2019 Arnold Classic Armwrestling Challenge

What an unbelievable experience.  First of all, if you're into fitness on any level - this is an event that you simply MUST take a trip to. It represented over 80 sports and there was just about everything you could imagine in a booth somewhere.  As far as armwrestling events, I have yet to see something in the U.S. more intense.  The talent, dedication and genuine love for the sport were all on display, and with 200,000 people in the building - including Arnold Schwarzenegger himself - there were plenty of eyes on the armwrestling stage.


The USAA, which is led by Leonard Harkless and Denise Wattles, has been putting on this amazing event in Columbus, Ohio for 23 years.  With over 100 entries from 14 different countries, all competitors were invited to this tournament by placing in an official qualifying tournament. It's not often you see this amount of armwrestling talent in one room; you can feel the intensity instantly. A record-breaking event was about to begin.


Along with the prize money, awards and custom jacket, winning the ACAC solidifies you as a high-caliber athlete and a force to be reckoned with. The competitors had already warmed up - some relaxed, some happy, most focused and a few quiet - but all determined and looked ready to get the show underway. The entire event had to be completed during two 90 minute windows, so all three tables needed to be filled  quickly and consistently.  You can check out some of the action from day one in the video below.

By the end of day 1, the event was down to 10 or less competitors in each class.  Although a relief for some and a disappointment for many, the excitement was still building as there were some crazy matches still ahead for all of us.  There was a lot of side table action and many interested spectators that were helping to increase the audience of the sport as well, but after a long day it was time to retreat back to hotels to get rested up for another one.

With people filtering in early for day 2, the buzz was building as the best of the best were ready to go for the gold in the final day of competition. With so many matches still scheduled, they ran 3 tables all the way to the finals - which you can watch below.

There were 5 new Champions for 2019. Marcio Barboza won 199+ without much of a problem, Paul Linn came back from an early loss to Dan Mosier to win twice against him in what could easily have been the best matches of the day to win 198, Greg Gray won 176 undefeated topping Bill Logsdon in some tough battles, Mindaugas Tarasaitis was dominant throughout his class to win at 154 and Angie Rose finally got her wins on Josee Morneau.

The official results are listed below.  Armsport supporter and UFC Hall of Famer Randy Couture offered his time to help hand out the awards.


Heavyweights 199+ lbs

  1. Marcio Barboza
  2. Robby Burnett
  3. Don Underwood
  4. Mirtelah Aslanov

Light Heavyweights - 198 lbs.

  1. Paul Linn
  2. Daniel Mosier
  3. Danny Gillean
  4. Elsevar Khaslyev

Middleweights - 176 lbs.

  1. Greg Gray
  2. Bill Logsdon
  3. Roger Nowatske
  4. Hong Jisueng

Lightweights - 154 lbs

  1. Minaugus Tarasaitis
  2. Geoff Hale
  3. Ivan Gregoricka
  4. Vazgen Soghoyan

Ladies - 176 lbs.

  1. Angie Rose
  2. Josee Morneau
  3. Yoko Yamada
  4. Martha Swick

The athletes that participated in this tournament were amazing and I'd like to congratulate ALL of them, not just the winners, for dedicating so much of their time and lives to armwrestling.  If it wasn't for competitors like these, we wouldn't be able to grow the sport and continue to reach larger audiences.

Also there will be some changes to a couple weight classes for the event next year.  The Ladies class will be open weight with no limit, and there will also be a mens super heavyweight class of 243+ - so the heavyweight class will now be 199-242.

The moral of the story is that, without exception, you need to try and qualify for the 2020 Arnold Classic Armwrestling Challenge.  This is one seriously legit, high-caliber armwrestling event that everyone who competes in armwrestling should set a goal to be a part of.  Be sure to check our Event Calendar to find upcoming USAA ACAC qualifiers in your area, and watch out for complete coverage of the event from NBK Media Productions as well as a ton of additional content from Armwrestling.TV.


-Bill Schumer

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