Heavy Weight

On this episode, Ben Askren and Matt Dernlan will break down the Finals of the World Team Trials. Askren doesn’t waste any time jumping right into his opinion on Gable Steveson vs Adam Coon in the Heavy Weight Finals. some people picked Steveson to beat Coon but not in the dominant fashion he did. Dernlan says if you had no frame of reference you would think Coon was the 18-year-old college wrestler and Steveson was the recent graduate who has proven their abilities at the senior level. Coon felt the most comfortable wrestling upper body with Steveson but once he sensed danger he tried to get out of bounds. Overall Steveson ran through the World Team Trials in such a way no one could have predicted.

97 kg (8:36)

Kyven Gadson took on Ty Walz in the best 2 of 3 finals with Gadson getting the win in two close matches. Askren and Dernlan agree Gadson has proven himself to be a clear number two at this weight class as Kyle Snyder has proven himself a clear number one.

92 kg (10:29)

Bo Nickal beat Michael Macchiavello first match by tech fall and second match 5-0. Dernlan talks about how Macchiavello attempted to slow it down in the second match but still couldn’t get any offense going. The set up of Nickal vs J’Den Cox at Final X is one of the most anticipated and exciting match ups.

86 kg (14:39)

Pat Downey gets a flurry at the end of match number one and then holds off Nick Heflin in the second match to get the win.

79 kg (16:13)

Alex Dieringer dominates NCAA Champ Zahid Valencia getting two tech falls in the finals. Dernlan talks about how Dieringer was definitely injured last year and how he made a big-time statement this year with his dominance. Askren thinks 100% Kyle Dake vs 100% healthy Dieringer will be a scrap and it’ll be super interesting to see how these two approach their Final X match up.

74 kg (18:10)

One of the most anticipated finals came at 74 kg Isaiah Martinez vs Jason Nolf. Imar dominated the first match and the majority of the second match but Nolf was able to get a head pinch at the very end and come up big to send it to a winner take all third match. Imar wasn’t rattled and remained focused and got the tech fall in the third match.

70 kg (23:30)

Anthony Ashnault goes down in the first match and is forced to injury default out of the second giving James Green the win. James Green was on a mission throughout this tournament to show the separation he has from the rest of this weight class and just how good he is.

65 kg (24:16)

Zain Retherford beats Jordan Oliver in two 7-6 matches. Askren talks about the strategy behind deciding when to challenge a call and when to not. Overall these two matches were so high level and technical by both guys especially during the first period it is hard to believe Oliver won’t be moving on to Final X.

61 kg (30:48)

Tyler Graff beats Cody Brewer in this high scoring final. Askren breaks down the controversial referee calls. Dernlan talks about something they’ve talked about all Folkstyle season which is the importance of the referees understanding wrestling and not just making black and white calls.


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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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