Russia Looks to Repeat at World Grappling Championships in Astana

By Marc Berman

ASTANA, Kazakhstan (September 6th) -- The 2018 World Grappling Championships start next week in Astana with wrestlers from 16+ nations expected to compete in Grappling and Grappling Gi in both men’s and women’s divisions.

In the senior division defending champion Russia will have a difficult path to repeating as Brazil has entered a variety of ex-pat countrymen into the competition, including grappling superstars the Miyao brothers. Poland will also look to challenge the European champions for the world title having taken double bronze at the continental championships.

Ukraine (silver in Grappling-Gi) and France (silver in Grappling) will bring veteran lineups to Astana and are front runners to take home team medals.

The championships will be streamed on in the United States and internationally on United World Wrestling.

Men’s Grappling

62kg (Saturday)

Magomedbek TEMEEV (RUS), who won the 2017 world championships, will not be defending his title this year. Also out is this year’s European champion Magomedov MAKHACH (RUS). Adriano  Andrè COLAZINGARI (ITA) who finished with Bronze in April at the European Championships is one to watch.

66kg (Saturday)

Gairbeg IBRAGIMOV (RUS) will be in the mix to defend his title. He is poised to do so after a first place finish in Kaspiysk earlier this year.

71kg (Saturday)

This division is without an medalists from last year’s world championships. Mikhail FRANKLIN (PAN) is a veteran grappler who will certainly be in the mix for gold.

77kg (Saturday)

Watch for Steven RAMOS (USA), he is a 5th place finisher from 2017 who has shown steady improvement in a variety of competitions. He comes to Astana be the highest placed finisher from last year’s competition.

84kg (Saturday)

With 15 competitors in the division anything can happen. Shamil MAGOMEDEV (RUS) will be favorite after a strong performance at the Europeans this year.

92kg (Saturday)

Another division without a returning medalist, seasoned competitor Avraham IBRAGIMOV (ISR) could have a medal in his future and is always in the mix for the podium. Isichko YAROSLAV (UKR) is another veteran with experience at the international level.

100kg (Saturday)

MMA fighter Nurbek ISAMILOV (KGZ) is in the hunt for the top spot on the podium. Kamil UMINSKIi (POL) is in the way with a 2nd place finish at the European championships this year and 3rd place at the World Championships last year.

100+kg (Saturday)

Last year’s champion Ruslan ABDULAEV (RUS) will not be defending his title. Watch big man Denis SUKOL (LTU) to be a potential champion.

Women’s Grappling

53kg (Saturday)

Laetitia BOES (FRA) will be present to defend her title at 53 kg is the largest women’s division in both styles, Watch for last year’s bronze medalist Svitrlana SKYYPNK (UKR) to be a potential roadblock.

58kg (Saturday)

Kateryna SHAKALOVA (UKR) and Breanna STIKKELMAN (USA) seemed destined for a rematch of the 2017 world finals. Shakalova came out on top last year but, the American will look to stand in the way of any plans to repeat.

64kg (Saturday)

Lulia TORIANSKAIA (RUS) is a favorite after coming off a gold medal performance at Europeans. We could see a finals rematch from Europeans with Irina GROMOVA (RUS). Both would need to get past defending champion Hrynko TETIANA (UKR).

71kg (Saturday)

Rimma ANUFRIEVA (RUS) finished with Bronze in Baku and reached the top spot at this year’s Europeans. Rival Irene MUNGAI (ITA) shared the 3rd place spot last year with her in Baku and fell short in the finals at Europeans. This could be a finals matchup.

71+kg (Saturday)

Veronika KORENIUGINA (UKR) is not in the mix to defend her title. Chloe BARRE (FRA), who finished second last year, is a good bet to be one of the finalists in Astana.

Men’s Grappling- GI

62kg (Sunday)

This weight features Magomedbek TEMEEV (RUS) who won gold without the Gi last year and defending champion Baranov DMYTRO (UKR).

Cristofer BARRIOS (ESP) took 3rd at Europeans this year is in the mix.

66kg (Sunday)

Gairbeg IBRAGIMOV (RUS) is a favorite at a gold metal at this year's Europeans. America Luis QUINONES (USA) returns to his second worlds team. After a strong performance at the team trials this year, Luis is on the hunt for a podium spot.

71kg (Sunday)

Alibekov GADZHIMURAD (RUS) and Francisco ALCALDE (ESP) are two likely to be vying for the top podium position. Gadzhimurad was unstoppable at Europeans this year, earning gold. While Alcalde was runner up in Baku last year.

