Ranking Series

Yasar Dogu to Determine Overwhelming Number of World Championship Top-Four Seeds

By Eric Olanowski

VEVEY, Switzerland (July 16) -- After several months of jockeying for individual Ranking Series points, the final freestyle Ranking Series event of the year, and the pre-seeds for the World Championships in Nur-Sultan, are only a month away. The Yasar Dogu will take place from July 11 to 14 in Istanbul with more than 370 wrestlers expected in freestyle and women’s wrestling.

With many top-four seeds up for grabs, there is still a lot at stake -- 18 Ranking Series points to be exact. Of the current 40 top-four seeds, five wrestlers have seized the No. 1 seed, 17 wrestlers have cemented at least a top-four seed, leaving 23 seeds open for the taking. Wildly enough, there are still 150 non-seeded wrestlers that can steal a seed for September's World Championships. 

How Many Non-Seeded Wrestlers Can Still Earn A Seed?
57kg - 7
61kg - 7
65kg - 36
70kg - 41
74kg - 1
79kg - 36
85kg - 7
92kg - 5
97kg - 6
125kg - 4

Atli and Uguev Locked up Top-Two Seeds at 57kg
Suleyman ATLI (TUR) and Zavur UGUEV (RUS) will be the top two seeds at 57kg, but seven wrestlers can still steal the third or fourth seed from current holders Yuki TAKAHASHI (JPN) and Nurislam SANAYEV (KAZ).

Defending European champion Suleyman Atli and Budapest world champion Zavur Uguev have 61 and 60 points respectively and have built at least a 19-point lead over their closest competition. Although Atli and Uguev can flip flop each other for the first and second spots, it's numerically impossible for anyone to pass them. 

Last year’s world bronze medalist Yuki Takahashi and Budapest silver medalist Nurislam Sanayev are ranked third and fourth respectively. Seven wrestlers can steal a third or fourth seed from Takahashi and Sanayev. Of those seven wrestlers within striking distance, Georgi VANGELOV (BUL) and Givi DAVIDOVI (ITA) are the only two entered into the Yasar Dogu. Vangelov is ranked eighth with 28 points and needs at least 13 points to jump into a top-four seed; and Davidovi, who is ranked ninth with 26 points, requires at least 15 points to earn a seed.

Top 10 at 57kg
61 Suleyman ATLI (TUR)
60 Zavur UGUEV(RUS)
40 Nurislam SANAYEV (KAZ)
34 Muslim SADULAEV (RUS)
32 Thomas Patrick GILMAN (USA)
28 Georgi Valentinov VANGELOV (BUL)
26 Darthe CAPELLAN (CAN)

“Big Move Bonne” Nabs First Seed at 61kg
The only wrestler that's locked up their seed at 61kg is defending world champion Yowlys BONNE RODRIGUEZ (CUB). "Big Move Bonne" has 76 points, which is 23 points ahead of Joseph COLON (USA), who has 53 points.

Gadzhimurad RASHIDOV (RUS) and Beka LOMTADZE (GEO) are the third and fourth-ranked wrestlers respectively, but the Russian departed 61kg and moved up to the Olympic weight category of 65kg. Rashidov’s bump in weight slides Lomtadze into the third position and inserts Romania's Nikolai OKHLOPKOV into the mix. He'll move into the fourth seed at 61kg.

There are now six wrestlers who are within eight points of fourth-seeded Okhlopkov, but only two of those wrestlers have entered their names into the Yasar Dogu. They're No. 5 Rahul AWARE (IND) and No. 10 Behnam EHSANPOOR (IRI). Aware is only two points away from earning a seed at 61kg, while Ehsanpoor sits eight points out from jumping into the No. 4 slot.

Top 10 at 61kg
53 Joseph Daniel COLON (USA) *Not expected to compete for USA*
40 Gadzhimurad RASHIDOV (RUS)
28 Nikolai OKHLOPKOV (ROU)
26 Rahul Balasaheb AWARE (IND)
25 Tuvshintulga TUMENBILEG (MGL)
21 Mohamed Al Amine LAKEL (ALG)\
20 Mohammadbagher Esmaeil YAKHKESHI (IRI)
20 Behnam Eshagh EHSANPOOR (IRI)

Bajrang and Otoguro Will Be Top-Two Seeds at 65kg
Perhaps the most wide-open weight heading into the final Ranking Series event is at 65kg. Outside of India's top-ranked Bajrang BAJRANG and Japan's Takuto OTOGURO locking up their top-two seeds, there are still 36 wrestlers who could sneak into at least a fourth seed.

