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Freestyle Wrestlers who Learned to Folkstyle

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American wrestlers typically start out learning Folkstyle and then convert to Freestyle once their college careers end.

I'm curious to see if there have been success stories that go the other way.

 

What I mean by that is wrestlers that were primarily Freestyle wrestlers that LATER learned Folkstyle and did well.

 

I first learned of the Novachkov bros back in the mid 2000's when they were high schoolers and they have done very well in this different style.

There were rumors about Rei Higuchi wrestling for PSU.. would be interesting to see how well he would translate in Folkstyle if he does end up attending PSU and wrestling for them.

 

Who are some standout wrestlers that came to the US that initially were Freestylers that were able to convert to Folkstyle?

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Lots of Japanese, most recently Sanshiro Abe who went 4-3-2-1 at NCAAs.

 

Alan "Z" Gelogaev of Russia, AA heavyweight for OSU.

 

Lazaro Reinoso of Cuba, although you could argue he never learned folkstyle despite wrestling in college.

I would argue Gelogaev also never learned folkstyle.

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those not yet mentioned:

Payam Zarrinpour (Iran)- Sacred Heart-  Though he may have been a Greco dude

Nazar Kulchytsky (Ukraine)- Wisconsin-Oshkosh

Amarveer Dhesi (Canada)- Oregon St.- They wrestle FS in Canada, right?

Turtogtokh Luvsandorj (Mongolia)- The Citadel

Minga Batsukh (Mongolia)- Saint John's University

Ugi Khishignyam (Mongolia)- the Citadel

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Daniel Igali-Canadian Olympic Champ (originally Nigerian) that beat McIlravy. NAIA champ. Pretty sure he started out as a freestyler, but excelled at both.

 

I thought Igali wrestled at Simon Fraser in Canada and therefore never excelled at, or even wrestled, American folkstyle.

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I'm pretty sure Babak was American and learned to wrestle here, not Iran. He wrestled in the US throughout HS.

yeah wasn't sure when he started wrestling, but thought he was born in Iran. anyway, good wrestler. 

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Wasn't there also a freestyle guy from Mongolia who wrestled Juco and at American(?) University? Grambaayar or something like that? I seem to remember him making a couple of good runs at NCAAs and was sad when I learned that he had exhausted his eligibility.

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What style transfers better?

Freestyle to Folkstyle

or

Folkstyle to Freestyle

 

A very difficult question to answer.

 

I would argue that a larger percentage of Folkstyle wrestlers eventually take up Freestyle than vice versa...

 

 

Heres another question.. has there been a rivalry where the styles produced stark differences in the results between 2 wrestlers?

 

Example:

 

Wrestler A typically would beat Wrestler B in Freestyle.

Wrestler B typically would beat Wrestler A in Folkstyle. 

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A very difficult question to answer.

 

I would argue that a larger percentage of Folkstyle wrestlers eventually take up Freestyle than vice versa...

 

Why wouldn't that be the case? What other country wrestles (our version of) folkstyle at any time in their careers other than the few that come here for college?

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A very difficult question to answer.

 

I would argue that a larger percentage of Folkstyle wrestlers eventually take up Freestyle than vice versa...

 

 

Heres another question.. has there been a rivalry where the styles produced stark differences in the results between 2 wrestlers?

 

Example:

 

Wrestler A typically would beat Wrestler B in Freestyle.

Wrestler B typically would beat Wrestler A in Folkstyle.

There's not going to be a lot of matchups for which there's a lot of history.

 

The two That immediately came to mind for me:

 

 

Anthony Valencia versus Imart produced almost polar opposite outcomes. I get that Imart was having a bad day and Anthony is twice the the wrestler he is in folkstyle when wrestling freestyle. But still.

 

Terry Brands beat Kendall Cross like a drum in folkstyle and obviously didn't go to the Olympics, which Cross won, when Cross returned the favor.

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There's not going to be a lot of matchups for which there's a lot of history.

 

The two That immediately came to mind for me:

 

 

Anthony Valencia versus Imart produced almost polar opposite outcomes. I get that Imart was having a bad day and Anthony is twice the the wrestler he is in folkstyle when wrestling freestyle. But still.

 

Terry Brands beat Kendall Cross like a drum in folkstyle and obviously didn't go to the Olympics, which Cross won, when Cross returned the favor.

Terry and Kendall actually split in folk during Kendalls's senior year. Cross won 15-10 and Brands won TF 25-10. Which kind of ended up being like their freestyle Oly trial match-ups right? Think Cross won 2 close and Brands won big for his W in the best of 3. Curious about other freestyle results between those two , not sure if there were any other folk results.   

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Miron Kharchliava was NAIA folkstyle champ after winning Soviet Junior and University national titles.  Was a 149.5 pounder but was so good he bumped to 167 to help his team.  John Melling of Simon Fraser won several NAIA titles and was a top-10 in the world freestyler; he actually tied Gerry Abas, D-I runner-up I believe.  Olympic silver medalist Jeff Thue and World silver medalist Chris Wilson of Simon Fraser were also NAIA national champs.  Coach Mike Jones put together some unbelievable teams at Simon Fraser. 

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Wasn't there also a freestyle guy from Mongolia who wrestled Juco and at American(?) University? Grambaayar or something like that? I seem to remember him making a couple of good runs at NCAAs and was sad when I learned that he had exhausted his eligibility.

 

Ganbayar Sanjaa. 4th in 2011, 6th in 2012.

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