Post Olympic Pound-For-Pound Rankings

© Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports Taha Akgul
Before the Olympics, we put out our Top 20 pound-for-pound men's freestyle wrestlers in the world. Now that the dust has settled, let's revisit that idea and give it one more try.

20. Rei Higuchi (JPN) - He beat two guys on the last P4P list, as well as a 2014 world champ, in his run to the finals. Earlier this year, he beat two-time world medalist Vladimir Dubov and Asian championships medalist Rahul Aware. The kid had a phenomenal run in 2016, and if not for a late shot clock point he allowed against Khinchegashvili, would have had an undefeated 2016 and a gold medal around his neck.  

19. J'Den Cox (USA) - It's become apparent that a) 86kg is really deep and b) Cox is really good at wrestling. Wins over Karimi and Salas Perez, as well as being within an eyelash of taking out 3x world medalist Yasar, nails home the point that Cox is a legit freestyler.

Cox beats Karimi at World Cup

Sharif Sharifov (AZE) - Consecutive Olympic medals, a demolition of Reza Yazdani last year at the World Cup, and the fact that he can't crack the 97kg lineup due to Gazyumov are all the reasons we need for Sharifov  to make this list.

17. Ikhtiyor Navruzov (UZB) - Regardless of the circumstances, Navruzov won medals two years in a row, one of them with a pin over Ramonov. Combine that with a bronze at the 2014 Asian Games and it becomes clear this guy shows up for the big tournaments.

16. Selim Yasar (TUR) - He has gone bronze, silver, silver over the past three years, but he could be higher if not for some odd losses and underwhelming victories.

15. Geno Petriashvili (GEO) - On the one hand, he beat Akgul in March. On the other hand, he lost to Ghasemi, who besides the Olympics had an otherwise subpar year. Ultimately, he won medals three out of the four years this quad at both the world and continental level.

14. Frank Chamizo (ITA) - There are few better all around wrestlers in the world. He was perhaps the most difficult guy to rank post-Rio, but after re-watching all three of his matches with Asgarov this seems appropriate. Also, the world needs more Chamizo/Asgarov matches.

Chamizo/Asgarov round two

Toghrul Asgarov (AZE) - Before the Olympics, I had Chamizo 5th in my P4P. Yes, Asgarov doesn't have the greatest regular seasons. But when it comes time to wrestle the best in the world, he shows up. His 2-1 record against Chamizo (and you could argue the loss he had him pinned) goes a long way to him being thirteenth.

12. Shamil Kudiyamagomedov (RUS) - When you realize how good Sadulaev is, and you see how inconsistent the supposed second best at 86kg is, it's not outlandish to have Kudiya this high. He beat Aldatov (who beat Yasar) 

11. Hassan Rahimi (IRI) - One of only three men's freestylers to medal each world meet of the quad. He won in 2013, then went bronze and silver at the next two world championships. He pinned Yowlys Bonne Rodriguez (CUB) in the bronze medal match last week.

10. Khetag Gazyumov (AZE) - The next men's freestyler to medal four years in a row finally made an Olympic final. Though he lost, his eight medals in nine years is the kind of consistency you like to see out of a Top 10 pound-for-pound guy.

9. Jordan Burroughs (USA) - It seems odd to have him fall this far, but he has too many accolades to drop him out of the Top 10. 

8. Aniuar Geduev (RUS) - Many people felt the Russian was top 5 pound-for-pound after last year's worlds. The interesting thing will be seeing how he does moving up to 86kg.

7. Haji Aliyev (AZE) - He lost to Khinchegashvili again, but did nothing to hurt his stock. He will be happy to have 61kg back in 2017.

Haji Aliyev wins Golden Grand Prix

6. Hassan Yazdani Charati (IRI) - Perhaps the most surprising of the six Olympic champs, but if you include juniors has made three straight world finals, winning two of them.

5. Kyle Snyder (USA) - Joins Khinchegashvli, Sadulaev and Akgul as repeat champs from a year ago. He peaked at the right time after taking four international losses since January. Including juniors, he went gold, bronze, gold, gold this quad.  Here's hoping we see that Sadulaev matchup.
Kyle Snyder makes history

Vladimer Khinchegashvili (GEO) - He picked up another win over Aliyev, but the circumstances of his finals match as well as the performance of Ramonov keep him sitting fourth. The glaring loss on his resume is a 10-0 loss to Akhmed Chakaev at the Alrosa Cup in November.

