Final X: Lincoln Greco-Roman championship series preview

By Mike Willis, USA Wrestling | June 12, 2019, 1:23 p.m. (ET)

2018 World silver medalist Adam Coon is featured in the second session of Final X: Lincoln.

Final X: Lincoln will showcase the second half of the Greco-Roman championship series. The majority of the action is featured in the 12:00 session, which will contain four matches. The 6:00 p.m. session will have the fifth and final Greco-Roman match featuring Junior World bronze medalist Cohlton Schultz challenging returning World silver medalist Adam Coon at 130 kg.

Session One – 12 p.m.

Bout 2: Greco-Roman 60 kg – U.S. Open champion Leslie Fuenffinger (Colorado Springs, Colo./U.S. Army WCAP) vs. World Team Trials Challenge Tournament champion Ildar Hafizov (Colorado Springs, Colo./U.S. Army WCAP)

The opening Greco-Roman match at Final X: Lincoln will feature two familiar rivals, Leslie Fuenffinger and Ildar Hafizov. The pair have traded matches over the past year, with Fuenffinger taking the most recent battle in the U.S. Open finals. Both wrestlers train in Colorado Springs with the Army World Class Athlete Program.

Fuenffinger is a two-time Junior World team member. To earn his spot in Final X, he won the U.S. Open, defeating 2018 World Team member Dalton Roberts, 8-0, in the semifinals. In the finals, he claimed a 6-4 victory over Hafizov.

Hafizov won the World Team Trials Challenge Tournament in Raleigh, N.C., by defeating two-time U23 World Team member Randon Miranda, two matches to none, 7-0 and 6-1. Hafizov has extensive international experience. He represented Team USA at the 2017 World Championships. Before that, he was a three-time World Team member and 2008 Olympian for Uzbekistan.

Past Senior World Teams

Fuenffinger – None
Hafizov – 2017 Worlds (19th at 59 kg), 2011 Worlds (30th at 55 kg competing for Uzbekistan) 2009 Worlds (30th at 55 kg competing for Uzbekistan) 2008 Olympics (11th at 55 kg competing for Uzbekistan) 2007 Worlds (5th at 55kg competing for Uzbekistan)

Past age-level World Teams
Fuenffinger – 2012 Junior Worlds (10th at 55 kg) 2011 Junior Worlds (12th at 55 kg)
Hafizov- None

Recent head-to-head matches
April 2019- U.S. Open finals- Fuenffinger dec. Hafizov, 6-4
January 2019- Dave Schultz Memorial International finals- Hafizov TF Fuenffinger, 8-0
June 2018- World Team Trials Challenge Tournament finals- Hafizov dec. Fuenffinger, 5-0
April 2018- U.S. Open semifinals- Fuenffinger dec. Hafizov, 4-3

Bout 4: Greco-Roman 72 kg – U.S. Open champion Raymond Bunker (Camp LeJeune, N.C./U.S. Marine Corps) vs. World Team Trials Challenge Tournament champion Alex Mossing (Colorado Springs, Colo./Air Force RTC)

The second Greco-Roman match is another all-military bout featuring Raymond Bunker of the Marine Corps and Alex Mossing of the Air Force. The pair have squared off once before, when Mossing defeated Bunker in the semifinals of the U23 World Team Trials. Mossing would end up winning the tournament and representing Team USA at the 2017 U23 World Championships. Both wrestlers have grown significantly since that match transpired.

Bunker has been one of the most improved wrestlers in the country over the past 12 months. Bumped up from his previous weight of 67 kg, Bunker won the 2019 Dave Schultz Memorial International in January and the U.S. Open in April. In the Open finals, he defeated two-time U.S. Open champion and 2016 Olympic Trials champion RaVaughn Perkins, 4-3.

Mossing just finished his final year at the Air Force Academy, where he completed his senior season with a 24-13 record as the starter at 157 pounds. Over the entirety of his college career, he composed a 61-43 record.

Mossing shocked the wrestling world at the World Team Trials Challenge Tournament in Raleigh, where he emerged as the champion from the No. 9 seed. In the quarterfinals, he trailed No. 1 seed RaVaughn Perkins, 5-0, before reversing him to his back and claiming the fall. In the finals, he lost match one to Michael Hooker by technical fall, 9-0. He battled back to claim the next two matches, 7-4 and 9-0, to punch his ticket to Final X.

Past Senior World Teams

Bunker – None
Mossing – None

Past age-level World Teams
Bunker – None
Mossing – 2017 U23 Worlds (22nd at 71 kg)

Recent head-to-head matches
October 2017 – U23 World Team Trial semifinals – Mossing dec. Bunker, 6-3

Bout 5: Greco-Roman 63 kg – U.S. Open champion Ryan Mango (Colorado Springs, Colo./U.S. Army WCAP) vs. World Team Trials Challenge Tournament champion Xavier Johnson (Camp LeJeune, N.C./U.S. Marine Corps)

The fifth bout of the afternoon is the third and final all-military Greco-Roman matchup. It features Ryan Mango of the U.S. Army vs. Xavier Johnson of the Marine Corps. Both competitors will be competing to make their first World Team at any age group. Mango owns two technical fall victories over Johnson, with the most recent coming in 2017.

