USA Wrestling

Andrew Alirez Takes Out 3-Time World Champ Haji Aliyev

Andrew Alirez Takes Out 3-Time World Champ Haji Aliyev

Andrew Alirez defeated Haji Aliyev at the Ziolkowski Memorial tournament in Poland.

Jul 30, 2023 by Jon Kozak
Andrew Alirez Takes Out 3-Time World Champ Haji Aliyev

2023 NCAA Champ put the 65kg world on notice in his opening match at the Ziolkowski Memorial tournament in Poland on Sunday morning. Alirez defeated Haji Aliyev 8-0 in that bout and dominated from start to finish. Aliyev is notably a 3-time world champion, 2-time Olympic medalist, and is currently ranked #5 at in the world at 65kg in our International Rankings. 

In the match against Aliyev, which you can watch below, Alirez got out to a quick 6-0 lead with a big, 4-point double leg from the outside that he transition directly into a leg-lace for 2 more points. Later in the first, Alirez was able to counter a leg attack and secure a go-behind to build his lead to 8-0. He held that lead for the remainder of the bout and was close to securing a tech fall but wisely didn’t force any positions against the experienced Aliyev. 

Watch Andrew Alirez's win over Haji Aliyev at 01:43:30 in the below video:

After the match against Aliyev, Alirez won two more matches to take home gold from Poland. With his performance at the Ziolkowski, Alirez will assuredly move into the top 20 at 65kg in our international rankings. More important than that, Alirez’s attention will likely focus on making the Olympic team at 65 kg.

Alirez had a standout freestyle performance back in October 2020 at Senior Nationals where he won gold highlighted by wins over Joey McKenna, Yahya Thomas, and Evan Henderson. However, we haven’t seen Alirez compete on the freestyle mats since then, and he was noticeably absent from the US Open this year after winning an NCAA title at 141 pounds. Alirez has one more year of college eligibility but is also eligible to take an Olympic redshirt this year. Alirez has yet to reveal his plans for the upcoming college season but regardless of if he decides to redshirt, he’ll be a threat to make the Olympic team at 65kg.

Check out the full results for Team USA in Poland here.

Andrew Alirez's win over Joey McKenna at the 2020 Senior Nationals:


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