2023 Senior World Championships

Stage Set For Sixth Clash Between David Taylor And Hassan Yazdani

Stage Set For Sixth Clash Between David Taylor And Hassan Yazdani

The 86-kilogram title belt has belonged to David Taylor or Hassan Yazdani since 2017 and the multi-time World and Olympic champs will collide again Sunday.

Sep 16, 2023 by Andy Hamilton

The stage is set for another clash between the rulers of the 86-kilogram kingdom. 

David Taylor and Iran’s Hassan Yazdani tore through their respective bracket halves Saturday in Belgrade, setting up a Sunday showdown with another World title at stake. 

The title belt at 86 kilograms has belonged to one of the two since 2017 when Yazdani moved up from 74 kg after winning the Olympic Games in Rio. Since then, he and Taylor have wrestled five times and Sunday’s meeting will be the fourth with a World or Olympic title on the line. 

Taylor holds a 4-1 lead in the series — including a decisive 7-1 win last year in the World finals — but the majority of the battles have been tightly contested. 

Both wrestlers demonstrated Saturday that they’re still the class of the 86-kilogram field. 

Taylor’s day began with a 14-second pin and ended with a complete destruction of Kazakhstan’s Azamat Dauletbekov in the semifinals. The three-time World and Olympic champ led 7-0 midway through the second period when he slapped a bar and half on the 2022 World bronze medalist and cranked him over for a pin. Taylor also registered a pair of technical superiority victories in his other two matches. 

Meanwhile, Yazdani picked up speed as the day went along. He surrendered an early takedown against Australia’s Jayden Lawrence in his first bout of the day before registering a fall. 

From there, the four-time World and Olympic champ notched an 11-0 tech against Mongolia’s Bat Erdene Byambasuren, downed Olympic bronze medalist Myles Amine 7-2 in the quarterfinals and handled Uzbekistan’s Javrail Shapiev 10-0 in the semis.