Mango, an exciting wrestler with a plethora of high-amplitude throws in his arsenal, won the U.S. Open to earn his berth in Final X. In the finals, Mango was tied with Sammy Jones, 1-1, in the second period, before breaking the match open from par terre with two turns and a four-point lift, to earn a 9-1 technical fall.

Johnson lost by fall to Jones in the Open semifinals and then defaulted to sixth place. He faced Jones again in the best-of-three Challenge Tournament finals for the opportunity to compete at Final X. He redeemed his loss, defeating Jones in two-straight matches, 8-0 and 7-4.

Past Senior World Teams

Mango – None
Johnson – None

Past age-level World Teams

Mango –None
Johnson – None

Recent head-to-head matches
November 2017 –Dave Schultz Memorial quarterfinals– Mango TF Johnson, 9-0
December 2016- Greco Nationals semifinal- Mango TF Johnson, 11-0

Bout 6: Men’s GR 97 kg – U.S. Open champion G’Angelo Hancock (Colorado Springs, Colo./Sunkist Kids) vs. World Team Trials Challenge Tournament champion Lucas Sheridan (Colorado Springs, Colo./U.S. Army WCAP)

G’Angelo Hancock has been the most dominant domestic Greco-Roman wrestler in the country. He has made the past seven World Teams he has competed for across various age groups. Most recently, he made the 2019 U23 World Team less than two weeks ago in Akron, Ohio, where he was awarded the tournament’s Outstanding Wrestler award. At the 2019 U.S. Open, Hancock earned technical falls over all four of his opponents and did not surrender a point. He defeated Sheridan in the finals, 9-0.

Lucas Sheridan is a two-time Junior World Team member and represented Team USA at the 2010 Youth Olympic Games. At the U.S. Open, Sheridan earned four technical falls en route to the finals, where he was defeated by Hancock. In the best-of-three Challenge Tournament finals, he dropped his opening match to Daniel Miller, 7-5, before storming back to take the next two, 5-0 and 4-3.

Past Senior World Teams

Hancock – 2018 Worlds (17th at 97 kg), 2017 Worlds (12th at 98 kg)
Sheridan – None

Past age-level World Teams
Hancock –2019 U23 Worlds (yet to compete), 2018 U23 Worlds (17th at 97 kg), 2017 U23 Worlds (10th at 130 kg), 2017 Junior Worlds (7th at 96 kg), 2016 Junior Worlds (bronze at 96 kg)
Sheridan – 2013 Junior Worlds (23rd at 84 kg), 2012 Junior Worlds (10th at 84 kg), 2010 Youth Olympic Games (4th at Cadet 85 kg)

Recent head-to-head matches

April 2019- U.S. Open finals- Hancock TF Sheridan, 9-0
January 2019–Dave Schultz Memorial finals– Hancock dec. Sheridan 7-0
June 2018- Greco World Team Trials Challenge Tournament finals- Hancock TF Sheridan, 11-0

Session Two – 6 p.m.


Bout 4: Greco-Roman 130 kg – World silver medalist Adam Coon (Ann Arbor, Mich./New York AC/Cliff Keen WC) vs. World Team Trials Challenge Tournament champion Cohlton Schultz (Parker, Colo./Sunkist Kids/EAP)

Perhaps the most highly anticipated Greco-Roman match of Final X, 130 kg will feature 2018 Senior World silver medalist Adam Coon squaring off with 2018 Junior World bronze medalist Cohlton Schultz.

Coon is the sole Greco-Roman medalist from the 2018 Senior World Championships, where he pinned every opponent he faced on his way to the finals. Coon is also an incredibly accomplished freestyle wrestler. He won a Cadet World gold medal in 2011 and was No. 2 on the 2018 National Team.

In addition to his Junior World bronze, Schultz is a Cadet World champion and has extensive international age-group level experience, representing the USA at five different World Championships. To earn his spot in Final X, Schultz defeated Greco-Roman veteran Robby Smith in the Challenge Tournament finals, two matches to one. Smith, a four-time World Team member and 2016 Olympian, took match one, 2-1. Schultz claimed the next two, 2-1 and 5-1.

Past Senior World Teams
Coon – 2018 Worlds (silver at 130 kg)
Schultz – None

Past age-level World Teams

Coon- 2014 Junior Worlds (bronze in freestyle and Greco-Roman at 120 kg) 2011 Cadet Worlds (gold in freestyle, 11th in Greco-Roman at 100 kg)
Schultz- 2018 U23 Worlds (16th at 130 kg), 2018 Junior Worlds (bronze at 130 kg), 2017 Cadet Worlds (gold at 100 kg), 2017 Junior Worlds (15th at 120 kg), 2016 Cadet Worlds (14th at 100 kg)

Recent head-to-head matches

None