In July, fans from all over the world will descend upon Las Vegas for the UFC International Fight Week. And right in the midst of all the festivities at the Sands Expo Center will be some top notch freestyle and folkstyle wrestling at the Ultimate Wrestling Championship.
“It’s probably the most unique environment in youth and high school wrestling,” said Eric Hess, the Ultimate Alliance Executive Director. “Thousands of spectators come to the UFC Fan Expo every year and we’ll be right in the middle of the event. Wrestlers will be next to the biggest names in UFC, with people like [UFC President] Dana White walking around the building. The atmosphere will be electric.”
Wrestling will begin with dual meet action on July 9, featuring high school, middle school and elementary school divisions. (All will include folkstyle action, while high school will also feature freestyle). After the first day and half of dual competition, eight “Ultimate” teams will take the mat.
On the third and final day of wrestling (July 11), there will be some double elimination events as well as a Last Man Standing, single-elimination tournament for each age group. As the event’s press release said, “only the strong can and will survive this test.”
In 2014, nationally-ranked grapplers Blake Rypel (Indiana), Jose Champagne (Indiana) and Lucas Hall (Michigan) did more than survive the test and for their efforts picked up Outstanding Wrestler honors.
This time around, three boys and three girls at the high school level will earn “Ultimate Wrestler” accolades and receive their awards in a special place on national television.
“The wrestlers will get their belts inside the UFC octagon, in primetime, before the big fight,” Hess said.
Last year, in the debut of this event, numerous states from around the country were represented. That’s expected to be the case again.
Those who participate will not only get quality matches, but will also gain free admission to all of the International Fight Week activities, including an exclusive Fight Night party. Family members will receive discounts on Fight Week expo tickets.
“There are a lot of exciting opportunities,” Hess said. “You can go anywhere inside the venue. Your coach or spectator pass or wrestler registration gains you admission to all IFW activities which include a potential "bump into” moment with over 400+ UFC fighters circling the convention center and admission to watch Grappling, Kickboxing, Karate, Ju-JitSu and MMA competitions. This is the most unique venue in the country for wrestling and in the second year of this event, we’re gaining momentum.”
In fact, Dana White recently wrote a letter to potential participants.
“While you are focused on your training and preparation, I want to let you know that our team is working hard with the Ultimate Alliance team to create the best competition experience possible for you,” White wrote. “We have a full week of epic events for you to enjoy, and the week will culminate in UFC 189: Aldo vs McGregor and Lawler vs MacDonald 2, which will be the biggest UFC event in history. Thank you for your passion and dedication to wrestling.”
Those who take that passion and dedication to Vegas, are likely in line for some new experiences.
“The wrestling will be great,” Hess said. “But it’s not just going to a wrestling tournament. It’s going to an event unlike any other in the country.”
For more information, see this link: http://www.ultimatealliance.org/page/show/1168510-the-ultimate-tournament