As the rankings sit right now, Akhmed CHAKAEV (RUS) and Selahattin KILICSALLAYAN (TUR) are ranked third and fourth respectively. There are six wrestlers within a distance of third-ranked Chakaev, but 36 wrestlers can still steal the fourth-spot from European silver medalist Kilicsallayan. Of those 36 wrestlers who can take the four-spot from the Turkish wrestler, only No. 21 Kaireddine BEN TELILI (TUN), No. 28 Peiman Bioukagha BIABANI (IRI), and No. 40 Haji ALI (BRN) will make the trip to Istanbul in July.

Top 10 at 65kg  
78 Bajrang BAJRANG (IND)
60 Takuto OTOGURO (JPN)
41 Akhmed CHAKAEV (RUS)
32 Selahattin KILICSALLAYAN (TUR)        
32 Nachyn KUULAR (RUS)
30 Sayatbek OKASSOV (KAZ)
28 Niurhun SKRABIN (BLR)
25 Alejandro VALDES TOBIER (CUB)           
22 Haji ALIYEV (AZE)

Gazimagomedov Leads By 52 Points, Seals up No. 1 Seed at 70kg
Russia's defending world champion Magomedrasul GAZIMAGOMEDOV has amassed 92 points and has cemented his spot as the weights No. 1 seed. Bahrain's second-ranked Adam BATIROV jumped up to the Olympic weight of 74kg for the Asian Championships but is moving back down to 70kg for the Yasar Dogu. It's not yet clear what weight Batirov will go for the World Championships.

After Gazimagomedov and Batirov, the other top-four ranked wrestlers are Nurkozha KAIPANOV (KAZ)  and Andriy KVYATKOVSKYY (UKR). Kaipanov, the Asian and Sassari champion, is ranked third with 36 points, and Kvyatkovskyy is ranked fourth with 30 points.

Gazimagomedov is the only wrestler who has locked up his seed for the World Championships. There are still eight wrestlers who can catch Batirov, but only No. 8 Fares LAKEL (ALG) (26 points) will compete at the Yasar Dogu.

Kaipanov has 15 wrestlers chasing him, while 41 wrestlers are within striking distance of Kvyatkovskyy. The wrestlers who can overtake either the third or fourth spot that are entered into the Yasar Dogu are Lakel, Kaya, Mustafayev, and No. 44 Ali UMARPASHAEV (BUL).

Top 10 at 70kg  
92 Magomedrasul GAZIMAGOMEDOV (RUS)
36 Nurkozha KAIPANOV(KAZ)
28 Yones Aliakbar EMAMICHOGHAEI (IRI)
26 Fares LAKEL (ALG)

Sidakov, Chamizo, and Burroughs Cement Seeds at 74kg
Arguably the most straightforward weight class in the world is 74kg. Although there's only one wrestler who could sneak into a top-four seed, only 18 points separate first-seeded Zaurbek SIDAKOV (RUS) from fourth-seeded Avtandil KENTCHADZE (GEO).

Italy's Frank CHAMIZO MARQUEZ won the Sassari in his home country and jumped from fourth to second, and finds himself four points behind the Russian defending world champion. Chamizo has already entered his name into the Yasar Dogu. If he at least places, he'll take over the top spot at the 2019 World Championships, pitting him against world runner-up Kentchadze in the semifinals.

America's Budapest world bronze medalist Jordan BURROUGHS sits in the third spot, 13 points behind top-ranked Sidakov.

Unlike many of the other weight classes, there's only one wrestler who could sneak into the top four of the world rankings, and that's Bekzod ABDURAKHMONOV (UZB). Abdurkhmonov would have to win the Yasar Dogu to jump into the top four. If he won the final Ranking Series event,  he'd have one more point than Georgia's fourth-ranked Avtandil Kentchadze.

