Who else watched the NCAAs last weekend


Chael Sonnen


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week removed from the Division one NC double-a wrestling tournament I had a lot of thoughts I had so many of my fellow wrestling Watchers declare that this was the greatest NCAA's of all time the greatest national tournament they'd ever seen now that surprised me I didn't enjoy it as much but here's why I did it and here's why they did the seats all held up there was some statistic this is a number of years ago this is around to 2015 but a number of years ago there was a statistic that in the past 10 years only one NC double-a tournament ever in those 10 years had taken place where a number one seed did not go down in the very first round that one year where he didn't go down he went down in the second round okay did I say this clear you know what Nick I feel like I need to restate this within those 10 years in the first round each year at least one champion had gone down in the very first round in that one year where it was at the very first round at least one number one seed went down in the second round I didn't mean to say it like all the number one seeds fell apart for a meaningful period of time you can always bet on those upsets and as a fit as bad as unfair as that is to the wrestlers that did everything right you're trying to establish who the best wrestler is who had the best season who's the baddest guy there's as unfair as that is from a fan perspective there's always something wonderful to watch when you have those oh my gosh I can't believe that just happened moment this year weight really held up I mean it held up all the way for a large part until the quarterfinals it wasn't till the quarterfinals when Alex the ball went down to Luis that you finally could turn to the people in your living room watching this with you and go oh my gosh I can't believe that that happened so for the moat now that took away for for me I was looking for those oh wow moments other people that were weighing in and saying hey this is the greatest term and it was seated perfectly and everybody wrestled well and you know nobody felt the pressures and checked out and the right guys got the the right hardware I get that too that just wasn't how I was watching it from and I did I did feel like some of the narratives were off I heard large discussion about 133 pounds being the toughest weight in the country it may well be but there is definitely discussion we had there to call a weight were the defending champion Seth gross the undefeated descendant of defending champion Seth gross the undefeated defending champion number one ranked Seth gross stays home and doesn't enter the event for me to still call a weight class the toughest weight class and some people were saying the toughest weight class of all time I think that that's a real stretch went openly not only by media not only by award in the form of a championship but also by way of record of which was completely unblemished when that guy stays at home that weight class is still the toughest weight of the Terr is still the toughest weight of all time my goodness what an incredible weight had the very best guy entered it so it's all that one's always a tough one for me and then what is the best way how are we gonna do this look there's only one way to do it there's only one way and we have to concede to it right now when you're talking about what the toughest weight is you have to be able to look at the guys and say how many future contenders for World and Olympic teams is in that weight right now and that's another one that's tough you know you look at DiSanto who is one of my favorite wrestlers for all of the wrong reasons I will fully admit but there's always something special and intense when he rests I don't believe he's ever done a freestyle match I don't believe he's ever done a freestyle match that mean he could have been nine years old and done one and it would take it out of the definition I'm saying right now I don't think it happened so right there he is not a contender or any world or Olympic spots cuz he doesn't even do the sport and he got third so now we've got the very best guy stayed at home now we got the third-place guy that cannot meet the criteria of what makes for really tough weight which is future world and Olympic team members and contenders what do we do then okay let's look at the champion Soriano absolutely I expect him to contend so that's fair fix already has contended so I get that Micek definitely a freestyle guy by the way I got to correct myself don't I meet Church was third out I've said his name me Chooch was there but you do have some contenders there so I think that that's fair that you would look at that weight and say Wow time will tell but how impressive but the number one guy sat out I think if you look at 174 pounds where you have two defending champions in the weight two guys who both have won the NCAA tournament both are back both with eligibility and both in the same way I think you have to look at that I think the fans that took their eye off of that match in that way classes because they were spoiled I know a year ago that was the most anticipated match I know two years ago we saw it in the semifinals instead of the finals but that was the very most anticipated match absolutely and I believe that now because we got to see it in the all-star classic because we got to see it in the duel I just think we got so spoiled as fans that we quit appreciating that to champions are going at each other look at the year when dick and Taylor decided to go the same way everybody knew these guys can change weights and both win the championship they have decided we're gonna do what's best for the sport and one of us is getting their heart broken we agree to these terms we will see you all the March remember how exciting that was or if you look at the year where Perry and how ended up in the same weight class out there on the Matta wrestling for the championship remember the anticipation or you look at quiz who's the champion and Snyder comes out the world champion and we're gonna put these two guys together remember they anticipate that never wore off and one thing that those guys really did have going for them is they they hadn't had a whole bunch of matches against each other before it was going to be a one-off on ESPN in front of a record crowd in front of record ratings goes down as the most-watched college wrestling match or any type of wrestling match by the way of all time I really think you have those same ingredients here except we've got to see it a few times and we begin to lack our appreciation I think something needs to be looked at with Anthony a Chennault I think that was a very hard wait a very competitive wait for him to win that particularly going undefeated has to mean something Louis one of the standouts of the whole tournament the number eight seed the guys weren't talking about turns out he's a junior world champion and there was nothing fluky about it I mean you watched him wrestle whether it was Alex whether it was wick weathers the final with Vincenza you go watch those match it you go yeah that's the best