RaVaughn Perkins (72 kg, NYAC) will be taking the place of Jon Jay Chavez (NYAC/FLWC) at the 2018 Senior World Championships later this month. It will be Perkins’ first World Championships appearance despite emerging victorious at two previous Trials events.
Chavez defeated Perkins in the best-of-three finals at the 2018 World Team Trials back in June after dropping down from 77 kilograms. The Cornell wrestler, who was a Division I All-American this past collegiate season, was present for all of the Senior World Team camps and activities throughout the summer. Although the 22-year-old did experience various issues maintaining his weight over the course of this training cycle, his stepping down is reportedly due to an injury, though exact details on the nature of his injury are as of yet unknown. Chavez is said to have consulted with coaches and training staff prior to making his decision.
For Perkins, this development is a third chance to compete on the World Stage. In 2014, Perkins stunned many observers around USA Greco-Roman by winning the World Team Trials, though a subsequent doping violation stemming from the use of a diuretic led to his removal from that squad. Two years later, Perkins overcame Patrick Smith (Minnesota Storm) to win the 2016 Olympic Trials in Iowa City. However, he was unable to qualify the 66-kilogram class in two tries at the 1st and 2nd Olympic Games qualifiers in Mongolia and Turkey, respectively.
A spinal fracture put Perkins on the sideline for most of the 2016-17 season but he came back in time to make the US National Team. Before he fell to Chavez in the 2018 World Team Trials this past June in Tulsa, Perkins was enjoying one of the best runs of his career, putting up dominating wins at both the US Open and Pan Am Championships.
We will have more on this story, along with direct insights from Perkins, coming later today.