Top 10 at 74kg
76 Zaurbek SIDAKOV (RUS)
63 Jordan Ernest BURROUGHS(USA)
58 Avtandil KENTCHADZE (GEO)
38 Azamat NURYKAU (BLR)
34 Daniyar KAISANOV (KAZ)
28 Yakup GOR (TUR)
28 Amit Kumar DHANKHAR (IND)
28 Timur BIZHOEV (RUS)

Dake and Hasanov Tied For First at 79kg Heading into Yasar Dogu
The top-three finishers respectively at the World Championships: Kyle DAKE (USA), Jabrayil HASANOV (AZE), and Akhmed GADZHIMAGOMEDOV (RUS) have locked up the top three seeds at the World Championships. Dake and Hasanov both have 60 points, but the American holds criteria because of his Budapest World Championship placement. Gadzhimagmedov sits three points behind the pair of world finalists with 57 points. The trio of top-three guys have built at least a 27-point lead over fourth-ranked Galymzhan USSERBAYEV (KAZ) who heads into the Yasari Dogu with 30 points.

Though Usserbayev's fourth seed is in jeopardy because he's not entered into the Yasar Dogu, and four wrestlers who can steal the spot are entered. The four wrestlers who are within 10 points of overthrowing Usserbayev are No.5 Fateh BENFERDJALLAH (ALG), No. 6 Parveen RANA (IND), No. 11 Muhammet KOTANOGLU (TUR), and No. 17 Bahman TEYMOURI (IRI).

Top 10 at 79kg
60 Kyle Douglas DAKE (USA)
60 Jabrayil HASANOV (AZE)
30 Galymzhan USSERBAYEV (KAZ)                       
28 Parveen RANA (IND)
26 Unurbat PUREVJAV (MGL)
26 Omaraskhab NAZHMUDINOV (ROU)
26 Alexander David DIERINGER (USA)

Erdin Locks up Top-Seed at 86kg After Taylor Undergoes Knee Surgery
Reigning 86kg world champion David TAYLOR (USA) recently had surgery on his knee and was forced to sit out of America's World Team selection tournament, Final X -- meaning he'll miss the 2019 World Championships. Taylor's absence means two things. First, Turkey's world runner-up Fatih ERDIN has locked up the 86kg top seed. Second, Taylor will forfeit his No. 2 seed, which will move up the third through fifth-ranked wrestlers.

Four points separates Iran's soon-to-be second-ranked Hassan YAZDANICHARATI (43 points) and Spain's eventual fourth-ranked Taimuraz FRIEV (39 points). But, Slovakia's third-ranked Boris MAKOEV (39 points) and Spain's Taimuraz Friev won't wrestle at the Yasar Dogu. Makoev and Friev's absence leaves the door open for the six wrestlers that are looking to steal a seed. Currently, India's ninth-ranked Deepak PUNIA (28 points), who finds himself 11 points away from a world seed, is the only wrestler that could overthrow Friev that'll compete at the Yasar Dogu.

*Top-ranked Erdin and second-ranked Yazdanicharati will both wrestle at the Yasar Dogu.

Top 10 at 86kg
84 Fatih ERDIN (TUR)
40 Boris MAKOEV (SVK)
34 Vladislav VALIEV (RUS)
28 Deepak PUNIA (IND)
26 Akhmed AIBUEV (FRA)

Cox Without of Reach, Will Be Top Seed at 92kg
Defending world champion J'Den COX (USA) has a commanding 19-point lead over second-ranked Alireza KARIMIMACHIANI (IRI) and has locked up the No. 1 seed at 92kg at the World Championships.

There can only be one wrestler per nation per weight at the World Championships so Russia will be forced to forfeit one of their two top-four seeds. Right now, Magomed KURBANOV holds the third seed and a two-point advantage over fellow Russian and fourth-seeded Batyrbek TCAKULOV. Kurbanov has 44 points, and Tcakulov has 42 points.

After Russia drops one of their two top-four seeds, the fourth seed will likely go to Georgia's seventh-ranked Irakli MTSITURI, who has 30 points. The reason being, fifth-ranked Atsushi MATSUMOTO (JPN) and sixth Ivan YANKOUSKI (BLR) have transitioned to the Olympic weight of 97kg.

Mtsituri taking over the No. 4 spot means that if Turkey's eighth-ranked Ibrahim BOLUKBASI and India's ninth-ranked Viky VIKY score more than five points at the Yasar Dogu, they will gain the No. 4 seed at the World Championships.

