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Matt Ghaffari

Matt Ghaffari

Olympic wrestler, professional wrestler
The basics
Quick Facts
Intro Olympic wrestler, professional wrestler
Countries Iran
Occupations Amateur wrestler Professional wrestler Mixed martial artist
Gender male
Birth 11 November 1961 (Tehran, Central District, Tehran County, Tehran Province)
The details

Siamak "Matt" Ghaffari (/ɡəˈfɑːri/ gə-FAR-ee; Persian: سیامک غفاری‎‎, Persian pronunciation: [siːɒːmæk-e ɢæˈffɒːɾiː]; born November 11, 1961 in Tehran, Iran) is an Iranian-American amateur wrestler, MMA Fighter and professional wrestler. Matt Ghaffari was a two-time USA Olympic team member, obtaining a silver medal in the 1996 Atlanta Summer Olympic Games. Ghaffari is one of the most accomplished and decorated Greco-Roman wrestlers in U.S.A. history with 3 USA Records.[1]

Early life

Ghaffari attended Paramus High School in Paramus, New Jersey.

Ghaffari's biggest High School match was pinning Ron Dini of Pascack Hills High School NJ power house and Sealed the dual meet win 27-17 after that Paramus went on to be undefeated in 1979 and were NNJIL Champions.

Amateur wrestling career

Representing the United States at the 1992 Barcelona Summer Olympic Games and 1996 Atlanta Summer Olympic Games, Ghaffari reached the final of the heavyweight Men's Greco-Roman 130 kg division, where he lost a very close match 0-1 to Russia's 2-time Olympic champion Aleksandr Karelin in overtime. Ghaffari is holder of 3 American Records; the only USA Greco- Roman wrestler with total of four World and Olympic Medals, plus 4-time World Cup Champion, also 9-time Pan-American Champion! All 3 are USA Wrestling Records. Matt was 7-time USA National Wrestling Champion and 2-time USA Olympic Committee Greco-Roman Athlete of the Year.[1]

Distinguished Member of USA National Wrestling Hall of Fame class of 2013 [2]

Member Cleveland State University Hall of Fame class of 2006

Member Greater Cleveland Sports Hall of Fame class of 2003 [3]

Winner of Hugh O’Brian Youth Foundation Inspiration Award

Mixed martial arts career

Most Decorated GR Wrestler in USA History - 1992 Olympic Picture with all World Cups and Medals
1992 Olympic Picture with all World Cups and Medals - Most Decorated GR Wrestler in USA History

In 2002, Ghaffari fought in Tokyo Dome in front of 100,000 spectators a mixed martial arts bout in UFO- Universal Fighting-Arts Organization against judo Olympic Silver Medalist Naoya Ogawa. Ghaffari managed to take Ogawa down and attack him with a brief ground and pound, but back to standing, Ogawa landed a punch which shifted Matt's left eye contact lens and forced him to quit.

Mixed martial arts record

Res. Record Opponent Method Event Date Round Time Location Notes
Loss 0-1 Japan Naoya Ogawa TKO (punch) UFO Legend 000000002002-08-08-0000August 8, 2002 1 0:56 Tokyo, Japan

Professional wrestling career

In 1996, Ghaffari was scouted by professional wrestling promotion World Championship Wrestling and was featured in several vignettes, but did not sign up with the company.

After his stint in MMA, Ghaffari stated to work in in Japanese promotion Pro Wrestling ZERO-ONE, where he won the NWA Intercontinental Tag Team Championship with Tom Howard on December 15, 2002 by defeating Shinya Hashimoto and old opponent Naoya Ogawa. They held the championship until April 29, 2003, when they lost it to Hashimoto and Ogawa.

In 2004, Ghaffari made an apparition for HUSTLE, pinning Ogawa after a beatdown from the heel faction Monster Army (Mark Coleman, Kevin Randleman, Dusty Rhodes Jr., Giant Silva and Dan Bobish).

In wrestling

  • Finishing moves
    • Ghaffari Press (Running splash)
  • Signature moves
    • Side belly to belly suplex
  • Entrance themes
    • "Imperial March" by John Williams

Championships and accomplishments

  • Pro Wrestling ZERO-ONE
    • NWA Intercontinental Tag Team Championship (1 time) – with Tom Howard
    • ZERO-ONE O-300 Super Heavyweight Championship (1 time)
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