David Taylor (USA) takes down Hassan Yazdani (IRI) in 2022 World Championships finals
Tony Rotundo, Wrestlers Are Warriors

David Taylor (USA) takes down Hassan Yazdani (IRI) in 2022 World Championships finals

USAWInternational2023 World Championships Preview

Senior Worlds Previews: Men’s Freestyle upper weights (79 kg, 86 kg, 92 kg, 97 kg, 125 kg)

by Gary Abbott, USA Wrestling

Starting on September 7, USA Wrestling will post daily weight-by-weight previews of the 2023 Senior World Championships in Belgrade, Serbia, set for Stark Arena, September 16-24.

Today, we complete men’s freestyle, which kicks off the competition and will be held September 16-19. Yesterday, we posted previews of the five lightest weight classes. Today we focus on the five highest men’s freestyle weights  (79 kg, 86 kg, 92 kg, 97 kg and 125 kg). We will then move on to women’s freestyle, which is held next in the schedule, and wrap it up with Greco-Roman, which finishes off the competition.

Previous previews

Men’s Freestyle lighter weights (57 kg, 61 kg, 65 kg, 70 kg, 74 kg)

79 kg

Photo by: Justin Hoch
Chance Marsteller, the U.S. representative at 79 kg, will compete Sept. 17-18 at the 2023 World Championships.

The 79 kg men’s freestyle weight class has been held four times, and the United States has won it every time. Kyle Dake was the 2018 and 2019 World champion and Jordan Burroughs won the World titles in 2021 and 2022. This year, first-time Senior World Team member Chance Marsteller, who beat Burroughs in Final X, will attempt to keep the streak going. Marsteller received a No. 4 seed.

The top seed is two-time World silver medalist Mohammad Nokhodilarimi of Iran, who lost to Burroughs in the last two World finals. Seeded No. 2 is 2022 U23 World champion Vladimeri Gamkrelide of Georgia. No. 3 Arman Avagyan of Armenia is a two-time U23 World medalist.  Rounding out the top eight seeds are 2023 Asian champion Bolat Sakayev of Kazakhstan (No. 5), Akhsarbek Gulaev of Slovakia (No. 6), 2023 Asian bronze medalist Deepak of India (No. 7) and Peilong Li of China (No. 8).

One expected Individual Neutral Athlete at this weight is Akhmed Usmanov, the 2023 Russian Nationals champion, 2021 Ivan Yarygin Grand Prix champion and 2016 Junior World champion. Others to watch are two-time U23 World medalist Ramazan Sari of Turkey and 2018 Junior World bronze medalist Orhan Abasov of Azerbaijan.

Preliminary Seeds


2. Vladimeri GAMKRELIDZE (GEO)

3. Arman AVAGYAN (ARM)


5. Bolat SAKAYEV (KAZ)

6. Akhsarbek GULAEV (SVK)


8. Peilong LI (CHN)

Recent World Results

2022 World Championships

79 kg/174 lbs. - Gold - Jordan Burroughs (USA); Silver - Mohammad Nokhodilarimi (Iran); Bronze - Arsalan Budazhapov (Kyrgyzstan); Bronze - Vasyl Mykhailov (Ukraine); 5th - Ali Pasha Umarpashaev (Bulgaria); 5th - Bekzod Abdurakhmonov (Uzbekistan); 7th - Yudai Takahashi (Japan); 8th - Georgios Kougioumtsidis (Greece); 9th - Dulguun Altanzul (Mongolia); 10th - Arman Avagyan (Armenia)

2021 World Championships

79 kg/174 lbs. - Gold - Jordan Burroughs (USA); Silver - Mohammed Ashghar Nokhodilarimi (Iran); Bronze - Radik Valiev (RWF); Bronze - Nika Kentchadze (Georgia); 5th - Ryuki Yoshida (Japan); 5th - Arman Avagyan (Armenia); 7th - Georgios Kougioumtsidis (Greece); 8th - Saifedine Alekma (France); 9th - Bolat Sakayev (Kazakhstan); 10th - Ramazan Sari (Turkey)

Note: 79 kg is a non-Olympic weight class, so there are no results from the 2020 Olympic Games held in Tokyo, Japan.

