Mocco Wins Silver

Moscow, Russia - Steve Mocco (N. Bergen, N.J./New York AC) captured a silver medal and Daniel Cormier (Stillwater, Okla./Gator WC) captured a bronze medal at the prestigious Ivan Yarygin Cup in Moscow, Russia, Nov. 7. Mocco lost to 1998 World Champion and five-time World and Olympic medalist Alexis Rodriguez of Cuba 4-0 in the 120 kg/264.5 lbs. gold-medal final.

Moscow, Russia - Steve Mocco (N. Bergen, N.J./New York AC) captured a silver medal and Daniel Cormier (Stillwater, Okla./Gator WC) captured a bronze medal at the prestigious Ivan Yarygin Cup in Moscow, Russia, Nov. 7.

Mocco lost to 1998 World Champion and five-time World and Olympic medalist Alexis Rodriguez of Cuba 4-0 in the 120 kg/264.5 lbs. gold-medal final.

The two were scoreless after one period, but Rodriguez scored one point in the clinch to start the second period after one minute ran out and neither wrestler had scored.

In the par terre action that followed, Rodriguez scored two points on a gut wrench to take a 3-0 lead.

"That turn took me out of the match. If I would have stopped that turn, I would have had a lot better chance. But that's what I need to work on - par terre and scoring in the first period," Mocco said.

In the first round, Mocco defeated Aleksi Modebadze of Georgia, who placed 10th in the 2000 Olympic Games, by a 4-0 score.

Mocco then downed 1997 World Champion Kuramagomed Kuramagomedov of Russia in the semifinals, 4-1 to advance to the gold-medal match against Rodriguez.

Overall, Mocco feels he has a lot of work to do before the U.S. Olympic Team Trials in May.

"I think I have a lot of stuff to work on. This tournament really pulled out my weaknesses. What's good is that I have five months to fix it. Par terre is a lot different in practice than in the match." Mocco said.

"It just shows that I am pretty far away from my goals. I have a lot of work I have to do. I didn't wrestle up to the standards I am used to wrestling," he added.

In the first round at 96 kg/211.5 lbs., Cormier defeated Enkhtuya Tuvinshintur of Mongolia, 4-0. Tuvinshintur placed fourth at the 2003 World Championships.

Cormier then dropped a 7-6 decision to 2001 World Champion Georgi Gogchelidze of Russia in the semifinals. In the bronze medal match, Cormier downed two-time World medalist Krassimir Kotchev of Bulgaria, 4-2 in overtime.

Down 1-0 in the match, Cormier scored a reversal and took to Gogchelidze his back for a 5-1 lead.

In the second period, Gogchelidze locked Cormier in a bear-hug and scored exposure points off the move. Gogchelidze then added a leg lace for a 7-5 advantage. Cormier scored a takedown to cut the lead to 7-6, but could not break Gogchelidze out of a tri-pod defense to finish another takedown as time expired.

"It's good to get that hard competition in. As for my performance, I was real sporatic. I wasn't consistent all through the tournament," Cormier said.

"(The tournament) lets me know that I can compete with those top guys and I should be winning those matches. I should have beaten the Russian guy. I still have some work to do, though."

FILA, the international governing body for the sport of amateur wrestling, the Wrestling Federation of Russia and the International Ivan Yarygin Charitable Organization have cooperated in hosting this tournament. The event is held in honor of the late Ivan Yarygin, an Olympic and World Champion and former President of the Russian Wrestling Federation.

Wrestlers from two weight classes, 96 kg/211.5 lbs. and 120 kg/264.5 lbs., competed for the title of FILA Absolute Champion. Only eight wrestlers per weight class were invited to compete, most of whom placed in the top 10 at the 2003 World Championships.

The total prize money for the tournament is $55,000. Champions from each weight class won $10,000, silver medal winners earned $3,000 and bronze medal winners won $2,000. All other competitors received $1,000.

The champions at 96 kg/211.5 lbs. and 120 kg/264.5 lbs. then competed against each other for the title of FILA Absolute Champion. The winner of that match won an additional $15,000, bringing the total purse for the FILA Absolute Champion to $25,000.

For winning a bronze medal, Cormier will be awarded $2,000. Since Mocco is still an NCAA athlete, he will be unable to accept any prize money. Mocco is taking an Olympic redshirt year from the Univ. of Iowa, where he was the 2003 NCAA champion at 285 lbs.

2003 Ivan Yarygin Cup at Moscow, Russia Nov. 7, 2003 FILA Absolute Championship Alexis Rodriguez (CUB) dec Georgi Gogchelidze (RUS),

96 KG/211.5 LBS. Gold - Georgi Gogchelidze (RUS) dec. Fatih Cakiroglu (TUR), 3-1 Bronze - Daniel Cormier (USA) dec. Krassimir Kotchev (BUL), 4-2, ot, 6:04

Semifinals: Georgi Gogchelidze (RUS) dec. Daniel Cormier (USA), 7-6 Fatih Cakiroglu (TUR) dec. Krassimir Kotchev (BUL), 3-1

First Round: Georgi Gogchelidze (RUS) dec. Vadim Tasoev (UKR), 3-0 Daniel Cormier (USA) dec. Enkhtuya Tuvinshintur (MGL), 4-0 Fatih Cakiroglu (TUR) dec. Eldar Kurtanidze (GEO), 3-0 Krassimir Kotchev (BUL) BYE

120 KG/264.5 LBS. Gold - Alexis Rodriguez (CUB) dec. Steve Mocco (USA), 3-0 Bronze - Kuramagomed Kuramagomedov (RUS) dec. David Musulbes (RUS), 3-2, ot, 7:10

Semifinals: Steve Mocco (USA) dec. Kuramagomed Kuramagomedov (RUS), 4-1 Alexis Rodriguez (CUB) dec. David Musulbes (RUS), 3-0

First Round: Kuramagomed Kuramagomedov (RUS) dec. Mazid Mutalibov (KAZ), 4-1 Steve Mocco (USA) dec. Aleksi Modebadze (GEO), 4-0 Alexis Rodriguez (CUB) dec. Efstathios Topalidis (GRE), 4-0 David Musulbes (RUS) dec. Sergey Pryadun (UKR), 7-0


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