Photo: Tony Rotundo

The Top Wrestlers Of 2022

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2022 has been an incredible year for the world of wrestling. Jordan Burroughs winning his 7th gold medal, Yui Susaki completing the grand slam, and a load of young phenoms making their mark on the scene.

With the year coming to an end let’s take a look at some of the wrestlers with the best performances of the year.

David Taylor (United States)

PC: Tony Rotundo

David Taylor did not have the greatest showing last year at the World Championships losing to rival Hassan Yazdani 6-2. This year there was a lot of doubt on where Taylor stood and whether father time was catching up to him or not.

He put all of this to rest as Taylor delivered one of the most spectacular performances I have ever seen. Putting on a master class against the Olympic Champion Yazdani and reclaimed gold with a 7-1 win.

Yui Susaki (Japan)

PC: Tony Rotundo

It has been a while since we saw Yui Susaki and you can bet that her return did not disappoint. She cruised her way through the World Championships with ease picking up a first period pin in the World Finals.

A lot of upsets went down on the women’s side of things at the World Championships and Yui Susaki is the only one who was not really tested.

Mate Nemes (Serbia)

PC: Tony Rotundo

Mate Nemes pulled off what was by far the biggest upset of the year in most peoples opinions. In what was a historic tournament for Serbia at the World Championships was propelled by Nemes’ upset over the then #1 pound for pound wrestler Mohammad Reza Gerai of Iran.

Overall great tournament for Nemes, and great run for the Serbian team in their home country.

Jordan Burroughs (United States)

PC: Tony Rotundo

The list can’t be complete without the addition of Jordan Burroughs. At 34 years of age Burroughs is still going strong and beating the best wrestlers in the world.

Burroughs won his 7th gold medal this year after defeating Iran’s Mohammad Nokhodi in the world finals for the second time in a row. This accomplishment puts him on top of the list for most gold medals by an American wrestler.

Amit Elor (United States)

PC: Tony Rotundo

Amit Elor burst onto the scene winning the U20 World Championships, U23 World Championships, as well as the Senior World Championships all in the same year.

With massive wins and being just 18 years old Elor looks to become on of the faces of women’s wrestling in the next couple of years.

Taha Akgul (Turkey)

PC: Tony Rotundo

2021 was not a very good year for Akgul but that looked to be the motivation he needed to come into 2022 the way he did to reclaim his former glory.

Akgul won the 125kg world title after a long 7 years of not winning a gold medal. In the process Akgul also got revenge of Iran’s Amir Zare which is who knocked him into consolations last year.

Artur Aleksanyan (Armenia)

PC: Tony Rotundo

Aleksanyan has been a staple in the wrestling world for over a decade now. Nicknamed the “white bear” Aleksanyan won his 5th gold medal this year and 4th at the World Championships.

At 31 years old Aleksanyan looks to be going strong and will look to add a couple more golds before his career comes to an end.

Riza Kayaalp (Turkey)

PC: Tony Rotundo

Riza Kayaalp has been on the scene forever and just added a 5th world title to his resume. In addition to this Kayaalp was able to win his 10th European Championship gold medal.

Akzhol Makhmudov (Kyrgyzstan)

PC: Tony Rotundo

If you watch Greco-Roman wrestling, then you know who Akzhol Makhmudov is. At 23 years old Makhmudov won his first world title, and he did it in dominant and electrifying fashion with big move after big move dominating all of his opponents with ease.

The future is bright for Makhmudov but with the return of Roman Vlasov being apparent next year we could see the match of a lifetime.

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Akil Murugan
Akil Murugan
Senior Editor for Heavyweight Nation

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