guy I don't need to see the eyes why they did that two more times you get two more difference no you would not you could do that two more times or three more times or five more times Louis wins that way to every single time which he's going to have to do because it turns out they're all back next year and nobody's gonna change wait because nobody's looking to go up two murderers rel that is 174 pounds that somehow got overlooked this season by many by many people that really did but there's still two champs in that weight class there's still multiple world level medals in that weight class and as young as Louis is and as much as his body could naturally grow I'm just telling you right now he will be staying at 165 as will the rest of them and they should they really should it's the right thing to do you look at 184 pounds uh I think we had some fun there right two guys both follow the rules both of which were in compliance this season with the rules get a guy that Wednesday and foster who was never even a state champion but boy he was tactical was a great technician he'd made step left making you go to that labor he come to the right when he'd fool you he tricked you he could hold up non-stop that he had a really great performance you coming to bow nickel dominant absolutely dominated the tournament bow looked to me like he wanted to be anywhere else but in that final smash something happened something bothered him or annoyed him very early on and it was as though he checked out you could see it on his face you could see I have nothing to worry about here on a good day I beat this guy on a bad day I beat this guy as a matter of fact I'm gonna show that to you right now cuz I'm having a bad day but I'm still gonna go out and beat this guy it was just a very interesting match it was interesting to watch how disinterested he became with that match as the match went on and still he's still gonna be beat he still couldn't be scored on I thought that that was very very telling you get up to heavy weight little bit of a surprise Cesare while beating everybody in that way while showing at the Big Ten's that he could well making all of us believe yes ultimately he could get past Derrick white if he ends up in that spot he still had to get back to him and to climb a mountain once and of course sometime at the mountain called gable Stevenson to climb that mountain once is hard to do and it's an achievement and it's impressive and it's something you can hold with you but to do it a second time much like a mountain what is your motivation to climb that thing twice what if I told you not only is it a motivation issue you have to do it twice oh and by the way you have to do it twice in two weeks a lot to bear a lot of people would have want to rest on their laurels and go Ally beat him and I can always talk about that he dug deep he found a way and he did it again really an incredible performance and I must also talk about what about great performances I must talk about 125 pounds for me that was the best weight in the tournament for me I hear of attack of 133 I liked 125 I like 125 so much that guys ran away from 125 to get to 133 and that's how that division ended up so damn stacked and the guy who wanted at 1:33 in Surrey ah no did not win it a year ago against Nicola who wanted it 125 and I'm just offering for you 125 just because everybody ran away from it you don't then get it then give 133 the respect all these guys are so good oh really because if they were so good they would have stayed where they were supposed to be which is at 125 but they didn't think they could win it that's why the weight got so clogged in the first place not for nothing but let's just tell the story the way that it happened and that's the way that it happened so Spencer Lee comes through it and it was so obvious all year long that Spitz early can win this way but it was also very obvious all year long there are some guys in the right scenario can put some points on the board eat up the clock and get the jump on him which made it very interesting it really did it made it very very interesting but when you have these guys that are big match guys when you have guys who have been to the World Championships multiple time they're just not gonna feel those same pressures at a national event in a dead matter if you want to call it the NCAA's it doesn't matter if you want to put 18,000 people there it doesn't matter if you want to put it on ESPN they're just not gonna fill those same pressures as they did on a time change in caki Stan and in Bulgaria in an Aussie bust on when they were teenagers with nobody cheer inform and no fans there and corrupt referees and still going out fighting all of that and giving their hand race there's just a different level of pressure and experience and that's something that you really saw Spencer Lee have on his side he went out there as calm as he could be which is an overly calm but his coma see could be for the environment he let everybody else choke on it that's the way that happened and it turns out he's a pretty damn good wrestler those are the ingredients it is pretty straightforward I would be remiss if I did not mention for you I did not agree with the reffing at all in the Yanni match with Joey McKenna I thought they took that match from McKenna I must also say to you I don't know if there's a nicer guy or a better interview in all of wrestling than Yanni he just seems like a really great guy and what he was able to do with a tight waist a tight waste a waste block from the front to put a guy upside down and on his back with one hand from the front and to do it three and four times now you go back and score that however you want I thought the situations that were challenged in those situations that came about were wrong I will also share with you I saw two other points in that math and nobody argued against no bricks were tossed no stop down in the action oh I thought Yanni should had points he did it all from the same position he's defending a single with a tight waist you fella wrestlers out there I mean come on we got to give this one to him the hell how the hell is he doing that we should strengthen power also my I must give a shout-out to Knopf right I mean way to go took out Oregon's own Tyler burger and a good match burger went out there burger fought hard enough Sabet arrests are fine we can live with that absolutely I did think that he had a very tough match with Hitler though and I thought there was two separate takedowns that should have gone to Headley I would not offer for you guys that that would change the outcome of the match I'm well aware of Headley got that first takedown that if you look at the scoreboard those are all the points he needs great but I think we should also be able to manufacture at least within our own minds that Knopf would have wrestled differently the rest of the match okay I also thought Headley had it at the end of the match and that would with the time that was left those points would have sent off to the wrestle packs in hidden leaf or that's just what I saw I thought that hilly really should have had those points I thought that he wrestled an excellent tournament