2022 Senior World Championships

92kg 2022 World Championship Preview: Will J'den Get Revenge On Ghasempour?

92kg 2022 World Championship Preview: Will J'den Get Revenge On Ghasempour?

A preview and predictions for 92kg at the 2022 Senior World Championships in Belgrade, Serbia.

Aug 19, 2022 by Jon Kozak
92kg 2022 World Championship Preview: Will J'den Get Revenge On Ghasempour?

Two-time world champ J’den Cox will represent Team USA at 92kg at this year’s world championships and will compete on September 16-17 in Belgrade, Serbia. Check out a preview of 92kg below for a full look at the field and see who the biggest challengers are in the way of Cox winning his third world title. 

The top 8 wrestlers will be seeded at 92kg at this year’s worlds based on rankings points accumulated since last fall. Last year’s world champ, Kamran Ghasempour is the #1 seed, with the 2 returning bronze medalists, Osman Nurmagomedov and J’den Cox, coming in at #2 and #3 respectively. There are a few top wrestlers who have not earned enough rankings points to be seeded and will be randomly drawn into the bracket - we’ll cover those competitors in the preview below. 

92kg Seeds:

  1. Kamran Ghasempour, IRI
  2. Osman Nurmagomedov, AZE
  3. J’den Cox, USA
  4. Adilet Davlumbayev, KAZ
  5. Mirani Maisuradze, GEO
  6. Georgii Rubaev, MDA
  7. Feyzullah Akturk, TUR
  8. Akhmed Bataev, BUL

Favorites

The best wrestlers in the field:

Kamran Ghasempour is only 25 years old and has been one of the best in the world for the past 4 years. Until last year, Ghasempour wrestled at 86kg and was stuck behind world and Olympic champion Hassan Yazdani. Ghasempour took full advantage of his new weight class at 92kg and broke through in Oslo to win his first world title by defeating J’den Cox (3-3) in the semi-finals and Russia’s Magomed Kurbanov (8-4) in the finals.  With Cox and Nurmagomedov on the opposite side of the bracket, Ghasempour is a huge favorite to make the finals to defend his title. 

Ghasempour’s win over J’den Cox at the 2021 world championships:

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J’den Cox came up just short against Ghasempour last year in the world semis, losing on criteria 3-3. As the 92kg world champ in both 2018 and 2019, Cox is the favorite to reach the finals opposite Ghasempour and will likely have his shot at revenge. Cox’s toughest test on his way to the finals will likely come against Azerbaijan’s Osman Nurmagomedov - the other bronze medalist from last year’s world championships. Cox and Nurmagomedov have never met in competition before, but Cox is far more proven and should be considered a big favorite against Nurmagomedov. 

J’den Cox’s win over Andrii Vlasov for bronze at the 2021 world championships: 

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So who wins if Ghasempour and Cox meet again in the finals this year? Their match is one of the most anticipated rematches from last year and should be decided by the slimmest of margins. Last year, Ghasempour was able to build a lead on a takedown in the first and caution in the second. The caution point ultimately proved to be the difference in the match but Cox was a second away from a last-second, match-winning step-out point. Their match last year proved how evenly matched they are and likely predicts how close their potential rematch will be. Should they meet in the finals, expect one late exchange to decide the outcome of the bout. 

Contenders

The group with the most potential to medal or challenge the favorites:

  • Erhan Yaylaci / Feyzullah Ozturk, TUR
  • Osman Nurmagomedov, AZE
  • Akhmed Bataev, BUL

As mentioned above, Osman Nurmagomedov is a returning world bronze medalist and likely the biggest threat to Cox on the bottom side of the bracket. Nurmagomedov had an outstanding 2021 worlds only losing to eventual silver medalist Magomed Kurbanov (7-4) and recording wins over Amarhajy Mahamedau (BLR), Zbigniew Baranowski (POL), and Pruthviraj Patil (IND). Despite that performance, Nurmagomedov has taken two surprise losses in 2022 against Akhmed Bataev - 4-4 criteria losses at both the Kolov in February and Euros in March. Those losses show what class Nurmagomedov belongs in - he's not a huge threat to win worlds but still a medal contender.

