2020 Matteo Pellicone | UWW Ranking Series

The Top 10 Matches That Could Go Down In Rome

The Top 10 Matches That Could Go Down In Rome

Check out the 10 best matches that could go down at the Matteo Pellicone.

Jan 16, 2020 by JD Rader
The Top 10 Matches That Could Go Down In Rome
With 10 weight classes merging down to six, every weight is loaded at the Matteo Pellicone with potential matchups between some of the World’s top guys. Check out the 10 we’re looking forward to most below.

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With 10 weight classes merging down to six, every weight is loaded at the Matteo Pellicone with potential matchups between some of the World’s top guys. Check out the 10 we’re looking forward to most below.

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97kg: Kyle Snyder vs Bo Nickal

A little NLWC on NLWC crime here with Snyder vs Nickal. You have to wonder how that room dynamic has been since Bo decided to come up from 92kg. Speaking of which, Bo’s weight is a big question here as this will be the first time we will see him at this weight class. Kyle Snyder isn’t a small 97, and Bo famously weighed in at 87kg while wrestling at 92. Both of these guys have fantastic ankle pics, high crotches, and scrambling ability.  

65kg: Jordan Oliver vs Zain Retherford

Zain and JO went best-of-three at WTT last year with Zain coming out on two matches to none. Both matches were really close, however. And like I said above, JO has talked about how he’s in the best situation possible for him and I believe him.

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57kg: Thomas Gilman vs Stevan Micic

These two have actually wrestled twice before for a Junior World Team spot back in 2013 and 2014.

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Obviously that was a long time ago and Micic has improved tenfold. Plus with Micic wrestling for Serbia now and Gilman thinking he’s a treasonous traitor, this matchup is a little extra juicy. 

74kg: Kyle Dake vs James Green

A lot of fans might be quick to write off James Green in this matchup, but I’m not so sure. I believe that James Green is the best version of himself at 74kg, and this will be Kyle Dake’s first time down to 74kg since the 2017 World Team Trials. I’m not saying I think Green will beat Dake, but I think this is a good match and will show where both guys are at on the 74kg Team USA ladder.

86kg: Alex Dieringer vs Myles Amine

Ben Askren claimed on FRL that he didn’t think Amine could hang with Ringer. Well, I (along with the rest of the FRL crew) am here to defend Amine because I absolutely believe he can hang with Ringer. Ringer is coming up to the weight class that Amine just took fifth in the World. Yeah, this is going to be a good match.

65kg: Bajrang Punia vs Zain Retherford

I was tempted to put Bajrang vs JO here because even though the last time they wrestled (watch that match here) Bajrang ended up winning 12-3, JO did have a 3-0 lead before Bajrang did Bajrang gas tank things. Also, I really believe JO is wrestling the best he ever has and his cardio is the best it’s ever been, so their next match could be very different. Listen to JO talk about why he’s wrestling the best he ever has. However, I decided to go with Zain vs Bajrang because we’ve never seen it before, and with the pace both of these guys set for the entire six minutes, this match could be nonstop action.

57kg: Joe Colon vs Daton Fix

Daton Fix is obviously incredibly good, but Colon is a bad MFer. Don’t forget that Colon is a Senior World bronze medalist. Now we haven’t seen Colon down at 57kg since the 2017 Dave Schultz, so it will be interesting to see how well he handles the cut. Both of these guys have killer gut wrenches, so par terre could come be a big factor in deciding this match.

97kg: Kyle Snyder vs Mohammad Mohammadian

This one might fly under the radar a little bit because Mohammadian isn’t a household name to people who aren’t international fanatics, but Mohammadian is really good. Mohammadian won World bronze at 86kg back in 2014. After 2015, Mohammadian dropped off of the radar, but he’s been back in action this season. So far the Iranian has taken third at Alrosa Cup, out-placing three-time World medalist Salas Perez and Yarygin and Russian Nationals champ Anzor Urishev, and won World Military Games.

57kg: Daton Fix vs Ravi Kumar

Similar to Mohammadian, Kumar isn’t really a household name to people who aren’t international fanatics, but is still incredible. He took bronze at Worlds last year when Daton went 1-1. In fact, Kumar was the guy that eliminated Daton when he beat 2017 World champ Takahashi 6-1 in the quarters! Kumar has a crazy shot output, so I think there is a chance that plays right into Daton’s counter offense. 

125kg: Tony Nelson vs Bilyal Makhov

That’s right, Makhov is back! The same Makhov who took bronze in both freestyle and Greco-Roman at 2015 Worlds. Makov took a couple of years off, but has returned and looked pretty good. He made it to the finals of the Waclaw Ziolkowski Memorial in Poland before forfeiting to Amarveer Dhesi in the finals and then won the Alrosa Cup, beating Elizbar Odikadze in the finals. This would be a big-time win for Tony.