Takeaways From 2021 Worlds


Sadulaev is that guy- We have heard all of the arguments on why Snyder can still beat Sadulaev. People saying “oh it is just a little adjustment that needs to be made” or “Sadulaev got lucky with those counters”. The fact remains that at this moment Abdulrashid Sadulaev is the 3rd greatest freestyle wrestler of all time in my book behind only Aleksandr Medved and Buvaisar Saitiev. Should he win out till Paris he will pass both of them and will be looking ahead to Mijain Lopez-Nunez and Alexandr Karelin to solidify himself as the true goat.

Yianni Diakomihalis 2021 65kg USA Representative

65kg is the deepest weight in the world- We all thought that Yianni would break the curse of 65kg and that the guy who has came the closest to medaling at the weight class was Frank Molinaro in 2016 as he fell to Frank Chamizo. Let’s be real here, Yianni can medal but he isn’t there just yet. He is only 22 years old and he has a lot of room to grow before he can compete with the big dogs at the weight class like Otoguro, Aliyev, or Rashidov. That being said it was an unlucky draw, everyones predicted champion was Vazgen Tevanyan and he matched up with Yianni and beat him round 2 like most people expected. Now since Tevanyan got knocked off and did not make the finals Yianni did not get a chance to wrestle back which was really unlucky. However we should be very optimistic about the future we have at 65kg no matter who it be at that weight class.

Jordan Burroughs wins his 6th Gold Medal

Jordan Burroughs is the GOAT- There has been the debate on who the “GOAT” of USA wrestling is but after this World Championships I feel that this matter has been settled and it is Jordan Burroughs. The reason I choose to put him over John Smith or Bruce Baumgartner is because of medals and dominance. When we compare him to John Smith he has more medals in addition to the 6 World and Olympic golds that we account for which means he provided dominance just like John Smith but with more longevity and consistency. Now why am I putting him above Bruce Baumgartner you may ask? Well this was a tough one for me because I believe that Bruce is the greatest freestyle heavyweight of all time and yes that includes Artur Taymazov in that conversation. Along with medals, dominance, longevity Burroughs has provided a lot for the sport and has had an impact on many other wrestlers in the sport. Guys like Kyle Dake, David Taylor, J’den Cox, Kyle Snyder, Gable Steveson, Thomas Gilman and pretty much anyone who has made a team during Burroughs time can attribute some level of success to the mentorship and guidance he has provided being the face of USA Wrestling for over a decade now.

Thomas Gilman 2021 57kg World Champion

Gilman is the best in the world at 57kg- There has been controversy about Lee wiping 57kg out but honestly I believe Gilman is the guy at 57kg. His only loss was to Zavur Uguev in Tokyo and it was by a singular point. Would I bet on the rematch probably not, however with that being said I do think the odds favor Gilman in this rematch 100% and I do not see him losing to anyone domestically any time soon. Whether that be because of the move to NLWC or whatever you can see that Gilman is hungry for more and he has finally gotten it. He has went through some of the roughest moments in the sport and come up short many times and now that he has finally achieved his goals I don’t see him coming down any time soon.

Hasan Yazdani 2016 Olympic Champion and 3x World Champion

Hasan Yazdani vs David Taylor- This is going to make a lot of people mad but it has to be said. When all is said and done Hasan Yazdani will go down as an all time great. He is an Olympic Champion and Silver Medalist and has won 3 World Championships at only 26 years old. I have said this from his first match with David Taylor that when Yazdani figures it out there is no looking back. In Tokyo he seemed to have it figured out and closed the gap but lost it with only a few seconds left. In Oslo he dominated the match thoroughly. He controlled the center of the mat, dominated underhooks with no problem, and did not gas and was able to fend off Taylor’s late flurries which is what we said he had to do to win. Taylor is 30 years old Yazdani is 26 can Taylor make the adjustments to reclaim his throne in 2022, absolutely. Do I think he will? Probably not, I feel that if Yazdani stays at 86kg its going to be his unless something drastic happens.

Amir Zare 2021 125kg World Champion

Amir Zare is the future of 125kg- Unless Gable Steveson makes a return to international competition Amir Zare won’t be challenged in the coming years. Let’s be honest he is 20 years old and already is a World Champion and Olympic Bronze Medalist. Where is the ceiling I don’t know. What I can tell you is Taha Akgul is on the decline and Geno Petriashvili maybe nearing the end of his prime. Gwiazdowski as we saw just could not handle the horsepower or Amir Zare and there really is not anyone coming up from the Junior or Cadet level anytime soon that I think can hang with Zare in the future. That being said, Sadulaev vs Zare supermatch is 100% something the wrestling world would love to see but will Sadulaev be willing to risk his legacy and possibly add another loss? Who knows, all we can really see here is Zare most likely keeps winning unless Gable comes back. If he does, then we have a match.

J’den Cox 2x 92kg World Champion

J’den Cox takes bronze- One of the guys I think a lot of people considered to be a lock in this tournament is J’den Cox. However he did end up falling short in the semifinals to Kamran Ghasempour of Iran. It was a 3-3 match on criteria but going into this most people knew that he was the only real threat to Cox. Do I think this means something? Not really let’s be honest there is nobody in the US that can really even hold him to a close enough match to threaten a win at 92kg unless Kollin Moore somehow does it.

Any more topics you want to hear about? Drop a comment!

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Akil Murugan
Akil Murugan
Senior Editor for Heavyweight Nation

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