Level Changes

On this special episode, Ben Askren and Matt Dernlan are in the wrestling room to breakdown the Final X matchup between Yianni Diakomihalis vs Zain Retherford. The first thing Askren noticed about Retherford is he loves to post on his opponent’s shoulder or forehead. Diakomihalis’ counter-offense is to get wrist control or elbow control. While he’s securing the control tie he does a level change. While he makes that level change he’s attacking either a duck under or shooting on the leg. Askren says Retherford relies a lot on pressure and wearing his opponent out. If Retherford can slip the control tie and shoot on Diakomihalis, Askren says he has to be quick and has to get in clean. If Retherford can’t finish the takedown, Diakomihalis can pull some wizardry and actually reverse it.


Dernlan talks about how Retherford in his match against Diakomihalis at the U.S. Open, created an opening in Diakomihalis’ defense. He did so by going from a post on the shoulder, to a quick touch of the head, to a double leg. That caused Diakomihalis to ever so slightly stand straighter and allow Retherford to shoot. Diakomihalis is not known for shooting from space but there were key moments in his Jordan Oliver match specifically where he was able to cover a large amount of space in a short time. Retherford is known for dictating the pace of the match. The way Diakomihalis has been able to negate this has been dictating the center of the mat. Overall, these are two of the most exciting wrestlers to watch in the entire sport so when they clash at Final X you won’t want to blink.


Featured RUDIS Gear:

Askren is wearing the ROCKY IV Champion T-Shirt found here: https://rudis.com/product/rocky-champion-adult-t-shirt/ and the ROCKY III Board Shorts found here: https://rudis.com/product/rocky-iii-rocky-adult-board-shorts/

Dernlan is wearing the ROCKY IV East vs West T-Shirt found here: https://rudis.com/product/rocky-iv-east-vs-west-adult-t-shirt/


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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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