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  • Photo: Photo/Tony Rotundo

    Photo: Photo/Tony Rotundo

    Beat the Streets Preview

    Jordan Burroughs (Photo/Tony Rotundo, WrestlersAreWarriors.com)

    Beat the Streets is back for yet another star-studded event. This year's card features four Olympic champions and a host of accomplished international wrestlers. The headliner is a match between returning world champions Jordan Burroughs and Frank Chamizo. The following is a match-by-match breakdown of the event.

    57 kilograms: Helen Maroulis (USA) vs. Odunayo Adekuoroye (Nigeria)

    Maroulis last competed in the Indian Pro League. She led her team, the Haryana Hammers, to the finals of the dual-meet tournament, but they ultimately lost to the NCR Punjab Royals. Along the way, Maroulis went 3-2 with a pair of losses against mostly unheralded Pooja Dhanda. Word is that the world and Olympic champ was dealing with some injuries during the run. Whether that is the case or not, she will need to be at her best here.

    Adekuroya also received an invite to compete in the Indian Pro League after picking up a silver medal at 55 kilograms last year. In India, she went 2-2 and never ran into Maroulis who sat out their team matchup with an injury. Since then, Adekuroya has been dominant with first-place finishes at the African Championships and the Commonwealth Games.

    Maroulis should have a size and strength advantage in this match. She should have an overall edge when it comes to physicality. This match should be a good gauge to see where she is at as well approach Final X and the 2018 World Championships.

    59 kilograms: Alli Ragan (USA) vs. Adeniyi Aminat (Nigeria)

    Ragan followed up on her 2017 world silver medal with a strong start to this year. She picked up another second-place finish at the Ivan Yarygin Grand Prix in January. Ragan then went 2-2 at the women's World Cup with a win over two-time University world medalist Samantha Stewart (Canada).

    Aminat failed to medal at the last World Championships, but she has bounced back in a big way. She won the African Championships in February and then won the Commonwealth Games last month. In the finals, she knocked off world bronze medalist Michelle Fazzari (Canada) in a match that ended early due to injury.

    Aminat is great in the ties and can move her opponent around the mat. Ragan is a veteran, who has shown she can compete with the best in the World. This should be a close match, and the winner will likely be a favorite to medal later this year.

    68 kilograms: Tamyra Stock (USA) vs. Blessing Oborududu (Nigeria)

    Stock failed to qualify for the 2016 Olympics after placing third in back-to-back qualifiers. Since then, she has won a pair of titles at the Ivan Yarygin Grand Prix and knocked off some high-level wrestlers. Also this year, she took home a bronze medal at the Klippan Lady Open and picked up a win over Cadet world silver medalist Miwa Morikawa (Japan).

    Oborududu narrowly missed out of a medal at the 2017 World Championships and finished fifth. Since then, she took silver at the 2017 Commonwealth Championships, gold at the 2018 African Championships and gold at the 2018 Commonwealth Games. She went somewhat viral for her celebration after defeating Danielle Lappage (Canada) in the finals of the Commonwealth Games. Oborududu flopped to her back and log rolled to her corner to celebrate with her coaches.

    People around USA Wrestling have a lot of faith in Stock. She has already won multiple prestigious tournaments, and she seems to get better every time out. However, Oborududu seems to have the ability to shut down her opponent's offense, and she certainly has the momentum right now.

    57 kilograms: Josh Rodriguez (USA) vs. Reineri Andreu Ortega (Cuba)

    Rodriguez was a three-time national qualifier at North Dakota State, and he currently trains with the Nittany Lion Wrestling Club. He recently competed at the U.S. Open where he knocked off Zane Richards but failed to place after falling to Frank Perrelli in the consolation bracket. By not placing at the Open, he failed to qualify for this weekend's World Team Trials.

    Ortega burst onto the scene last fall with a gold medal at the U23 World Championships. However, he seemed to come back down to earth this year. Ortega got pinned by Joey Dance and failed to medal at the Cerro Pelado. The Cuban also struggled his way through the World Cup and finished with a 1-3 record. With that being said, he got back on track at the Pan American Championships. He defeated world silver medalist Thomas Gilman in the semifinals and went on to win gold.

