PC: Tony Rotundo

Top Freestyle Wrestling Matches To Watch In 2023

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There are some big storylines to follow in 2023, what matches should you be looking forward to this year?

Zelimkhan Abakarov vs Zavur Uguev

Abakarov dominated for Albania at the world championships last year as he decisively beat reigning world champ Thomas Gilman in the finals.

Uguev is the man to beat at 57kg however, and he looked good coming off a win at the Ivan Yarying Cup. He will most likely be the favorite in this match but this is a fun one to look forward to.

Abasgadzhi Magomedov vs Rei Higuchi

Rei Higuchi back from a long break from the international scene, and it was a great comeback as he won 61kg gold at the 2022 world championships. Magomedov won gold at the 2021 world championships and did it just as dominantly as Higuchi did.

These two will be the favorites to meet in the world finals this year, and you can bet that this match will not let you down.

Takuto Otoguro vs Rahman Amouzad

Otoguro didn’t wrestle at 2021 worlds, and was out with injury for the most of 2022. Since then we have crowned two new winners in the 65kg weight class. Zagir Shakiev in 2021, and Rahman Amouzad in 2022.

With Russia’s situation at 65kg being all over the place you can bet that they will be in the mix here, but the 20 year old Amouzad is only looking to be on the rise.

Otoguro will look to come back and prove once again that he owns the 65kg weight class.

Kyle Dake vs Zaurbek Sidakov

How we have not seen this match yet is beyond me, Dake and Sidakov have been two of the most dominant wrestlers on the planet for a while now.

Dake has won the past two world titles at 74kg, and without much competition aka Sidakov. Should they meet this year in the finals it will be a fun match as Sidakov has multiple wins over Jordan Burroughs.

Jordan Burroughs vs Magomedkhabib Kadimagomedov

A lot of talk has been behind this match and it really depends on whether we will see this happen or not. Kadi is now up at 79kg and will most likely be so for the remainder of the quad, and same with Burroughs.

There has been some trash talk from Kadi on social media, and Burroughs actually responded acknowledging him and that he was down to wrestle.

Kadi is probably the favorite in this one given Burroughs’ recent performance but we call him the king for a reason so never count him out.

David Taylor vs Hassan Yazdani

Taylor vs Yazdani has become a staple at this point. They both cruise to the world finals teching everyone and then we get to see a battle of two of the best wrestlers of this generation.

Taylor does have a 4-1 lead on Yazdani in the series, so that being said he will be the favorite here and given the performance from Taylor in Belgrade we might just see that again.

Kamran Ghasempour vs J’den Cox

Ghasempour has beaten Cox the past two years on his way to winning his world titles, if Ghasempour can get it done once again we will essentially know where this stands.

The matches have been competitive, but this might be Cox’ last chance to break through the hump and finally defeat Ghasempour at the world championships this year.

Kyle Snyder vs Abdulrashid Sadulaev

Sadulaev only wrestled one match in 2022 crazily enough, so we don’t know where to really look to see his progression. Snyder has been looking good, so maybe if there is a chance it would be now.

We have seen how this rivalry goes, so I would not go out there expecting anything different this time around.

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Akil Murugan
Akil Murugan
Senior Editor for Heavyweight Nation

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