2021 Senior World Championships

Kyle Dake The Favorite In A Loaded 74kg Bracket

Kyle Dake The Favorite In A Loaded 74kg Bracket

An in-depth preview of 74kg at the 2021 World Championships.

Sep 26, 2021 by Jon Kozak
Kyle Dake The Favorite In A Loaded 74kg Bracket

Kyle Dake is the USA's world team representative at 74kg. This world championship preview will give a brief overview of Kyle Dake's international career and give an in-depth preview of his potential competitors at the 2021 World Championships in Oslo, Norway.

Will Kyle Dake Win His 3rd World Title?

Kyle Dake will be the only 74kg Olympic medalist from Tokyo who is also competing at the World Championships in Oslo. Up until Dake’s loss at the Olympics, he was on a 49 match winning streak and one of the top 3 pound-for-pound wrestlers in the world. While his loss at the Olympics pushed Dake down a few notches in the rankings, Dake is still one of the best wrestlers in the world and the favorite to win the world championships in Norway. 

Kyle Dake is undefeated against the competitors he’s faced in this bracket and has head-to-head wins over Azamat Nurikau (BLR), Fazil Eryilmaz (TUR), and Murad Kuramagomedov (HUN). On top of those wrestlers, Dake will likely be tested by Russia’s Timur Bizhoev, Tajmuraz Salkaznov (SVK), and Khetik Tsabolov (SRB). While all are talented and accomplished, Dake will be one of the biggest favorites to win world gold in Oslo. 


Kyle Dake (USA)

  • 2018 and 2019 World Gold
  • 2020 Olympic Bronze
  • 2021 Pan-Am Gold

Dake's win over Azamat Nurikau at the 2020 Matteo Pellicone:

null

Unlock this video, live events, and more with a subscription!

Get Started

Already a subscriber? Log In


Dake's win over Murad Kuramagomedov at the 2020 Matteo Pellicone:

null

Unlock this video, live events, and more with a subscription!

Get Started

Already a subscriber? Log In


The Contenders

There is a group of three contenders at 74kg who have proven to be capable of beating anyone in the world when they are wrestling their best. The first of this group is Timur Bizhoev - who is Russia's replacement for world and Olympic champion Zaurbek Sidakov. Bizhoev was inches away from defeating Sidakov in March at the 2021 Russian Nationals and has a head-to-head win over world silver medalist Avtandil Kentchadze (GEO). On top of that win, Bizhoev made the 2021 world team by defeating world champions Magomedrasul Gazimagomedov and Magomed Kurbanaliev. At only 25 years old, Bizhoev has shown vast improvement over the past 2-3 years and will likely be the most dangerous threat to Kyle Dake in Norway.

After Bizhoev, Azamat Nurikau and Tajmuraz Salkazanov have proven they can be competitive with, and defeat, any 74kg wrestler in the world. Both are former Russians and have experienced various levels of success since transferring. Salkazanov put every 74kg wrestler in the world on notice when he defeated Avtandil Kentchadze, Razambek Zhamalov, and Frank Chamizo in one day to win the 2021 European Championships. Though Azamat Nurikau doesn’t have the same list of impressive wins, he does have 2 wins over both Timur Bizhoev and a win over Isaiah Martinez. Beyond that, Nurikau recently won the 2021 Medved tournament by defeating Magoma Dibirgadzhiev (RUS)-who defeated Salkazanov earlier in the tournament. Take a look below at the three contenders accomplishments and videos of their best wins.


Timur Bizhoev (RUS)

  • 2019 Euro Bronze
  • 2018 U23 World Bronze

Bizhoev’s win Magomedrasul Gazimagomedov from 2020 Russian Nationals:



Tajmuraz Salkazanov (SVK)

  • 2021 Euro Gold
  • 2020 World Cup Bronze
  • 2018 U23 World Gold

Salkazanov’s win over Frank Chamizo at the 2021 European Championships:

null

Unlock this video, live events, and more with a subscription!

Get Started

Already a subscriber? Log In


Azamat Nurikau (BLR)

  • 2014, 2015, and 2017 World 5th
  • 2016 Euro Bronze

Azamat Nurikau’s win over Timur Bizhoev from the 2019 Yarygin:

null

Unlock this video, live events, and more with a subscription!

Get Started

Already a subscriber? Log In


Azamat Nurikau’s win over Isaiah Martinez from the 2019 Yarygin:

null

Unlock this video, live events, and more with a subscription!

Get Started

Already a subscriber? Log In


Dangerous Group of “Dark Horse” Wrestlers

74kg is unique in that the group of “dark horses” contains a former world champion and multiple world medalists. Khetik Tsabolov, a former Russian now representing Serbia, won a world title in 2014 and placed silver in 2017. Tsabolov is also just a year removed from defeating world and Olympic champion Zaurbek Sidakov at the 2020 Russian Nationals. After Tsabolov, Avtandil Kentchadze and Younes Emami have medaled at past world championships. The primary reason they’re considered “dark horses” rather than “contenders” is their recent inconsistency on the mat. However, when any one of these wrestlers is at the top of their game, they are more than capable of shaking up the bracket and making a deep run in Oslo. 

After the credentialed group, Murad Kuramagomedov and Fazil Eryilmaz have shown glimpses of excellence and have been on the edge of medaling at prestigious tournaments. They should also be considered a part of this "dark horse" group and threats to medal in Oslo. Take a look below at this group's accomplishments and video of their best wins.


Avtandil Kentchadze (GEO)

  • 2018 World Silver
  • 2019 Euro Bronze
  • 2018 U23 World Gold

Kentchade’s win over Timur Bizhoev from 2018 U23 Worlds:

null

Unlock this video, live events, and more with a subscription!

Get Started

Already a subscriber? Log In


Younes Emami (IRI)

  • 2019 World Bronze
  • 2019 Asian Bronze
  • 2017 U23 World Bronze
  • 2017 Junior World Bronze

Younes Emami's win over James Green from the 2020 Matteo Pellicone:

null

Unlock this video, live events, and more with a subscription!

Get Started

Already a subscriber? Log In


Khetik Tsabolov (SRB)

  • 2014 World Gold
  • 2017 World Silver

Tsabolov’s win over world/Olympic champion Zaurbek Sidakov at the 2020 Russian Nationals


Murad Kuramagomedov (HUN) win over Logan Massa from the 2020 Matteo Pellicone:


Fazil Erylimaz (TUR) win over Azamat Nurikau from the 2020 World Cup


Prediction

Kyle Dake is the best wrestler in this bracket and I believe he’ll prove that by winning gold in Oslo. Though there are a number of worthy challengers in the bracket, none have shown to be on Dake’s level and it would be a major upset if Dake falls prior to the finals. As we saw in Tokyo, anything can happen but take a look below at the rest of my predictions for 74kg.


Complete Predictions:

Gold - Kyle Dake (USA)
Silver - Avtandil Kentchadze (GEO)
Bronze - Timur Bizhoev (RUS)
Bronze - Tajmuraz Salkazanov (SVK)


Check out our World Championship Rankings at 74kg here to view the top 10 wrestlers who will be competing at worlds ranked according to recent results and head-to-head matches.