77kg (Sunday)

In a very competitive division, Yusef KADDUR (ESP) will be defending his title. Rene KARAMANITES (PAN) is seeking revenge after falling short to Kaddur last year.

84kg (Sunday)

World silver medalist Shamil MAGOMEDOV (RUS) moves up a weight this year. Purtiyev  HAJIMURAD (AZE) took gold this year at Europeans and will be challenging for gold.

92kg (Sunday)

Piotr BAGINSKI (POL) finished with Bronze in Baku with both finalists not present this year, it could be his year.

100kg (Sunday)

Isa UMAROV (RUS) was a runner-up at the Europeans this year, he is one to watch as a potential finalist.

100+kg (Sunday)

Abdulaev RUSLAN (RUS) will be present to defend his title. Sheraz Mohammad Ahmed KHAN (PAK) is a dark horse ready to make a run at gold.


Women’s Grappling GI

53kg (Sunday)

Polina KRUPSKAIA (POL) is ready to take gold back to back years. Laetitia BOES (FRA) could be her biggest challenge this year.

58kg (Sunday)

Kateryna SHAKALOVA (UKR) is defending GI and No Gi titles this year. She could make it back to back years with double gold.

64kg (Sunday)

Last years champion Breanna STIKKELMAN (USA) moved down a weight category, fellow finalist last year Hrynko TETIANA (UKR) will be looking to step up to the top position on the podium this year.

71kg (Sunday)

Silver medalist Irene MUNGAI (ITA) is a favorite to take gold this year. Olena SUSHKO (UKR) can not be counted out either.

71+kg (Sunday)

Chloe BARRE (FRA) was a finalist last year and has the stuff to challenge for gold this year. Poland’s Magdalena ZASZCZUDLOWICZ (POL) is in the mix also for the top position.


Thursday, Sept 6th:

11:00-14:00 Elimination rounds & repechage (Grappling- Novice and Schoolboys/girls)

15:00-19:00 Elimination rounds & repechage (Grappling-Cadets, Veterans and Juniors)

19:00-20:00 Finals (All categories)

Friday, Sept 7th:  

11:00-14:00 Elimination rounds & repechage (Grappling GI- Novice and Schoolboys/girls)

15:00-19:00 Elimination rounds & repechage (Grappling GI-Cadets, Veterans and Juniors)

19:00-20:00 Finals (All categories)

Saturday, Sept 8th:

11:00-12:00 Elimination rounds & repechage (Grappling-Men 62, 66, 71, 77kg, Women 53, 58, 64kg)

12:00-13:00 Elimination rounds & repechage (Grappling-Men 84, 92, 100 +100kg, Women 71, +71kg)

18:00-19:00 Finals (All categories)

Sunday, Sept 9th:

11:00-12:00 Elimination rounds & repechage (Grappling GI-Men 62, 66, 71, 77kg, Women 53, 58, 64kg)

12:00-13:00 Elimination rounds & repechage (Grappling GI- Men 84, 92, 100 +100kg, Women 71, +71kg)

17:00-19:00 Finals (All categories)


Grappling Shines Bright in Kazakhstan as 2019 World Champions Decided

By United World Wrestling Press

NUR-SULTAN, Kazakhstan (Sept. 23 and 24) --- Athletes from 18 nations made the trip to Kazakhstan to claim individual and team world titles in No-Gi Grappling and Grappling Gi styles. The competition took place in Bary’s Arena following the Greco Roman, Women’s Wrestling and the Freestyle Wrestling World Championships. This was the second year in which Kazakhstan played host to No-gi Grappling and Grappling Gi world championships. These events are part of the lead up to Nur-Sultan hosting the 2021 World Combat Games which the Grappling styles will be a participant. 

Men’s No- Gi Grappling

In the 62KG division, Anthony Guy DE OLIVEIRA (FRA) caught the attention of many with his positional and submission expertise. Winning his first qualification match 7-0, he then scored submission victories in the Quarter and Semi-Finals to advance to a finals match showdown with Magomedbek TEMEEV (RUS). After a brief exchange on the feet, DE OLIVEIRA (FRA) pulled guard giving TEMEEV (RUS) a 2-0 lead. After defending some aggressive guard passing from the Russian, DE OLIVEIRA (FRA) was able to sweep to bring the score to 2-2. With time running short DE OLIVEIRA (FRA), was awarded 1 point for a leg lock attempt.


Dmytro Baranov (UKR) was another highlight reel at 62KG and would go on to take home a bronze medal. After falling short in the opening round against DE OLIVEIRA (FRA) in a rematch of this year's European Finals. Baranov (UKR) would score two exciting submission victories to land his spot on the podium.

