There are a lot of "comma but's" in Wrestling. You hear a lot of statements from people that are probably false. "I was going to wrestle at Iowa, but...." or "I was a favorite to win state as a senior, but...." are phrases you have heard if you are reading this article. Many thought Kyle Dake's post-collegiate wrestling career was going to be one of the most validated "comma but's" in history.
The Cornell 4-time NCAA Champion has been plagued by injuries and unfortunate roadblocks since one of the best collegiate careers of all-time. The roadblock being in the same weight class as Jordan Burroughs in the midst of his prime and one of the best runs in history. In 2016, Dake bumped up to try to take what appeared to be a more open 86 kg Olympic spot. Dake fell to eventual Olympic Bronze medalist J'den Cox 8-1, 3-5, & 5-3, despite not having to cut weight. Cox weighed significantly more just coming off his second 197 lb NCAA title.
Alex Dieringer looks to be Burroughs biggest challenge to 74 kg in 2020. He also boasts one of the best collegiate careers in history and entered the Paris finals on quite the winning streak. Coming off the World Clubs Cup and the NYAC Bill Farrell, Dieringer's world-class wins are piling up.
It's been awhile since we have seen a healthy Kyle Dake at 74 kg, making the finals in Paris a fascinating American wrestle-off. It was all Dake though. He struck on a shot in the opening seconds and finished for a 2-0 lead. Dieringer shot in but Dake cracked down and executed a crotch lift for a 4-0 lead. This deficit is a nightmare scenario for the Dieringer camp as now he has to come to him. After basically holding position for nearly two minutes, Dake struck with a blast double and a leg lace. One last counter shot in the second period would finish off the amazing 10-0 tech.
Kyle Dake looked fast, strong, technical, and ready to challenge anyone in the world. It was an incredible statement in the young cycle, and anything looks possible.