2019 Beat the Streets New York Preview and Predictions
May 02, 2019


We’re only a few days out from the annual >Beat the Streets New York “Grapple at the Garden.” The 2019 incarnation of the benefit will take place at the Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden on May 6th.

65 kg – Yianni Diakomihalis vs. Bajrang Punia (India)

This match just got a whole lot more interesting after the US Open. Before the Open it seems like a fun match and a massive test for the two-time NCAA Champion for Cornell. With Yianni’s win at the Open, it will be a true test of where Diakomihalis fits on the world-level, right now. Of course, Yianni will still need to earn his way onto the world team at Final X, but he does not have to go through the gauntlet of competitors he faced at the Open, at the World Team Trials. After watching Yianni dismantle former Olympian Frank Molinaro and Jordan Oliver, who has been at the top of the national team standings for years now, then defeat former world team member Zain Retherford, the talk shifts to him earning a world medal right away. If he were to do so, Bajrang Punia would stand in his way at some point. Punia is a returning world silver medalist and has one of the best motors in the world. His ability to come back from deficits and wear down his competition is unmatched. Of course, we’ll have to see what sort of condition the Indian superstar is in, because earlier today he captured the title in Russia at the Ali Aliev. By the time he takes the mat Monday, he will have competed in three different continents in 14 days. If his Russian opponents can’t stop him, maybe jet lag could? However this match turns out, it will be an excellent experience for Yianni as he finds out where he stacks up against the top-ranked 65 kg competitor in the world.