2021 Senior World Championships

86kg Worlds Preview - Taylor Vs Yazdani Rematch Is Imminent

86kg Worlds Preview - Taylor Vs Yazdani Rematch Is Imminent

An in-depth preview of 86kg at the 2021 World Championships.

Sep 26, 2021 by Jon Kozak
86kg Worlds Preview - Taylor Vs Yazdani Rematch Is Imminent

David Taylor is Team USA's representative at 86kg for the 2021 World Championships in Oslo, Norway. This preview will provide a brief overview of David Taylor's international career and give an in-depth preview of his potential competitors at the 2021 World Championships in Oslo, Norway.

David Taylor Going For 2 Golds in 2 Months

David Taylor hasn’t lost to an international wrestler since November of 2016 and he’s showing no signs of slowing down. Along with the winning streak, Taylor's win in the Olympic gold medal match makes him 3-0 against the clear #2 at the weight - Hassan Yazdani (IRI) and has pinned the clear #3 - Artur Naifonov (RUS). To make the case even further for Taylor, Yazdani, and Naifonov will be seeded on the same side and will likely wrestle in the semis for the chance to wrestle Taylor for gold. Taylor will be a huge favorite against any competitor on his way to making the 2021 World Finals. 


David Taylor (USA)

  • 2020 Olympic Gold
  • 2018 World Gold

David Taylor’s Win over Hassan Yazdani at the 2018 World Championships:

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4th Time The Charm For Hassan Yazdani?

Since February of 2016, Hassan Yazdani is 67-3. His 3 losses are to one-man - David Taylor. Yazdani and Taylor first wrestled at the 2017 world cup. Despite Yazdani getting out to a 3-0 lead, Taylor stormed back and was ahead 8-4 before eventually pinned Yazdani. Then, in their second match at the 2018 World Championships, Yazdani was up 6-2 before Taylor came back to win 11-6. Most recently, in their Olympic final, Yazdani was ahead 3-2 with only 18 seconds left in the match before David Taylor scored the winning takedown. Yazdani has seemingly closed the gap against Taylor but has failed to win each time. We’ll likely find out in the 2021 world finals if the 4th meeting is the one Yazdani overcomes Taylor.

Hassan Yazdani (IRI)

  • 2016 Olympic Gold
  • 2020 Olympic Silver
  • 2017 and 2019 World Gold
  • 2015 World Silver
  • 2018 World Bronze

Yazdani’s Win over Artur Naifonov from the 2019 World Championships:

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Will Artur Naifonov Enter The Taylor/Yazdani Tier?

There’s no other weight in the world where the #1, #2, and #3 wrestlers are more clearly established than at 86kg. David Taylor as the #1 hasn’t lost to anyone in the field. Yazdani as the #2 as only lost to Taylor. Then, there’s Naifonov at the #3 spot who has only lost to David Taylor and Hassan Yazdani. While their match wasn’t particularly close at the Olympics, the 7-1 loss for Naifonov to Yazdani was better than when they met the first time at the 2019 World Championships. There, Yazdani pinned Naifonov in the first period and was moving him all around the mat with his patented underhooks. Naifonov will likely have another shot at Yazdani and will need to make major adjustments to have any hope for victory.

Artur Naifonov (RUS)

  • 2020 Olympic Bronze
  • 2019 World Bronze

Naifonov's win over Boris Makoev at the 2021 European Championships:

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The Best Of The Rest

While it’s highly unlikely anyone will knock off Taylor, Yazdani, or Naifonov, there are a number of wrestlers who can compete for the second bronze medal. Osmen Gocen and Boris Makoev look to be the most likely of accomplishing that feat. Boris Makoev, though he may be past his prime now, did defeat J’den Cox at the 2017 World Championships. Makoev also has wins over Abubakr Abakarov, Sandro Aminashvili and Azamat Dauletbekov. Gocen doesn’t have the same experience as Makoev but does have a head-to-head win over Makoev from the 2021 European Olympic Games Qualifier. At only 24 years old, Gocen has shown continued improvement over the years and looks ready to bring home his first senior world medal.


Osman Gocen (TUR)

  • 2020 World Cup Bronze
  • 2019 U23 World Bronze
  • 2016 Junior World Silver

Win over Boris Makoev at the 2021 European Olympic Games Qualifier:

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Boris Makoev (SVK)

  • 2017 World Silver
  • 2020 Euro Bronze

Win over J’den Cox from the 2017 World Championships:

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Prediction

It would be incredibly surprising if we see anything but David Taylor vs Hassan Yazdani in the world finals. Yazdani will likely wrestle a similar match to their Olympic final where he focused on defense rather than trying to engage with Taylor in scrambles and potential scoring positions. If Yazdani has the same approach, I expect the same result - David Taylor coming out on top of a 1-2 point match. If Yazdani attempts to be more offensive, Taylor should be able to widen the gap and win a more controlling bout. Whatever the outcome, Taylor and Yazdani will put on a show in Oslo.


Complete Predictions:
Gold - David Taylor (USA)
Silver - Hassan Yazdani (IRI)
Bronze - Artur Naifonov (RUS)
Bronze - Osman Gocen (TUR)


Check out our World Championship Rankings at 86kg here to view the top 10 wrestlers who will be competing at worlds ranked according to recent results and head-to-head matches.