Austin, Texas - After Anthony Ashnault was forced to pull out of the July 25th card due to injury, nearly every wrestler on planet Earth volunteered to be his replacement. However, one volunteer stood out among the rest, and today Flowrestling is officially excited to announce that NCAA champion and former Bellator Bantamweight champion, Darrion Caldwell, will be returning to the mat to take on Luke Pletcher.
Caldwell last wrestled a freestyle match at the 2012 Olympic Trials Last Chance Qualifier. Could this match be the beginning of a serious return to the mat for Caldwell? The three-time New Jersey state champion and two-time NCAA All-American, began his MMA career shortly after the Last Chance Qualifier and currently has a professional record of 15-3 and was the Bellator Bantamweight champion for nearly two years.
New Pittsburgh assistant coach, Luke Pletcher, recently finished his career at Ohio State as a three-time All-American, 2020 Big Ten Champion, and was the top seed for the 2020 NCAA Championships. Pletcher took the wrestling world by storm his senior year when he moved up to 141 and was an offensive dynamo. Pletcher grabbed the No. 1 ranking at the weight after the first weekend of the season and would nearly go wire to wire with it.
Another bout added to this card will feature Cornell's Vito Arujau and Rutgers' Sammy Alvarez.
This will be a New York/New Jersey battle as Arujau won four titles in the Empire State and Alvarez made three finals with one title out of the Garden State. Both still have three years left of college eligibility remaining.
Arujau placed fourth as a freshman for Cornell in 2019 and then took an Olympic Redshirt this past year. He's made the finals of both Cadet and Junior Worlds and is already qualified for the Olympic Team Trials.
Alvarez went 26-10 in his true freshman year at Rutgers after transferring from NC State. He was the No. 10 seed entering this year's NCAA championships that didn't happen and is currently sixth in Flowrestling's preseason rankings.