Oklahoma State alum Alex Dieringer will finally face reigning World champion Kyle Dake in a best-of-three series Saturday in Round Rock, Texas, for the 79-kilogram spot on the United States’ men’s freestyle team for this year’s World Championship.
FloSports will broadcast the wrestle-off, which starts at 1 p.m. at Round Rock High School.
Dieringer, a three-time NCAA champion and 2016 Dan Hodge Trophy winner, qualified for Final X by defeating two-time NCAA champ Zahid Valencia of Arizona State in two straight matches at the World Team Trials in May. Dieringer’s wrestle-off against Dake was scheduled for June, but Dake was granted a delay due to injury he called “freak accident” that required surgery.
Despite requesting the delay, Dake — a four-time NCAA champ and 2013 Hodge winner at Cornell — did wrestle and win at the Grand Prix of Spain in July.
Dieringer has gone on a tear since losing to Valencia at last year’s WTT, winning the U.S. Open and three international gold medals: Alexander Medved International, Dan Kolov Tournament and Yasar Dogu. He also took bronze at the Ivan Yarygin Grand Prix.
Dieringer is 0-4 in his career against Dake, but the former Cowboy has closed the gap each time. In their last matchup, Dake won the 2018 U.S. Open by criteria.
A victory by Dieringer over Dake would give OSU two wrestlers on the U.S.’ World team, with Dieringer and current redshirt sophomore Daton Fix, who claimed the 57-kilogram spot over Thomas Gilman at Final X: Lincoln in June.
The World Championship is scheduled for Sept. 14-22 in Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan.
Dake vs. Dieringer history
2017: Grand Prix of Spain — Dake TF Dieringer, 10-0
2017: U.S. Open — Dake dec. Dieringer, 3-0
2017: World Team Trials — Dake dec. Dieringer, 2-1
2018: U.S. Open — Dake dec. Dieringer, 5-5 criteria
How to watch
What: Final X special wrestle-off at 79 kg in men’s freestyle
Who: Kyle Dake vs. Alex Dieringer
When: 1 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 17
Where: Round Rock (Texas) High School