By: Alex Steen
Name: Robby Smith
Height: 6’ 0”
Weight Class: 130 kg (286 lbs)
Club: New York AC
Lives In: Colorado Springs, CO
College: Northern Michigan
High School: San Ramon, Danville, CA
Born: Jan. 30th, 1987
At the 2015 World Championships in Las Vegas, Nevada, Robby Smith reached the bronze medal match. His opponent that day was Russia’s Bilyal Makhov. Makhov is a mountain of a man. He stands between 6 foot 5 and 6 foot 7, depending on who you ask, is a sculpted 265 pounds and already has a contract to fight in the UFC after the 2016 Olympic Games. Smith is no small man himself, of course, but having wrestled 96 kg until 2013 and standing 6 feet even, he is no Makhov.
Early in their match it looked like Makhov was just too much for Smith. The Russian built a 7-0 lead and it appeared to be all but over for the American. Then, as if in a Rocky movie, the tide turned and suddenly the Russian was in trouble. While there would be no Hollywood ending, Makhov would eventually prevail 10-8, Smith ignited the crowd and had wrestling fans all over the world cheering.
The American team has a number of wrestlers that are fun to watch. Even though he wrestles in a discipline that many find the least exciting, Smith is likely the most entertaining of them all. His wrestling style has a lot to do with that, he has confessed, “I like to beat people up and I like to throw people”, but his attitude is also a big part of it. In a sport that prides itself on intensity and toughness, Smith often takes the mat with a bushy beard, high socks with the U.S. flag on them and a smile.
This will be Smith’s first Olympics, but he has two fifth place finishes at the World Championships, in 2013 and 2015. This is his fourth consecutive U.S. world or Olympic team. He is a real threat to medal, especially if Makhov is focused on freestyle as is rumored. Regardless of how he does, his matches will be must see television for any wrestling fan.
2016: U.S. Olympic Team Trials Champion
2015: Fifth Place World Championships, U.S. World Team Trials Champion, U.S. Open Champion, Third Place Pan American Games
2014: DNP in World Championships, U.S. World Team Trials Champion, U.S. Open Champion, Dave Schultz Memorial International Champion, Third Place Granma Cup
2013: Fifth Place World Championships, Lakrikov Championships Champion, Haavisto Cup Champion, New York AC International Champion, U.S. World Team Trials Champion, Second Place Pan American Championships, Third Place U.S. Open, Fourth Place Dave Schultz Memorial International,
2012: Final Olympic Trials Qualifier Champion, Haavisto Cup Champion, New York AC International Champion, Third Place U.S. Olympic Team Trials, Fifth Place Haparanda Cup
2011: Second Place U.S. Open, Second Place Sunkist Kids International Open, Second Place Pan American Championships, Third Place Grand Prix of Slovenia, Third Place Dave Schultz Memorial International, Fifth Place Hungarian Grand Prix
2010: New York AC International Champion, Sunkist Kids International Champion, Second Place Dave Schultz Memorial International, Third Place U.S. World Team Trials, Third Place Haparanda Cup, Third Place Granma Cup, Fourth Place U.S. Open
2009: Second Place New York AC International, Fifth Place Vantaa Cup (Finland), Seventh Place World University Championships,
2008: Third Place University Nationals, Fourth Place U.S. Open, Fifth Place Cristo Lutte Seniors, Fifth Place U.S. Olympic Team Trials
2007: Fourth Place U.S. World Team Trials, Fifth Place U.S. Nationals
2006: Third Place New York AC Holiday International Open, Third Place Sunkist Kids/ASU International Open