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Aleksandr Karlin

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I don't think many could take him on even now.  2000 Olys was not a good look for him.  He was not as dominant as in the past.  My feeling is that if he had trained harder for it, he would have won gold there too.  But I don't think he took it all that seriously and still made it all the way to the finals.  He didn't look as cut and couldn't finish a lot of his reverse lifts.   That was my take on it 20 years ago.   But GOAT for sure, and at Heavyweight no less. 

mspart

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Let's be honest, if coin toss had gone the other way and Rulon had to clinch first (the rules back then), he wouldn't have scored. Karelin had to try something or he was going to lose a point anyway.  They could've wrestled for 10 hours and Karelin wasn't going to have an offensive point scored on him.  Greco is a tough watch anyway, but the rules back then were awful.

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3 hours ago, fadzaev2 said:

It's my understanding, that during his last Olympic cycle he got involved in Politics, which he continues to do today.  This was a distraction from his training, and maybe he didn't take it serious enough either.

He was already struggling before the olympics. In the 99 worlds Mureiko took everything out of him and and Hector kept it to a close 3-0 win. 1-0 wins in some 2000 tournaments. He looked human. There were guys who could frustrate him by then and Rulon happened to be the one to get it done with the new rules.

There are so many widely repeated myths about Karelin's career. The 6 year no points isn't true apparently. 

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On 4/19/2021 at 8:59 AM, 77again said:

Aleksandr Karelin.

No question GOAT

 

 

1 hour ago, Eagle26 said:

Saori Yoshida.

Awesome. Very similar careers.   Both stymied by an American.  Interesting how Rulon's legacy is tightly coupled to Karelin's name, but Maroulis' is not.

Despite having no practice at defending leg attacks, I'll take The Russian Bear in a crushing sub ten second pinfall.

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I would freaking love to see prime Karelin vs prime Mijaín López. Both generational talents but never overlapped. Did Karelin ever wrestle anyone like Lopez, Kayaalp, or Mahkov? I feel like the big guys have improved athletically quite a lot.


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5 hours ago, Plasmodium said:

 

Awesome. Very similar careers.   Both stymied by an American.  Interesting how Rulon's legacy is tightly coupled to Karelin's name, but Maroulis' is not.

Despite having no practice at defending leg attacks, I'll take The Russian Bear in a crushing sub ten second pinfall.

Yes very similar careers... both got beat by an American while going for their fourth Olympic gold! However, Yoshida had won 14 straight world/Olympic golds compared to Karelin at 12 straight. Kinda feels like nit picking at that point, but if you really want to go best of all 3 styles she (or Kaori Icho) would have to be number 1. Personally, I think you can’t really compare GOAT between freestyle, Greco, and women’s... gotta have one for each. That’s I mentioned Yoshida when he said Karelin is the greatest wrestler ever.
 

But yeah if you are going head to head, I don’t think a 120 pound woman would stand much chance against one of the biggest and strongest physical specimens to ever grace a wrestling mat lol.

Edited by Eagle26
Add Icho

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I guess, you guys forgetting Kaori Icho (ahead of Saori Yoshida). Icho is 4 time olympic gold medalist.  From wiki -

Kaori Icho (Japanese: 伊調 馨, Hepburn: Ichō Kaori, born 13 June 1984) is a Japanese freestyle wrestler. She is a ten-time World Champion and four-time Olympic Champion, winning gold in 2004, 2008, 2012 and 2016

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2 hours ago, freestyle_fan said:

I guess, you guys forgetting Kaori Icho (ahead of Saori Yoshida). Icho is 4 time olympic gold medalist.  From wiki -

Kaori Icho (Japanese: 伊調 馨, Hepburn: Ichō Kaori, born 13 June 1984) is a Japanese freestyle wrestler. She is a ten-time World Champion and four-time Olympic Champion, winning gold in 2004, 2008, 2012 and 2016

Yes, I should have mentioned her as well. I think she missed a world championships or two so she is behind Yoshida in total medals and consecutive golds, but the 4 Olympic golds may trump that. Guess it’s a good debate who is the GOAT of women’s freestyle. 