Top 10 at 92kg
78 J'Den Michael Tbory COX (USA)
44 Magomed KURBANOV (RUS)
42 Batyrbek TCAKULOV(RUS)
41 Atsushi MATSUMOTO (JPN)
30 Irakli MTSITURI (GEO)
26 Ibrahim BOLUKBASI (TUR)
25 Viky VIKY (IND)
22 Ulziisaikhan BAASANTSOGT (MGL)

Sadulaev and Snyder Will Be Top Two Seeds At 97kg 
The two pound-for-pound kings Abdulrashid SADULAEV (RUS) and Kyle SNYDER (USA) have locked up the top two seeds at 97kg and are only separated by two points heading into the final Ranking Series event. "The Russian Tank" has 80 points, which is good enough for the No. 1 ranking. "Captain America" has 78 points and is ranked No. 2 at 97kg.

The third and fourth seeds are still open for the takers. Right now, Mongolia's Batzul ULZIISAIKHAN and Georgia's Elizbar ODIKADZE are the third and fourth-ranked wrestlers respectively. Italy's Abraham CONYEDO RUANO still has a chance to take over the third spot with a win in Istanbul, while five others can potentially steal the fourth spot from Odikadze.

Of those who can sneak into a top-four seed, No. 5 Conyedo Ruano, Iran's seventh-ranked Reza YAZDANI and Turkey's tenth-ranked Baki SAHIN are entered into the Yasar Dogu.

Top 10 at 97kg
80 Abdulrashid SADULAEV (RUS)
78 Kyle Frederick SNYDER (USA)
41 Elizbar ODIKADZE (GEO)
37 Abraham de Jesus CONYEDO RUANO (ITA)
34 Reza Mohammad Ali YAZDANI (IRI)
32 Aliaksandr HUSHTYN (BLR)
24 Baki SAHIN (TUR)

Akgul Needs One Point to Ensure He’s on Opposite Side as Petriashvili
As it sits right now, Georgia's top-ranked Geno PETRIASHVILI (88 points) has apprehended the No. 1 seed at the World Championships and would meet Turkey's Olympic champion and fourth-ranked Taha AKGUL in the semifinals.  But, that has the potential to change over the next month because Taha will wrestle at the Yasar Dogu in his home country.

Taha and Russia's third-ranked Anzor KHIZRIEV are tied with 50 points apiece, but Khizriev holds the advantage because he placed higher at the Budapest World Championships. The Turkish big man cannot catch China's second-ranked DENG Zhiwei, so his goal at the Yasar Dogu is to pick up at least a point. That'll put him ahead of Khizriev, but more importantly, get him away from his biggest rival Petriashivili at the World Championships.

Outside of the top four, there is a quartet of wrestlers who can still find themselves sitting in the top-four with a promising performance at the Yasar Dogu. Of those four, India's Sumit SUMIT (36 points) is the only one entered that has the potential to catch Khizriev and Akgul. Sumit would have to score at least 15 points and hope that Taha does not wrestle to grab the fourth seed.

Top 10 at 125kg
77 Zhiwei DENG(CHN)
50 Anzor Ruslanovitch KHIZRIEV (RUS)
50 Taha AKGUL (TUR)
45 Nicholas Edward GWIAZDOWSKI (USA)
38 Daniel LIGETI(HUN)
36 Sumit SUMIT (IND)
22 Oleg BOLTIN  (KAZ)

*The United States, who usually sends their first team to the Yasar Dogu, has not entered anyone as of Monday night. 

Ranking Series

Nine European Wrestlers Garner Greco-Roman Top Seed Heading into Nur-Sultan

By Eric Olanowski

*These seeds are based off the current unofficial entries United World Wrestling has received as of August 21. These seeds are subject to change.

VEVEY, Switzerland (August 23) --- Nine European wrestlers and Asia's KIM Hyeonwoo (KOR) own a Greco-Roman top seed heading into the 2019 World Championships (September 14-22) in Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan. 

