#WrestleBelgrade Preview: men’s freestyle upper weights

by Taylor Gregorio, USA Wrestling

Jordan Burroughs (USA) in his stance at the 2021 World Championships.
Photo of Jordan Burroughs by Tony Rotundo,

The 2022 Senior World Championships are just around the corner, set for Sept. 10-18 in Belgrade, Serbia.


USA Wrestling has now posted weight class previews for the 2022 World Championships in six segments. There are two previews in each style, light weights (first five weights) and heavy weights (final five weights). Included will be a story on each weight class, with seeds plus World/Olympic results going back to 2017.

Previous Previews
Men’s freestyle light weights
Women’s freestyle light weights
Women’s upper weights
Greco-Roman light weights
Greco-Roman upper weights

Today, we feature 79 kg, 86 kg, 92 kg, 97 kg and 125 kg in men’s freestyle:

79 kg preview
U.S. representative: Jordan Burroughs
Competition dates: Sept. 15-16

The USA hopes to continue its stronghold on the 79 kg weight class, which was created in 2018. Only two people have claimed gold at the weight, Kyle Dake in 2018 and 2019 and Jordan Burroughs in 2021. Burroughs is back at the weight this year and seeks his sixth-overall World title. He won his first four World titles and a 2012 Olympic gold at 74 kg.

Looking to dethrone the American is 2021 World silver medalist Mohammad Nokhodilarimi (Iran), who lost to Burroughs in last year’s finals, 5-1. Nokhodilarimi is also a 2019 U23 World silver medalist. Burroughs holds the No. 1 seed and Nokhodiliarimi will be No. 2.

There is only one other Senior World medalist in the field, two-time World bronze winner and Tokyo Olympic bronze medalist at 74 kg Bekzod Abdurakhmanov, who trains in the U.S. at the Nittany Lion Wrestling Club.

Six past age-group World medalists populate the field, including U23 medalists Arman Avagyan (Armenia), Muhammet Akdeniz (Turkey) and Akhsarbek Gulaev (Slovakia), U20 medalists Baliyan Gourav (India) and Gadzhimurad Omarov (Azerbaijan) and U17 medalist Georgios Kougioumtsidis (Greece). Kougioumtsidis, Avagyan, Akdeniz and Gourav are the Nos. 3, 4, 6 and 8 seeds, respectively.

79 kg seeds:
No .1 Jordan BURROUGHS (USA)
No. 2 Mohammad Ashghar NOKHODILARIMI (IRI)
No. 4 Arman AVAGYAN (ARM)
No. 5 Vladimeri GAMKRELIDZE (GEO)
No. 6 Muhammet AKDENIZ (TUR)
No. 7 Saifedine ALEKMA (FRA)
No. 8 Baliyan GOURAV (IND)


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)

2019 World Championships
79 kg/174 lbs. - Gold - Kyle Dake (USA); Silver - Jabrayil Hasanov (Azerbaijan); Bronze - Gadzhi Nabiev (Russia); Bronze - Taimuraz Salkazanov (Slovakia); 5th - Rashid Kurbanov (Uzbekistan); 5th - Galymzhan Usserbayev (Kazakhstan); 7th - Grigor Grigoryan (Armenia); 8th - Jitender (India); 9th - Gombodorj Dorjvanchig (Mongolia); 10th - Omaraskhab Nazhmudinov (Romania)

2018 World Championships
79 kg/174 lbs. - Gold - Kyle Dake (USA); Silver - Jabrayil Hasanov (Azerbaijan); Bronze – Akhmed Gazhimagomedov (Russia); Bronze - Ali Shabanau (Belarus); 5th - Davit Khutsishvili (Georgia); 5th - Ezzatollah Akbarizarinkolai (Iran); 7th – Purejav Unurbat (Mongolia), 8th – Grigor Grigoryan (Armenia), 9th – Ethan Ramos (Puerto Rico); 10th – Dauletmurat Orazgylyov (Turkmenistan)
**The 79 kg weight class was created in 2018.

