Yianni Is Living in the Matrix

On this special live broadcast Ben Askren and Matt Dernlan breakdown all the wrestling from the U.S. Open leading up to the finals and make their predictions for the finals. The first topic they jump into is someone everyone is talking about, Yianni Diakomihalis. Diakomihalis has had an amazing tournament thus far highlighted by his tech fall over Jordan Oliver. It’s exciting to see considering Diakomihalis hasn’t had many opportunities to show what he can do in freestyle. Askren and Dernlan break down his mat and body awareness. The 65 kg final between Diakomihalis and Zain Retherford will be one of the most exciting matchups of the entire tournament.

65 kg (15:18)

After talking about Diakomilhalis vs Retherford, Askren and Dernlan discuss other key matches that went down in the 65 kg bracket. One great match was Joey McKenna vs Dean Heil. Heil came up big with two, four point moves in the second period getting the win 12-9. Heil then only had 15 minutes until his next round match against Jordan Eierman. Askren says in order to save time and allow more time between matches they should consider getting rid of challenge blocks before the quarterfinals.

57 kg (21:07)

The first match they break down is Nathan Tomasello vs Thomas Gilman that ended with Tomasello cautioning out in the second period. Askren was surprised at how dominant Gilman looked after Tomasello tech falled his way to the semifinal match. Tomasello and Gilman always had very competitive matches in college. They go on to talk about Daton Fix. They point out how many tournaments Fix shows up to which is a lot more than most wrestlers.

61 kg (25:35)

Askren and Dernlan give credit to Joey Palmer making it all the way to the semifinals as a fairly unknown wrestler. He got past Tyler Graff in the quarterfinals which is a very tough task. Another wrestler Askren highlights in this bracket is Beau Bartlett. Bartlett is a high school junior and ended up finishing 8th place beating some notable collegiate wrestlers.

70 kg (29:02)

Ryan Deakin has been on a storm through this star-studded bracket. Deakin was Dernlan’s pick as a guy that could be a major disrupter at NCAAs but he faded off during the NCAA Championships. He’s been showing the world what he can do in Freestyle and will face James Green who beat Jason Nolf in their semifinal matchup.

74 kg (32:54)

Isaiah Martinez has been hammering everyone on his way to the finals. He faces Thomas Gantt in the finals. Askren says the most interesting thing about this weight class is to see what the wrestlers at non-Olympic weight levels decide to do.

79 kg (35:02)

Askren coached Nick Becker who’s wrestling out of Askren Wrestling Academy. Becker dropped to Chance Marsteller and now he will face Matthew Finesilver in the third-place match. Marsteller faces Alex Dieringer in the finals. Askren predicts Dieringer going down to 74 kg and Marsteller going up to 86 for the Olympics.

86 kg (35:43)

Pat Downey beats Myles Martin in the semis 9-7. It was all Martin in the first period up 7-0 but wasn’t able to hold off Downey in the second. Downey faces Nick Heflin in the finals.

92 kg (38:03)

Hayden Zillmer has been really impressive all tournament but he has a tough task in the finals against Bo Nickal. Askren calls for fireworks in the finals and wants to see how Nickal wrestlers a bigger wrestler in Zillmer.

97 kg (38:43)

One of Dernlan’s top wrestlers, Ben Honis has made it to the finals and will face Kyven Gadson. Honis beat Ty Walz in the semifinals. Walz is a guy many thought could give Snyder a run which shows how good Honis is.

125 kg (40:03)

Adam Coon made his way to the finals as expected and he’ll face Anthony Nelson.


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Ben Askren and Matt Dernlan host the RUDIS Wrestling Podcast. Askren, World Champion, and Olympic Wrestler joins in official partnership as a content provider for all things RUDIS. Matt Dernlan joins from years of experience in D1 college coaching at Binghamton, Clarion, and Penn State University.

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