We knew it was going to happen, and now it’s here. The brackets for the 2021 World Team Trials are out! CLICK HERE FOR SUPPORTS. HERE. DO IT, CLICK. THEY ARE FREE.
Bracket reactions and our most anticipated early-round matchups for the men’s freestyle divisions can be found below.
The first round of 16 is the # 8 v # 9 fight between Shelton Mack and Josh Kramer. This is a rematch of the final of the US National Championships in April. Mack walked away with the title at Coralville after scoring a strikeout with 13 seconds left for a 3-2 victory.
There’s another compelling Round of 16 rematch looming at the bottom with No.7 Nahshon Garrett against No.10 Zane Richards. They met two years ago in Bill Farrell’s quarters, where Richards claimed a 5-3 victory.
Looking ahead, we might finally have a long-awaited battle between Daton Fix and Seth Gross in the quarterfinals. It looked like they might get tangled up three years ago in the Oklahoma state-South Dakota duel, but Gross missed the game with a back injury that left him Knocked out for much of the season.
This medium is a bit smaller than expected when opening the recording, but it still comes with some serious high-level firepower.
The quarter-finals kick off the action in this division. Be sure to grab the Dean Heil vs. Luke Pletcher clashes. Heil is a two-time NCAA champion while Pletcher was the No. 1 seed in the canceled 2000 tournament. Both have also made RTC moves quite recently, with Heil following Cary Kolat at RTC Navy-Marine Corp and Pletcher seeding. connecting with his hometown to train at Pitt and fight for the Pittsburgh RTC.
The winner of this match places Yianni Diakomihalis in the semi-finals, while Joey McKenna awaits the winner of Henderson against Pohlmeyer in the lower half of the table.
The two intermediate quarters are not to be missed and will lead to some incredible semi-finals. In the top half we get Jordan Oliver against Zain Retherford and the most likely winner James Green. The two have fought in the past, with Zain winning the last two to advance to the X Final in 2019.
On the upper half of the lower side of the rack are Ryan Deakin and Tyler Berger, the winner most likely being Alec Pantaleo. Deakin – Berger is another back-and-forth rivalry. Berger got the last one in the last chance qualifying, 10-0.
Perhaps the fiercest start-of-round game of all will be at the top of the range, with King Jordan Burroughs taking on Hayden Hidlay in the round of 16.
This medium is all kinds of shooting, as the winner of this match will take the winner of Marsteller vs Gantt in a battle of two savvy freestyle veterans. It’s all just to get the game in the first quarter.
Jason Nolf hides in the second quarter in the first half, which begins his tournament with dangerous NCAA finalist Joey Lavallee.
Alex Dieringer has the second seed, so he’s placed at the very bottom of the range, looking to make his way to the final for a potential clash with Olympic and four-time world champion Jordan Burroughs, assuming the heads of series hold.
Also in the lower half is a round of 16 clash between 2021 NCAA Champion and No.11 seed Carter Starocci against the No.1 seed in the canceled 2000 tournament and the No.1 seed. 6 Taylor Lujan.
As expected, returning two-time world champion J’den Cox was seeded while Nathan Jackson is placed second. Both got a pass in the first round but will have some interesting tests when they step on the mat for the first time. Cox could face NCAA champion North Iowa Drew Foster – who competed at 86kg – or Scottie Boykin. Jackson will likely face seventh-seeded local favorite TJ Dudley – an All-American for Nebraska.
The prospect of Cox and Gadson in the semifinals is intriguing as Gadson has been his training partner at the World Championships.
The top half of the medium has the best scenarios. Former Iowa State NCAA Champion Kyven Gadson is ranked fourth and former Ohio State NCAA Champion Myles Martin is ranked fifth. The two would have to meet in the quarter-finals to have the right to face, presumably, J’den Cox in the semi-final.
Kollin Moore – a 97kg finalist at recent Olympic trials – was seeded third and is on a collision course with Trent Hidlay in the quarters. Hidlay finished second at the 2021 US Open at 86 kg. The winner of this match will likely face Jackson in the semifinals.
It’s the most amazing game at the start. It is incredulous. It is inconceivable. You can neither believe it nor conceive it. Hayden Zillmer vs. Dom Bradley. These two were both Fargo Champions in the same year. Zillmer at 88 pounds and Bradley at heavyweight. Now they meet at 125 kilos. It’s just silly.
These two maniacs are on the lower half of the rack with the 3/6 seed. Young Mason Parris and his recently signed NIL contract with Cliff Keen holds the No. 2 seed.
In the top half of the group is two-time world bronze medalist and two-time NCAA champion Nick Gwiazdowski with the seed. It’s preferred to see Parris in a top 2 of 3 RTC Cup rematch, where they split the matches against each other. Gwiz won the first match, while Parris fought back to win the second.