86 kg preview
U.S. representative: David Taylor
Competition dates: Sept. 15-16

We’re likely to see the continuation of the David Taylor vs. Hassan Yazdanicharati (Iran) saga. The World/Olympic series between the two is 2-1 in favor of Taylor, who took out Yazdani in the Tokyo Olympic finals and in the first round of the 2018 World Championships en route to a gold medal. The Iranian got his revenge in the 2021 World finals, taking the crown. Yazdani, a 2016 Olympic champion, enters Belgrade as the No. 1 seed, while Taylor is No. 2.

No. 3 seed Myles Amine (San Marino) is the only other Olympic medalist at the weight. Born and raised in the USA, Amine competed for the University of Michigan, where he was a multiple-time All-American.

This weight is loaded with several past Senior World medalists such as No. 4 Abubakr Abakarov (Azerbaijan), No. 5 Boris Makoev (Slovakia) and No. 7 Deepak Punia (India). Others that aren’t seeded include silver medalist Fatih Erdin (Turkey) and bronze medalists Taimuraz Friev (Spain) and Stefan Reichmuth (Switzerland).

Age-group World champions Rakhim Magamadov (France) and Mukhammed Aliev (Ukraine) are ones to watch out for.

86 kg seeds:
No. 2 David TAYLOR III (USA)
No. 3 Myles Nazem AMINE (SMR)
No. 4 Abubakr ABAKAROV (AZE)
No. 5 Boris MAKOEV (SVK)
No. 7 Deepak PUNIA (IND)
No. 8 Ethan RAMOS (PUR)


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)

2019 World Championships
86 kg/189 lbs. – Gold – Hassan Yazdanicharati (Iran); Silver – Deepak Punia (India); Bronze – Stefan Reichmuth (Switzerland); Bronze – Artur Naifanov (Russia); Fifth – Carlos Izquierdo Mendez (Colombia); Fifth – Myles Amine (San Marino); Seventh – Ahmed Dudarov (Germany); Eighth – Taimuraz Friev Naskidaeva (Spain); Ninth – Patrick Downey (United States); 10th – Sohsuke Takatani (Japan)

2018 World Championships
86 kg/189 lbs. – Gold – David Taylor (United States); Silver – Fatih Erden (Turkey); Bronze – Taimuraz Friev Naskidaeva (Spain); Bronze – Hassan Yazdanicharati (Iran); Fifth – Gwanuk Kim (South Korea); Fifth – Dauren Kurugliev (Russia); Seventh – Ville Heino (Finland); Eighth – Boris Makoev (Slovakia); Ninth – Zbigniew Baranowski (Poland); 10th – Yurieski Torreblanca Queralta (Cuba)

2017 World Championships
86 kg/189 lbs. - Gold - Hassan Yazdani Charati (Iran); Silver - Boris Makoev (Slovakia); Bronze –Vladislav Valiev (Russia) ; Bronze – J’den Cox (United States); 5th - Aleksander Gostiev (Azerbaijan); 5th - Mihail Ganev (Bulgaria); 7th - Selim Yasar (Turkey); 8th - Yurieski Torreblanca Queralta (Cuba); 9th - Zbigniew Baranowski (Poland); 10th - Piotr Ianulov (Moldova)

92 kg preview
U.S. representative: J’den Cox
Competition dates: Sept. 16-17

World champion and No. 1 seed Kamran Ghasempour (Iran) is back to defend his 2021 title; however two-time 92 kg World champion and 2016 Olympic bronze medalist J’den Cox (USA) seeks to get back on top of the podium. The two met up in the World semifinals last year with Ghasempour winning on criteria, 3-3. Cox eventually collected a bronze medal. As a result, Cox heads into Belgrade as the No. 3 seed.

Holding the No. 2 spot is the other 2021 bronze medalist Osman Nurmagomedov (Azerbaijan), who is also a 2021 U23 World champion.

Sohsuke Takatani (Japan) is the only remaining Senior World medalist in the field. He won silver at the 2014 World Championships.

Costa Rica’s Maxwell Lacey, a 2022 Pan American bronze medalist, is from the U.S. and trains at the Indiana RTC.