Gairbeg IBRAGIMOV (RUS) capped off a dominant run at Men’s No-gi Grappling 71KG with a 15-0 technical decision in the Finals match. He used a variety of takedowns and guard passes to overwhelm his opponent. He scored submission victories over opponents from Georgia and USA on Day 1 to reach the finals.

Team Russia once again proved their dominance, putting a finalist in all 8 final’s matches. They walked away with 7 golds and 1 silver as well as the team title. Team USA advanced 4 members to medal matches with Carlos SOTO walking away with the only medal, a silver at 92KG

Women’s Grappling No-gi

Zofia Maria SZAWERNOWSKA (POL) met Kateryna SHAKALOVA (UKR) in the 58KG final. SZAWERNOWSKA (POL) jumped ahead early leading 2-0, she quickly attacked to secure the back control. SHAKALOVA (UKR) defended the back attack but got caught in a triangle choke as she worked her way out of the bad position and was again forced to defend. SHAKALOVA (UKR) found her way out of the submission attempt but, time ran out as she fell short on points 4-2.



At 64KG Meshi ROSENFELD (ISR) scored a submission victory over Iuliia TORIANSKAIA (RUS) after leading 4-3. She used an active guard during the tournament, scoring 3 submission victories, 1 victory on points and a victory by forfeit. Iuliia TORIANSKAIA (RUS) reached the final after making her Italian opponent tap-out in the Semifinals

Rimma ANUFRIEVA TROPINA (RUS) claimed her world championship title at 71KG in a come from behind victory. She trailed Magdalena Zofia LOSKA (POL) most of the match until LOSKA (POL) attacked a toe-hold. TROPINA (RUS) defended well and scrambled out and snatched up her own submission. Forcing her opponent to tap to a kneebar with less than 30 seconds remaining.

Russia once again lead all teams with 3 team members landing in the finals. Ukraine came second with 2 members in finals matches. Team France walked away with its 2nd gold medal No-gi Grappling with Claire France THEVENON’s gold medal at +71KG 

Men’s Grappling Gi

Anthony Guy DE OLIVEIRA (FRA) once again secured gold this time in Men’s Grappling Gi at 62KG. He faced off against Dmytro Baranov (UKR). Baranov (UKR) had defeated him in the finals of this year's European Championship. Tied 2-2 with 3 minutes remaining in the match, DE OLIVEIRA (FRA) hit a slick backstep pass to go-ahead 5-2.  He worked his way to the back control and finished a choke to win his 2nd gold medal of the day. Also at 62KG, hometown favorite Vladislav MUKHORTOV (KAZ) bounced back from a Quarterfinal’s points loss to submit his opponent in the bronze medal match.

Gairbeg IBRAGIMOV (RUS) had a scare early in his finals match against Abdyldabek KEKENOV (KGZ) in the 71KG final. With the matched tied 2-2, KEKENOV (KGZ) got behind IBRAGIMOV (RUS) and secured one hook from the back position forcing IBRAGIMOV (RUS) to defend his neck and back to not give up the 4 points. After scrambling back to the top position the Russian star racked up 14 more points to win big and secure his 2nd gold medal of the event.

Team Russian again advanced the most competitors to finals matches with 5, followed by team Poland with 3.  Abdurahmanhaji MURTAZALIEV made sure Kyrgyzstan walked away with gold when he submitted his opponent in the 84KG final



Women’s Grappling Gi

Zofia Maria SZAWERNOWSKA (POL) squared off against Barbara CARIANI (ITA) in the 58KG Final. SZAWERNOWSKA (POL) opted for the guard pull after a minute of standing work. CARIANI (ITA)  quickly forced her to the turtle position to avoid giving up points on the guard pass. After an exchange of leglock submissions, SZAWERNOWSKA (POL) worked her way on to the back of CARIANI (ITA) sinking in the hooks to take a 6-2 lead with 32 seconds remaining. A reversal by CARIANI (ITA) brought the score to 6-4 as time expired. Making Zofia Maria SZAWERNOWSKA (POL) champion of the world after 5 victories.

Meshi ROSENFELD (ISR) advanced past Irina GROMOVA (RUS) to win her 2nd gold medal of the day at 64KG.  ROSENFELD (ISR) pulled guard at the start of the match giving GROMOVA (RUS) the 2-0 lead. Using a slick back take from the spider-guard ROSENFELD (ISR) took a 6-4 lead. She locked in a choke and it looked as though the match would end there.  GROMOVA (RUS) displayed her toughness as she worked her way out and brought the score to 7-4. Time would run out there in an exciting finals match.