Anthony Mantanona's FloNationals Path Of Destruction

anthony mantanona

There was an amazing amount of talent at this year's FloNationals. I left thinking there were a number of guys who could make serious noise at the next level, but Anthony Mantanona stood out among the best I saw throughout the tournament.

An incredibly powerful wrestler, Mantanona has strong hips that allow his opponents to get in deep only to be left wondering where it all went wrong. Additionally, he is great on top with a half-nelson. He looked like a man among boys in many of his matches. In addition to his power, he moves very well with good speed and agility that complement his unquestionable power.

In case you weren't able to catch all the action live, here's Anthony Mantanona's path of destruction:

Round 1: Mantanona goes into a headlock, comes out on top, then posts a quick half-nelson for a 32-second pin.

Round 2: A great opening flurry off of a single by Mills, followed by a great counter by Mantanona who winds up on top. He demonstrates some more brutal top work with a half-nelson for another first period fall.

Quarterfinals: More amazing hips and counters from Mantanona as Smeltzer gets in crazy-deep on a double. Once again, Mantanona crunches his opponent over with a half-nelson in just 1:05.

Semifinals: A quick duck followed by an even quicker pin -- just 37 seconds.

Finals: Hidlay battled incredibly well, but Mantanona's ridiculous power struck immediately with a double-right to Hidlay's back. Hidlay had some nice moments here, but ultimately, it was all Mantanona. The most mind-melting exchange happened around 3:35: Hidlay blew right through him with his underhook, yet Mantanona somehow came out on top, ducking and body-locking Hidlay for two more.

This guy has a little ways to go in terms of technical refinement, but his feel, athleticism and vast arsenal of moves make him an athlete many Division-I coaches should be hotly pursuing.

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