Yarygin Rewind: Bekbulatov Edged Chakaev, Won Fourth Yarygin Title

By Eric Olanowski

KRASNOYARSK, Russia (January 10) - The 30th Annual Ivan Yarygin, United World Wrestling’s first Ranking Series event of the year, which is often referred to as the “Toughest Tournament in the World,” returns to Siberia’s central city, Krasnoyarsk, on January 24. 

Over the next two weeks, we’ll be rewinding and taking a look back at some of the biggest storylines from the 29th Annual Ivan Yarygin. 

We kick things off by looking at one of the deepest weight classes of last year's tournament, 65kg. This weight featured an all-Russian gold-medal bout, where Ilias BEKBULATOV edged two-time world bronze medalist, Akhmed CHAKAEV (RUS). 

In the finals, Bekbulatov, the 2017 European champion and 2018 European runner-up, commanded the 3-0 lead, scoring an inactivity point and a second-period takedown before giving up a step out and a pair of fleeing the hold points. Bekbulatov ultimately held on to win on criteria, 3-3 and reached the top of the podium at the Ivan Yarygin for the fourth time. 

A Bekbulatov and Chakaev rematch to determine Russia’s world team spot was expected to happen at the 2018 Poland Open, but Bekbulatov unexpectedly pulled out of the tournament, handing Russian National champion Chakaev a trip to Budapest. Chakaev went to Hungary and finished the 2018 World Championships with a bronze medal. 

Russia’s 2017 U23 world champion Nachyn KUULAR and Turkey’s 2018 European bronze medalist Selahattin KILICSALLAYAN finished in third place. 

Cuba’s 2018 world champion (at 61kg) Yowlys BONNE RODRIGUES (CUB), 2018 Asian Games bronze medalist Sirojiddin KHASANOV (UZB), and 2016 world champion Logan STIEBER (USA) were among the participants who failed to medal at this weight. 

The Ivan Yarygin registration closes on January 10 and early unofficial entries are expected to be released within the next week.