2022 World Championship Rankings - Men's Freestyle

70 - Amir Yazdani

Defending world champion Magomedmurad Gadzhiev announced he will not participate at this year's world championships leaving the door open for a new world champion to be crowned. The three favorites to take the belt are Amir Yazdani, Taishi Narikuni, and Ernazar Akmataliev. Yazdani won world silver last year at 65kg and has been just as impressive up at 70kg. In February, Yazdani won the Yasar Dogu while defeating both James Green and 2021 world silver medalist Ernazar Akmataliev.

Taishi Narikuni made Japan’s world team by winning the Meiji Cup in June and had a breakout performance at the Asian Championships in April. There, Narikuni defeated the aforementioned Akmataliev in the final 4-3 and looks to be capable of winning a world title.

Zain Retherford has had an impressive season in 2022 both domestically and internationally. Not only did Retherford make Final X by taking out Jordan Oliver in a thrilling 3-match series, he also won the Kolov in February and the Tunisian ranking series event in July. At those events, Retherford notably defeated #5 Ramazanov (at the Kolov) and #10 Talgat (in Tunisia) proving he's a legitimate medal threat.

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