PC: Tony Rotundo

Early 2023 US Open Freestyle Preview


The US Open will begin on April 26th and go till April 30th. As of now a good amount of the names we will see are already registered. Let’s take an early look at the field.


The name everyone is looking for is Spencer Lee. For the time being he is not registered, I wouldn’t keep my hopes up for this to happen regardless.


Some of the main names here include Nick Suriano, Patrick Glory, and Zane Richards.

Looking at their past performances Suriano will be a big favorite to win here and face 2021 world champion Thomas Gilman at Final X.


This weight should be really fun, Roman Bravo-Young has not entered and he may or may not. With no wrestler sitting in Final X this just makes it more interesting. 2021 world silver medalist Daton Fix has not yet entered the Open as well which is massive for everyone else in the field.


This weight is stacked some of the guys include Seth Gross, Vito Arujau, Nahshon Garrett, Nathan Tomasello, and Daniel DeShazer. As far as the favorite goes I would have to say Seth Gross, however if Vito puts on a performance like he did at NCAAs it would surprise nobody if he made the team.


Whoever wins this weight will get the right to face Yianni Diakomihalis at Final X. A few names have yet to register but most of the main guys are in.


A few guys stick out above the field including Joey McKenna who has multiple wins over Diakomihalis, Evan Henderson who wrestled Yianni at Final X last year, as well as Luke Pletcher and Anthony Ashnault who are maybe looking to sneak a win.

Some other notable names include Ridge Lovett, Chad Red, CJ Composto, and Matt Kolodzik.

As far as the favorite to win the US Open, it most likely will remain between Evan Henderson and Joey McKenna.


Whoever wins the US Open here will face Zain Retherford at Final X. The biggest news with this weight class has been Jordan Olivers suspension and him signing with Bellator.


Hayden Hidlay looks to be down at 70kg now so that should be interesting how he develops, Yahya Thomas, and Tyler Berger are in the field as well.

The favorite here and by a considerable margin will have to remain Alex Pantaleo. Pantaleo lost to Retherford last year in the world team trials semifinals to get to Final X. At Final X last year Retherford beat Jordan Oliver in match 3. Pantaleo has multiple wins over Oliver.


Whoever wins this weight class will face Kyle Dake at Final X. Burroughs is still at 79kg of course but expect him to come down for the Olympics next year.

David Carr and Jason Nolf don’t appear to have entered yet but I would expect them to.


Some names at this weight class include Vincenzo Joseph, Joey Lavallee, Keegan O’Toole, and Josh Shields. However if Jason Nolf is in the field which I would expect him to be it will be his bracket to lose.


This weight class will be one of if not the best at the US Open. To make things even better the winner will get the chance to face the king Jordan Burroughs.


This list is extensive and on a good day a lot of people could win it. Some of the names include David McFadden, Michael Kemerer, Alex Dieringer, Mikey Labriola, and Chance Marsteller.

Carter Starocci has not entered yet, he is obviously a name a lot of people are looking at right now after winning his 3rd national title. He will most likely end up entering I would have to assume.


The winning of this weight will get the chance to face reigning world and Olympic champion David Taylor at Final X.


So far the only two real competitors here look to be Mark Hall and Zahid Valencia. Zahid’s track record against Hall is undeniable at this point so he will be the massive favorite here.

Aaron Brooks maybe enters soon but a lot is yet to be known.


J’den Cox has essentially vacated the spot at 92kg since he has committed to going up to 97kg for the Olympic year and is in the Open at 97kg.


Kollin Moore has to be the guy people are looking at here. His only real losses recently have been to Kyle Snyder in the Olympic trials finals, J’den Cox in the 2021 world team trials finals, and Kyle Snyder again at Final X last year.

Nate Jackson is most likely the guy that Moore will see in the finals and again Jackson has been beyond impressive as he took a match from J’den Cox at Final X last year so Moore vs Jackson should be a good one.

Some other guys in the field would be Rocky Elam, Jacob Cardenas, and Trent Hidlay who are all coming off of All American finishes from this years NCAAs.

Silas Allred, Eric Schultz, and Jay Aiello are names that could make some noise as well.


The biggest news here is of course J’den Cox, should he win the Open which he probably will, then he will see Kyle Snyder at Final X for possibly the most anticipated Final X series ever.


The field at 97kg isn’t too crazy as it has just a few wrestlers entered at this point. Mike Macchiavello, Josef Rau, and Isaac Trumble are some names that could face Cox in the finals depending on how the brackets land.


No returning world medalist at this weight which means that nobody will be sitting in Final X.


Hayden Zillmer, Nick Gwiazdowski, Mason Parris, and Dom Bradley. These guys are the main 4 and it has seen been time and time again

Zillmer and Gwiz will be the two favorites here, but that being said Parris has showed he can hang and looking at his season this year his time is coming and it is coming soon.

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Akil Murugan
Akil Murugan
Senior Editor for Heavyweight Nation

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