It may seem like a loaded assumption to say a World Team Trials finalist "doesn't want to see" an opponent heading into Saturday in Lincoln, NE, but there are simply some wrestlers who present greater tests than others.
We are going to take a look at a few of the wrestlers sitting out and who in the challenge tournament could pose the biggest threat.
When it comes to challenges within the United States, there haven't been many who have been able to take out Tony Ramos at 57kg. The two-time world team member has only lost to one man at 57kg, Dan Dennis, and he's retired from wrestling.
So when you're looking for the toughest matchups, you have to consider the elements of Dennis' game that can be found within other contenders in the field.
Graff vs. Ramos was tight the last time around:
To me, Tyler Graff is the wrestler who best fits the bill as the biggest challenge to Ramos. Graff is the top wrestler at this weight with a devastating, match-ending leg lace as well as a tough gut and trap arm gut. He's not only a monster on top but also has exquisite leg attacks that have a relatively high finishing rate.
The question will not be Graff's point-scoring potential, rather his ability to withstand the pressure of Ramos (and others in the challenge bracket) and close out matches. This has been a problem with Graff in the past. Skill for skill, Zane Richards was out-manned by Graff a year ago, yet Richards found a way to win the best of three in Akron, Ohio. Such setbacks will be punished severely this weekend, though their head-to-head history favors Ramos,
Regardless, when you consider Ramos' weakness and his relative stranglehold on the weight, Graff is the guy best equipped to knock off Ramos.
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