2021 Senior World Championships

92kg Worlds Preview - J'den Cox Going For 3rd World Title

92kg Worlds Preview - J'den Cox Going For 3rd World Title

An in-depth preview of 92kg at the 2021 World Championships.

Sep 26, 2021 by Jon Kozak
92kg Worlds Preview - J'den Cox Going For 3rd World Title

J'den Cox is Team USA's representative at 92kg for the 2021 World Championships in Oslo, Norway. This preview will give a preview overview of Cox's international career and outline the potential competitors in his bracket at worlds.

J’den Cox is the two-time defending world champion at 92kg and will once again be the favorite to win gold in Oslo. Since Cox made the move up to 92kg in 2018, he has accumulated a 42-6 record and has outscored his opponents by a combined 309-35 in those 48 matches. Along with his general dominance at the weight, Cox elevates his performance at the world championships. During his 2018 and 2019 world title runs, J’den Cox went a combined 8-0 and outscored his opponents 47-5. 

Though J’den Cox has been one of the best freestyle wrestlers in the world over the past 5 years, he has experienced a few setbacks in 2021. After missing weight (97kg) at the Olympic Trials in April, Cox made the descent down to 92kg in June at the Poland Open. After a 4-2 win in the opening round, Cox surprisingly lost to an unranked and unaccomplished opponent - Illia Archaia (UKR), 2-1. 

Cox bounced back at the world team trials in dominant fashion and will be looking for full redemption at the World Championships. Since it’s been 2 years since his last world title, Cox has only wrestled, and defeated, three of the competitors who will be in his bracket - Azamat Dauletbekov (KAZ), Zbigniew Baranowski (POL), and Irakli Mtsituri (GEO). If Cox dominates this bracket as he has in past world championships, he will once again cement himself as one of the best pound-for-pound wrestlers in the world. 


J’den’s Cox (USA)

  • 2018 and 2019 World Gold
  • 2016 Olympic Bronze
  • 2017 World Bronze

J'den Cox's win over Zbigniew Baranowski from the 2017 World Championships:

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Cox's win over Irakli Mtsituri at the 2019 World Championships:

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The Contenders - J’den’s Toughest Test Yet

Iran and Russia are both sending wrestlers who are capable of challenging and defeating J’den Cox. Kamran Ghasempour will be Iran’s 92kg rep in Oslo and he is one of the most dominant, but unknown, wrestlers in the world. Ghasempour won the 2018 U23 World Championships by defeating Russia’s Olympic Bronze medalist Artur Naifonov. Ghasempour has been stuck behind Iran’s Hassan Yazdani for the past three years and only lost to the world and Olympic champion at 86kg. Now up at 92kg, Ghasempour cruised to an Asian Championship in April with 3 shut-out, tech falls. Ghasempour has acquired an impressive list of wins over numerous world medalists. He looks primed to medal at the 2021 World Championships and challenge J’den Cox for gold.

Russia is sending Magomed Kurbanov as their representative at 92kg. Kurbanov won this year’s Russian Nationals and European Championships but has never competed at a world championship. Despite his relative inexperience, Kurbanov has impressive past wins. He’s defeated both Irakli Mtsituri (GEO) and Osman Nurmagomedov (AZE) - who will be in the 92kg bracket at worlds. American fans might remember Kurbanov for his match against Mike Macchiavello from the 2019 Alans tournament - he defeated Macchiavello 3-0 there. Kurbanov also defeated Turkey’s Serdar Boke at the 2018 Medved - less than 2 months prior to Kurbanov and Boke’s match, Boke defeated J’den Cox at the 2018 Yasar Dogu. Kurbanov will be competitive with both Ghasempour and Cox and is able to win gold in Oslo.

Zbigniew Baranowski is the last wrestler who should be considered a contender in this bracket. Baranowski is one of the more experienced wrestlers in the field and will be competing in his fifth world championships (he was also a 2016 Olympian). Baranowski has never medaled at worlds or the Olympics but has impressive wins on his resume. Of those in the 92kg bracket, Baranowski has defeated Osman Nurmagomedov, Irakli Mtsituri and Samuel Scherrer just within this past year. Most notably, Baranowski won the 2021 Poland Open by defeating Nate Jackson (8-7) in the semis. Then, Baranowski took out the wrestler who defeated J’den Cox, Illia Archaia, in the finals, 12-3. Check out the list of competitors accomplishments and videos of their best wins below.


Kamran Ghasempour (IRI)

  • 2018 and 2019 U23 World Gold
  • 2019 and 2021 Asian Gold

Kamran Ghasempour's win over Artur Naifonov at the 2018 U23 World Championships:

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Magomed Kurbanov (RUS)

  • 2021 Euro Gold
  • 2021 Russian Nationals Gold

Kurbanov's win over Osman Nurmagomedov 2021 Euros

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Zbigniew Baranowski (POL)

  • 2019 Euro Silver

Win over Nate Jackson from the 2021 Poland Open:

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Who Could Emerge As A “Dark Horse”

The group of four at the top is clear but there is a crop of wrestlers after the top tier who could challenge for a medal. If you’re looking for a “dark horse” Irakli Mtsituri (GEO), Osman Nurmagomedov (AZE), Erhan Yaylaci (TUR), Hajy Mahamedau (BLR), and Sam Scherrer are the best contenders to cause mayhem in this bracket. All have experienced success at either the European Championships or age-level worlds and have the ability to bring home a medal from Norway. Take a look below at their accomplishments and a video of their best international win. 


Irakli Mtsituri (GEO)

  • 2019 World Bronze
  • 2017 U23 World Bronze

Mtsituri’s win for world bronze at the 2019 World Championships

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Osman Nurmagomedov (AZE)

  • 2021 Euro Bronze

Nurmagomedov’s win for bronze at the 2021 European Championships:

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Erhan Yaylaci (TUR)

  • 2020 World Cup Bronze
  • 2018 Junior World Bronze

Win in the bronze medal match at the 2020 World Cup

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Amarhajy Mahamedau (BLR)

  • 2020 Euro Bronze

Mahamdau’s win for 2020 Euro Bronze:


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Sam Scherrer (SUI)

  • 2020 and 2021 Euro Silver

Scherrer’s win over Mahamedau from the 2021 European Championships:

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Prediction

The field J’den Cox will face in Norway will be more challenging to navigate than either of the brackets he won in 2018 and 2019. Along with that, Cox will not be seeded but Kurbanov and Ghasempour will be the #1 and #2 seed respectively. That means Cox will likely have to go through the two best competitors in the bracket to win gold. I believe J’den Cox is up for the challenge and will once again prove to be the best 92kg wrestler in the world.


Full Prediction

Gold - J’den Cox (USA)
Silver - Kamran Ghasempour (IRI)
Bronze - Magomed Kurbanov (RUS)
Bronze - Zbigniew Baranowski (POL)


Check out our World Championship Rankings at 92kg here to view the top 10 wrestlers who will be competing at worlds ranked according to recent results and head-to-head matches.