Here Are the No. 1 Seeds at Each Weight:
55kg - Eldaniz AZIZLI (AZE)
60kg - Sergey EMELIN (RUS)
63kg - Stepan MARYANYAN (RUS) 
67kg - Artem SURKOV (RUS)
77kg - Hyeonwoo KIM (KOR)
82kg - Emrah KUS (TUR)
87kg - Zhan BELENIUK (UKR)
97kg - Musa EVLOEV (RUS)
130kg - Sergey SEMENOV (RUS)

Eldaniz AZIZLI (AZE) will look to defend his 55kg world title in Nur-Sultan. He's the No. 1 seed at 55kg. (Photo: Gabor Martin)

Azizli Atop 55kg Seeds

Expected 55kg Top-Four Seeds
1. Eldaniz AZIZLI (AZE)
2. Ilkhom BAKHROMOV (UZB) 
4. Abdelkarim FERGAT (ALG) 

Returning world champ Eldaniz AZIZLI (AZE) sits atop the seeds at 55kg at the World Championships. Nur-Sultan will be Azizli’s second competition of the year at the weight where he claimed his first career world title. His first competition at 55kg this season was in Bucharest, Romania, at the European Championships. The reigning world champion fell short of reaching the top of the podium but fought his way back to a bronze-medal finish. 

Ilkhom BAKHROMOV (UZB) is the second-seeded wrestler at 55kg. The 2019 Asian champion will make his second appearance at a senior-level World Championship. He'll try to improve on his ninth-place finish from last year's World Championships. 

Returning world medalists Zholaman SHARSHENBEKOV (KGZ) and Ekrem OZTURK (TUR), who are ranked third and fourth, respectively, won’t make the trip to Nur-Sultan. They'll vacate their seed to Nugzari TSURTSUMIA (GEO). 

The reigning U23 world and European champion will be making his first showing at the World Championships as the third-seeded wrestler. This season, Tsurtsumia finished in eighth place at the European Championships but won gold at the Wladyslaw Pytlasinski Cup – which was the last time he's competed this season.

Algeria’s African champion Abdelkarim FERGAT (ALG) closes out the top-four seeded wrestlers at 55kg. 

Sergey EMELIN (RUS) enters the World Championships as the No. 1 seed at 60kg. (Photo: Max Rose-Fyne) 

Emelin Enters Worlds As Top Seed at 60kg

Expected 60kg Top-Four Seeds
1. Sergey EMELIN (RUS) 
2. Seunghak KIM (KOR) 
3. Victor CIOBANU (MDA) 

Sergey EMELIN (RUS) started the season as the No. 1 ranked wrestler in the world at 60kg – and that’s exactly how he heads into Nur-Sultan. The Russian is the top-seeded guy at 60kg after winning a world title last season and finishing this year’s European Championships in second place. He also finished in first place at this season’s Dan Kolov. 

Arguably the most surprising run to a top-four seed came from Korea’s KIM Seunghak. He’ll be seeded second at 60kg. After a disappointing 28th-place finish in Budapest, Kim not only competed but earned points at every Ranking Series event this season. The Korean fell in the bronze-medal bout of the Grand Prix of Zagreb but tallied a trio of gold medals at the Hungarian Grand Prix, the City of Sassari Tournament and the Oleg Karavaev. 

Returning world runner-up Victor CIOBANU (MDA) is seeded third at 60kg. The Moldovan fell to Emelin in the world finals last year, but exacted revenge and became his nations first-ever European champion with a win over the Russian in Bucharest earlier this year. 

Croatia’s two-time Ranking Series bronze medalist Ivan LIZATOVIC (CRO) rounds out the top-four seeds at 60kg. 

Stepan MARYANYAN (RUS) is undefeated on the season and moves into the World Championships as the top seed at 63kg. (Photo: Gabor Martin)

Maryanyan Moves into Worlds as 63kg No. 1 Seed 

Expected 63kg Top-Four Seeds
1. Stepan MARYANYAN (RUS) 
2. Erbatu TUO (CHN) 
3. Shinobu OTA (JPN) 
4. Slavik GALSTYAN (ARM) 

The first seeded wrestler at 63kg is Stepan MARYANYAN (RUS). The Russian has been one of the most dominant wrestlers in the world over the past year. Since winning his world title, top-seeded Maryanyan has won the European Championships, European Games and the Dan Kolov. 

China’s returning world bronze medalist TUO Erbatu (CHN) is seeded second at 63kg. This season, Tuo has competed in five events and medaled at four of them. The Chinese wrestler won the Asian Championships and Wladyslaw Pytlasinski Cup, finished in second place at the Hungarian Grand Prix, and finished in third place at the Dan Kolov. The lone competition he didn’t medal at was the final Ranking Series event of the year, the Oleg Karavaev. 

