2022 Senior European Championships

2022 European Championships Recap - Men's Freestyle

2022 European Championships Recap - Men's Freestyle

A recap of the most important storylines and matches in men's freestyle at the 2022 European Championships.

Mar 31, 2022 by Jon Kozak
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The European Championships have concluded in men’s freestyle with a number of notable results. Check out the biggest stories and all medal match results from the past few days in Budapest.

Amine Wins First Euro Title

Myles Amine went from competing for an NCAA title on Saturday, March 19 in Detroit to winning the European Championships on March 30 in Budapest, Hungary! In the finals, Amine took out 2021 world bronze medalist Abubakr Abakarov (AZE) in an exciting, 9-5 decision. That win marked the third time Amine has medaled at the European Championships adding to his silver medal in 2020 and bronze medal in 2021. Along with the Olympic bronze Amine won last summer, this win continues to prove Amine is among the top 86kg wrestlers in the world and will continue to challenge for world medals.

Amine's finals win over Abakarov:

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Salkazanov Takes Out Chamizo...Again!

Last year, Tajmuraz Salkazanov took everyone by surprise when he took out two-time world champion Frank Chamizo at Euros. Salkazanov proved his Euro gold last year, and win over Chamizo, was no fluke taking out Chamizo again in a thrilling, 7-5 bout to repeat as the European champion. Chamizo got on top early with a big 4-point move just 30 seconds into the match. However, Salkazanov chipped away at the lead and scored a step-out to go ahead as time expired. Both Salkazanov and Chamizo will continue to be a threat to everyone in the world at 74kg and will be two of the best to watch as the international season unfolds. 

Salkazanov and Chamizo's finals match:

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Akturk Is For Real At 92kg

Feyzullah Akturk announced his presence to everyone in the world at 92kg by winning the European Championships in dominant fashion. In his four matches at Euros, he outscored his opponents 30-4 and defeated #12 Akhmed Bataev in the finals, 6-1. Prior to this tournament, Akturk’s best result internationally was winning junior world bronze in 2017 and 2019. However, Akturk has been on an impressive run since December where he won the Turkish nationals by defeating both #10 Erhan Yaylaci and #14 Ahmet Bilici. At only 23 years old, Akturk looks ready to challenge the best in the world right now and could prove to be a threat to J’den Cox at this year’s world championships.  

Akturk's win in the finals over Bataev:

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Taha Agkul Is Europe’s King

Taha Akgul has been one of the best heavyweights in the world since he won his first world medal in 2013 and continues to prove that after winning his 8th European Championships. Akgul took out three-time world champion Geno Petriashvili in the finals in a controlling, 5-2 bout. Akgul will now take over the top seed at 125kg and, if seeds hold, he’ll be on the opposite side of the bracket of both defending world champion Amir Zare and the aforementioned Petriashvili. 

Akgul and Petriashvili's gold medal match:

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Second Day Medal Match Results

61kg Bronze: Georgi Vangelov (BUL) VFO Gamzatgadzhi Khalidov (HUN)
61kg Bronze: Eduard Grigorev (POL) VSU1 Besir Alili (MKD), 12-1
61kg Gold: Arsen Harutyunyan (ARM) VSU1 Suleyman Atli (TUR), 15-3

74kg Bronze: Giorgi Sulava (GEO) VSU1 Hrayr Alikhanyan (ARM), 17-5
74kg Bronze: Turan Bayramov (AZE) VPO1 Zurab Kapraev (ROU), 2-1
74kg Gold: Tajmuraz Salkazanov (SVK) VPO1 Frank Chamizo (ITA), 7-5

86kg Bronze: Osmen Gocen (TUR) VPO1 Uri Kalashnikov (ISR), 8-8
86kg Bronze: Sebastian Jezierzanski (POL) VPO Ivars Samusonoks (LAT), 6-0
86kg Gold: Myles Amine (SMR) VPO1 Abubakr Abakarov (AZE), 9-5

92kg Bronze: Miriani Maisuradze (GEO) VPO1 Georgii Rubaev (MDA), 7-2
92kg Bronze: Osman Nurmagomedov (AZE) VSU Damian Vilela (ESP), 11-0
92kg Gold: Feyzullah Akturk (TUR) VPO1 Ahmed Bataev (BUL), 6-1

125kg Bronze: Daniel Ligeti (HUN) VPO1 Magomedgadzhi Nurasulov (SRB), 2-1
125kg Bronze: Robert Baran (POL) VPO1 Abraham Conyedo (ITA), 3-2
125kg Gold: Taha Akgul (TUR) VPO1 Geno Petriashvili (GEO), 5-2


Older Updates Below...