3. Soslan Ramonov (RUS) - This man would have been the OW if they handed out such things. It became apparent his loss to Navruzov last year was a fluke and avenged that with an 18-7 shellacking in the semis. He has blown through the field in his two world/Olympic titles, while both of Khinchegashvili's finals came down to the last seconds.

Ramonov techs his way to a world title in 2014

Taha Akgul (TUR) - He was number three on the list prior to the Olympics, and he joined Sadulaev as the only wrestler to win two straight world titles followed by a gold in Rio. Along with Rahimi and Gazyumov was one of only three wrestlers to medal four straight years, during which time he only has two losses.

1. Abdulrashid Sadulaev (RUS) - He is the only wrestler in the world who has not lost since the weight class changes in 2014, and all he did last week was win his first Olympic gold medal. He is the most efficient wrestler in the world and with Burroughs loss is your unquestioned No. 1 pound-for-pound.

Where Are PWC Participants Going To College?


Year after year, the Pittsburgh Wrestling Classic showcases the next wave of college wrestling superstars. In fact, six of this year's ten NCAA champions were Classic alumni. Below we break down which colleges the 2018 Pittsburgh Wrestling Classic participants will be attending in the fall.

Robert Kanniard Commits To Rutgers

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Rutgers will be adding a Fargo champ to their roster in the next couple years. Robert Kanniard has verbally committed to wrestle for the Scarlet Knights in college.

Tech Notes: Gavin Teasdale vs Pat Glory

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I know we all still have an NCAA hangover, but don’t take your straps down just yet, the Pittsburg Wrestling Classic is this Sunday. Some of the matches lined up for this year’s PWC promise to be electric. One that I've had circled on the bout card since it came out is Pat Glory (USA) vs Gavin Teasdale (PA). Something tells me that this Who’s Number One rematch might look a little bit different than it did in the Snake Pit. 

FRL 275: NCAA Madness, Team Point Problems, And Looking Forward

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FRL 275 discusses the 2018 NCAA wrestling tournament, Penn State's title, and more.

Garbage Decision: EMU Dropping Wrestling


Eastern Michigan University press release

YPSILANTI, MI — Eastern Michigan University announced today that it will reduce its intercollegiate athletic program by four sports, effective at the end of the 2018 spring season. The action is being taken as part of the university's overall budget restructuring efforts. Affected by the decision are the sports of softball, men's swimming and diving, women's tennis, and wrestling. With the change, EMU, which previously led the MAC with 21 sports, will now have 17 sports (seven men's sports and 10 women's sports). This action in no way impacts Eastern's affiliation with the Mid-American Conference (MAC).

Hodge Trophy: Gross, Nickal, Retherford, & Valencia Announced As Finalists

Tony Rotundo.jpg Hodge Trophy Finalists 2018

The four finalists have been named for the 2018 Hodge Trophy: Zain Retherford of Penn State, Zahid Valencia of Arizona State, Bo Nickal of Penn State, and Seth Gross of South Dakota State.

Ranking, Seed, & Finish: How Season Ended For NCAA All-Americans

Tony Rotundo Tariq Wilson 2018 NCAA Athletes Press Conference

Another heart-pumping NCAA tournament is in the books after a long season of incredible moments. 

Who's In Line For Wisconsin Job?

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The retirement of Barry Davis as head coach at Wisconsin opens up one of the most coveted positions in NCAA wrestling, and UW has left no stone unturned in its pursuit of filling the vacancy.

Four Events Live On FloWrestling This Weekend

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How do you follow up the NCAA Championships? With the NHSCA High School Nationals and Pittsburgh Wrestling Classic, of course.

Bloodround Heartache

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Losses are always tough to take. The most gut-wrenching losses come Friday night at the NCAA tournament. Years of hard work have allowed wrestlers to make the final twelve at the NCAA tournament. In each weight class four guys have to swallow the pill of being one match away from earning All American honors. It's a loss that sticks with guys, and a lot of them use the loss to fuel future success.