92 kg seeds:
No. 3 J'den COX (USA)
No. 4 Andrii VLASOV (UKR)
No. 5 Viky CHAHAR (IND)
No. 7 Miriani MAISURADZE (GEO)
No. 8 Orgilokh DAGVADORJ (MGL)


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)

2019 World Championships
92 kg/202.5 lbs. - Gold - J'den Cox (USA); Silver - Alireza Karimimachiani (Iran); Bronze - Irakli Mtsituri (Georgia); Bronze - Alikhan Zhabrailov (Russia); 5th - Nurgali Nurgaipuly (Kazakhstan); 5th - Georgii Rubaev (Moldova); 7th - Parveen (India); 8th - Suleyman Karadeniz (Turkey); 9th - Liubomyr Sagaliuk (Ukraine); 10th - Takuma Otsu (Japan)

2018 World Championships
92 kg/202.5 lbs. - Gold - J’den Cox (USA); Silver - Ivan Yankouski (Belarus); Bronze – Atsushi Matsumoto (Japan); Bronze - Alireza Karimimachiani (Iran); 5th - Turtogtokh Luvsandorj (Mongolia); 5th - Dato Marsagishvili (Georgia); 7th – Batyrbek Tsakulov (Russia), 8th – Nicolae Ceban (Moldova); 9th – Denis Sagaliyuk (Ukraine); 10th – Jacob Luczak (Canada)

**The 92 kg weight class was created in 2018

97 kg preview
U.S. representative: Kyle Snyder
Competition dates: Sept. 17-18

Two athletes have owned this weight class over the last few years: Kyle Snyder and Abdulrashid Sadulaev of Russia. Since Russia is not able to compete at this year’s World Championships, that leaves the door open for Snyder to snatch the crown once again. Snyder is a 2016 Olympic champion and two-time World champion with three other World and Olympic medals. Every year since 2015, Snyder has made his way to the podium. This year, he is the No. 1 seed.

Three past World medalists enter Belgrade with top-eight seeds, including 2019 World bronze winner Magomedgadji Nurov (Macedonia) at No. 2, 2021 World bronze medalist Mahamed Zakariiev (Ukraine) at No. 4 and 2014 World bronze medalist Mohammadhossein Mohammadian (Iran) at No. 5.

2018 U23 World champion Givi Matcharashvili (Georgia) and 2018 U20 World champion Magomedkhan Magomedov (Azerbaijan) are also athletes to watch out for.

A U.S. connection expected to compete is Ben Honis (Italy), who competed collegiately for Cornell and trains at the Michigan RTC.

97 kg seeds:
No. 1 Kyle SNYDER (USA)
No. 2 Magomedgadji NUROV (MKD)
No. 4 Mahamed ZAKARIIEV (UKR)
No. 5 Mohammadhossein MOHAMMADIAN (IRI)
No. 6 Batyrbek TSAKULOV (SVK)
No. 7 Radu LEFTER (MDA)


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)
2019 World Championships

97 kg/213 lbs. – Gold – Abdulrashid Sadulaev (Russia); Silver - Sharif Sharifov (Azerbaijan); Bronze – Kyle Snyder (United States); Bronze – Magomedgadji Nurov (Macedonia); Fifth – Elizbar Odikadze (Georgia); Fifth – Alisher Yergali (Kazakhstan); Seventh – Magomed Ibragimov (Uzbekistan); Eighth – Nicolai Ceban (Moldova); Ninth – Magomed Musaev (Kyrgyzstan); 10th – Ali Shabanibengar (Iran)

2018 World Championships
97 kg/213 lbs. – Gold – Abdulrashid Sadulaev (Russia); Silver – Kyle Snyder (United States); Bronze – Elizbar Odikadze (Georgia); Bronze – Abraham Conyedo Ruano (Italy); Fifth – Pavlo Oliinyk (Hungary); Fifth – Magomed Ibragimov (Uzbekistan); Seventh – Aslanbek Alborov (Azerbaijan); Eighth – Batzul Ulziisaikhan (Mongolia); Ninth – Takeshi Yamaguchi (Japan); 10th – Mamed Ibragimov (Kazakhstan)

