Russia continued to dominate the men’s Freestyle competition at the UWW World Championships in Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan, and with one day remaining, could end up winning six of the 10 weight classes.
This is a powerful showing and was exemplified at 74 kg, where reigning World Champion Zaurbeck Sidakov had to defeat four-time World Champion Jordan Burroughs of the U.S. and then two-time World Champion Frank Chamizo of Italy to win his second title.
In the semifinals against Burroughs, Sidakov managed a 2-1 lead with a takedown in the second period, but Burroughs went behind him for a takedown with 45 seconds left for a 3-2 lead. Sidakov launched attack after attack and managed a step-out against Burroughs with three seconds left for a 3-3 tie and since the first criteria is the last person to score, he won the match. The U.S. asked for a review, which was denied and cost a point, so the final was 4-3.
In the final, Sidakov had a 1-0 lead after the first period, then scored a takedown for a 3-1 lead and coasted in for a 5-2 win. This will be one of the most closely-watched divisions on next year’s Tokyo Games.
Burroughs had no trouble winning the bronze medal – his eighth career medal in the Worlds and Olympic Games – with a 10-0 victory over Japan’s Mao Okui.
American J’Den Cox won his second straight title with a 4-0 win over Ali Karami of Iran at 92 kg – a non-Olympic weight – thanks to two first-period takedowns and then a powerful defense that kept the Iranian scoreless.
“I don’t know why, but it feels better,” said Cox, comparing this title to 2018. “It’s a rare thing when people get to go back-to-back. I knew that coming into this, so to be able to do it, I knew the hard work I put in, the sacrifices I made. I wanted to do it better. I came here and didn’t get scored on. Great.”
Cox won his matches by 11-0, 8-0, 3-0 and 4-0 for a total of 26-0.
In the 125 kg division, Georgia’s Geno Petraiashvili made it three titles in a row by defeating Turkey’s 2014-15 World Champion, Taha Atgul (TUR), thanks to a single-leg takedown with eight seconds left for a 6-6 tie and a win on last-to-score criteria.
A much-anticipated rematch between American Kyle Snyder and Russia Andulrashid Sadulaev (RUS) at 97 vanished when Snyder was defeated in his semifinal against Sharif Sharifov (AZE), 5-2. Sadulaev will be a heavy favorite for another title and Snyder will wrestle for the bronze medal.
American Kyle Dake, the reigning World Champion at 79 kg – a non-Olympic weight – is in the final vs. Jabrayil Hasanov (AZE) in a re-match of their title fight in Hungary a year ago.
The Worlds conclude on Sunday; men’s Freestyle summaries so far:
United World Wrestling World Championships
Nur-Sultan (KAZ) ~ 14-22 September 2019
(Full results here)
57 kg: Gold: Zavur Uguev (RUS) d. Suleyman Atli (TUR), 13-3. Bronze: Kumar Ravi (IND) d. Reza Atrinagharchi (IRI), 6-3; Nurislam Sanayev (KAZ) d. Stevan Micic (SRB), 4-3.
65 kg: Gold: Gadzhimurad Rashidov (RUS) d. Daulet Niyazbekov (KAZ), 11-0. Bronze: Iszmail Muszukajev (HUN) d. Takuto Otoguro (JPN), 5-3; Bajrang Bajrang (IND) df. Tulga Ochir (MGL), 8-7.
70 kg: Gold: David Baev (RUS) df. Nurkozha Kaipanov (KAZ), 14-2; Bronze: Yones Aliakbar Emamichoghaei (IRI) d. Nicolae Cojocaru (GBR), 8-0; Magomedmurad Gadzhiev (POL) d. Zurabi Iakobishvili (GEO), 3-2.
74 kg: Gold: Zaurbek Sidakov (RUS) d. Frank Chamizo (ITA), 5-2. Bronze: Jordan Burroughs (USA) d. Mao Okui (JPN), 10-0; Zelimkhan Khadjiev (FRA) d. Daniyar Kaisanov (KAZ) , 4-3
92 kg: Gold: J’Den Cox (USA) d. Ali Karami (IRI), 4-0. Bronze: Alikhan Zhabrailov (RUS) d. Georgii Rubaev (MDA), 3-2; Irakli Mtsituri (GEO) d. Nurgali Nurgaipuly (KAZ), 2-1.
125 kg: Gold: Geno Petriashvili (GEO) d. Taha Akgul (TUR). 6-6 (criteria). Bronze: Khasanboy Rakhimov (UZB) d. Zhiwei Deng (CHN), 6-1; Oleksandr Khotsianivskyi (UKR) d. Badzha Khutaba (SYR), 5-1.