BUFFALO - Ezzy “EJ” Worden’s novice status was short lived on August 1-2 in the American Armsports Association National Championship in Buffalo.
Worden, an accomplished pool player around New York State, also proved himself in the sport of armwrestling capturing first place honors in the Novice 80KG Division in both left and right handed competition and second in the Pro 80KG division for right and lefthanded competition.
“I’ve been playing around a lot with arm wrestling with some of my closest friends and I heard about the tournament. I train a lot with weights and practice with some good friends including Dr. Chris LaFlair. I was just surprised on how well I finished,” said Worden.
A natural lefty, Worden stormed through the Novice class in the 80KG class beating Adrian Janniro in the finals. Spencer Bartlett came in third.
In the right handed portion of the Novice Class at 80 KG, Worden won over Michael Aaron with Janirro taking third.
“It was kind of a joke entering the tournament at weigh ins because I picked the nationals as my first competitive tournament,” said Worden. “It turned pretty serious after I won the lefty novice. Then in the pro side, I came in second to a multi time national and world champion in Ron Klemba. The people came to realize I was there for one thing only – lefty hand novice. So to come back and compete on the right side it came to no surprise that I guess I can get really intense when I really want to win.”
And for Worden it was a pretty nice weekend but his novice career was short lived.
“After all the success, they rated me as a pro now. I can never pull as a novice again seeing how I tore through that field and was successful in the pro bracket until I went up against Mr. World Champ . The were a lot of great pullers there and they congratulated me and welcomed me into their sport. They made sure to tell me how prestigious the event is and I should be proud and how they can’t wait to see me again. I have a lot of respect for this great sport and the great people who are associated with it,” Worden said.
“Armwrestling is a thinking game. You can’t stop thinking of what you next move is going to be.”
In the pro side of the completion, Worden fell competitively to Ron Klemba on the left and right side. Edward Saracione finished third in right and Jesse Vieira was the third place left side puller.
There were 223 pullers entered in the tournament including women. The Men’s Novice Division has five weight divisions 70KG, 80KG, 90KG, 100KG, 110KG.
The Open Men’s Pro Division has 60KG, 65KG, 70KG, 75KG, 80KG, 85KG, 90KG, 100KG, 110KG and Over 110KB. pullers.
Masters Division has classes of 70, 90, 100, and Over 100. Grand Masters had two divisions of 90 and over 90KG.
“Ron Klemba is a beast and he complemented me. He’s never lost in his class - he has six golds and won the Masters and Grand Masters too,” Worden added.