Mocco to Compete in Ivan Yarygin Cup

Oct. 22, 2003

COLORADO SPRINGS, CO – Steve Mocco (N. Bergen, N.J./New York AC) has accepted an invitation tocompete in the Ivan Yarygin Cup in Moscow, Russia on Nov. 7. The tournamentwill take place at the Sport Palace in Moscow.

Mocco will wrestle at 120 kg/264.5 lbs.

Wrestlers from two weight classes, 96 kg/211.5 lbs. and 120 kg/264.5 lbs.,will compete for the title of Absolute Champion. Only eight wrestlers perweight class have been invited to compete, most of whom have placed in thetop 10 at the 2003 World Championships.

The total prize money for the tournament is $55,000. Champions from eachweight class will win $10,000, silver medal winners will earn $3,000, bronzemedal winners will win $2,000 all other competitors will receive $1,000.

The champions at 96 kg/211.5 lbs. and 120 kg/264.5 lbs. will then competeagainst each other for the title of FILA Absolute Champion. The winner ofthat match will win an additional $15,000, bringing the total purse for theFILA Absolute Champion to $25,000.

Since Mocco is still an NCAA athlete, he will be unable to accept any prizemoney.

Mocco has not competed in an international competition since the 2001 JuniorFreestyle World Championships. He placed fourth in that tournament. He alsoplans to compete in the Sunkist Kids/ASU International Open in Tempe, Ariz.,Oct. 24-25.

“It’s a good experience. A lot of good wrestlers are going to be there,”Mocco said. “Any time you get a chance to wrestle No. 1 guys like this, youhave to take it.”

Mocco is currently taking an Olympic redshirt year from the Univ. of Iowa.In his first two collegiate seasons, he was an NCAA runner-up in 2002 and anNCAA champion in 2003 at 285 lbs.2003 U.S. World Team member Daniel Cormier (Stillwater, Okla./Gator WC) hasalready accepted an invitation to compete at the Ivan Yarygin Cup. Cormier,who placed fifth at the 2003 World Championships, will compete at 96kg/211.5 lbs.

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

By John Fuller, USA Wrestling