Updated: June 7, 2023

Today is Wednesday, June 7, which is also just three days before the start of Final X, USA Wrestling’s event to determine the three teams — men’s freestyle, women’s freestyle and Greco-Roman — that will compete in the 2023 UWW World Championships this September in Belgrade, Serbia.

And today, WIN Magazine is continuing its 10-day countdown to the event that will be held June 10 at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J. Below you will find a preview of three of the 30 best-of-3 matchups: 92 kilos in men’s freestyle, 68 kilos in women’s freestyle and 87 kilos in Greco-Roman.

We also invite you to subscribe to WIN Magazine in time to receive the next issue of WIN, printed June 22, that will provide comprehensive coverage and a behind-the-scenes look at this year’s Final X.

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The following is WIN’s daily preview of all 30 weight classes. Click on previous days to view those previews:

June 7 Final X Previews

Men’s Freestyle – 92k/202lbs: Michael Macchiavello (Wolfpack WC / TMWC) vs. Zahid Valencia (Sunkist Kids WC)

Michael Macchiavello

This weight class opened up more when J’den Cox, the two-time World champ and six-time World/Olympic medalist (who earned a silver in 2022), chose to move up to the Olympic weight class of 97 kilos, where he will meet Kyle Snyder in Newark.

Macchiavello, the 2018 NCAA champion from NC State, was the first to earn a trip to Newark at this weight, when the 28-year-old native of Monroe, N.C., won by a technical fall over former Ohio State All-American Kollin Moore in April’s U.S. Open. He has limited freestyle experience on the World level but did reach the finals of the 2019 U.S. Open.

Zahid Valencia

Valencia actually finished second to Aaron Brooks at 86 kilos in the U.S. Open but chose to move up a weight and defeated Moore in the finals of the World Team Trials Challenge tournament at 92 kilos. This marks Valencia’s third Final X appearance, losing to Kyle Dake at 79 kilos in 2018 and to David Taylor at 86 kilos last year.

While this would also be Valencia’s first Senior World team, the 25-year-old native of Bellflower, Calif., competed in two Junior World Championships (2016 and 2017) and earned a silver medal in his second Junior Worlds. Valencia was also a three-time All-American and two-time NCAA champion (2018 and 2019) for Arizona State.

Women’s Freestyle – 68k/150lbs: Forrest Molinari (Sunkist Kids WC) vs. Emma Bruntil (USOPTC / TMWC)

Forrest Molinari

This Final X weight class also opened up when Tamyra Mensah Stock, the three-time World/Olympic champ and five-time medalist, turned down her opportunity to wrestle in Final X after she won her second World title last year to explore an WWE opportunity.

Both Molinari and Bruntil moved up from their past weight class (65 kilos) to compete at 68 kilos in Newark. Molinari, a two-time World Team member at 65k, became the first to earn a trip to Newark when she pinned Alex Glaude in the U.S. Open finals. Bruntil won the World Team Trials Challenge tourney at 68k after losing to Macey Kilty at 65k in the U.S. Open finals.

Emma Bruntil

Molinari, a 27-year-old native of Benicia, Calif., finished second to Mallory Velte at 65k in last year’s Final X, but she did earn a spot in the 2019 Worlds (5th) and earned a bronze medal in the 2021 World Championships at 65 kilos. This 2016 WCWA national champion from King University also finished seventh in the 2015 Junior Worlds.

Bruntil just missed a spot on the Senior World Team in 2021 when she lost to Molinari in the finals. She did qualify for her first of two straight U23 World Championships that summer, finishing eighth in 2021. One year later, Bruntil finished 10th at the 2022 U23 Worlds. The 24-year-old native of Acme, Wash., wrestled two years at McKendree (2020 and 2021) and won two NCWWC national championships.

Greco-Roman – 87k/191.5lbs: Alan Vera (NYAC) vs. Zachary Braunagel (Illinois RTC / Illini WC)

Alan Vera

Vera has represented Team USA in the last two World Championships but didn’t place last fall; forcing him to wrestle in this year’s U.S. Open, where he won by technical fall over 2020 Olympian John Stefanowicz. Braunagel, who lost 9-0 to Vera in the U.S. Open semifinals, came back to claim a Final X spot when he defeated Richard Carlson (Minnesota Storm), 6-0, in the finals of the World Team Trials Challenge tournament.

Zac Braunagel

Vera, 32, is an immigrant from Cuba, winning a Pan Am championship for his native country in 2016, but used that trip to Frisco, Texas, to flee from the Cuban delegation and now calls New Jersey his home.

Braunagel, 22, is one of two twin brothers — the other being Dan — who will be seniors on the University of Illinois team. Zac is a four-time NCAA qualifier, including last year at 197 pounds, where he reached the Blood Round. The two-time Illinois state champ from Althoff Catholic in Belleville, Ill., also represented USA in the 2019 Junior Worlds in Greco.