2017 World Championships
97 kg/213 lbs. - Gold - Kyle Snyder (United States); Silver - Abdulrashid Sadulaev (Russia); Bronze – Aslanbek Alborov (Azerbaijan) ; Bronze – Georgi Ketoev (Armenia); 5th - Elizbar Odikadze (Georgia); 5th - Mamed Ibragimov (Kazakhstan); 7th - Nicolai Ceban (Moldova); 8th - Jaegang Kim (Korea); 9th - Satywart Kadian (India); 10th - Magomedgadji Nurov (FYR Macedonia)

125 kg preview
U.S. representative: Hayden Zillmer
Competition dates: Sept. 15-16

The heavyweight field is loaded, featuring five Tokyo Olympic medalists, three at 125 kg and two at 97 kg. Olympic silver medalist and three-time World champion Geno Petriashvili (Georgia) has the No. 1 seed next week. In his last Worlds showing, he earned silver, falling to Amirhossein Zare (Iran). As the returning World champion, Zare enters as the No. 3 seed. He is also a Tokyo Olympic bronze medalist.

The No. 2 seed is occupied by 2016 Olympic champion and two-time World champion Taha Akgul (Turkey). Akgul won bronze at last year’s Worlds and owns 2017 and 2019 World silver medals.

Bumping up from 97 kg are Olympic bronze medalists Reineris Salas Perez (Cuba) and Abraham Conyedo (Italy). They are joined by past Senior World medalists Lkhagvagerel Munkhtur (Mongolia) the No. 4 seed, Zhiwei Deng (China) and Oleksandr Khotsianivskyi (Ukraine).

Representing the U.S. is Hayden Zillmer, who will make his World Championships debut in Serbia. Zillmer defeated two-time World bronze medalist Nick Gwaizdowski at Final X New York to make the team. Others with U.S. connections are No. 8 Amar Dhesi (Canada), who trains at the Ohio RTC, Youssif Hemida (Egypt), who trains with the Spartan Combat Wrestling Club, and Jere Heino (Finland), who competed collegiately at Campbell.

125 kg seeds:
No. 2 Taha AKGUL (TUR)
No. 3 Amir Hossein Abbas ZARE (IRI)
No. 4 Lkhagvagerel MUNKHTUR (MGL)
No. 5 Gennadij CUDINOVIC (GER)
No. 6 Robert BARAN (POL)
No. 7 Zhiwei DENG (CHN)
No. 8 Amarveer DHESI (CAN)


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)

2019 World Championships
125 kg/275 lbs. – Gold – Geno Petriashvili (Georgia); Silver – Taha Akgul (Turkey); Bronze – Zhiwei Deng (China); Bronze – Oleksandr Khotsianivskyi (Ukraine); Fifth – Egzon Shala (Kosovo); Fifth – Yadollah Mohebi (Iran); Seventh – Jamaladdin Magomedov (Azerbaijan); Eighth – Alexandr Romanov (Moldova); Ninth – Alan Khugaev (Russia); 10th – Nick Matuhin (Germany)

2018 World Championships
125 kg/275 lbs. – Gold – Geno Petriashvili (Georgia); Silver – Zhiweng Deng (China); Bronze – Nick Gwiazdowski (United States); Bronze – Parviz Hadibasmanj (Iran); Fifth – Sumit Sumit (India); Fifth – Anzor Khizriev (Russia); Seventh – Taha Akgul (Turkey); Eighth – Catriel Muriel (Argentina); Ninth – Daniel Ligeti (Hungary); 10th – Yermukambet Inkar (Kazakhstan)

2017 World Championships
125 kg/275 lbs. - Gold - Geno Petriashvili (Georgia); Silver - Taha Akgul (Turkey); Bronze –Nick Gwiazdowski (United States) ; Bronze –Levan Berianidze (Armenia); 5th - Zolboo Natsagsuren (Mongolia); 5th - Anzor Khizriev (Russia); 7th - Korey Jarvis (Canada); 8th - Aiaal Lazarev (Kyrgyzstan); 9th - Yadollah Mohebi (Iran); 10th - Taiki Yamamoto (Japan)
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