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Lag Time Topic: Who are the best Freestyle Wrestlers?

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With some space between now and the Olympics I figured I would try to keep some discussion going. Here is my list of the best freestyle wrestlers in the world. Feel free to disagree, I have some bias that go along with how I listed them.


Honorable Mention:

Hassan Yazdani Charati (Iran)- Quickly rising to superstar status and getting better every time we see him after his World Silver at 70 kg. He looked great at the World Cup, but is not higher due to taking 2nd at both Grand Prix of Paris and the Medved.

Reza Yazdani (Iran)- A 2x World Champ and 4x World Medalist who is one of the best in the World when healthy, however he hasn't been for a while. We will find out come Rio what kind of shape he is in.

Reineris Salas Perez (Cuba) - Salas Perez is really underrated in my opinion. The guy is strong, slick, and is a great scrambler. He has a bronze and two silvers at World Championships (losing to Sadulaev in one of them) to his credit, and has won four straight smaller tournaments wrestling at 86 and 97 kg. He is not higher due to his disappointing 2015 World Championship.

Sharif Sharifov (Azerbaijan)- Sharifov is a World and Olympic Champ, which you can never count out, and he is only 27 years old. He has been back down to weight for the first time this quad which is why I am hesitant, but he just beat Cox who has been knocking off top guys left and right. It will be interesting to see if he can give Sadulaev any kind of match.

Bilyal Makhov (Russia)- Makhov is a 3x World Champ and 6x World Level Medalist. But his last World Title was back in 2010. He was a Bronze Medalist in the London Olympics and was a medalist in both Freestyle and Greco Roman in the 2015 Worlds, no easy feat.


10. Haji Aliev (Azerbaijan)- Some people may or may not agree with this. Aliev is a 2x World Champion at a non Olympic weight. In my opinion, he weight was pretty weak this past World’s, but in 2014 he beat both Bonne Rodriguez and Esmaeilpour. He also beat World Champion Goygereyev of Russia at the 2014 European Championships. He is not always the most consistent outside of the big events, but he seems to win when it matters most.


9. Khetag Gozyumov (Azerbaijan)- This guy is an old warhorse. Just beat Snyder in Germany and is a 7x Medalist(5 World Medals, 2 Olympic). His only World Title is back in 2010, but he has been the most consistent finalist out of any of those guys i'd say. I would have to assume that Rio is going to be his last go around.


8. Frank Chamizo (Italy)- This guy won a World Bronze in 2010 at the age of 18 for Cuba. After some early struggles when he first moved to Italy, Chamizo has really come on strong winning a crazy tough weight class at Worlds in 2015. He lost a goofy match to Ramonov at the Medved but then won the European Championship.


7. Soslan Ramonov (Russia)- If not for being stepped over and pinned in a gut wrench situation, Ramonov would likely be a 2x World Champion right now. Still, he as a 2014 World Title and 2015 World Bronze to his credit. As mentioned before, he did beat Chamizo this year and won the Russian Championship over Kasumov.


6. Taha Akguel (Turkey)- After a World Bronze in 2013, Akguel has won two straight World Championships, and went undefeated from 2014-2015. He was beaten by his rival Petriashvili at the 2016 European Championship looking extremely gassed, and I am hearing rumors he was injured at this point in time. If at his best in Rio, he is extremely tough to beat,


5. Aniuar Geduev (Russia)- Despite only one World Bronze Medal is 2015, it is important to look at Geduev’s results from the past. When wrestling at 74 kg, he has not lost to anybody not named Jordan Burroughs since 2012. He has won two European Championships, The Euro Games, easily teched World Silver Medalist Takatani, and defeated Denis Tsargush to win the Russian Championships. Everyone remembers his great match with Burroughs in 2015, and I believe it to be one of the most anticipated matchups in Rio.


4. Vladimir Khinchegashvili (Georgia)- Khinch broke out at the 2012 Olympics where he won Silver at the age of 20, coming so so close to beating Otarsultanov. He then took Silver at Worlds in 2014 losing a heartbreaker to Il-Yang of North Korea. He finally got his World Title in 2015 with a brilliant last second duck under to beat Rahimi. He looked great at the European Championship up at 61 kg beating 2x World Champion Aliev in the process.


3. Anzor Boltukaev (Russia)- This year he has now beaten World Champ Kyle Snyder, Olympic Champ Jake Varner, Olympic and World Champ Gatsalov, and Olympic Silver Andriystev. He steamrolled through the 2016 European Championships and is simply on the best run of any wrestler in the World currently. A 2013 World Bronze is currently is lone World Medal, but don’t let that fool you. This guy is for real.


2. Abdulrashid Sadulaev (Russia)- Everybody knows this tank’s story. Now a 2x World Champion, hasn’t lost since 2013. He is incredible is could easily be #1, but he has not won the Olympics yet. I am excited to see if he will rise up to the challenge.


1. Jordan Burroughs (USA)- Maybe a homer pick here. But the guy is a 3x World Champ and Olympic Champ. He competes a lot, and only has two career losses, one to a fellow 3x World Champ while he was hurt. Burroughs is the best credentialed in the World Right now, and I believe should he win Gold in Rio he should keep that title.


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Nice list but I think Akgul should be at least higher than geduev. When Akgul is on no one at that weight can beat him. He was very impressive at worlds last year. I also hate to say it but Sadulaev is the best in the world, the man is a demi-god

Edited by T-nigs23

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I think it's pretty universally agreed upon that JB is the best FS wrestler at moment. Even overseas they talk about him and he is well respected. I like Boltukaev and am excited to see he and Snyder go at it again. 

Edited by cm_111

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Im gonna have to disagree there CM. Im sure you could find people all over the world that would say either burroughs or sadulaev but I think the numbers suggest that sadulaev is a bit more dominant in his weight class

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