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.

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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.