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Final X: Lincoln Picks

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  Final X - LINCOLN - JUNE 15

Session One Weigh-Ins - 9:30-10 AM ET


Session One – Noon CT

Bout 1: Women’s FS 59 kg – Alli Ragan  vs. Lauren Louive 

Alli was one of our Stars before she missed a world team. She is a world silver and looks great. I don’t think this will be competitive  

Bout 2: Men’s GR 60 kg – Leslie Fuenffinger vs. Ildar Hafizov 

Ildar is a transplant from Uzbekistan, representing them at the 2008 Olympics and at worlds. He is highly technical compared to Leslie  . Ildar is much older, which is the only area Leslie might be able to exploit (explosive power, speed, cardio, etc). With that said I think ildar is superior in every position and I don’t think it will be competitive  

Bout 3: Women’s FS 55 kg – Jacarra Winchester  vs. Dominique Parrish 

Bout 4: Men’s GR 72 kg – Raymond Bunker vs. Alex Mossing

Neither guy has much of a chance at medaling. This might be our weakest weight. This is a Marine vs Air Force match which is interesting. Bunker will come forward with a ton of pressure mossing will go for body locks and throws. Hard to predict the outcome, but I’ll go with Mossing. Could go either way  

Bout 5: Men’s GR 63 kg – Ryan Mango  vs. Xavier Johnson 

Both Of there guys are exceptional athletes and have similar styles. I expect Mango to use his slight technical advantage of big match experience to win this one, but it is a contest. Xavier is no joke  

Bout 6: Men’s GR 97 kg – G’Angelo Hancock vs. Lucas Sheridan 

Hancock is our best shot at a medal besides the winner of Coon/Schultz. He is a super athlete who has been honing his skill for years, is young, trains overseas on and off, and his par terre skills are some of the best in the US across styles  I expect a fairly easy win for him. Props to Lucas for making FinalX. That is well above what  anyone expected for him  


Session Two Weigh-Ins - 3:30-4 PM ET


Session Two – 6 PM CT

Bout 1: Women’s FS 62 kg – Mallory Velte vs. Kayla Miracle 

Both women have a shot at medaling. Velte has the upper hand in their prior matches but Miracle is world level and I’m ready to see her break through. Great match to kick off session 2  

Bout 2: Women’s FS 53 kg – Sarah Hildebrandt  vs. Katherine Shai 

So glad Shai is back! She was the Olympic alternate in 2012 and 2016 and was one of our best prior to this cycle. Unfortunately for her, our women’s program has taken off since then and she has a returning world silver in Hildebrandt to deal with. We haven’t seen Sarah in awhile but assuming she is ready to go, I expect her to win in somewhat competitive matches. Interesting note on Shai - she had a baby about 2 years ago. She also is quite successful in her career outside of wrestling. I’m very glad she is making a push for 2020  

Bout 3: Women’s FS 76 kg – Adeline Gray vs. Precious Bell 

props to Bell for making FinalX, but this will be over in 30 seconds. Grey is a rare talent and Bell is a solid wrestler but isn’t world level yet. Grey is going for her 5th world gold against a very tough field that includes 2 other world champs and multiple medalists. She is already legendary and unless Helen can get back to her old form, nobody will touch Adeline’s wins for at least another cycle. Maybe a few cycles if she gets to 5 or 6. Just look at how long John Smith has held the record for men  

Bout 4: Men’s GR 130 kg – Adam Coon vs. Cohlton Schultz 

This is a match I’m very excited for. Coon looked pretty bad in freestyle compared to last year, but hopefully that means he has been focusing on Greco. He is a returning world silver and pinned his way to the finals. He had the perfect draw but credit to him for taking advantage. Schultz is the best Greco prospect we’ve had in years. Cadet world gold, junior world bronze, and beat our Olympian dominantly to make FinalX. Rumor is, Schultz used to beat Coon regularly at the OTC and that was before Schultz jumped levels this year. Coon is the only returning medalist, besides maybe the next match, that won’t make the team  

Bout 5: Men’s FS 61 kg – Joe Colon vs. Tyler Graff 

Great match. Another poster did an excellent break down of this match and picked Graff. Graff also tends to beat Colon no matter the style. Graff also has never won a world level event until recently. Due to his lack of high finishes I can’t pick him, but man NJRTC is rolling and that stuff matters. I have zero confidence in this pick. Colon takes losses all the time and honestly I was shocked he medaled. I highly doubt he medals again, but what do I know  

Bout 6: Men’s FS 97 kg – Kyle Snyder vs. Kyven Gadson

I’ve always been a Gadson fan. Props for him staying at 97kg and at least it is somewhat compelling because of him being the reason Snyder isn’t a 4 timer in college. He also did it the year Snyder won his first gold and in dramatic fashion with a first period pin. He did blast Snyder off the mat (and stage) last year. Snyder will still dominate though. 

Bout 7: Men’s FS 70 kg – Ryan Deakin vs. James Green 

Deakin looked very good at the Open. He is clearly much better at freestyle than folk. He also managed to avoid Nolf due to the win over Green. I doubt Green lets that happen again. I don’t think it will be all that close, even if the score suggests otherwise. Green might blow the match open. His offense looked on point at trials and Deakin’s greatest flaw is his defense. If you can move him around and back him up, he will lose. If green stays on his offense he takes this without a problem. 

Bout 8: Men’s FS 57 kg – Daton Fix  vs. Thomas Gilman 

another excellent, even matchup where either guy has a shot at medaling. I always pick Gilman matches incorrectly, win or lose. This will come down to Fix being able to finish his takedowns. If he squeaks by Gilman, I doubt he medals. Fix has the potential to win world gold, but has to have a cleaner shot that he can finish. That will allow him to use his excellent shrugs and related moves, plus his most dangerous position is on top. I hope he has figured out how to do this as his upside is super high. Gilman has been opening up his offense a bit more, which is exactly how he won a world silver two years ago. This weight will be loaded at worlds. I’m glad both guys will have each other to push them in training for worlds. I’ll go Fix but with little confidence  

Bout 9: Men’s FS 74 kg Jordan Burroughs vs. Isaiah Martinez 

iMar has never looked better. Even though the Nolf series went to 3, iMar demonstrated he is a level above Nolf in freestyle right now. I think that will change by next year, but that’s a different topic. JB has looked great in the occasional matches he has wrestled. I expect him to win similarly to last year, but may give up a takedown.

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