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Abdullahgadzhi Khuzin

Russian beat american in folkstyle

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Yeah.  Must have been 1997 Matyushenko won NJCAAs twice.  First year at 177 which was 1996, then he moved up to heavyweight in 1997 and won that.  Lesnar won it in 1998.  I've never actually seen the bracket or match, but I've heard it from different people that it did happen.  I also remember Lesnar once giving an interview how he was pissed he didn't win NJCAAs as a freshman and finished 5th or something.  So it's reasonable to think Matyushenko beat him at nationals.  Plus in those days Matyushenko was truly a world class wrestler and Lesnar, well he never has been.  There's a reason he never wrestled past college, because he knew guys like Neal, McCoy, Thompson and others would beat him easily.  Lesnar had a ton of size and strength on his side, but against somebody who's got world class talent, it isn't going to really make a difference unless you have a huge disparity in strength.  Like had Matyushenko been 20 lbs lighter I doubt he would have mowed down Lesnar. 

 

From what I remember hearing, Matyushenko had several takedowns and once Lesnar got discourged enough and quit, Matyushenko got in a couple of tilts or put him to his back and it was like 22-5 or something along those lines.  I don't remember who told me, but I do remember them being surprised because nobody knew who Matyushenko really was.  There wasn't an internet like we have now around, so only a few people were really aware of how good he was. 

 

Thank you for the story. Even with internet, most people (MMA community at least) don't know that Matyushenko did beat Lesnar, actually, there is not enough information about his wrestling career, I've heard once or twice that Matyushenko won a Soviet national in freestyle I guess, which is a huge thing. Do you know anything about that?

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It's long seemed to me that that "foreign" wrestlers from former Soviet states and a few other nations have had an easier transition to American folk than Americans have to the international styles.

 

Did Bobak Mohammadi wrestle anywhere other than the U.S. as a kid?

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Matyushenko's Belarussian teammate Vladi Anoshenko also won a JUCO title for Lassen.  But let's not compare a JUCO title with a D-I title.  Matyushenko was a beast in any style, but he wasn't constantly pitted against seasoned D-I competition during his folk career.  Both he and Anoshenko competed back at the Michigan State Open in their Lassen days and I don't believe either one won it.  BTW, Anoshenko is a helluva good guy.

 

I'm just making the point that even though Matyushenko wrestled up at heavyweight, and was giving up maybe 80 or so lbs, his technique was good enough to earn him a lopsided win against somebody as good as Brock Lesnar, who even though he wasn't the best, was still damn good in college.  I think anyone who can count D I losses on one hand is probably pretty good.  I doubt Matyushenko would have walked through the field in D I like he did in jucos, especially up basically 2 or 3 weight classes.  But if he competed at his regular wrestling weight in D I, I doubt there would have been many people able to stop him.  There is a huge difference between being an elite college wrestler and a world class wrestler.  Matyushenko by this point had beaten established guys in freestyle from the US.  Remember how he got his nickname.  Jackson lost to him and Schultz was teasing Jackson about losing to the janitor.  He also had wins against Schultz and Alger too.  I doubt many, if any, US college wrestlers then would have been able to beat Schultz, Jackson or Alger in any style. 

 

To answer another question, yes I believe Matyushenko did win a national title prior to the breakup of the Soviet Union.  I don't know which weight class or if it was even senior level, it may have been juniors.  He did win a silver medal at the European championships in I think 93 or 94.  I only think it might have been seniors because I remember him saying something once how all of the wrestlers were in the army, and that they were occasionally worried that if they didn't do well in a tournament they would take them out of the sports program and send them somewhere dangerous where they were having a war or insurrection.  He mentioned that was a possibility which kept some of the wrestlers in line.  Oleg Taktarov told a similar story about getting into the sports program for sambo, how it came down to him and another guy who broke or injured his ankle badly in the final match because Taktarov refused to tap out, so Taktarov got him with a throw and won that way.  He said the alternative there was much like what Matyhushenko mentioned, going someplace where there was a war going on and possibly being killed.     

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I'm just making the point that even though Matyushenko wrestled up at heavyweight, and was giving up maybe 80 or so lbs, his technique was good enough to earn him a lopsided win against somebody as good as Brock Lesnar, who even though he wasn't the best, was still damn good in college.  I think anyone who can count D I losses on one hand is probably pretty good.  I doubt Matyushenko would have walked through the field in D I like he did in jucos, especially up basically 2 or 3 weight classes.  But if he competed at his regular wrestling weight in D I, I doubt there would have been many people able to stop him.  There is a huge difference between being an elite college wrestler and a world class wrestler.  Matyushenko by this point had beaten established guys in freestyle from the US.  Remember how he got his nickname.  Jackson lost to him and Schultz was teasing Jackson about losing to the janitor.  He also had wins against Schultz and Alger too.  I doubt many, if any, US college wrestlers then would have been able to beat Schultz, Jackson or Alger in any style. 

