Photo: Tony Rotundo

2022 Heavyweight Nation Awards Winners

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The Heavyweight Nation awards votes have all been tallied up and we are ready to announce the winners! The votes are comprised from the website, the Instagram Page, and Twitter.

Men’s Freestyle Wrestler of the Year-

David Taylor (United States)

PC: Tony Rotundo

David Taylor had possibly one of the most impressive World Championships performances of all time. Taylor outscored his opponents 41-1 en route to winning the 86kg gold in Belgrade.

What made this impressive was not just the scoreline, it was the fact that in the finals he put on a clinic against Iran’s Hassan Yazdani who beat him the previous year in the World Finals.

At 32 years old a lot of people assumed Taylor would be slowing down after his close match with Yazdani at the Olympic Games and his loss to the Iranian in Oslo. Taylor bounced back from that loss and proved that he is still the king of 86kg.

Women’s Freestyle Wrestler of the Year-

Yui Susaki (Japan)

PC: Tony Rotundo

With all of the great performances in women’s freestyle this year and to have Susaki appear this far above the rest of the field is just a testament to how talented she is. By far the best women’s wrestler on the planet and has had a stranglehold on her weight class for as long as she has been around.

This Year Susaki cruised her way to a Senior World Championships gold medal as well as a gold medal at the U23 World Championships becoming the first wrestler to ever complete the wrestling grand slam.

Greco-Roman Wrestler of the Year-

Akzhol Makhmudov (Kyrgyzstan)

PC: Tony Rotundo

Akzhol Makhmudov is one of the most exciting to watch wrestlers in the world regardless of style. His high paced, high flying offense never has a dull moment, he dominates all of his opponents with ease and looked incredible securing a tech in the finals to become his countries first Greco-Roman World Champion.

The future is bright for Makhmudov as he is only 23 years old. We might if we get lucky be able to see a match between Makhmudov and Russian legend Roman Vlasov at the World Championships next year.

Content Creator of the Year-

Cayden Henschel

PC: Cayden Henschel / Instagram

Cayden Henschel has dominated the wrestling Youtube space becoming the most subscribed (not brand) wrestling channel. With 167k subscribers on Youtube, 60k followers on Instagram, and 155k on TikTok there was really no doubt on who deserved this award.

Henschel is currently a wrestler at DII Wisconsin-Parkside and creates content based on his career, news/drama in the wrestling world and packages it into super entertaining videos for us to enjoy.

Check out his channel here.

Breakout Wrestler of the Year-

Amit Elor (United States)

PC: Tony Rotundo

Amit Elor had possibly one of the biggest years ever. At just 18 years old Elor was able to claim gold at the U20 World Championships, the U23 World Championships and the Senior World Championships.

If it weren’t for Yui Susaki, Elor would have been the clear favorite to win this category along with the women’s freestyle wrestler of the year catergory. In this next year the 72kg weight class will return a few very tough and young competitors so it will be very exciting to watch Elor’s career from here on out.

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Akil Murugan
Akil Murugan
Senior Editor for Heavyweight Nation

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