6 years ago today “the tank” would win his first of two olympic gold medals knocking off Selim Yasar of Turkey in the finals. He would defeat Yasar a year prior in the world finals as well. At this point in his career down at 86kg he had separated himself from the pack with his toughest competition being Yasar and Sharifov, even then Sadualev had no trouble handling them both.
Fast forward six years later and he is on track to be the greatest freestyle wrestling of all time. Did people say this in 2016? Yes, but to see it actually come to fruition is crazy.
At this point in time Sadulaev is the most decorated active wrestler in freestyle having 7 world and olympic gold medals with Jordan Burroughs following closely behind with 6 of his own.
Holding a senior level record off 144-2 there are not many people that have even been close to handing Sadulaev a loss. The only man who has been able to keep it somewhat competitive is Kyle Snyder who won the olympics in 2016 as well up at 97kg. Even then the last two meetings were pretty much one sided with Sadulaev winning the Tokyo olympics with ease while injured.
His first loss came in his senior level debut all the way back in 2013 where he was suplexed and teched by Gamzat Osmanov as a 17 year old so there is only so much you can say about that. His second and maybe last loss ever was to Kyle Snyder in the 2017 world finals where Sadulaev gave up a late takedown and his shot at perfection at the worlds and olympics.
With Sadulaev holding 2 olympic gold medals, 5 world gold medals, and a world silver. What is next for the tank, so far he has said publicly in an interview that he plans to wrestler to Paris where he will announce his retirement having netted 10 gold medals tying Aleksandr Medved.
With Russia still being banned from the world championships does Sadualev stay on the scene longer? Will he even possibly try to wrestle till Los Angeles in 2028 and become the first mens freestyle wrestler to win four olympic gold medals? Who really knows at this point. What is the craziest stat of all is that Sadulaev could call it a career today and be in the top 15 wrestlers of all time (gold medal count).
Wrestlers with more golds or tied_
Saori Yoshida (16)
Kaori Icho (14)
Aleksandr Karelin (12)
Aleksandr Medved (10)
Hitomi Obara (9)
Arsen Fadzaev (8)
Sergei Beloglazov (8)
Valentin Yordanov (8)
Makharbek Khadartsev (7)
Hamid Sourain (7)
As you can see he has joined an elite club at 7 gold medals with some of the most iconic names in wrestling history. He will only continue to club up this list as time goes on.