|Posted by Anthony Sansonetti on November 12, 2015 at 12:45 AM|
U.S. Combat Wrestling Team Trials - April 2015 - Lowell, Arkansas
I had been following the recent developments in Combat Wrestling, a sport that was very popular in Japan in the 1990's and had led to several of the best Japanese Combat Wrestlers becoming very successful MMA fighters. It is a sport which has rules that try to give an even playing field to all grappling styles. Throws and pins are rewarded with points, groundwork must be active or competitors restart on their feet, and a submission wins the match immediately.
(More on the history of Combat wrestling here http://www.mmamania.com/2015/3/22/8268575/combat-wrestling-world-championship-aug-22-varna-bulgaria )
The idea of competing in a new sport is very intriguing to me, and I decided in February of 2015 that I would prepare to compete at the US Team Trials. The winners of each weight division would then represent the Unites States at the World Championships in Bulgaria. I headed down to Arkansas with long time Renegade Jeremy Piaser, who was also competing in the weight class below me. Jeremy did very good winning all of his matches and getting to the finals. He was doing very well in the finals until he made one small mistake that lost him the match.
My biggest opponent was the weight cut, I had to make 90 kg, which is 198 lbs. I cut about 5 lbs the day before the tournament. The morning of the tournament I was 2 lbs heavy after my first weigh in attempt, so I had to put on sweats and move and wrestle for 30 minutes to make weight. That left me little time to fully rehydrate and I did not feel truly at my best. Weight cutting aside, I won all of my matches and became the U.S. Champion at 90kg! Now it was time to think ahead to Bulgaria and the World Championships in August.
Team USA above from left to right, Anthony Sansonetti, Kevin Sniff, Roli Delgado, Denny Lenormand , Morgan Bracken
A picture with all of the guys that competed from the American Sambo Association