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Wednesday, October 5, 2022
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Bout at the Ballpark Wrestling Competition Coming in 2022

Events, Sports

Statue of Nolan Ryan outside of Globe Life Field. | Image by Smiley N. Pool, Dallas Morning News

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REV Entertainment announced on October 12 that a special wrestling event titled Bout at the Ballpark will be held at Globe Life Field on February 12, 2022. The event features matches between the University of Iowa and Oklahoma State University in NCAA competition along with games between the USA National Team and the Iran Wrestling Federation.

“I am very excited to announce Bout at the Ballpark,” said REV Entertainment President Sean Decker in a press release. “We are proud to have the opportunity to host a competition that celebrates four of the most iconic brands in the sport of wrestling, the Oklahoma State Cowboys against the Iowa Hawkeyes and USA Wrestling versus Iran. I want to thank these four great programs for their incredible cooperation in helping us put together this spectacular wrestling event.”

OSU ranks Number 1 in the U.S. with a total of 143 NCAA individual title championships, the most of any NCAA school in any single sport. Iowa ranks second with a total of 85 individual NCAA championships and 55 individual NCAA champions. They also won the 2021 championship under the tutelage of 16-year head coach Tom Brands.

Finally, Oklahoma is led by former Olympic gold medalist and six-time world champ John Smith. Smith has coached OSU since 1991.

“The Oklahoma State-Iowa series is one of the best things the sport of wrestling has to offer. The history of both programs speaks for itself, and it’s always matched by the intensity on the mat,” Smith said in a press release.

“I’m excited to show this rivalry to a new part of the country and help grow our sport in the process. The chance to wrestle at a first-class facility like Globe Life Field is a great opportunity for our program and our fans. We can’t wait to get to Arlington and are looking forward to wrestling in what will be a great, one-of-a-kind atmosphere.”

Matches between the U.S. team and Iran have traditionally drawn larger-than-average crowds. Organizers anticipate at least 27,000 fans for the game.

According to the press release, Oklahoma holds a 29-23-2 advantage after 55 meetings in school history. The tie-in between collegiate sports and international competition makes this match particularly attractive to wrestling fans. OSU has 11 Olympic gold medals, while Iowa State has accumulated 11 Olympic and national gold medal victories.

The competition between the U.S. and Iran national wrestling teams is one of the most heated competitions in any sport. Iran considers wrestling, known there as Koshti Pahlavani, to be the original sport of Iran.

The last time an Iranian team traveled to the U.S. was in 2016 to compete in the World Cup. U.S. wrestlers were nearly banned from competing in events following the travel ban by former President Donald Trump in 2017.

“Wrestling transcends politics, and nothing shows that better than the friendly rivalry between USA Wrestling and the Iranian Wrestling Federation. These are two of the best freestyle wrestling nations in the world,” USA Wrestling Director Rich Bender said in a press release.

“We are grateful that Team USA is getting an opportunity to take on one of the strongest teams and measure ourselves against some of the best athletes in the sport. We are also honored to partner with the Texas Rangers and two of the most storied programs in the history of college wrestling, the Iowa Hawkeyes and the Oklahoma State Cowboys. It will be a great day for wrestling.”

The event promises to be one of the most significant professional wrestling events of the year. It sets No. 1-ranked Daton Fix (OSU) against No. 4-ranked Austin DeSanto (Iowa) and No. 6 Travis Wittlake (OSU) vs. No. 2-ranked Alex Marinelli (Iowa). The event will be live-streamed through media provider FloSports.

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