    Cuba has always been strong in the lighter divisions, and Ortega seems to be next in that line. Rodriguez will likely struggle in this match, but the home crowd at Beat the Streets can be a difference maker.

    70 kilograms: James Green (USA) vs. Franklin Maren Castillo (Cuba)

    Green might end up being the gold medal favorite at this year's World Championships. He finished second last year, and the man who beat him has already moved up in weight. So far this year, he has gone 3-1 at the World Cup and dominated his way to a gold medal at the Pan American Championships.

    Castillo has been competing on the senior level since 2009. During that stretch, he has only represented Cuba at one World Championships, 2015, and he failed to place. This year, he has won gold medals at the Cerro Pelado International and the Central American Caribbean Championships. In the finals of the Cerro Pelado, Castillo knocked off Jason Chamberlain, who recently won the U.S. Open at 70 kilograms.

    Green is a pretty clear favorite in this match. He has way too much offense for Castillo. The Cuban's only chance to win is to slow the match down and hope for a tight score. Unfortunately for him, Green will be able to get past his defense and score more than enough to take the match.

    79 kilograms: Kyle Dake (USA) vs. Livan Lopez Azcuy (Cuba)

    Dake seems to have found a home at his new weight class. He began the year with a second-place finish at the Ivan Yarygin Grand Prix. However, he really made his mark at the World Cup. He won all four of his matches and outscored his opponents 36-3. After years stuck behind Jordan Burroughs at 74 kilograms, many think this will be Dake's year to make noise at the World Championships.

    Lopez is another Cuban wrestler who has been around for years. He is a four-time world-level medalist with his highest finish coming when he took second at the 2013 World Championships. Earlier this month, he defeated Nazar Kulchytskyy in the finals of the Pan American Championships.

    Dake has looked great in limited action so far this year. This match should be a good gauge of his status. If he is able to continue his run of dominance against a wrestler like Lopez, he should be one of the favorites to bring home a world medal this year.

    92 kilograms: J'den Cox (USA) vs. Yurieski Torreblanca Queralta (Cuba)

    After winning bronze at both the 2016 Olympic Games and the 2017 World Championships, Cox has moved up to 92 kilograms for this year. He began the year with a second-place finish at the International Ukrainian Tournament where he lost in the finals to four-time world-level medalist Sharif Sharifov. Cox then had a tough run at the World Cup, and he ended up going 1-2. The former Missouri wrestler then got back on track by winning the U.S. Open. However, he was too sick to compete at the Pan American Championships and was replaced by Greco-Roman wrestler Ben Provisor at the last minute.

    Torreblanca has already given Cox's chief domestic rival, David Taylor, a pair of tough matches. Unfortunately for him, he has dropped both. He fell to Taylor at the Ivan Yarygin Grand Prix and finished fifth. Torreblanca lost another close match to the former Penn State wrestler in the finals of the Pan American Championships.

    This match could be the closest match of the night. Neither wrestler gives up anything easy, and both can struggle to score at times. However, Cox is actually more offensive than he appears. Since winning a bronze medal at last year's World Championships, he has outscored his opponents 67 to 18.

    97 kilograms: Kyle Snyder (USA) vs. Reineris Salas Perez (Cuba)

    Snyder bounced back from a loss to Adam Coon during the college wrestling season and won his third NCAA title. Since finishing his college eligibility he wrestled at the World Cup, where he absolutely unstoppable. He won all four of his matches and outscored his opponents 44-3. At this point, the only match on the horizon that seems competitive would be a rematch of last year's World Championships match against Abdulrashid Sadulaev.

    Salas is a three-time medalist at the World Championships, and he has been competing on the senior level since 2006. He recently defeated Kyven Gadson in the finals of the Pan American Championships for his seventh Pan Games/Championships medal.

    Snyder should take this match. Salas is a veteran who can give anyone a tough match, but Snyder is simply on another level at this point.

