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WillieBoy

How do you beat Zain?

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If it is going to happen it better be quick as the season is winding down. Two tournaments to do the deed.

 

Can it be done with superior speed? Better technique against him? Lay back and hope he tires?

 

Where he is at now in folkstyle I don't see many who can be considered serious threats - barring an injury. But, on any given day someone might put it together.

 

What do those few do to increase their chance at winning?

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He's a really hard puzzle. He doesn't let you touch him, he converts on opponents shots really well, its insane to take down, he doesn't get tired...

 

So you can't take down, you can't shoot, you can't slow him down, and the longer the match goes on the better he performs...headlock him in the first 30 seconds.

Edited by hammerlockthree

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Ask everyone you know to cough on him a week before the match and don't choose down.

 

 

Really though, I think you have to score on him early because he sometimes takes a little time to get going and then play the funk counter and defense game and try to hang on. We've seen Hayes and I think Amine score early takedowns and jump out to quick, albeit brief, leads recently, as well as Lavion Mayes in the finals last year. I'm kind of thinking Caldwell-Metcalf where DC put points on the board right from the start, then scrambled hard when Metcalf settled in and then hitting something he never expected like that head & arm headlock or spladle.

 

I think there's also something to the way Pico didn't let Zain's handfighting and "slap & tickles" get to him, went heavy-handed on the ties and head snapped really hard, repeatedly, but I don't really know what that really gets you with the 2018 version of Zain:

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It would take a truly elite takedown artist to keep the match on their feet.  If there's a weakness, it's that he can be taken down.  In the last two OSU duals, I believe that both Jordan and Hayes actually scored two takedowns in the match, only to get teched.  (Side note: I cannot recall any other match in my 35 years in the sport where a wrestler got two takedowns and then went on to get teched).   I'd say a blue print would be get two takedowns in the first. Choose neutral in the second, and get one more td.  Now you've got a lead of like 6-2 going into the third and can attempt to weather the storm with momentum on your side.  Good luck with that.  

 

Actually, it would probably take a big move guy to come out and get a TD to backs and go up 6-0, ala Caldwell vs. Metcalf.   Even there, give Zane two minutes on top in the third and he'd likely overwhelm Caldwell before the final buzzer.  Tough for me to see any of the greats beating Zane at 149 consistently.  Retherford's combination of relentless brutality from the top position and gas tank is a game changer in any big match imo.

Edited by Cradle1

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I think if you score early he just turns up the pressure and hammers you worse for it.  

 

I think if you play keep away without going out of bounds and you get a complicit ref and go 0-0 you are alive. 

 

Then you have to hope to defer so he goes down first.  You ride him long enough to kill some clock but not get RT.  Then you play keep away for the last 75 seconds of the 2nd period.

 

Then you go neutral and trail 1-0 and hope he doesn't feel much urgency with the lead.  Then you score late and ride out for a win.  

 

Any other scenario and the moment you get a lead he is pummeling you for your arrogance in taking a lead.

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Be physical. If someone is better then you, and zain is, get physical, it can break the technical wrestlers. it has work in the past on him, to atleast make it close.

Edited by maolsen

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Easier said than done but unless you have Pico-like handfighting and gas tank, you have to have an explosive double from distance and a gas tank to match. Very few people have that combo. A powerful shot from outside can take Zain down a la Lavion Mayes. To do it repeatedly is probably the hardest thing to do in college wrestling right now.

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