86 kg

Photo by: Justin Hoch
David Taylor, the U.S. representative at 86 kg, will compete Sept. 16-17 at the 2023 World Championships.

The ongoing rivalry between Olympic and World champions David Taylor of the United States and Hassan Yazdanicharati of Iran could move into another year. At the 2022 Worlds, Taylor won the gold-medal finals over Yazdani, getting his revenge from the 2021 World finals won by Yazdani. Of course, it was Taylor who beat 2016 Olympic champion Yazdani in the finals of the 2020 Olympic Games. Based upon the seeds for the 2023 World Championships, Yazdani got the No. 5 seed and Taylor got the No. 7 seed, putting them on different sides of the bracket.

So who is seeded above both Yazdani and Taylor going into Belgrade, based upon the UWW Ranking Series events? No. 1 goes to Sebastian Jezierzanski of Poland, who was fifth in the 2022 World Championships, won a 2023 European bronze medal and competed in four ranking tournaments. No. 2 goes to Boris Makoev of Slovakia, a 2023 World bronze medalist and 2017 World silver medalist. 2023 World bronze medalist Azamat Dauletbekov of Kazakhstan, a 2023 Asian champion, gets the No. 3 seed. 2020 Olympic bronze medalist Myles Amine of San Marino, a 2023 European silver medalist, comes in as the No. 4 seed. Amine competed at the University of Michigan.

The other seeds are 2021 World bronze medalist Abubakr Abakarov of Azerbaijan at No. 6 and Tariel Gaphrindashvili of Georgia at No. 8. Other top talents include 2018 World bronze medalist Taimuraz Friev of Spain, 2019 World bronze medalist Stefan Reichmuth of Switzerland and 2019 Pan American Games champion Yurieski Torreblanca of Cuba.

Two other athletes expected to challenge are two-time U20 World champion Rakhim Magamadov of France and 2020 Olympian Vasyl Mykhailov of Ukraine. Another to watch is Ethan Ramos of Puerto Rico, who was fifth in the 2022 World Championships and wrestled for North Carolina in college. The Individual Neutral Athletes expected to enter are Arslan Bagaev, a 2021 European Junior champion and 2019 Cadet World silver medalist for Russia, and 2020 European bronze medalist Rasul Tskihayeu of Belarus.

Preliminary Seeds


2. Boris MAKOEV (SVK)


4. Myles AMINE (SMR)


6. Abubakr ABAKAROV (AZE)

7. David TAYLOR (USA)


2022 World Championships

86 kg/189 lbs. -  Gold – David Taylor (USA); Silver - Hassan Yazdani Charati (Iran); Bronze - Boris Makoev (Slovakia); Bronze - Azamat Dauletbekov (Kazakhstan); 5th - Sebastian Jezierzanski (Poland); 5th - Ethan Ramos (Puerto Rico); 7th - Tarzan Maisuradze (Georgia); 8th - Myles Amine (San Marino); 9th - Akhmed Magamaev (Bulgaria); 10th - Taimuraz Friev Naskidaeva (Spain)

2021 World Championships

86 kg/189 lbs. - Gold - Hassan Yazdani Charati (Iran); Silver - David Taylor (USA); Bronze - Artur Naifonov (RWF); Bronze - Abubakr Abakarov (Azerbaijan); 5th - Boris Makoev (Slovakia); 5th - Azamat Dauletbekov (Kazakhstan); 7th - Ethan Adrian Ramos (Puerto Rico); 8th - Taimuraz Friev Naskidaeva (Spain); 9th - Akhmed Aibuev (France); 10th - Noel Torres Chacon (Mexico)

2020 Olympic Games

86 kg/189 lbs. -Gold - David Taylor (USA); Silver - Hassan Yazdanicharati (Iran); Bronze - Artur Naifonov (ROC); Bronze - Myles Amine (San Marino); 5th - Deepak Punia (India); 5th - Javrail Shapiev (Uzbekistan); 7th - Lin Zushen (China); 8th - Stefan Reichmuth (Switzerland); 9th - Osman Gocen (Turkey); 10th - Sohsuke Takatani (Japan)

92 kg

Photo by: Justin Hoch
Zahid Valencia, the U.S. representative at 92 kg, will compete Sept. 17-18 at the 2023 World Championships.

