Daton Fix (USA) vs. Austin DeSanto (USA)
Last summer Fix added a junior world bronze medal in freestyle to his resume. In the previous year, he brought home a bronze at the cadet level. He recently finished his high school career with a 165-0 career record and four state championships. He will wrestle at Oklahoma State next winter.
DeSanto became the talk of the wrestling world when he bested the previously undefeated Spencer Lee in the PIAA Class 3A state championship. The Drexel recruit kept his momentum going with another upset over four-time California state champion Justin Mejia at the Pittsburgh Wrestling Classic.
Fix is clearly the favorite here as he has a sizable experience advantage in freestyle. However, DeSanto is coming off an impressive string of upsets and is a danger to anyone at this weight.
48 kilograms: Victoria Anthony (USA) vs. Yuki Irie (Japan)
Anthony is off to a great start in 2017. She has won titles at the International Ukrainian Tournament and the Pan American Championship. Last April, she won the U.S. Open as well. In the best-of-three finals, she swept Cody Pfau without allowing a single point.
Irie has twice won gold medals at age-group world championships. In 2012, she won gold at both the Junior and University World Championships. Last year, she won the Ivan Yarygin Grand Prix for the second time. In the finals, she defeated multiple-time junior world medalist Nadeshda Fedorova.
Irie will prove to be a tough opponent for Anthony, but the American has all the momentum on her side and will likely put on a show for the fans in Times Square.
69 kilograms: Tamyra Mensah (USA) vs. Miwa Morikawa (Japan)
Mensah came up just short of qualifying for the 2016 Olympics as she placed third in both of the last two qualification tournaments. She has returned this year and already won the Ivan Yarygin Grand Prix and the U.S. Open. In the finals at the Open, she defeated four-time world medalist Elena Pirozhkova in two matches, 4-2 and 6-2.
At the cadet level, Morikawa won the 2015 Asian Championship and took a silver at the 2016 World Championship. She has not been able to duplicate that success at the senior level. So far this year, she has placed seventh at the Ivan Yarygin Grand Prix and fifth at the Klippan Lady Open.
Mensah appears to have taken a step forward after her near miss at the 2016 Olympics. She should be able to score a dominant victory over Morikawa.
58 kilograms: Helen Maroulis (USA) vs. Yuzuru Kumano (Japan)
After two previous losses against Saori Yoshida in world championship tournaments, Maroulis broke through in the finals of the 2016 Olympics and defeated Yoshida 4-1. In the process, Maroulis became the first Olympic gold medalist for the U.S. in women's wrestling. She returned at the U.S. Open took home the title. In the finals, she took two-straight matches over Kayle Miracle by a combined 25-2 score.
Kumano is the returning junior champion at this weight. In the finals, she defeated Ukraine's Anzhelina Lysak. Last February, she placed third at the Klippan Lady Open.
Kumano will look to do what her compatriot Yoshida was unable to accomplish at the Olympics. She will be fighting an uphill battle. Maroulis proved she is one of the pound-for-pound best in the women's wrestling game, and her performance at the U.S. Open showed that she is already back in top form.
Frank Chamizo throws Toghrul Asgarov in the semifinals of the Olympics (Photo/Tony Rotundo, WrestlersAreWarriors.com)
65 kilograms: Jordan Oliver (USA) vs. Frank Chamizo (Italy)
Oliver started his 2017 with a gold medal finish at the Dave Schultz Memorial International. He returned at the U.S. Open and went on quite a run. In the semifinals, he defeated Zain Retherford and then bested 2016 Olympic team member Frank Molinaro. Oliver appears to be in the driver's seat to make the World Team later this summer.
Chamizo moved from representing Cuba to wrestling for Italy in 2015. Since the change, he has won a pair of gold medals at the European Championships, a gold medal at the 2015 World Championships and a bronze medal at the 2016 Olympics. In the Olympic bronze medal match, Chamizo defeated Molinaro via a 5-3 score.
The Italian has shown that he can beat some of the best that the U.S. can offer. With his victory over Molinaro, Oliver looks primed and ready to take over the 65-kilogram spot for the U.S. This match should be a preview to see how he will perform if he makes the 2017 World Team.
57 kilograms: Anthony Ramos (USA) vs. Rinya Nakamura (Japan)
Ramos appeared to get back on track at the U.S. Open. He took the title after defeating Nathan Tomasello in the semifinals and besting Nahshon Garrett in the finals. Prior to that, Ramos had reached the finals of the 2016 Olympic team trials but fell in pair of matches against Daniel Dennis.
Nakamura's best result came in 2011 when he took home a bronze medal in the cadet World Championships. He moved up to the senior level in 2015 and took a silver medal at the Grand Prix of Spain. Earlier this year, he competed at 61 kilograms in the Dan Kolov-Nikola Petrov Tournament but failed to medal.
Ramos appears to be rounding into form after moving to train at UNC-Chapel Hill RTC. The transition was not as easy as some expected, but if he is able to get to his offense, he should be able to put up a lot of points against Nakamura.
