Just a few days removed from Independence Day, USA Wrestling has found itself in a bit of controversy. The wrestle-off to decide the World Team Member at 79 KG has created a lot of discussion amongst wrestling fans. Here’s a timeline explaining the situation.
May 18: Alex Dieringer beats Zahid Valencia in a best of three series to qualify to wrestle in Final X on June 8th against Kyle Dake to determine World Team spot at 79 KG.
June 4: Kyle Dake announced he would be requesting a delay to his scheduled match-up with Alex Dieringer. Dieringer and Dake were originally scheduled to wrestle at Rutgers on June 8th at Final X. The request to delay was not known to Alex Dieringer until Dake publicly announced. This was just four days prior to the originally scheduled event. At the time it seemed a little off for Dake to make that request so late in the process. But as the defending champ, by rule, he did have that right granted to him.
Then the real controversy started. Rumblings that Dake had been working out full speed were everywhere. And further proof was found on Twitter as other wrestlers announced it for him.
Lifted with @BenDarmstadt this morning, wrestled with @daxmean after the lift, as we finished up, @kyledake444 and @yiannidiako_LGR started their spar working on positions…….as a kid I was always told to surround yourself with the best at what they do. Cornell is that place.
— Gabe Dean (@DabeGean) June 14, 2019
90min spar with @kyledake444 = wrestling increaser
— Pat Downey (@iAmPatDowney) June 27, 2019
July 2: USA Wrestling announced the rescheduled wrestle off between Dake and Dieringer would take place on August 17th in Austin, Texas.
Also July 2: That same day they also announced that Dake would be wrestling in Madrid, Spain on July 7th. Here’s where alarm bells really went off that Dake seemed to be gaming the system a bit. Not only did he wait until the last second to announce that he’s requesting the wrestle-off, but he’s also healthy enough to wrestle a live senior level tournament less than a month after postponing the originally scheduled series.
The decision to allow Dake to wrestle prior to his match with Dieringer was determined by a vote. The seven voters were Jamill Kelly, Coleman Scott, Jordan Burroughs, Greg Strobel, Kerry, McCoy, Mark Reiland, and Dave Foxen.
Scott, Kelly, and Burroughs all voted against allowing Dake to wrestle. Strobel, McCoy, Reiland, and Foxen all voted for.
July 7: Dake wins Grand Prix of Spain.
Kyle Dake went to Spain and won comfortably, but did certainly show some signs of rust. I don’t know if it’s specifically associated with his injury, but the last time we saw Kyle Dake was at the World Championships last year. And no one even scored a point on him. Here they did, and this definitely wasn’t World Championship level competition.
Kyle Dake so far in Spain:
Dake 7-5 over Dauletmurat Orazglyjov, TKM
Dake 10-0 15 second tech over Carlos Gilabert, ESP
Dake 12-0 first period tech Sarmat Tsararkhov, RUS
Dake 12-2 under a minute over Carlos Budget CAN
— The Wrestling Nomad (@wrestlingnomad) July 7, 2019
August 17: The way this has played out has certainly created some controversy. Though it does seem as though Dake was, and maybe even still is, injured and probably had reason to delay the wrestle off, it’s pretty clear that he is trying to work the system to his advantage. At the end of the day, none of that will really matter on August 17. He and Dieringer will lace them up and the winner will represent the United States at the World Championships in Kazakhstan.