Neither of the two 2022 World finalists at 92 kg are entered in Belgrade, champion Kamran Ghasempour of Iran and runner-up J’den Cox of the USA. The two bronze medalists from 2022 will be competing, Miriani Maisuradze of Georgia and Osman Nurmagomedov of Azerbaijan. Maisuradze, who was a 2023 European bronze medalist, received the No. 1 seed, while Nurmagomedov, a 2022 European silver medalist and two-time World medalist, will be seeded No. 2.  Rounding out the top four seeds are No. 3 Gankhuyag Ganbaatar of Mongolia, a 2023 Asian bronze medalist, and 2023 U23 World bronze medalist and two-time European champion Feyzulla Akturk of Turkey at No. 4.  

Amirali Azarpira of Iran, who won U23 World titles in 2021 and 2022, will be competing this year.  Individual Neutral Athletes expected in the draw are 2021 World Military champion Vladislav Valiev from Russia and 2021 European bronze medalist Hayj Rajabau of Belarus.

2023 U20 World silver medalist Rizabek Aitmukhan of Kazakhstan received the No. 5 seed. Matthew Finesilver of Israel, who was fifth at the 2023 European Championships and competed at Duke and Michigan, is the No. 6 seed. 2017 Junior World silver medalist Zahid Valencia of the United States, competing in his first Senior World Championships, is seeded No. 7. 2023 European bronze medalist Ermak Kardanov of Slovakia earned the No. 8 seed.

Others to watch include 2023 European champion and 2022 U23 World bronze medalist Feyzullah Akturk of Turkey, 2023 Pan American silver medalist Arturo Silot of Cuba, 2021 Junior World bronze medalist Pruthviraj Patil of India, 2022 European U20 champion Ion Demian of Moldova, 2017 U17 World bronze medalist Denis Sahaliuk of Ukraine and 2022 Asian U23 silver medalist Rustam Shodiev of Uzbekistan.

Preliminary Seeds



3. Gankhuyag GANBAATAR (MGL)

4. Feyzullah AKTURK (TUR)

5. Rizabek AITMUKHAN (KAZ)

6. Matthew Finesilver (ISR)



2022 World Championships

92 kg/202.5 lbs. - Gold -. Kamran Ghasempour (Iran); Silver - J’den Cox (USA); Bronze - Miriani Maisuradze (Georgia); Bronze - Osman Nurmagomedov (Azerbaijan); 5th - Ahmed Bataev (Bulgaria); 5th - Radoslaw Marcinkiewicz (Poland); 7th - Simone Iannattoni (Italy); 8th - Illia Archaia (Ukraine); 9th - Gankhuyag Ganbaatar (Mongolia); 10th - Sohsuke Takatani (Japan)

2021 World Championships

92 kg/202.5 lbs. - Gold - Kamran Ghasempour (Iran); Silver - Magomed Kurbanov (RWF); Bronze - J’den Cox (USA); Bronze - Osman Nurmagomedov (Azerbaijan); 5th - Andrii Vlasov (Ukraine); 5th - Amarhajy Mahamedau (Belarus); 7th - Irakli Mtsituri (Georgia); 8th - Jeremy Adam Poirer (Canada); 9th - Akhmed Magamaev (Bulgaria); 10th - Zbigniew Baranowski (Poland)

Note: 92 kg is a non-Olympic weight class, so there are no results from the 2020 Olympic Games held in Tokyo, Japan.

97 kg

Photo by: Justin Hoch
Kyle Snyder, the U.S. representative at 97 kg, will compete Sept. 18-19 at the 2023 World Championships.