Nurmagomedov's win for bronze overn Amarhajy Mahamedau at the 2021 world championships:

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Akhmed Bataev is in the same category as Nurmagomedov - solid medal contender but likely not a threat to take out Ghasempour or Cox. After defeating Nurmagomedov at the Kolov and Euros, Bataev went on to lose matches to Adlan Tasuyeu (BLR) and Feyzullah Akturk respectively. Bataev hasn’t earned enough points to be seeded meaning he’ll be randomly drawn into the bracket and will be a wildcard to watch at the world championships. 

Bataev’s win over Osman Nurmagomedov:

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Turkey’s Feyzullah Akturk has proven to be a dangerous contender after winning both the U23 and Senior European Championships this Spring at 92kg. However, Akturk bumped up to 97kg at the Mediterranean Games and came away with a silver medal. If Akturk goes back down to 92kg, he’s a threat to Ghasempour and Cox. However, if Akturk bumps up to 97kg, expect Turkey to roll out Erhan Yaylaci. Last year, Yaylaci failed to place at senior worlds at 92kg but took home bronze at U23 worlds. This year, Yaylaci won silver at the Yasar Dogu and bronze at the Matteo Pellicone and even recorded a 13-3 technical superiority win over Yarygin champ Guram Chertkoev (RUS). Yaylaci can win a medal, but Akturk is a more serious threat at 92kg.

Watch Feyzullah Akturk win Euro Gold over Akhmed Bataev:

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Sleepers And Landmines

The group that isn't projected to medal right now but has big potential to "blow up" the bracket:

  • Andrii Vlasov, UKR
  • Miriani Maisuradze, GEO

Andrii Vlasov finished fifth at last year’s world championships and holds the #4 seed for this year’s worlds. So, why is he in the sleeper category? There is mystery around Vlasov as he’s only wrestled once since the 2021 world championships. Vlasov won bronze at the Ziolkowski tournament in July but lost to two “less credentialed” opponents in Jay Aiello and Poland’s Patryk Dublinowski. Simply put, Vlasov looks rusty. If he’s back to 100% at worlds, expect Vlasov to be a factor in this bracket and able to challenge for a medal.

Vlasov’s win over Georgia’s Irakli Mtsituri from 2021 worlds:

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Georgia’s Miriani Maisuradze has had a fantastic 2022 winning a bronze medal at the European Championships and silver at the Matteo Pellicone. At Euros, Maisuradze only lost to Akturk (5-2) and took out Moldova’s Georgii Rubaev in the bronze medal match, 7-2. At the Pellicone, Maisuradze lost a 10-1 decision to the aforementioned Osman Nurmagomedov but had an impressive, 6-4 victory over Erhan Yaylaci. On top of those performances, Maisuradze was an outstanding age-level wrestler and won a cadet world championship back in 2016 at 76kg. Now at 23 years old, Maisuradze is just entering his prime and looks poised to make an impact at the world championships. 

Maisuradze’s win over Erhan Yaylaci:

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Predictions

Despite the variety of contenders and landmines, Kamran Ghasempour and J’den Cox are the major favorites at 92kg. Because of that, expect them to meet in the world finals in what should be an outstanding match. Ghasempour proved victorious last year and is my pick to win gold again this year. He’s just now entering his prime and should be even better suited for the weight this year. Cox can absolutely win this match but for now, I’m sticking with the Iranian.

Full medal predictions for 92kg at the 2022 Senior World Championships:

Gold: Kamran Ghasempour, IRI

Silver: J’den Cox, USA

Bronze: Akhmed Bataev, BUL

Bronze: Feyzullah Akturk, TUR


Get to know the 92kg field even better by looking at our World Championships Rankings - a ranking of the top 10 guys in every weight class based on head-to-head wins.