Rio Olympic silver medalist Shinobu OTA (JPN) owns the third seed at the World Championships. Ota has won a pair of gold medals this season and has only lost one match. His pair of golds came at the Grand Prix of Hungary and Oleg Karavaev. He also finished in second place at the Dan Kolov, where he dropped his finals bout to top-seeded Maryanyan. 

The fourth-seeded wrestler at 63kg will be Slavik GALSTYAN (ARM). The Armenian wrestler placed fifth at the European Championships this season. That was his lone appearance in 2019. 

Artem SURKOV (RUS) sails into Nur-Sultan atop the 67kg top-four seeds. (Photo: Gabor Martin)

Surkov Sails into Worlds as Top Seed at 67kg

Expected 67kg Top-Four Seeds
1. Artem SURKOV (RUS) 
2. Hansu RYU (KOR) 
3. Gevorg SAHAKYAN (POL) 

Reigning world champion Artem SURKOV (RUS) is the first seeded wrestlers at 67kg. Since winning his world title, he’s finished top-three at a trio of events but failed to reach the top of the podium. This season, Surkov was a runner-up at the Dan Kolov and Grand Prix of Germany, and a bronze medalist at the European Championships. 

Korea’s two-time world champion RYU Hansu (KOR) begins his quest to reach the top of the world podium for a third time as the second seed at 67kg. This season, Ryu started his season winning the Hungarian Grand Prix, and Asian Championships. Then, Ryu won back-to-back Ranking Series medals at the City of Sassari Tournament and Oleg Karavaev. 

Gevorg SAHAKYAN (POL) and Meiirzhan SHERMAKHANBET (KAZ) are the third and fourth-seeded wrestlers, respectively. 

Aik MNATSAKANIAN (BUL) moved into the No. 1 seed after reinging world champion Frank STAEBLER (GER) moved down to the Olympic weight of 67kg. (Photo: Gabor Martin)

Mnatsakanian Motors His Way to No. 1 Seed at 72kg

Expected 72kg Top-Four Seeds
2. Balint KORPASI (HUN) 
3. Abuiazid MANTSIGOV (RUS) 
4. Hujun ZHANG (CHN) 

Germany’s three-time world champion Frank STAEBLER (GER) moved down to the Olympic weight of 67kg and will surrender his top seed to Aik MNATSAKANIAN (BUL). After finishing last year’s World Championships with a bronze medal, Mnatsakanian has made it to the podium at four straight senior-level events. The Bulgarian won the Ion Corneanu & Ladislau Simon Memorial, finished in second at the Dan Kolov, and closed out the European Championships and the Grand Prix of Zagreb with bronze medals. 

The second-seeded wrestler at 72kg is returning world runner-up Balint KORPASI (HUN). In his two appearances this season, Korpasi reached the finals. He won the German Grand Prix but fell in the finals of the City of Sassari Tournament. 

This year’s 72kg European champion Abuiazid MANTSIGOV (RUS) will be the third-seeded wrestler in Nur-Sultan, while ZHANG Hujun (CHN) rounds out the top four seeds at 72kg.

KIM Hyeonwoo (KOR) is the lone non-European No. 1 seed. (Photo: Gabor Martin) 

Kim Keeps Top Seed at 77kg

Expected 77kg Top-Four Seeds
1. Hyeonwoo KIM (KOR) 
2. Viktor NEMES (SRB) 
3. Tamas LORINCZ (HUN) 
4. Pavel LIAKH (BLR) 

Olympic champion KIM Hyeonwoo (KOR) is the lone non-European wrestler who owns a top seed at the World Championships. This year’s Asian champion competed in three of four Ranking Series events and medaled in each of his appearances. He won the City of Sassari Tournament and took home bronze at the Grand Prix of Zagreb and Hungarian Grand Prix. 

Serbia’s 2017 world champion Viktor NEMES is the second-seeded wrestler at 77kg. Last year’s world bronze medalist won titles this season at the Hungarian Grand Prix and G. Kartozia & V. Balavadze Price. He also closed out the European Championships in third place. 

Tamas LORINCZ (HUN) and Pavel LIAKH (BLR) will be seeded third and fourth respectively at 77kg. 