Musukaev Takes out Aliyev

In the premier gold medal match of the day, Ismail Musukaev took out Olympic silver medalist Haji Aliyev in a dominant 12-1 victory. Musukaev took control at the end of the first period with a takedown to a leg lace to hold a 6-1 lead at the break. Notably frustrated, Aliyev gave up two caution points due to some extracurricular tactics - giving Musukaev an 8-1 lead. Musukaev ultimately slammed the door with a big four for the tech fall. Check out the incredible match below.

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A New Challenger At 97kg

Magomedkhan Magomedov was a junior world champion for Russia in 2018 where he defeated Zach Elam in the finals. Now representing Azerbaijan, Magomedov took home a Euro title by taking out another former Russian in the finals, Vladislav Baitsaev - 11-5. Beyond his finals performance, Magomedov also defeated world bronze medalist Elizbar Odikadze in the semi-finals, 6-4. Based on his performance at Euros, Magomedov looks capable of medaling at this year's worlds in September. Check out his finals win over Baitsaev below.

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Akgul - Petriashvili Final Set

Taha Akgul and Geno Petriashvili have been two of the best heavyweights in the world for almost 10 years and will continue their rivalry in the European Championship finals tomorrow (Wednesday). While Petriashvili took home silver at the Olympics and worlds last year and Akgul won bronze, Akgul holds the latest victory over Petriashvili. This match holds extra import as valuable seeding points are on the line. Whoever wins will likely take hold of the number 1 seed, placing them on the opposite side of the bracket to defending world champions Amir Zare.

Akgul’s win over Petriashvili from last year’s Euros:

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Amine Makes Finals

It didn’t seem to matter that Myles Amine wrestled at the NCAA tournament just 10 days ago. Amine went 2-0 on Tuesday morning and is currently sitting in the finals with a match against #20 Abubakr Abakarov for gold. Amine dominated Uri Kalashnikov (ISR) in his opening bout, 10-0 and then edged Turkey’s Osman Gocen in the semi-finals in a thrilling 6-6 match. With that semi-final win, Amine is guaranteed his third career European medal - adding to a silver in 2020 and a bronze in 2021. 

Amine’s semi-final win over Gocen:

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Chamizo Gets Opportunity For Revenge

The surprise of last year’s European Championship was Tajmuraz Salkazanov due to his wins over Razambek Zhamalov and Frank Chamizo. Both Salkazanov and Chamizo dominated their way to this year’s finals to set up the rematch for gold. Chamizo and Salkazanov are two of the best 74kg wrestlers in the world and their finals match tomorrow has the potential to be the match of the tournament.

Salkazanov’s win over Chamizo from last year’s Euros:

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Day 1 Medal Match Results:

57kg Bronze: Beka Bujiashvili (GEO) VSU Mikyay Naim (BUL), 11-0
57kg Bronze: Manvel Khndzrtsyan (ARM) VPO1 Niklas Stechele (GER), 6-2
57kg Gold: Vladimir Egorov (MKD) VPO1 Aliabbas Rzazade (AZE), 8-6

65kg Bronze: Islam Dudaev (ALB) VPO Krzysztof Bienkowski (POL), 5-0
65kg Bronze: Munir Aktas (TUR) VFA Maxim Sacultan (MDA), 4-0
65kg Gold: Ismail Musukaev (HUN) VSU1 Haji Aliyev (AZE), 12-1

70kg Bronze: Nicolai Grahmez (MDA) VFA Selahattin Kilicsallayan (TUR), 11-4
70kg Bronze: Ramazan Ramazanov (BUL) VFA Ziraddin Bayramov (AZE), 11-7
70kg Gold: Zurabi Iakobishvili (GEO) VPO1 Arman Andreasyan (ARM), 2-1

79kg Bronze: Vladimeri Gamkrelidze (GEO) VPO1 Arman Avagyan (ARM), 9-7
79kg Bronze: Muhammet Akdeniz (TUR) VPO1 Alans Amirovs (LAT), 8-4
79kg Gold: Georgios Kougioumtsidis (GRE) VPO1 Ashraf Ashirov (AZE), 7-6

97kg Bronze: Zbigniew Baranowski (POL) VPO1 Elizbar Odikadze (GEO), 4-2
97kg Bronze: Batyrbek Tsakulov (SVK) VPO Erik Thiele (GER), 7-0
97kg Gold: Magomedkhan Magomedov (AZE) VPO1 Vladislav Baitsaev (HUN),


Day 2 Finals Matchups:
61kg - Arsen Harutyunyan (ARM) vs Suleyman Atli (TUR)
74kg - Frank Chamizo (ITA) vs Tajmuraz Salkazanov (SVK)
86kg - Myles Amine (SMR) vs Abubakr Abakarov (AZE)
92kg - Ahmed Bataev (BUL) vs Feyzullah Akturk (TUR)
125kg - Taha Akgul (TUR) vs Geno Petriashvili (GEO)

*Finals begin at noon (ET)


Day 1 Recap...