 

To answer another question, yes I believe Matyushenko did win a national title prior to the breakup of the Soviet Union.  I don't know which weight class or if it was even senior level, it may have been juniors.  He did win a silver medal at the European championships in I think 93 or 94.  I only think it might have been seniors because I remember him saying something once how all of the wrestlers were in the army, and that they were occasionally worried that if they didn't do well in a tournament they would take them out of the sports program and send them somewhere dangerous where they were having a war or insurrection.  He mentioned that was a possibility which kept some of the wrestlers in line.  Oleg Taktarov told a similar story about getting into the sports program for sambo, how it came down to him and another guy who broke or injured his ankle badly in the final match because Taktarov refused to tap out, so Taktarov got him with a throw and won that way.  He said the alternative there was much like what Matyhushenko mentioned, going someplace where there was a war going on and possibly being killed.     

Agree with most everything you've said.  I also think people need to understand that the guys who come over here do not take our folkstyle as seriously as we do.  They do it to earn an education but it's not the be-all, end-all it is to Americans.  I think of Lazaro Reinoso, who medaled at Worlds and the Olympics (beating John Smith) but only won one D-II title.  In fact, while a 4-time All-American, he only placed 6th his first year.  One of his former teammates from Cuba I know said he just couldn't take it as seriously as he did freestyle at the world level.  Man, what a talent though!

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Agree with most everything you've said.  I also think people need to understand that the guys who come over here do not take our folkstyle as seriously as we do.  They do it to earn an education but it's not the be-all, end-all it is to Americans.  I think of Lazaro Reinoso, who medaled at Worlds and the Olympics (beating John Smith) but only won one D-II title.  In fact, while a 4-time All-American, he only placed 6th his first year.  One of his former teammates from Cuba I know said he just couldn't take it as seriously as he did freestyle at the world level.  Man, what a talent though!

If this is the same Coach J who coached Findlay back in the 90's, being an NAIA guy, I'm surprised you didn't mention Igali when he wrestled for Simon Fraser and wrecked some guys days with a ton of take downs and little to no mat wrestling. I guess if your putting up like 10 plus td's a match, riding and such probably is not that important.

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Yes, one and the same.  The conversation started with Russians and then segued to Iranians but you are absolutely on the money.  Igali was just unstoppable when he was on and healthy.  Explosive but unbelievable balance as well.  No, riding didn't matter to him and no one was going to hold him down.  I remember how some were saying he could never succeed at the NCAA D-I level and then he knocked off McIlravey.  Pretty much ended the discussion for me.

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Also don't forget Jesus Wilson who wrestled for I think Upper Iowa and won D3's once or twice.  Some of those guys who have come here really didn't take folkstyle that seriously, even though they'd medaled at the world championships.  There was an Iranian who wrestled for I think Slippery Rock and was an AA, I think he was 7th or 8th.  Also I'm not sure if Joe Atiyeh who won a silver medal in the Olympics ever was an AA either.  I think with foreign wrestlers coming here for college it's either hit or miss.  Most colleges don't have the resources to be able to recruit overseas, so you won't even see the big D1 programs being able to load up on a group of guys from Dagestan or North Ossetia.  Then you also run into age issues too, so a lot of them have to go D2/3 or NAIA or something.  Or you'll get guys who went to high school here, and were obviously able to compete at D1 levels, but don't have the grades or have a poor attitude.  I think somebody said it was a combination of both for Hetag Pliev and why he didn't go to college here.  I heard for Nori Yamamoto it was a grade issue and he just went back to Japan. 

 

I would love to see more foreign wrestlers coming to try their hand at folkstyle.  I think it would be similar to how Igali was in college. 

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When vougar Oroudjov (2x WC)  first moved to the US in the early 2000s he wrested in a few opens to try and learn folkstyle so he could coach college better. Said he would score several takedowns in the first period but then they would pick top and he would get called for stalling a ton of times. When he talks about folkstyle now he thinks its basically a fight and theres little technique.

