When you walk by a big statue of Dan Gable and then see the flags of countries coming into town to compete in freestyle wrestling, you are in the right place. The World Cup is indeed here. A great assembly of freestyle wrestlers from around the world will do battle this weekend in legendary Carver Hawkeye Arena for the 2018 World Cup.

There has been way too much said about who is not at the World Cup due to the fact that Russia and Iran are not coming.  Folks, do not for one second think that India and Mongolia are a pushover or that you will not be very entertained by outstanding wrestling. Wrestling is the official national sport of Mongolia and India is one of the up and coming programs over the last ten years. There will be outstanding and very entertaining wrestling in Carver Hawkeye Arena starting at 10 AM CST on Saturday.

I have been able to attend practice for Team USA this week and the level of wrestling is almost unreal. As great as our wrestles look on TV or the internet, they look much better when you see the moves in person, especially the flurries.  Team USA is hot off their first team title at the 2017 World Freestyle Championships since 1995. Even with having the best team in the world right now, we are still a young team that I believe will only get better.  How young is Team USA? Jordan Burroughs is the elder statesman on the team and he is 29 years old.

Team USA is led by reigning World Champions Jordan Burroughs (74 kg) and Kyle Snyder (97 kg) along with 2017 World Silver medalist Thomas Gilman (59 kg) and James Green (70 kg) and World Bronze medalist J’den Cox (86 kg) and Nick Gwiazdowski (125 kg).  This is also the first international event of its type to have the two new weight classes. Team USA will be well represented with 4X NCAA champ Kyle Dake at 79 kg and Olympic and World Bronze medalist J’den Cox at 92 kg. With the ten weight classes, Team USA now has Burroughs, Dake, Taylor and Cox a-l-l in the lineup.  That is great news for USA Wrestling.

The greater Iowa City area and the University of Iowa are doing a great job as host.  As I mentioned earlier, when you walk by a Gable statue on your way to a workout, you are in the right place.  Banners are hung up along the streets in Coralville and Iowa City and the wrestlers are recognized by the many wrestling fans in the area. The wrestlers and staff of Team USA have complete use of the Iowa Wrestling facility and the support of the coaching staff and University of Iowa.  Team USA were to visit with Dan Gable in his home last night.  That is an experience that I am sure will not be forgotten. All of this…only in Iowa.  No other place on planet Earth can put on a wrestling tournament like the University of Iowa in Iowa City, Iowa USA.

Gable’s Garden will be in full force.  Directly from Hawkeyesports.com:

7G Distributing headlines an outdoor “Gable’s Garden” that includes non-alcoholic beverages, beer, wine, and food from local vendors. “Gable’s Garden” is open Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. outside the North Entrance of Carver-Hawkeye Arena, near the Dan Gable statue.

Admission to “Gable’s Garden” is included with the purchase of a World Cup ticket. Fans will be able to purchase food and beverages at “Gable’s Garden” and take those items into the arena.

Day Passes for the wrestling begin at $25.  What more could you ask for?

This is  a once in a lifetime event that I strongly encourage you to attend.

Go USA!!!


New revised schedule for the 2018 World Cup in Carver Hawkeye Arena:

Saturday, April 7

10 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. – Session I

10:00 a.m – USA vs. India on Mat A, Mongolia vs. Kazakhstan on Mat B

11:15 a.m. – Georgia vs. Japan on Mat A, Azerbaijan vs. Cuba on Mat B

2 p.m. – Opening Ceremonies

2:30 p.m. -7:00 p.m. Session II

2:30 p.m. – USA vs. Japan on Mat A

4:30 p.m. – Mongolia vs. Cuba on Mat B

5:45 p.m. – Georgia vs. India on Mat A, Azerbaijan vs. Kazakhstan on Mat B


Sunday, April 8

10 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. – Session III

10:00 a.m. – USA vs. Georgia on Mat A, Mongolia vs. Azerbaijan on Mat B

11:15 a.m. – Japan vs. India on Mat A, Cuba vs. Kazakhstan on Mat B

12:30 p.m. – 5th Place Match at Mat A, 7th Place Match on Mat B

2:15 p.m. – Bronze Medal Match on Mat A

4 p.m. – Gold Medal Match on Mat A

*****All times are CST.


Mat A will be the mat furthest from the tunnel in Carver. Mat B will be the mat closest to the tunnel.

*The World Cup will be streamed online at TrackWrestling.

*NBCSportsNetwork will televise US matches Saturday at 2:30 and Gold Medal match Sunday at 4 p.m.