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Stalemates Street League 3 Preview



Stalemates returns with their third Street League event. The cards, which are always a mix of current and former wrestlers as well as MMA fighters and grappling competitors, have delivered up to this point. The following is a preview of the key matches from the event, which can be purchased via Patreon .

Richie Lewis vs. Ian Miller

The original main event of this card was Lewis against former Iowa wrestler Alex Marinelli. The two had a history, and it would have been a marquee match, especially in Iowa. However, the bout failed to materialize. The promoter was able to put together a suitable alternative on late notice.

Lewis burst into the national spotlight with a somewhat surprising gold medal performance at the 2017 U23 World Championships. He had previously earned NJCAA All-American honors at Iowa Central and qualified for the 2016 NCAA tournament for Rutgers. At the time, he had one more season of eligibility for the Scarlet Knights. During the year, he scored impressive victories over the likes of Anthony Valencia, Isaiah White, Branson Ashworth, and Evan Wick. In the end, he came up just short of All-American status as he fell against Chance Marsteller in the round of 12.

He continued to compete on the freestyle circuit following college. In 2019, Lewis won the Dave Schultz tournament and finished fourth at the World Team Trials Challenge Tournament. Last year, Lewis made his professional MMA debut. He is now 3-0 in the sport after picking up a second-round stoppage over Kelvin Bowen at Titan FC 76 this past May.

Miller was a four-time NCAA qualifier and a three-time All-American for Kent State. He exhausted his eligibility in 2016 with a sixth-place finish at the NCAA tournament. Miller made the semifinals before dropping a sudden-victory match against eventual champion Isaiah Martinez, before defaulting out with an injury.

Unfortunately for Miller, he is remembered for an unfortunate situation at the 2015 NCAA tournament. He went to overtime and ultimately lost an 11-9 match. However, Miller should have won the bout 10-9 in regulation, but an escape from the Kent State wrestler was missed by the official scorer. Despite the controversy, he bounced back to finish fifth.

Since finishing college, Miller has focused on coaching and is currently the head assistant for Appalachian State. He certainly had the better results at the collegiate level, but he has been less active recently. That is one of the many factors that make this bout intriguing. Lewis spent his college career at 165 pounds, while Miller was down a weight. The former Rutgers wrestler has also been working on his budding MMA career instead of working solely on wrestling.

Even though Lewis has not been focused on wrestling recently, he has been the more active competitor recently. On top of that, Miller took this bout on short notice. Lewis is the favorite, but Miller still has the go-for-broke style to pull the upset and/or make this an exciting contest.

Prediction: Lewis by decision

Jesse Dellavecchia vs. Kennedy Monday

Dellavecchia started his college career at Binghamton but eventually transferred to Rider. After a redshirt year, he joined the Broncs lineup as a sophomore and qualified for the NCAA tournament. Dellavecchia returned the following season and qualified for the canceled tournament. As a senior, he entered the tournament after wrestling only seven matches during the shortened season. Dellavecchia had a tournament run for the ages that took him all the way to the finals and a second-place finish. Along the way, he knocked off Penn State's Brady Berge and upset Ryan Deakin with a fall in the semifinals.

Monday was a three-time NCAA qualifier for North Carolina. He finished one match short of All-American status as a redshirt freshman in 2018. After this past season, Monday appeared to be done with college wrestling and was scheduled to make his MMA debut over the summer. However, that bout fell through, and he entered the transfer portal to use his final year of eligibility. It remains to be seen if he will return for one final run at All-American status.

The matches at Street League are only five minutes long, and that really plays into Monday's game. He has been able to put points on the board early in matches against some top wrestlers, but he can fade down the stretch. However, Dellavecchia should remain the favorite. In preparation for this article, I asked in-house InterMat guru Jagger about the match. After a long drag from his Marlboro menthol light, he looked to the stars for guidance. As if possessed by the spirit of Chris Taylor, he looked me dead in the eyes and said, "one wrestler recently competed in an NCAA final. The other sat mat-side during an NCAA final." We then sat in silence for 35 minutes before my Lyft arrived and drove me back to DC.