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Alptekin Özkılıç (turkish greco guy) wrestled at nassau for vougar ( not sure of his credentials, think he might of lost in the junior trial finals in turkey) He AA at juco once, he said he threw everybody in the first few rounds and then as soon as he was scouted his opponents would just shoot to a leg right away and pick top. Pretty sure he went on to AA in NAIA and is now in the UFC. Nassau had a french cadet national champ too a few years ago i think, he quit after a short time, did not want to learn how to  mat wrestle.

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When vougar Oroudjov (2x WC)  first moved to the US in the early 2000s he wrested in a few opens to try and learn folkstyle so he could coach college better. Said he would score several takedowns in the first period but then they would pick top and he would get called for stalling a ton of times. When he talks about folkstyle now he thinks its basically a fight and theres little technique.

 

I forget who told me this, I think it was a guy who'd been at Blair, he may have wrestled at Rutgers but I'm not sure.  He said something about how one of his teammates in college had been a great wrestler in the Soviet Union, this was right around when it broke up, and was a great freestyle wrestler.  After a period of doing folkstyle he said his Russian teammate said something to him about how folkstyle was better or more realistic for combat.  I forget how he worded it, but it was something to that effect. 

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Wrestling is far far higher up the list of sports in Russia that it is in the USA.  I wonder how all of those beasts in the NFL would do in freestyle wrestling? I'm guessing pretty good.   I still can't take away how fluid and good Russian wrestlers are, but they are far from superior athletes.  I can think of all the best heavyweights to come out of my area and they all went on to play football except Tommy Rowlands.  Luke Fickell isn't regretting giving up wrestling, unfortunately.  I'm guessing he is pretty psyched to make millions in a sport watched by billions.  American is the land of opportunity.  Seems many more Russians come here and use wrestling as a means to make it in America.  I can't name one American who went to Russia to pursue better opportunities in athletics.  Seems that alone is making this comparison apples to fake oranges. 

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Wrestling is far far higher up the list of sports in Russia that it is in the USA.  I wonder how all of those beasts in the NFL would do in freestyle wrestling? I'm guessing pretty good.   I still can't take away how fluid and good Russian wrestlers are, but they are far from superior athletes.  I can think of all the best heavyweights to come out of my area and they all went on to play football except Tommy Rowlands.  Luke Fickell isn't regretting giving up wrestling, unfortunately.  I'm guessing he is pretty psyched to make millions in a sport watched by billions.  American is the land of opportunity.  Seems many more Russians come here and use wrestling as a means to make it in America.  I can't name one American who went to Russia to pursue better opportunities in athletics.  Seems that alone is making this comparison apples to fake oranges. 

Hrovat relocated to train there for a spell but the results didn't pan out for him.  Several Russians have told me they can take very average athletes and turn them into solid competitors because of their system and technical superiority.  By contrast, we have a hodge-podge approach, a little technique, some weight lifting, some running, some other supplementary activity, but not one dominant approach to how to train a wrestler.

Edited by Coach_J

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Weight lifting is a base for wrestling...

Weight lifting should be one small brick in the foundation of preparation.  The Russians, Turks, Azeris, Iranians, etc., aren't spending countless hours in the weight room at the expense of drilling technique and learning strategy.

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Might as well throw in Khetag Pliev, multiple state champ of Ohio and top ten in the world in freestyle for Canada. Have heard all kinds of reports of where he is now, but he transitioned well for a high schooler.

 

I did mention him.  I vagurely remember somebody saying he had some kind of off the mat issue that kept colleges away or he wasn't interested in wrestling in college.  Something like that? 

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It would be an interesting study but i think d1 room spend an equal amount of time on strength and conditioning as they do wrestling, or maybe like 60-40 in favor of wrestling, either way its very close, and in the off season strength an conditioing might be favored in this ratio, whereas in russian. from what i've heard from primary sources and read about its more like 85-15 in favor of wrestling. and varies little throughout the year. 

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They key to the wrestling time, though, is the amount that is live versus the amount that is technique.   Russians might wrestle one or two at the most live matches during a training session; we are the opposite.  Russians who have worked in our system are driven crazy by this; 15 minutes of drilling at the beginning (basically, just for warm-up) and then 60 or more minutes of live wrestling followed by conditioning.

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Sounds about right.  I heard he want back home and wasn't allowed to return to Canada.  Fishy to say the least...

 

If I'm not mistaken, didn't he skip Fargo as a senior because he didn't feel he had anything to prove by winning it again?  He went as a coach with the Ohio national team and was there, but just didn't feel like wrestling.  He probably would have won it again, easily. 

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Not an expert on Pliev but he wrestled for Canada for a while, including the Olympics. Apparently had some personal problems and was homeless for a while, but turned things around. Unfortunately failed a drug test recently and suspended from competition.

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