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Team Usa vs Team Iran Full Preview

Photo: Tony Rotundo

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By far the biggest wrestling event to go down domestically this season. Team USA will take on Team Iran in a thrilling dual meet. This will be accompanied by another college dual meet which is Oklahoma State vs Iowa which should also be very competitive. In this we will be doing a full preview for Team USA vs Iran.

All Iranians based on who they sent for Worlds/Olympics teams may vary

57kg- Thomas Gilman vs Alireza Sarlak

This will be a matchup that favors the United States massively. Of course we can only speculate on who the Iran team will bring in this dual meet format or if weight changes shall occur. Gilman vs Sarlak was the 2021 World Finals.

Gilman won that match 5-3. That being said, looking back to the match there were a multitude of questionable actions by the referee. However even with all of that the development of Gilman on the freestyle scene and home turf advantage should give him a decent edge over the Iranian competitor.

Projected Winner- Thomas Gilman (USA)

61kg- Daton Fix vs Rahman Amouzadkhalili

This match should not be too much of a contest with how Daton Fix has performed on the senior level recently with his silver medal finish in Oslo falling to only Abasgadzhi Magomedov in the finals in his second World Championships. Amouzadkhalili fell in the round of 16 to Japan who was beaten 10-0 by Magomedov fairly quickly.

Just going off what we know Fix is a huge favorite here. Fix has looked phenomenal in the freestyle scene and at this point in time the only guy we can see beating him again at 61kg is Magomedov of Russia.

Projected Winner- Daton Fix (USA)

65kg- Yianni Diakomihalis vs Amirmohammad Yazdani

One of the weaker weights on Team USA relatively speaking. The name Yazdani may sound familiar and that is because he is a relative of Iran stars Hassan Yazdani and Reza Yadani. He had a very impressive performance at the 2021 World Championships in Oslo falling to only Zagir Shakiev in the finals.

Of course we know how stacked Russia is at the 65 kilogram weight class with Rashidov and others. Both of these guys are very young with promising talent. Yazdani 21 years old and Diakomihalis 22 years old should be a very interesting matchup.

Projected Winner- Amirmohammad Yazdani (Iran)

70kg- James Green vs Erfan Mohammad Elahi

This is by far one of the biggest swing matches of the entire dual meet. Green by far has the more established career and with both of their performances at the world championships they seem to be neck and neck.

Again the main factor that might blow this match open is Elahi and his lack of experience being only 20 years old as the entire Iranian team is full of newcomers. Green always has the X-Factor that he presents with his leg lace that we have seen break open matches before. Should be one of the marquee matches of this dual and could very well swing momentum heading into our stars at the upperweights.

Projected Winner: James Green (USA)

74kg- Kyle Dake vs Mostafa Hosseinkhani

This will be a rematch from the Olympics where Kyle Dake won 4-1. Looking back at the match Dake was never in a position to potentially lose the match but along with this he never really put himself in a position to blow open the match.

All of this being said Dake did win the World Championships in Olso so he would be a big favorite here. How team point will be scored we were not able to find but if a technical superiority victory will grant the team additional points this would be a big match to potentially grab them

Projected Winner- Kyle Dake (USA)

79kg- Jordan Burroughs vs Mohammad Nokhodilarmi

Again should this be the match it is a rematch of the World Championships finals in Oslo. Burroughs won this match 5-1 but even with all of that being said Burroughs was in his first year at the weight class and we can only assume that he will get more accustomed to the bigger and stronger wrestlers the weight presents.

Should not be much interesting here as the last time they did wrestle Burroughs came in with a take care of business sort of approach and did not really attempt the typical dominance that he normally does. Whether that is because of the style matchup or just because it was his first major tournament up at 79kg he still won the match handedly.

Projected Winner- Jordan Burroughs (USA)

86kg- David Taylor vs Hassan Yazdani

One of the biggest matches of this dual meet between two Olympic Champions in their 4th meeting. Taylor was able to win the first three of the matchups but Yazdani was able to finally come back and get one in the World Finals and did that in convincing fashion against Taylor, downing the American 6-2. Taylor was able to win the Olympic Finals against Yazdani however with a last second comeback to take the Gold 4-3.

Judging by how the matches have gone in previous meetings it seems that once Yazdani has been able to put on more size he has gotten closer to Taylor with him now defeating the American in the World Finals. Taylor will need to switch some things up if he wants to regain control over this rivalry but for the time being the odds are in the favor of Yazdani.

Projected Winner- Hassan Yazdani (Iran)

92kg- J’den Cox vs Kamran Ghasempour

As we start to get into the meet of the Iran lineup we have a bunch of young talent. This again will be a rematch from the World Championships where Ghasempour was able to knock off the 2x reigning champion 3-3 on criteria. This was not too big of an upset being that Ghasempour is essentially unbeaten in his senior level career with only domestic losses.

Overall this is going to be one of the biggest toss up bouts in this entire meet and if some things go Iran’s way earlier they could be looking at a potential upset. We will give Cox the benefit of the doubt that he was just getting accustomed back to wrestling internationally due to the events that occurred at the Olympic Trials and hopefully he can get back on track. Either way this will be a fantastic match and maybe both of these guys will open up a bit more which would play to Cox’s strengths.

Projected Winner- Kamran Ghasempour (Iran)

97kg- Kyle Snyder vs Mohammad Mohammadian

One of the bigger rematches that we can only assume Snyder has wanted revenge on for a while now. This will be huge to set the momentum for the final bout if they go in order and the bout that most of the world will want to see. We all know that Snyder went on a bit of a “slump” if you could even call it that. He was pinned by Sadulaev in the world finals, knocked off by Olympic Champion Sharif Sharifov in the world semifinals and knocked off by Mohammad Mohammadian again.

Last time these guys wrestled, Mohammadian dominated Snyder and came out with the pin. Since then Snyder seems to have a new vengeance and is looking for revenge and even wrestled Sadulaev to a 3 point match in the Olympic Finals, the same tournament where Mohammadian was knocked off in the first round by Odikadze of Georgia who was teched by Sadulaev knocking him out of the tournament.

Snyder since then has dominated everyone he has matched up against losing to none other than “the tank” Abdulrashid Sadulaev. This should be a very good matchup to look out for but judging by the way they have been performing recently the odds are massively in Snyder’s favor.

Projected Winner- Kyle Snyder (USA)

125kg- Gable Steveson vs Amir Zare

Hopefully Gable wrestles in this, nobody has confirmed that he has and the entire world wants to see this match, not just Americans and Iranians. Two of the best 125kg wrestlers this world has ever seen. With the careers of Geno Petriashvili and Taha Akgul probably coming to an end this may be the new rivalry to own 125kg. However that being said Steveson has already declared that if he does wrestle that will be his final freestyle wrestling match ever.

If this is his final match and he decides to wrestle, what other way to go out than proving yourself as the undisputed king. Both of these guys have had incredible runs, Gable running through the Olympics and pulling a last second miracle on 3x World Champion Geno Petriashvili and on the other side we have Zare having his own breakout winning the World Title and running the gauntlet knocking off the three best guys en route to gold.

Should Gable not wrestle we saw what happened when Nick Gwiazdowksi and Amir Zare met at worlds. Honestly no other guy in the world can compete with these two once they get to their prime. Still has not been confirmed that this match will be going down but we all know this is the match everyone is paying to see.

Projected Winner- Gable Steveson (USA)

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