USA Wrestling #FreestyleFriday: Th...

#FreestyleFriday: The best of the Yianni vs. Zain rivalry

By Taylor Miller, USA Wrestling | Aug. 14, 2020, 2:29 p.m. (ET)

An intense and fun rivalry began and blossomed last year between two of the top 65 kg wrestlers in the USA as Zain Retherford and Yianni Diakomihalis, who met up five times in 2019.

Below is all five of their matches:

1. U.S. Open finals (April 2019)

This was the first bout in their series, and it perfectly set the tone for what wrestling fans could expect to see in their future matchups.

 

2. Final X match 1 (June 2019)

The two met up again in June for Final X, which is the final step in the World Team Trials process. The winner would get the chance to represent the United States at the 2019 World Championships in Kazakhstan.

 

3. Final X match 2 (June 2019)

As a result of its controversial ending, this went through a long, legal process that eventually forced the series to a third match, which took place in September, just weeks before the World Championships.

 

4. Yasar Dogu round of 16 (July 2019)

While the results of Final X match 2 were in arbitration, both Yianni and Zain traveled to Istanbul, Turkey, to compete at the Yasar Dogu International, a UWW rankings series. Of course, they drew each other in a first-round matchup.

 

5. Final X match 3 (September 2019)

The last and final matchup between the two in 2019 properly decided who would become the 2019 World Team representative at 65 kg.