With the inclusion of Individual Neutral Athletes from Russia and Belarus, the potential for one of wrestling’s biggest rivalries to return is possible. 2016 Olympic champion and three-time World champion Kyle Snyder will return to Belgrade, seeking to repeat as champion. Two-time Olympic champion and five-time World champion Abdulrashid Sadulaev of Russia, if entered, could have another classic battle with Snyder. This match could happen at any time in Belgrade, as Snyder is seeded No. 1 and Sadulaev would not receive a seed. Of course, depending upon other results, this bout might not happen, either.

The next two seeds in the weight were 2022 World bronze medalists, No. 2 Magomedkhan Magomedov of Azerbaijan and No. 3 Givi Matcharashvili of Georgia. Magomedov was a 2023 European silver medalist, while Matcharashvili won the 2023 European Championships. Coming in at No. 4 is Vladislav Baitsaev of Hungary, who was fifth in the 2022 World Championships and a 2023 European bronze medalist.

Seeded No. 5 is Benjamin Honis of Italy, who placed fifth in the 2023 European Championships and competed for Cornell in college. 2023 Asian silver medalist Awusayiman Habila of China claimed the No. 6 seed. Erik Thiele of Germany is seeded No. 7, while 2023 Asian champion Akhmed Tazhudinov of Bahrain is the No. 8 seed.

Among the other top performers are 2016 Olympic bronze medalist Magomed Ibragimov of Uzbekistan, 2021 World bronze medalist Mojtaba Goleij of Iran and 2019 World bronze medalist Magomedgadji Nurov of North Macedonia. An Individual Neutral Athlete on the entry list 2020 Olympian Aliaksandr Hushtyn of Belarus, who was fifth in the 2021 World Championships. Adding depth to field are 2022 U20 World bronze medalist Sergey Sargsyan of Armenia, 2017 U23 World bronze medalist Murazi Mchedlidze of Ukraine and 2023 European bronze medalist Ibrahim Ciftci of Turkey.

Preliminary Seeds

1. Kyle SNYDER (USA)

2. Magomedkhan MAGOMEDOV (AZE)


4. Vlagyiszlav BAJCAJEV (HUN)

5. Benjamin HONIS (ITA)

6. Awusayiman HABILA (CHN)

7. Erik THIELE (GER)


Recent World and Olympic Results

2022 World Championships

97 kg/213 lbs. -  Gold - Kyle Snyder (USA); Silver - Batyrbek Tsakulov (Slovakia); Bronze - Magomedkhan Magomedov (Azerbaijan); Bronze - Givi Matcharashvili (Georgia); 5th - Mohammadhossein Mohammadian (Iran); 5th -Vladislav Baitsaev (Hungary); 7th - Mahamed Zakarieev (Ukraine); 8th - Magomedgadji Nurov (North Macedonia); 9th - Erik Sven Thiele (Germany); 10th - Samhan Jabrailov (Moldova)

2021 World Championships

97 kg/213 lbs. - Gold – Abdulrashid Sadulaev (RWF); Silver – Kyle Snyder (USA); Bronze – Mojtaba Goleij (Iran); Bronze – Mahamed Zakariiev (Ukraine); 5th – Batzul Ulziisaikhan (Mongolia); 5th – Aliaksander Hushtyn (Belarus); 7th – Magomedgadji Nurov (North Macedonia); 8th – Radu Lefter (Moldova); 9th – Suleyman Karadeniz (Turkey); 10th – Alisher Yergali (Kazakhstan)

2020 Olympic Games

97 kg/213 lbs. - Gold - Abdulrashid Sadulaev (ROC); Silver - Kyle Snyder (USA); Bronze - Reineris Salas Perez (Cuba); Bronze - Abraham Conyedo Ruano (Italy); 5th - Sharif Sharifov (Azerbaijan); 5th - Suleyman Karadeniz (Turkey); 7th - Alisher Yergali (Kazakhstan); 8th - Elizbar Odikadze (Georgia); 9th - Magomedgadji Nurov (North Macedonia); 10th - Jordan Steen (Canada)

125 kg

Photo by: Richard Immel, USA Wrestling
Mason Parris, the U.S. representative at 125 kg, will compete Sept. 16-17 at the 2023 World Championships.

