BY LARRY TORRES MADISON SQUARE GARDEN | NOV. 19, 2014, 10:24 A.M.
4-TIME NCAA CHAMPION KYLE DAKE TAKES ON 2014 WORLD CHAMPION ARSEN JULFALAKYAN IN MAIN EVENT AT THE GRAPPLE AT THE GARDEN PRESENTED BY MUSCLEPHARM ON SUNDAY, DECEMBER 21
New York, NY (November 19, 2014) – MSG Sports announced today that four-time NCAA champion and top Olympic hopeful Kyle Dake will take on 2014 World Champion Arsen Julfalakyan in a Greco-Roman wrestling match as the main event of the Grapple at the Garden presented by MusclePharm at Madison Square Garden on Sunday, December 21.
Dake makes his return to Madison Square Garden after competing in the inaugural Grapple at the Garden in 2012 while a senior at Cornell University, where he became the first wrestler to win four NCAA Division I titles in four different weight classes. He is also one of only three four-time Division I champions, joining Pat Smith of Oklahoma State and Cael Sanderson of Iowa State.
“When Nick Garone of X-Cel Worldwide approached me with the opportunity to compete in Greco-Roman style wrestling, my response was, ‘Only if we can get the World Champion,’” said Dake. “It is a tremendous honor and challenge to face Arsen Julfalakyan, and I will be ready to compete at the highest level.”
USA Wrestling Head Coach Matt Lindland added: “Kyle Dake is a household name in American Wrestling. USA Greco-Roman needs Kyle Dake in our program. I am excited about this match, and love that Kyle is always up for a new challenge.”
Since graduation, Dake has been successful on the Senior level in freestyle wrestling, placing second at the 2013 U.S. World Team Trials. He was also a champion at the 2014 Cerro Pelado International in Cuba in freestyle. He is coming off an injury which kept him out of the World Team Trials process in 2014.
The main event bout will be in Greco-Roman, a style which Dake excelled at during his age-group years. He was a member of the 2008 Junior World Greco-Roman Team when he was still a high school star in Lansing, New York. He also was a 2008 FILA Junior National champion as well as a 2008 FILA Junior World Team Trials champion and finished second in the 2007 FILA Cadet Nationals in Greco-Roman.