Prediction: Dellavecchia by decision

Colton McCrystal vs. Grant Leeth

McCrystal was a two-time NCAA qualifier for Nebraska who exhausted his eligibility in 2018. He made the round of 12 as a junior and scored victories over the likes of Luke Pletcher, Chad Red, and Bryce Meredith during his collegiate career. McCrystal has performed quite well on Street League cards. He has won both of his matches including a victory over Joey Lazor by fall last October.

Leeth started his collegiate career at Duke. He redshirted his first season there and eventually transferred to Missouri. Leeth consistently dealt with injuries during his time with the Tigers, but he managed to qualify for two NCAA tournaments and finished sixth in 2018 to become an All-American. Leeth recently has been training with Rob Koll and Stanford.

McCrystal will be looking for his third-straight victory over an All-American at Street League. At this point, it would be hard to pick against him. He had an up-and-down performance at the past U.S. Open, but he should be able to get it done here.

Prediction: McCrystal by decision

Mikey England vs. Quentin Perez

England was a multiple-time NCAA qualifier for Missouri and was part of the legendary 2015 National Duals final match where the Tigers defeated Iowa. He made his professional MMA debut in 2020 and has built a 6-1 record. Despite making the transition to the new sport, he has been a fixture on Street League cards. On the second card, he scored a victory over fellow MMA fighter and former Cleveland State wrestler Gerald Harris. England is scheduled to return to the MMA cage on July 29 against Lucas Batista.

Perez was a three-time NCAA qualifier for Campbell. Unfortunately, he never got one final run at the All-American podium as his senior season ended with the canceled tournament. That year, Perez went 26-6, won the SoCon tournament and picked up wins over the likes of Dazjon Casto, Phillip Conigliaro and Kennedy Monday. Perez also went to sudden victory with Evan Wick.

England will be the crowd favorite for sure, but Perez is an underrated competitor. He had a very strong senior season and has remained active on the freestyle circuit. Last April, he scored an upset over Isaiah White at the Bill Farrell. Look for the former Campbell wrestler to pull this one out.

Prediction: Perez by decision

Billy Higgins vs. Zach Goldrosen

Higgins redshirted in 2019 for Northern Colorado. After two more seasons with the Bears, he transferred to Division II powerhouse Nebraska Kearney. In his first season with the new squad, he finished third at the NCAA tournament to become an All-American. He is expected to return to the team once again next year.

Goldrosen was a Division III wrestler for Muhlenberg. He has been a revelation on these Street League cards. His teacher persona has drawn in fans and gotten under the skin of his opponents.

Goldrosen will be the underdog here. However, he is a technically strong wrestler who holds positions well and can take advantage of an opponent's mistakes. If he can keep it low scoring, he could give himself a shot. His original opponent pulled out, and he gladly accepted a step up in competition.

Prediction: Higgins by decision

Josh Portillo vs. Cole Baumgartner

Portillo was teammates with Higgins at Nebraska Kearney. For the Lopers, he was a four-time NCAA qualifier and two-time finalist. This past season, he went 22-6 and made the finals before coming up short against Cole Laya.

Baumgartner spent three years with Missouri before transferring to Duke for the 2017 season. In his lone season with the Blue Devils, he went 18-12 and picked up some impressive victories over the likes of Devan Turner, Alex Madrigal and Micky Phillippi.

This should be an interesting contest. Portillo has been much more active recently, but Baumgartner is dangerous in the top position. If he gets a decent chance on the mat, he should be able to do enough to take this bout.

Prediction: Baumgartner

The rest of the card:

Moises Guillen vs. Nathan Ryan
Alex Schmitz vs. Jake Nieman
Dillion Cox vs. Josh Kristensen
Blake Harris vs. Tommy Even
Brody Beck vs. Brady Milder
Sam White vs. Joshua Stephenson
Matt Wonderlin vs. Cody Jenkins
Zachary Owens vs. Nathen Thomsen

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