    125 kilograms: Nick Gwiazdowski (USA) vs. Yudenny Alapajon Estevez (Cuba)

    Gwiazdowski entered this year coming off a bronze medal at the World Championships. This year, he picked up another bronze at the Ivan Yarygin Grand Prix, went 2-1 at the World Cup and finished first at the Pan American Championships. He appears situated to represent the U.S. at heavyweight for at least the next few World Championships.

    Alpajon is a two-time winner of the Cerro Pelado International. He took a bronze at the tournament this year after falling against Cyclone Wrestling Club product Ben Durbin in the semifinals. Alpajon recently finished second at the Pan American Championships for the third time in his career.

    At the Pan American Championships, Gwiazdowski defeated Alpajon via a dominating 9-0 score. With the home crowd behind him, the former NC State will likely be able to pick up a tech and stop the match early.

    57 kilograms: Patrick Glory (USA) vs. Gavin Teasdale (USA)

    Michael Novogratz hinted that a high school dream match would be added to the Beat the Streets field, and it ended up being the rubber match between Glory and Teasdale. The rivalry kicked off at Who's Number One this year. At the event, Glory, who will wrestle for Princeton in the fall, upset Teasdale and walked away with a 3-0 win. The two rematched at the Pittsburgh Wrestling Classic after the season and the future Nittany Lion Wrestler walked away with the win after scoring a takedown with ten seconds left. Teasdale recently finished fourth at the UWW Junior Open, and his freestyle experience should help him here. Glory has had his best success against Teasdale by scrambling and rolling for legs. Under freestyle rules, that could mean big points for Teasdale.

    65 kilograms: Jordan Oliver (USA) vs. Togrul Asgarov (Azerbaijan)

    At the 2017 U.S. Open, Oliver had one of his best tournaments on the senior level. He knocked off multiple-time NCAA champion Zain Retherford in the semifinals and then bested 2016 Olympian Frank Molinaro in the finals. However, following the event, Oliver tested positive for a banned substance and was suspended. His suspension forced him to miss all qualifiers for the 2018 World Team Trials. Despite some campaigning, it looks like Oliver will miss out on the tournament.

    Asgarov is a two-time Olympic medalist. He won a gold at the 2012 Games at 60 kilograms, and he won a silver at the 2016 Games at 65 kilograms. Like Oliver, he tested positive for a banned substance in 2017, and this will be his first event since returning from suspension. He last competed in the 2017 Indian Pro League.

    From a skill and accomplishment perspective, Asgarov should be the favorite in this match. He has vast edge in terms of international experience. However, he competes on a very light schedule and rarely wrestles. In theory that could work in Oliver's favor, but both are coming off lengthy layoffs for this match.

    74 kilograms: Jordan Burroughs (USA) vs. Frank Chamizo (Italy)

    Since a disappointing performance at the 2016 Olympic Games, Burroughs has bounced back by going undefeated through four events and winning a world championship. In addition to his 2017 world championship, he has gone undefeated at a pair of World Cup events and picked up a title at the 2017 Grand Prix of Spain. Burroughs has had an amazing career for the U.S., and he is looking to add a sixth world-level title to his resume this year.

    Chamizo is a four-time world-level medalist and two-time world champion. However, all of those medals have come at lower weight divisions. This year, he moved up the 74 kilograms for the first time. He won his first two tournaments at the new weight, the International Ukrainian Tournament and the Dan Kolov - Nikola Petrov Tournament. Earlier this month, he took home a bronze medal at the 2018 European Championships. In the quarterfinals, he picked a signature win, as he pinned 2017 World silver medalist Khetik Tsabolov (Russia). However, in the semifinals, he fell against Soner Demirtas (Turkey).

    These two have been advocating for this match ever since Seth Gross and Bryce Meredith made a battle of number-one ranked wrestlers on Twitter. Both were world champions at back-to-back weight classes last year. Stylistically, this is one of the most interesting matches of the year. Burroughs is known for his aggression in the neutral position and dynamic double-leg takedown. On the other hand, Chamizo uses his athleticism to score with a variety of exotic counters. If Burroughs can get to legs and finish clean, he should be able to dominate. However, that is not always the easiest task against Chamizo.

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