Matchup Monday: Bout #9

NCAA Division 1 Catch-Weight Matchup

Result: Anthony Ashanult dec. B.J Clagon 252-157

   ashnault bout #9

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Last week, in Matchup Monday bout #8 wrestling fans from Jersey made their social media presence clear as they rallied behind NJ native Joe Dubuque in his dominant victory over Jesse Delgado in the voters poll. This week you can expect to see even more of the Jersey Pride in Matchup Monday bout #9. Why is that exactly? Well, for starters both wrestlers are originally from New Jersey; both wrestlers currently wrestle for college programs in New Jersey; oh and both wrestlers earned all-american honors as freshmen at the 2015 NCAA Division 1 Wrestling Championships. So, in other words…it’s about to go down.

After becoming New Jersey’s first ever four-time undefeated State Champion, in 2013 Anthony Ashnault joined the Scarlet Knights of Rutgers University where he took a red-shirt year right from the get go. Finally, in the 2014-15 season the fans would get to see if Ashnault’s long history of success would continue at the collegiate level. Prior to the start of the season Ashnault won the University Freestyle Nationals by knocking off the 2014 149 lb NCAA Champion, Jason Tsirtis in the championship bout. As a result, a lot of people had high expectations for Ashnault going into the 2014-15 season, despite only being a red-shirt freshman. As for those who were still skeptical, he sent them a convincing message on January 2nd in Rutgers BIG Ten opener against the Iowa Hawkeyes. In what was one of, if not the most exciting bout of the night Ashnault defeated No. 6 ranked Josh Dziewa, 3-1 at the RAC in front of a crowd of over 6,000 people. However, as we all know it is not where you start it is where you finish that counts. Evidently Ashanult understood that quite well, because he did not disappoint at the national tournament either. Although he sustained an injury that prevented him from seeing just how far he could go at the NCAA tournament, the freshman phenom Anthony Ashanult still captured an 8th place finish to earn  all-american honors at 141 lbs. Don’t let this kid’s baby face fool you; he hand fights like a pitbull with tactical set-ups and positioning followed by high percentage scoring attempts from start to finish. Needless to say the best of Anthony Ashnault’s already impressive career has yet to come; we can expect to see a lot of big things from him as he works towards his goal of becoming the 2016 NCAA Champion at 141 lbs.


B.J Clagon was also a very successful wrestler out of NJ to red shirt the 2013-14 season as a freshman. He won two H.S state titles before joining the Broncs of Rider University, and was also a state runner-up his sophomore year to Ashnault’s current teammate and fellow all-american from Rutgers, Anthony Perrotti. As it turns out, Clagon would also waste no time making a name for himself coming off his red-shirt year at the collegiate level. Early on in Clagon’s first season representing the Broncs he took returning National Champion Jason Tsirtis into overtime (losing 2-1 in a tie-breaker) at the prestigious Midlands Championships . While it was no question that Clagon could hang with the best guys in the country, it became evident at the EWL Championships that he was a contender for a national title when beat #1 ranked Dave Habat of Edinboro in the 149 lb finals to earn the tournament’s Outstanding Wrestler Award. Although he didn’t go on to win a national title, he did earn a spot on the podium with a 5th place finish at the NCAA tournament after recording 6 wins and only two losses in his route to become an all-american. The last thing you want to do is over look B.J Clagon; he may only be a red-shirt sophmore this year, but you can rest assure he will be looking to win the 149 lb national title.

Here we go! Two wrestlers that exemplify what it means to be Jersey Strong. Both red-shirt sophomores, both all-americans, and both looking to become National Champions in 2016. They have proven that no matter who their opponents are they not satisfied with anything short of victory. So, the question is if Ashnault and Clagon were to meet at a catch-weight of 145 lbs, who comes out on top? We’re about to find out what the fans think right here on Matchup Monday. We know things can get heated between Rutgers and Rider, but remember it is all in good fun…unless the guy from your team loses, there isn’t much fun in that.

Please clear the mats! Viewers when you are ready you may cast your votes!

The winner will be announced this Friday. Follow us on twitter to stay up to date on who is in the lead throughout the week.

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