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I think it’s pretty well understood that a human being doesn’t take that shape and bodyweight without extensive chemical manipulation.  All the more likely since he came up under the USSR system, and let’s face it in an era where all teams were dirtier than oil rags in a car garage.  

Edited by Drew87

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5 hours ago, GoNotQuietly said:

I would freaking love to see prime Karelin vs prime Mijaín López. Both generational talents but never overlapped. Did Karelin ever wrestle anyone like Lopez, Kayaalp, or Mahkov? I feel like the big guys have improved athletically quite a lot.


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Lopez has a lot of losses, especially early in his career..   They have different mentalities, Karelin was always looking tot throw or pin, Lopez is happy to win 1-0 and defend. 

 

Kayaalp is small. He is only 5 ft 11 which was short for the weight class in Karelin's time too. Mahkov is primarily a freestyle guy. Karelin had to beat Rostorotzky who was as big as Lopez.

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Lopez has a lot of losses, especially early in his career..   They have different mentalities, Karelin was always looking tot throw or pin, Lopez is happy to win 1-0 and defend. 
 
Kayaalp is small. He is only 5 ft 11 which was short for the weight class in Karelin's time too. Mahkov is primarily a freestyle guy. Karelin had to beat Rostorotzky who was as big as Lopez.

I hate to say it if it isn’t true, but hasn’t the rumor always been that Lopez would take a silver medal and a stack of cash over a gold medal?

Is there any surviving video of Rostorotzky? That match was the year I was born, but I’ve never seen any of him. I didn’t know he was as big as Lopez.

Karelin was also insanely flexibly, agile, and intelligent. I believe he trained in Russian dancing to help his wrestling. He had most people soundly defeated before the match ever started.


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12 minutes ago, GoNotQuietly said:


I hate to say it if it isn’t true, but hasn’t the rumor always been that Lopez would take a silver medal and a stack of cash over a gold medal?

Is there any surviving video of Rostorotzky? That match was the year I was born, but I’ve never seen any of him. I didn’t know he was as big as Lopez.

Karelin was also insanely flexibly, agile, and intelligent. I believe he trained in Russian dancing to help his wrestling. He had most people soundly defeated before the match ever started.


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You mean his two Riza losses? Yeah those were weird. But I think his Khasan losses were legit and he was losing to guys like Ahokas before 2004 in nothing rounds. The Fins didn't bribe him. 

I can't find any footage either. Even it exists it hasn't been uploaded by now so we might never see it. But he was gigantic and he was dominating before Karelin replaced him. Best greco wrestler to never take part in the olympics. 

Screen Shot 2021-04-23 at 3.42.21 PM.png

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You mean his two Riza losses? Yeah those were weird. But I think his Khasan losses were legit and he was losing to guys like Ahokas before 2004 in nothing rounds. The Fins didn't bribe him. 
I can't find any footage either. Even it exists it hasn't been uploaded by now so we might never see it. But he was gigantic and he was dominating before Karelin replaced him. Best greco wrestler to never take part in the olympics. 
1293926996_ScreenShot2021-04-23at3_42_21PM.png.b1ba05e11d5b6f92ee6faa10a8bf2265.png

Good grief! Monsters !


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On 4/23/2021 at 4:31 PM, GoNotQuietly said:


I hate to say it if it isn’t true, but hasn’t the rumor always been that Lopez would take a silver medal and a stack of cash over a gold medal?

Is there any surviving video of Rostorotzky? That match was the year I was born, but I’ve never seen any of him. I didn’t know he was as big as Lopez.

Karelin was also insanely flexibly, agile, and intelligent. I believe he trained in Russian dancing to help his wrestling. He had most people soundly defeated before the match ever started.


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Yeah, but have to imagine that there are frankly a lot of golden handshakes taken out there, former soviet bloc is too big and influential compared to otherwise diminutive former soviet republics

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