Final X Lincoln: Fix vs Gilman Preview
This Saturday, June 15th, in Lincoln Nebraska, we will see a rematch of last year’s Final X 57kg matchup between Daton Fix (Titan Mercury WC/Cowboy RTC) vs. Thomas Gilman (Titan Mercury WC/Hawkeye WC).
Last year at Final X, Gilman beat Fix in back to back matches: 6-3 and 2-1. Gilman went on to take 5th place at the 2018 world championships, which was disappointing due to the fact that he placed second the year before and he had high hopes of bringing home the gold.
Even though Gilman swept Fix last year at Final X, a lot has changed since then. The biggest being Fix beat Gilman in this year’s finals at the U.S. Open. If you compare their match at this year’s U.S. Open to their two matches at last year’s Final X, you can see a stark difference between 2018 Fix and 2019 Fix. He looks stronger and more composed on the mat, which one would expect adding another year training in the Oklahoma State program.
Key points for Gilman
This match is a big deal for Gilman. If he gets swept in the first two matches at Final X he will have lost the last three matches he has had with Fix. If you consider the fact that Fix is still getting better and had yet to hit is prime and the fact that Gilman is in the middle of his prime, that doesn’t bode well for Gilman.
For Gilman to win in Lincoln this Saturday, he needs to keep pressure on Fix’s head and not give him space. Fix is incredibly difficult to finish takedowns on, so instead of getting stalemated or tangled up and rolled, if he can’t finish his shots right away, he needs to really focus on getting his one point for a pushout. Physically, Gilman seems to have the edge on Fix when it comes to strength and he needs to use that to his advantage.
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Lastly, Gilman needs to keep his composure when things aren’t going his way. In their previous match, you could see Gilman get visibly frustrated and get out of position which Fix was able to capitalize off of and score points.
Key points for Fix
For Fix to claim his spot on the 2019 world team, he needs to put points on the scoreboard early in the match. If he can score first and keeps attacking, he will frustrate Gilman and when Gilman is frustrated he opens himself up to be scored on. Fix needs to avoid tie-ups with his stronger opponent. Gilman is has really heavy hands and will make you carry his weight throughout the entire match.
Instead, Fix needs to avoid tie-ups and create space for his attacks. He has the advantage over Giliman in speed and explosiveness and really needs to put that on display to be successful this weekend.
The 57kg Final X matches this weekend have potential to be one of the most back and forth matches of the weekend as both of these athletes are extremely skilled and have already wrestled each other multiple times. At the end of the day, this is a classic Hawkeye versus Oklahoma State match in terms of style. Whichever one of these wrestlers who is able to implement their game plan is the one who will walk away with a spot on the 2019 world team and compete this September in Kazakhstan.
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