Thursday, May 5, 2011

MMA Should Envy Amateur Wrestling Today: 2011 BTS Wrestling Gala in Times Square

So much for MMA in New York for now...

While MMA fans still dream about the prospect of mixed martial arts in the Empire State, one of its brother combat sports will take center stage there. Freestyle wrestling is heading to the core of the Big Apple later today as the 2011 Beat the Streets Gala takes to the middle of Times Square. The event will feature a USA vs. Russia wrestling match, pitting two long-time rival international freestyle wrestling teams against each other.

There could not have been better timing for this event, at a time when New York is party central. News of Osama Bin Laden's killing called for times of reflection and celebration in NYC, where nearly ten years ago the tragic World Trade Center attacks took place. President Obama is in town, visiting the WTC site (wouldn't it be cool if the President decided to check out the BTS Gala?).

The US comes into the 2011 BTS - USA vs. Russia match with blazing guns. Russia, the reigning World freestyle wrestling champions, will definitely have their hands full with a US roster that includes 55 kg/121 lbs 2008 Olympic champion Henry Cejudo, who returns to the mat for the first time competitively since the '08 Olymics. Also, 2009 World silver medalist Jake Herbert at 84 kg/185 lbs, 2x NCAA champion, Hodge Trophy winner and 2010 US World Team member Brent Metcalf (66 kg/145.5), and Jordan Burroughs (74 kg/163 lbs.), a two-time NCAA champ who won his first U.S. Open national freestyle title last month will represent the Red, White, and Blue.

The action takes place in just a few hours. will stream the BTS Gala live tonight, at 6 pm EST. Exhibition matches will begin at 3pm EST (no live streaming).

Beat the Streets is a national youth wrestling program that teaches children life lessons through wrestling. The 2011 Beat the Streets Gala is the program's second annual event.

As always, Flowrestling is all over this one. Props to Mark Bader and the Flo crew for their always interesting event coverage:

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