Two days after the Agon Wrestling Championships I: The Revolution wrestling event in Las Vegas, lineups have been revealed for the next event, Agon II.
On Tuesday, InterMat’s T.R. Foley reported four match-ups for the follow-up event, slated for late December, featuring Chris Bono vs. Brent Metcalf, Max Askren vs. Jon Reader, Cam Simaz vs. Ben Bennett, and Andy Simmons vs. Kellen Russell.
“Taking from the lessons they learned in Las Vegas Agon owners and operators, including Mike DiSabato and Ernie Ciaccio are already planning to host Agon II on Dec. 22 in Flint, Mich., in coordination with NUWAY’s Mat Mayhem event,” wrote Foley. “The lineup card is filled with compelling matchups, with a majority of the wrestlers hailing from the state of Michigan, a move Agon is hoping will attract more fans into the stands.”
Metcalf, Reader, Simaz, Bennett, and Simmons are natives of Michigan; Simmons wrestled at Michigan State, while Russell competed at University of Michigan.
College credentials for Agon II competitors
Chris Bono was a three-time NCAA All-American for Iowa State, winning the 150-pound title at the 1996 NCAAs. He is now entering his second season as head wrestling coach at South Dakota State University.
Brent Metcalf was a two-time Big Ten champ and three-time NCAA finalist, winning the 149-pound crown at the 2008 and 2010 NCAAs for the University of Iowa.
Max Askren, younger brother of Agon I winner (and Bellator Fighting Championships welterweight titleholder) Ben Askren, won the 184 lb. title at the 2010 NCAAs for the University of Missouri.
As a wrestler at Iowa State, Jon Reader was a two-time NCAA All-American, winning the 174-pound championship at the 2011 NCAAs.
Cam Simaz claimed the 197-pound title at the 2012 NCAAs for Cornell University. He also was a four-time EIWA (Eastern Intercollegiate Wrestling Association) champ.
Ben Bennett, who wrestled for Central Michigan, won four MAC (Mid-American Conference) championships and was the school’s first four-time NCAA All-American.
Andy Simmons, a former Michigan State mat star, was a two-time NCAA All-American — and 2006 Big Ten champ — for the Spartans. Andy is the brother of Agon I competitor Nick Simmons.
Kellen Russell ranks as one of the brightest wrestlers to step on the mat for the Michigan Wolverines, winning NCAA titles in 2011 and 2012, and four Big Ten conference crowns.
The first Agon event on Sunday featured four bouts, wrestled following unique rules that drew heavily from collegiate folkstyle. One significant difference: the Agon bouts were nine minutes (three equal three-minute periods) instead of seven minutes in college.
The Agon Wrestling Championships I event in Las Vegas had many of the trappings of a big-time MMA event, from the promotional posters to the weigh-in ceremonies, pre-event video interviews (some that had the trash-talk elements of MMA pre-match interviews), and, yes, ring girls.
Agon II in Michigan is expected to be followed by additional events planned for 2014 in Ithaca, N.Y. (in January), Columbus, Ohio (February), Clovis, Calif. (March), Indiana, Pa. (April), and again in Las Vegas next July.
“Agon” comes from Greek word describing a one-on-one, no-holds-barred contest where human nature was tested to the limits. “Agon” is the root of English words “antagonist” and “agony.”
About the photo: The image shows competitors in two of the matches slated for Agon II. The top row shows Max Askren (left) and Jon Reader in recent images from Facebook; the bottom row, Brent Metcalf (left) and Chris Bono in their college prime.
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