includejoint USA Wrestling/IFL clinics and information sessions featuring IFLathletes and coaches and USA Wrestling staff in strategic locations,beginning with the Fan Festival held alongside the USA Wrestling WorldTeam Trials in Las Vegas, Nevada, June 9-10.
About USA Wrestling
USA Wrestling is the National Governing Body for wrestling in the UnitedStates, and is a member organization of the U.S. Olympic Committee and theinternational wrestling federation FILA. USA Wrestling conducts events andprograms for wrestling at all levels. Its membership includes athletes,coaches, officials, volunteers and fans all across the nation.