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Bisek shines as Storm athletes take to the mat in Jack Pinto Cup

Published January 26th, 2015 by MTC Staff

Photo by House 8 Graphics

By Jason Bryant, MTC Storm

Photos by House 8 Graphics

New U.S. Greco-Roman National Team coach Matt Lindland is starting to shake things up in another attempt to market the sport of wrestling. One of his stars sports an extremely fashionable mustache.


On Sunday, January 15 at the Antlers Hilton in Colorado Springs, Colorado, Storm athletes Brian Graham and Andy Bisek were victorious a the Jack Pinto Cup, a dual meet pitting U.S. stars against international wrestlers in Greco-Roman competition.


The event had gone through a couple name changes and iterations over the years. Previously known as the Kit Carson Cup and the Kiki Cup, the current namesake was a young wrestler killed during the tragic Sandy Hook school shooting in 2012. The event also used to be eight rounds of duals between four U.S. teams and four international teams.


Lindland’s plan to have a social atmosphere around an event is borrowed from his time promoting fights in the world of Mixed Martial Arts, but with interest in spreading the word of Greco, the Pinto Cup tacked on a dual the previous Friday at the University of Northern Colorado. That dual featured four members of the Storm.


“There was a great attendance and our guys put on a fantastic performance,” said Lindland. “They were on fire today. They started off slow, then we didn’t lose a single match after that. Andy Bisek, our world medalist, and closed the show out with an incredible performance. They attacked. They went out and took risks. With these new rules, that’s the style and that’s what we’re preaching and training.”


In the main event at the Hilton Antlers, Bisek blasted Japan’s Naoki Hanayama 11-0 at 75kg. Hanayama, in town training for the upcoming Dave Schultz Memorial International, was a late replacement for Bulgaria’s Yavor Yanakiev.


Bisek scored first with a passivity point, then scored four points on a bodylock throw, then two more on a turn before finishing Hanayama in 2:16.


Photo by House 8 GraphicsGraham (pictured left) would also win 14-6 over Japan’s Shogo Uozumi at 66kg. Graham fell behind early, but hit a pair of four-pointers to pull away and earn the technical fall.


The U.S. would beat the World team 9-2 after losing the first two bouts and then rolling to nine straight victories including a come-from-behind last-second victory by Spenser Mango at 55kg over 2013 World Champion Ivo Angelov.


“The format was really cool,” said Bisek. “We haven’t had anything with this type of production level. It was awesome. “A lot of guys to showcase themselves to the community. As a team, we did really well. Lost some matches against really good guys, but also beat some really good guys.”


Bisek took the last-minute change of opponent in stride.


“It’s the way it is during a tournament, you don’t know who you’re going to have next round. You have to adapt and do it,” he said.


This will be the start of a travel-heavy spring season for Bisek and his Storm teammates. It was the first time he’d wrestled competitively since winning a bronze medal at the 2014 World Championships in Tashkent, Uzbekistan back in September.


“I’ll do the Dave Schultz, go to Cuba and Hungary,” said Bisek. “I have a couple tough weeks ahead. I’m happy getting turns, but that’s kind of what I’m known for. If I don’t, it can really frustrate me. I have to turn them. For me, getting that takedown was big, it was a position I’ve been working on. It’s almost an even position for a second, you have to take advantage of it.


On Friday, January 23 in Greeley, Colo., another dual saw the World beat the U.S. 4-3 in seven matches. Four wrestlers from the Storm competed, but none came home with individual victories.


Bulgaria’s Konstantin Stas opened with a fall over the Storm’s Devin Scott at 66kg, Demeu Zhadriyev of Kazakhstan followed with an 8-0 win over Graham. Jake Fisher lost a tight 2-1 match at 75kg against Iliyan Georgiev of Bulgaria.


The newest member of the Storm, Ryan Mango, took part in the main event and fell 9-3 at 59kg to 2009 Junior World Champion Aleksandr Kostadinov of Bulgaria.



Antlers Hilton, Colorado Springs, Colo.


130 kg/286 lbs. – Nurmakhan Tinaliyev (Kazakhstan) won by tech. fall over David Arendt (USA), 8-0

85 kg/187 lbs. – Nursultan Tursunov (Kazakhstan) won by tech. fall over Joe Rau (USA), 8-0

71 kg/156 lbs. – Justin Lester (USA) won by tech. fall over Maksat Yerezhepov (Kazakhstan), 8-0

80 kg/176 lbs. – Ben Provisor (USA) dec. Azamat Kustabaev (Kazakhstan), 3-2

98 kg/216 lbs. – Caylor Williams (USA) pinned Vladislav Metodiev (Bulgaria), 4:24

66 kg/145.5 lbs. – Brian Graham (USA) won by tech. fall over Shogo Uozumi (Japan), 14-6

80 kg/176 lbs. – Cheney Haight (USA) won by tech. fall over Kanta Shiokawa (Japan), 9-0

75 kg/165 lbs. – Geordan Speiller (USA) dec. Ashkat Dilmukhamedov (Kazakhstan), 6-1

98 kg/216 lbs. – Jon Anderson (USA) won by tech. fall over Ivan Burtovoy (Argentina), 11-0

Co-Main Event 59 kg/130 lbs. – Spenser Mango (USA) dec. Ivo Angelov (Bulgaria), 3-2

Main Event 75 kg/165 lbs. – Andy Bisek (USA) won by tech. fall over Naoki Hanayama (Japan), 11-0



University of Northern Colorado, Greeley, Colo.


66 kg/145.5 lbs. – Konstantin Stas (Bulgaria) pinned Devin Scott (USA), 2:10

66 kg/145.5 lbs. – Demeu Zhadriyev (Kazakhstan) won by tech. fall over Brian Graham (USA), 8-0

75 kg/165 lbs. – Iliyan Georgiev (Bulgaria) dec. Jake Fisher (USA), 2-1

80 kg/176 lbs. – Patrick Martinez (USA) won by tech. fall over Maximiliano Prudenzano (Argentina), 9-0

98 kg/216 lbs. – C.J. Myers (USA) won by tech. fall over Ivan Burtovoy (Argentina), 9-0

71 kg/156 lbs. – Bo Beckman (USA) won by tech. fall over Eldar Kairatov (Kazakhstan), 9-0

Main event 59 kg/130 lbs. – Alexander Kostadinov (Bulgaria) dec. Ryan Mango (USA), 9-3




Andy Bisek vs. Naoki Nanayama (Japan)

Brian Graham vs. Shogo Uozumi (Japan)


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