Emrah KUS (TUR) will be looking to improve his second-place finish from last year's World Championships. He comes into Nur-Sultan as the top seed at 82kg. (Photo: Kadir Caliskan)

Kus Knots Top Seed at 82kg

Expected 82kg Top-Four Seeds
1. Emrah KUS (TUR) 
3. Saeid Morad ABDVALI (IRI) 

Turkey’s 2018 Budapest world runner-up Emrah KUS comes into Nur-Sultan as the top-seeded wrestler at 82kg. 

Viktar SASUNOUSKI (BLR) owns the second seed at 82kg. Though he finished in seventh place at the European Championships, he won 2019 titles at the Vehbi Emre & Hamit Kaplan Tournament and the Oleg Karavaev Memorial. 

The final two seeded wrestlers at 82kg will be continental champs Saeid ABDVALI (IRI) and Rajbek BISULTANOV (DEN). Third-seeded Abdvali is the reigning Asian champion, while fourth-seeded Bisultanov is the reigning European champion. 

Zhan BELENIUK (UKR) is looking to win his first world title since 2015. He'll be the top seed at 87kg. (Photo: Gabor Martin)

Beleniuk Bullies Way to Top Seed at 87kg

Expected 87kg Top-Four Seeds
2. Metehan BASAR (TUR) 
3. Viktor LORINCZ (HUN) 
4. Islam ABBASOV (AZE) 

Zhan BELENIUK (UKR) and Metehan BASAR (TUR) have been battling for 87kg supremacy for the last twelve months. But, it’s the Ukrainian wrestler who owns the top seed in Nur-Sultan. 

Since dropping last year’s world finals to Basar, Beleniuk has won the European Championships and the European Games, while the Turkish wrestler has failed to medal in his four showings this season. 

Viktor LORINCZ (HUN) comes into the World Championships as the third seed. Since his 14th-place finish in Budapest last year, Lorincz has been one of the most consistent wrestlers in the world. He’s won the Grand Prix Zagreb, Hungarian Grand Prix and the City of Sassari Tournament. He also finished in third place at the European Games.

European Games and championship runner-up Islam ABBASOV (AZE) rounds out the top-four seeded wrestlers at 87kg. 

Musa EVLOEV (RUS) comes to Kazakhstan as the No. 1 seed at 97kg. (Photo: Gabor Martin)

Evloev Enters World Championships as Top Seed at 97kg

Expected 97kg Top-Four Seeds
1. Musa EVLOEV (RUS) 
2. Kiril MILOV (BUL) 
3. Tracy HANCOCK (USA) 
4. Mihail KAJALA (SRB) 

Musa EVLOEV (RUS) hasn’t budged since winning his world title last year. He’ll be the top-seeded wrestler at 97kg – and deservedly so. This season, Evloev has won the Dan Kolov, European Championships and the Grand Prix of  Germany. 

Reigning world and European runner-up Kiril MILOV (BUL) will be seeded second at 97kg. 

Tracy HANCOCK (USA) will be seeded third at 97kg. Hancock has competed seven times during this season and finished with at least a bronze medal at every tournament. The American won the Hungarian Grand Prix and Dave Schultz Memorial and finished in second place at three competitions -- including the Pan-American Championships and Pan-American Games. He also closed out the Grand Prix of Zagreb and Thor Masters with bronze medals. 

The fourth-seeded wrestler at 97kg is returning world bronze medalist Mihail KAJALA (SRB). 

Sergey SEMENOV (RUS) soared to the top seed at 130kg after winning a world title and continental bronze medal. (Photo: Gabor Martin)

Semenov Soars to Top Seed at 130kg

Expected 130kg Top-Four Seeds
1. Sergey SEMENOV (RUS) 
2. Adam COON (USA) 
3. Minseok KIM (KOR) 
4. Heiki NABI (EST) 

Sergey SEMENOV (RUS) is the fifth Russian wrestler who owns a top seed at the World Championships. Since winning his first world title at last year’s World Championships, Semenov has competed twice and finished with bronze medals at both competitions. Those pair of bronze medals came at the European Championships and European Games. 

Returning world silver medalist Adam COON (USA) is the second seed at 130kg. Though he won the Pan-American Championships, Coon finished in a disappointing eighth place at the Pan-American Games last month. 

KIM Minseok (KOR) and Heiki NABI (EST) will be seeded third and fourth, respectively, at 130kg.