Two of the biggest names among men’s freestyle heavyweights are the top two seeds here, No. 1 Taha Akgul of Turkey and No. 2 Geno Petriashvili of Georgia. Akgul, a 2016 Olympic champion and three-time World champion, returned to the top of the World podium last year. Petriashvili, a three-time World champion and 2020 Olympic silver medalist, was third at the 2022 World Championships. At the 2023 European Championships, Akgul defeated Petriashvili in the finals.

2021 World champion Amir Hossein Zare of Iran, who was third at the 2022 World Championships, secured the No. 5 seed at this weight class. Zare only competed once this season, winning the Zagreb Ranking event. 2022 World silver medalist Lkhagvagerel Munkhtur of Mongolia received the No. 3 seed. Munkhtur, also a 2021 World bronze medalist, added a 2023 Asian title to his resume. 2023 European bronze medalist Daniel Ligeti of Hungary is the No. 4 seed.

While 2020 Olympic champion Gable Steveson won Final X to qualify for Belgrade, he will not enter. 2019 Junior World champion Mason Parris, a 2023 Dan Hodge Trophy winner and NCAA champion for Michigan, will compete in his first Senior Worlds for Team USA. Parris won the UWW Ranking tournament in Hungary this summer.

Rounding out the seeded athletes are 2023 Asian silver medalist Yusup Batimurzaev of Kazakhstan at No. 6, 2016 Olympian Robert Baran of Poland at No. 7 and No. 8 Oleksandr Khotsianivskyi of Ukraine, a 2019 World bronze medalist. Other top contenders include 2020 Olympic bronze medalist Abraham Conyedo of Italy, 2019 World bronze medalist Zhiwei Deng of China, 2023 European bronze medalist Giorgi Meshvildishvili of Georgia, two-time Olympian and four-time African champion Diaaeldin Abedlmottaleb of Egypt and two-time Olympian Aiaal Lazarev of Kyrgyzstan.

Preliminary Seeds

1. Taha AKGUL (TUR)


3. Lkhagvagerel MUNKHTUR (MGL)

4. Daniel LIGETI (HUN)

5. Amir Hossein ZARE (IRI)


7. Robert BARAN (POL)


Recent World and Olympic Results

2022 World Championships

125 kg/275 lbs. - Gold - Taha Akgul (Turkey); Silver - Lkhagvagerel Munkhtur (Mongolia); Bronze - Amir Hossein Abbas Zare (Iran); Bronze - Geno Petriashvili (Georgia); 5th - Amarveer Dhesi (Canada); 5th - Oleg Bolton (Kazakhstan); 7th - Hayden Zillmer (USA); 8th - Oleksandr Khotsianivsky (Ukraine); 9th - Daniel Ligeti (Hungary); 10th - Dinesh (India)

2021 World Championships

125 kg/275 lbs. - Gold - Amir Hossein Abbas Zare (Iran); Silver - Geno Petriashvili (Georgia); Bronze - Taha Akgul (Turkey); Bronze - Lkhagvagerel Munkhtur (Mongolia); 5th - Oleg Boltin (Kazakhstan); 5th - Nick Gwiazdowski (USA); 7th - Zelimkhan Khizriev (RWF); 8th - Youssif Hemida (Egypt); 9th - Oleksandr Koldovskiy (Ukraine); 10th - Robert Baran (Poland)

2020 Olympic Games

125 kg/275 lbs. - Gold - Gable Steveson (USA); Silver - Geno Petriashvili (Georgia); Bronze - Taha Akgul (Turkey) Bronze - Amir Hossein Zare (Iran); 5th - Zhiwei Deng (China); 5th - Lkhagvagerel Munkhtur (Mongolia); 7th - Egzon Shala (Kosovo); 8th - Gennadij Cudinovic (Germany); 9th - Dzianis Khramiankou (Belarus); 10th - Diaaeldin Kamal Gouda Abdelmottaleb (Egypt)