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Top Potential Freestyle Matches To Watch At Worlds

Photo: Tony Rotundo

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#1 Taha Akgul vs Amir Zare

Zare is the man to beat now at the 125kg weight class with his performance in Oslo knocking off Akgul and Petriashvili to win the world title as a 20 year old. The only reason these two are on the list and not Geno Petriashvili is because they will probably be the top 2 seeds at the tournament.

There will most likely be a Taha Akgul vs Geno Petriashvili semifinal at the world championships should the seeds hold which we are more accustomed to seeing in the finals, but that should be interesting.

#2 Thomas Gilman vs Ravi Kumar

This matchup has been highly anticipated by many since the Tokyo Olympics where Gilman took bronze and Kumar silver with their only losses being to the gold medalist Zavur Uguev. Gilman held Uguev to the closer match at the Olympics so that maybe the only factor to go off of here but nothing can really be said until we see the match.

#3 Kyle Snyder vs Mohammad Mohammadian

Everyone has been talking about Snyder recently, normally this isn’t a case with him just pretty much being a staple on team USA that people don’t really mention. He swept J’den Cox and Kollin Moore in best of 3 series most recently and the super match opened some eyes.

Mohammadian did not have a very impressive performance at the Tokyo Olympic games where he was knocked off in the first round by Georgia’s Elizbar Odikadze. Odikadze would lose his next bout to none other than Abdulrashid Sadulaev by technical superiority knocking Mohammadian out of the tournament.

What people don’t talk about is Mohammadian pinning Snyder the last time they wrestled. This is a match that is getting very overlooked by people at this point being that Snyderlaev V will not happen at worlds.

#4 J’den Cox vs Kamran Ghasempour

People looked at this as a massive upset last year when Ghasempour knocked off Cox which in reality it probably wasn’t with Ghasempour’s only real losses coming domestically to Hassan Yazdani.

Cox hasn’t looked the best recently in his best of 3 series with Nate Jackson to make the United States world team but he was able to get it done in 3 close matches.

This is match will be very telling on who will be the one to take over 92kg being that the last match between these two came down to criteria and a very questionable no call at the end of the match.

#5 David Taylor vs Hassan Yazdani

Probably the greatest rivalry in wrestling right now. Two super offensive wrestlers that will let it fly no matter what. The first two bouts of the series were dominated by Taylor but that was a while ago. In their recent bouts at the Olympics and Worlds they have been very close.

At the Olympic Games Taylor was able to get a late comeback on the Iranian to take the lead 4-3 and deny Yazdani his second Olympic Gold. In Oslo We got off to the same start in the match but this time Yazdani would not relinquish the lead getting his own takedown late to ice the win 6-2.

Taylor does lead the series 3-1 but this seems to be the match that matters the most. A lot of talk has been about Taylor getting old and that he won’t be able to keep up with Yazdani anymore. This is hands down the most important match of the world championships.

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