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It has become clear in the last few weeks that there is no love lost between Kyle Dake and Frank Chamizo. To Chamizo, Dake is the "Blonde One" who's scared of him, while in Dake's mind, "Little Frankie Chamizo" might be the one who's afraid. So where did this animosity come from, and what can we learn from all the trash talk?
July 25, 2020 | 8:00 PM EST
When Did The Mental Warfare Start?
While Dake and Chamizo haven't wrestled before, they've been talking about it since January of this year when both were in Italy at the Mateo Pellicone. Chamizo did not compete in the event, pulling out with an apparent knee injury. He talked with Mike Mal before the event, and of course Kyle Dake came up.
Chamizo recognized Dake's skill but downplayed his two world titles since both were at the non-Olympic weight of 79kg.
He's nobody at 74. I know he's good, but he's good for 79. It's not an Olympic category. It doesn't matter.
Chamizo officially decided to pull out of the event soon after this interview, and rumors began to swirl about how big a factor Dake was in that decision.
How Dake and Chamizo Feel About Their Style Matchup
Frank Chamizo admitted that he doesn't watch a lot of film and that he learns a lot more about his opponents from feeling them in match situations than from video. Despite never having felt Dake, he is confident about this matchup.
One reason for Frank's confidence is his assessment of how Dake stacks up with Burroughs, who Frank beat in one of their previous meetings. At around 10:45 in the following video, Chamizo compared Dake and Burroughs.
JB is like, uh, much better than him.
Since Chamizo's assessment of opponents is much more dependent on what he feels than on what he sees, he doesn't claim to have a specific prediction for how the match will go, but at around 14:00 minutes, he explains how he feels his style matches up with Dake's:
I think I'm much better than him in all positions. In every position.
Dake has a very different assessment of how their styles match up. At around 35 minutes into the following video, Dake offers his in-depth explanation of why he's going to beat Chamizo:
[Chamizo] gets away with a lot, and people don't make him pay for it, and I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that they're not willing to go for it...or some people try to make him pay for it, but they're just not there athletically to make him pay for it...I feel like I'm a person that can make him pay for that style of wrestling.
Chamizo seems to have thought more about the style matchup since his initial comments on Dake which might explain the recent Instagram post in which he said,
I’m going to make your movements look ridiculous. When you get off the mat, you’ll rethink your training and ask your coach what the hell did you teach me?
Is Dake or Chamizo Actually Scared?
In Chamizo's promo shoot for this match, he proclaimed several times that Kyle Dake was scared of him. Those lines have been immortalized in the following promo that came out on June 30.
In Dake's promo that came out on July 3, Dake said he had no idea why Frank would believe he was scared and predicted a one-sided match in his own favor.
In a separate Instagram post, Dake reminded Chamizo and the rest of the wrestling community about the one time when they could have been in the same bracket at 74kg, the Matteo Pellicone. Dake took Frank's absence at that event as a sign of fear and said as much in his post:
The last time I walked into your house looking for a scrap you hid behind a baseball hat in the stands. Now someone is scared little Frankie and it isn’t me.
While it is unlikely that either of these world-class wrestlers is actually afraid, both have thoroughly engaged in the pre-match mental battle. Could that have an impact on the outcome of the match? We'll find out on July 25.