Photo: PCN Black / Alamy

Mens Freestyle Champs At The 2008 Olympics

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Wrestling at the 2008 Olympic Games would be very iconic with Buvaisar Saitiev winning his 3rd Olympic Gold medal and a plethora of other wrestlers winning consecutive golds.

55kg- Henry Cejudo (United States)

Henry Cejudo would become the youngest wrestling Olympic Champion in United States history when he defeated Japan’s Tomohiro Matsunago to win gold. There has always been talk if Cejudo was actually the best wrestler in the field being that Russia’s Besik Kudukhov was headlocked and pinned by Matsunaga. Kudukhov handedly defeated Cejudo at the Junior World Championships a year prior.

Cejudo would retire from wrestling after falling at the 2012 Olympic Trials, after his wrestling career Cejudo would have a very successful career in MMA as he became a multi divisional champion in the UFC.

60kg- Mavlet Batirov (Russia)

Technique wise many view Mavlet Batirov as the greatest lightweight wrestler of all time as he would tactically dissect his opponents cruising to points left and right. Batirov also won gold at the 2004 Olympic Games at 55kg

Batirov would win his final medal at the 2008 Olympic Games, he would look to make a comeback for the 2012 games but that plan would never come into fruition.

66kg- Ramazan Sahin (Turkey)

Sahin is one of the lesser known champions in wrestling history, he had a great run in Beijing following up his 2007 World Championship gold with gold at the Olympic Games. He would compete at the 2012 Olympic Games in London, however he lost to India’s Sushil Kumar in the 2nd round and would fall in the bronze medal bout.

74kg- Buvaisar Saitiev (Russia)

Winning the Olympics in 2008 would be the final medal of Buvaisar Saitiev’s career. Picking up his 3rd Olympic gold medal after his win over Uzbekistan’s Soslan Tigiev Saitiev would become one of a handful wrestlers to ever win 3 golds at the Olympic Games.

Saitiev won gold at the 2004 Olympics, as well as the 2000 Olympic Games. He also has six world titles to his name to add to that resume.

Over a decade after his career has come to an end Saitiev is still known to the world as the greatest and most talented freestyle wrestler to ever walk the face of the planet.

84kg- Revaz Mindorashvili (Georgia)

Revaz Mindorashvili would be the one to come out of an absolutely stacked bracket. With names like Reza Yazdani, Georgy Ketoev, Zaurbek Sokhiev, Reineris Salas, and more you could have just pulled a name out of a hat.

Mindorashvili also won a gold medal at the 2005 World Championships as well as the 2003 European Championships.

96kg- Shirvani Muradov (Russia)

The 96kg field did not really have any clear favorite coming into competition. A notable name that people know is Daniel Cormier who was in the bracket but did not compete due to having troubles with his weight cut and being forced out of competition. World Champion Kehtag Gazyumov was also in the weight class.

Muradov defeated Taimuraz Tigiev of Kazakhstan in the finals 2-0 to win gold. Tigiev was later disqualified after testing positive for a banned substance.

120kg- Artur Taymazov (Uzbekistan)

Artur Taymazov dominated the heavyweight weight class for years, he won his 2nd Olympic gold medal in Beijing defeating Bakhtiyar Akhmedov of Russia in the finals. Taymazov would go on to win gold in London 2012 before retiring from wrestling.

Years later Taymazov was found to be using a banned substance and he was stripped of his gold medals at the 2008 and 2012 Olympic Games.

Bakhtiyar Akhmedov of Russia would be granted the gold medal.

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Akil Murugan
Akil Murugan
Senior Editor for Heavyweight Nation

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