Musukaev vs Aliyev Should Be FIRE

If you don’t do anything else today, you need to watch Ismael Musukaev’s quarter-final match against Islam Dudaev. Musukaev teched Dudaev in a way that perfectly demonstrates his incredible athletic and technical abilities. Musukaev, a 2019 world bronze medalist, will meet Tokyo Olympic silver Haji Aliyev tomorrow (Tuesday) in the finals at noon (ET). The two last met in December 2020 at the Individual World Cup where Musukaev won a thrilling, 7-6 match. Check out that match below.


Musukaev’s dismantling of Islam Dudaev in the Euro Quarters:

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Remember These Names At 97kg

Two Russian transfers will meet in the finals at 97kg - Vladislav Baitsaev (HUN) and Magomedkhan Magomedov (AZE). Baitsaev has been the #2 at 97kg behind Abdulrashid Sadulaev for the past five years and has had close matches with both Kyle Snyder and the aforementioned Sadulaev. Magomedov is on the younger side and was a Junior World champion for Russia in 2018. The last time these two met in competition was in the finals at the 2020 Yarygin where Baitsaev won a competitive, 7-5 match. Their rematch in the finals will be exciting and should show if either are capable of challenging for a medal this year at this year’s world championships.

Snyder’s win over Baitsaev in the 2018 Yarygin Semi-Finals:


Magomedkhan Magomedov's win over world medalist Elizbar Odikadaze:

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Azerbaijan Puts 4 Of 5 In Finals

With Russia banned from international competition, Azerbaijan is taking full advantage of the opportunity and have 4 of their first 5 wrestlers in the finals at the European Championships. Aliabbas Rzazade (57kg), Haji Aliyev (65kg), Ashraf Ashirov (AZE), and Magomedkhan Magomedov (97kg) are all sitting in the finals and have put Azerbaijan in a position to win the team race at Euros. To add to that success, the future looks bright for Azerbaijan as all of the finalists mentioned, except Aliyev, are under the age of 25.

Aliabbas Rzazade's dominant win over # Beka Bujiashvili (GEO):

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Stevan Micic Up At 65kg

Continuing his trend from the collegiate season, 57kg Olympian Stevan Micic competed up at 65kg at the European Championships. Just 9 days removed from competing at the NCAA tournament, Micic came up short in his first match at Euros, falling to Gevorg Tadevosyan (ARM), 6-4. Though he dropped the match, Micic was leading a majority of the bout and looked in his comfort zone wrestling freestyle. Look for Micic to continue to improve as he spends more time up at 65kg.

Micic's loss to Tadevosyan:

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Coming Up Next

The second day of men’s freestyle at the European championships will have a number of wrestlers you won’t want to miss. For American fans, Myles Amine will take the mat in Budapest at 86kg just 10 days after wrestling in the NCAA finals! At 74kg, Tajmuraz Salkazanov (SVK) and Frank Chamizo looked poised to meet in the finals as the #1 and #2 seeds respectively. Salkazanov, a 2021 world silver medalist, notably defeated Chamizo at last year’s European Championships, 6-2. And finally, Taha Akgul and Geno Petriashvili will look to continue their rivalry at 125kg. Akgul won the most recent matchup, at last year’s Euros, and is seeking to win his 9th European Championship!

Chamizo and Salkazanov's match from last year's European Championships:

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First-Day Finals Matchups

57kg: Aliabbas Rzazade (AZE) vs Vladimir Egorov (MKD)

65kg: Haji Aliyev (AZE) vs Ismail Musukaev (HUN)

70kg: Zurabi Iakobishvili (GEO) vs Arman Andreasyan (ARM)

79kg: Ashraf Ashirov (AZE)  vs Georgios Kougioumtsidis (GRE)

97kg: Magomedkhan Magomedov (AZE) vs Vladislav Baitsaev (HUN)


Preliminary rounds begin at 5:30 am (ET), Semi-finals start at 10:45 (ET), and Medal Rounds start at 12:00 pm (ET).