The 2018 Marine Corp US Open is underway in Las Vegas, Nevada and the wrestling festival will no doubt produce some incredible matches all weekend. It certainly did last year, giving us plenty of fodder for this edition of Five for Friday. We whittled down thousands of matches to five which feature great action and wrestlers who will challenge for world team spots this year or in the near future. These five should whet your appetite for what is to come or give you a distraction between rounds. Enjoy five of the best matches from wrestling’s 2017 trip to Vegas.
Joe Colon vs. Joey Lazor, 61 kg MFS, Round of 32
61 kg was wild last year with scoreboard combusting matches everywhere you look throughout the brackets. That trend was established early when Colon and Lazor met in the first round. With Colon heading to Vegas as the top seed at 61 kg this weekend and Lazor sitting eighth, with Jaydin Eierman ninth, at 65 kg, they won’t meet again. However, look for them both to keep running wide open.
James Green vs. Jason Nolf, 70 kg MFS, Semifinals
After missing the podium at the 2016 World Championships, Green came to the Open looking to prove his 2015 world bronze was a more accurate representation of his abilities. After crushing his first three opponents, the former Nebraska Cornhusker faced Nolf, the college star who was coming off his first NCAA title. Green looked to be in control early, but Nolf’s famous motor came into play late. We won’t see either man this weekend with Green sitting in Final X while Nolf heals up.
Alex Dieringer vs. Anthony Valencia, 74 kg MFS, Quarterfinals
Valencia has yet to All-American for Arizona State while Dieringer was a three-time national champion at Oklahoma State. That didn’t seem to trouble Anthony as he went toe-to-toe with Alex throughout this clash. Dieringer will be looking to win a title at 79 kg, likely having to go through Kyle Dake to do it. Valencia is not entered.
Richard Perry vs. Bo Nickal, 86 kg MFS Semifinals
In another battle between an established Senior-level athlete and a reigning NCAA champion, Perry nearly teched Nickal before the Nittany Lion started to work his way back into the match. Perry is the two seed this weekend at 86 kg, behind David Taylor. Nickal is not entered.
Kamal Bey vs. Jon Jay Chavez, 75 kg Greco, Semifinals
The human highlight reel that is Kamal Bey was not yet a Junior world champion when he met up with domestic age group star Jon Jay Chavez in last year’s semifinals. Chavez was a little under the radar after spending two years at Cornell during which he rarely saw the mat, but he showed his skills in this one, giving Bey fits. Chavez cracked the starting squad in Ithaca this season and remains a strong Greco presence. Both will be aiming for the 77 kg championship this weekend.