Emiliano Granados

The Beautiful, Badass World Freestyle Wrestling Championship

The best freestyle wrestlers in the world came to Los Angeles in April for one of the sport's biggest international tournaments.

Apr 27 2015, 3:45pm

Emiliano Granados

On April 11 and 12 some of the best wrestlers in the world gathered in Los Angeles for one of the sport's most prestigious tournaments: The Men's Freestyle World Cup. The competing countries were Russia, Cuba, the United States, Mongolia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Turkey, and the winners, Iran.

Thousands of fans were in attendance, including a vocal subset from the large local Iranian community in Los Angeles. When Iran was competing, the Fabulous Forum transformed into a soccer stadium. These photos capture the basic human language of wrestling, the years of training on display at the tournament, and the emotional stakes of a hard, physical sport being played at the highest levels.