61 kilograms: Logan Stieber (USA) vs. Shingo Arimoto (Japan)
Stieber hit a little bit of a bump at the most recent Pan American Championships. He ended up finishing with a bronze medal after falling to Dabian Quintana Jaime of Cuba. However, he is still one of the top wrestlers in the world at 61 kilograms. After failing to make the 2016 Olympic team at 65 kilograms, Stieber dropped down to 61 kilograms for the non-olympic weight World Championship last December where he ended up winning a gold medal.
Arimoto represented Japan at the 2016 World Championships in the non-Olympic tournament. While Stieber won the weight, Arimoto could only manage an 11th place finish. One of his best results to date was a fifth place finish at the 2015 Golden Grand Prix.
Stieber is a much better offensive wrestler than Arimoto. He should be able to get to his opponent's legs and score with his non-traditional turns on top. This match will likely end up being a technical fall for Stieber.
65 kilograms: Zain Retherford (USA) vs. Daichi Takatani (Japan)
Retherford has been downright dominant at the collegiate level. This past season, he led Penn State to another team title while capturing his second NCAA title and the Dan Hodge Trophy. On the freestyle side, he came in third at the 2016 U.S. Olympic Trials.
In 2014 Takatani competed in both the Junior and senior World Championships. In the junior tournament, he lost in the first round to Aaron Pico before battling through the repechage to finish with a bronze. Takatani also won a bronze medal at the 2011 Cadet World Championships.
Takatani will be an interesting test for Retherford. So far most of Retherford's success has come on the folkstyle mats, but his performance at the trials showed that he can get it done in freestyle as well. A win over Takatani will help him announce his presence on the international scene.
70 kilograms: James Green (USA) vs. Nobuyoshi Takojima (Japan)
Green, a 2015 world bronze medalist, has had a strong start to 2017. He has won titles at the International Ukrainian Tournament, the Pan American Championship and the U.S. Open. At the Open, he defeated NCAA champion Jason Nolf by a 9-8 score.
2016 was a tough year for Takojima. He was one match away from medaling at both the Asian Championship and the World Championship and finished fifth both times. At the 2015 Grand Prix of Spain, Takojima fell to Green via a 7-0 score. In the junior ranks, he took home a bronze medal at the 2013 World Championship.
Green has defeated Takojima before and will likely be able duplicate that performance here. After a disappointing performance at the 2016 World Championships, Green is looking to get back on the medal platform this year.
86 kilograms: David Taylor (USA) vs. Takahiro Murayama (Japan)
Taylor had his international coming out party at 86 kilograms at the Freestyle World Cup. There, he went undefeated and scored wins over a pair of Olympic gold medalists, Sharif Sharifov of Azerbaijan and Hassan Yazdanicharati of Iran. He continued that dominance at the U.S. Open where he won five matches by a combined score of 50-4.
Murayama does not have a lot of international experience at any level. The only tournament listed in his UWW profile is an eighth place finish at the 2014 Junior Asian Championship.
This match is destined to be a blowout. Taylor is wrestling at the highest level of his entire career. Unfortunately for Murayama, he is not even close to that level.
97 kilograms: Kyle Snyder (USA) vs. Koki Yamamoto (Japan)
At this point, wrestling fans all over the world know the name Kyle Snyder. At only 21 years old, Snyder has already won the World Championships and the Olympics. During this collegiate wrestling season, he continued to compete in freestyle. This year he has already won the Ivan Yarygin Grand Prix and the Pan American Championships.
Yamamoto was Japan's pick to qualify this weight for the 2016 Olympics, but he failed to do so. His best international finish at the senior level came when he finished fifth at the 2016 Asian Championship.
Snyder had some injury concerns after winning his second NCAA title for Ohio State. However, he erased those concerns with a dominant performance at the Pan American Championships. He should be able to dominate Yamamoto and score an early finish.
125 kilograms: Nick Gwiazdowski (USA) vs. Katsutoshi Kanazawa (Japan)
After Tervel Dlagnev retired many expected Gwiazdowski to take over his spot at heavyweight. However, Zach Rey was always standing in his way. Well, Gwiazdowski finally broke through after defeated Rey in the finals of the U.S. Open.
Kanazawa's only international result since 2010 is a 17th place finish at the 2015 Ivan Yarygin Grand Prix. His best performance came in 2010 when he captured a bronze medal at the Junior Asian Championship.
Gwiazdowski is only going to get better as he continues to grow as a freestyle competitor. Even without any evolution, his athleticism and folkstyle background is more than enough to carry him to a victory here.
74 kilograms: Jordan Burroughs (USA) vs. Sohsuke Takatani (Japan)
Since unexpectedly failing to medal at the 2016 Olympics, Burroughs has been on the comeback trail. While his comeback tour has not been entirely dominant, it has been successful. He went undefeated at the Freestyle World Cup, and he won a hard fought battle over rival Kyle Dake in the finals of the U.S. Open.
Takatani won a silver medal at the 2014 World Championships, but he failed to medal at the 2015 World Championships or 2016 Olympics. So far this year, he placed sixth at the Ivan Yarygin Grand Prix.
It would be easy to say that Takatani will be an opportunity for Burroughs to prove that he is back to his old form. In reality, he has already beaten tougher competitor since 2016. Look for Burroughs to handle Takatani with little trouble.