U.S. stars Smith, Mango in new FILA World Greco rankings, expanded to the new weight classes

By Bill May | Feb. 05, 2014, 9:08 a.m. (ET)
CORSIER-SUR-VEVEY, Switzerland (February 4) – The FILA World Wrestling Rankings begin their second year with a new system of weights for each style and an expanded list of the top wrestlers in each category.

The Greco-Roman rankings for January, the first compiled for 2014, were based on the results of the Herman Kare tourney in Kouvola (FIN), the Ivan Poddubny in Tyumen (RUS) and the Yadegar Imam Cup in Tehran.

A total of 20 wrestlers were listed in each of the eight new weight categories, or 160 wrestlers ranked in each style – compared to the top 105 wrestlers in seven categories (15 per weight) in 2013.

Some challenges have emerged as wrestlers and coaches try to determine which of the new categories will be the best fit for a wrestler – a process that is likely going to take a few months to sort itself out.

For the new rankings, consultants avoided any speculation about which category a wrestler might wrestle in and filled out the categories with only the wrestlers who have competed there.

For this reason, Greco-Roman’s non-Olympic weight categories, 71kg and 80kg, are largely populated with wrestlers from Ivan Poddubny and the Yadegar Imam Cup. It will likely take a couple more months to get a more accurate understanding of new weight categories.

But, despite the new weights, new rules, and new rankings challenges, on the mat it is wrestling as usual as world champions YUN Won-Chol (PRK) and Nikita MELNIKOV (RUS) fell in kick-off events along Olympic gold medalists Islambek ALBIEV (RUS) and Roman VLASOV (RUS).

None of the toppled champions were adversely affected by their setbacks in January as their list of successes in 2013 have given them a bit of wiggle room – at least, until the continental championships this spring.

Meanwhile, former world champions Saeid Mouran ABDVALI (IRI), Balasz KISS (HUN) and Olympic gold medalist Alexej MISHIN (RUS) received a boost in the rankings with big wins in January.

Also, world silver medalist at 60kg Ivan KUYLAKOV (RUS) made the drop to 59kg and won at Ivan Poddubny, claiming the No.3 ranking at Greco-Roman’s new lightest weight for January.

London 2012 silver medalist Tamas LORINCZ (HUN), top-ranked all of last summer at 66kg, won the Yadegar Imam crown at 71kg while Chingiz LABAZANOV (RUS) came down from 74kg to win Ivan Poddubny for the top two spots in one of Greco-Roman’s “in-between” categories.

In the rankings for January, the wrestlers are listed by name, country code, their most significant result in January or 2013, and their position in the previous rankings.

59kg – World silver medalist at 60kg Ivan KUYLAKOV (RUS) won his third Ivan Poddubny title in five years to break into the 59kg rankings at No.3 behind 55kg world finalists YUN Won-Chol (PRK) and CHOI Gyu-Jin (KOR).

Mohsen HAJIPOUR (IRI), meanwhile, raced out to a five-point lead in the final of the Yadegar Imam Cup in Tehran and held on for a 6-3 win over world champion YUN to earn the No.8 ranking in Greco-Roman’s lightest weight category.

1. YUN, Won-Chol (PRK) – World No.1 (No.1)
2. CHOI, Gyu-Jin (KOR) – World No.2 (2)
3. Ivan KUYLAKOV (RUS) – Ivan Poddubny No.1 (2@60kg)
4. Peter MODOS (HUN) – World No.3 (3)
5. Roman AMOYAN (ARM) – World No.3 (4)
6. Ivan TATARINOV (RUS) – Universiade No.1 (5)
7. Spenser MANGO (USA) – World No.5 (6)
8. Mohsen HAJIPOUR (IRI) – Yadegar Imam No.1 (nr)
9. Elbek TAZHYIEV (BLR) – Europe No.1 (7)
10. Victor CIOBANU (MDA) - Universiade No.2 (8)
11. Nursultan KALMURZAEV (KAZ) – GGP Final No.1 (9)
12. Orhan AHMADOV (AZE) – GGP Final No.2 (10)
13. Eldaniz AZIZLI (AZE) – Universiade No.3 (11)
14. Kanybek ZHOLCHUBEKOV (KGZ) - Asia No.3 (12)
15. Shota TANOKURA (JPN) – Asia No.2 (13)
16. Aleksander KOSTADINOV (BUL) – Poddubny No.3 (14)
17. Sanal SEMENOV (RUS) – Poddubny No.2 (nr)
18. Elmurat TASMURADOV (UZB) – Poddubny No.3 (3@60)
19. Zhanserik SARSENBAEV (KAZ) – GGP Final No.5 (15)
20. Mohammad NOURBAKHSH (IRI) – Yadegar Imam No.3 (nr)

66kg – Poddubny defending champion Adam KURAK (RUS) defeated Beijing 2008 gold medalist Islambek ALBIEV (RUS), 7-0, for his second triumph in Tyumen and the No.7 slot in the first rankings of 2014.

Asad ALIEV (AZE), runner-up in last year’s Yadegar Imam Cup, rolled to a 13-0 technical fall win over Marad ABULADZE (GEO) in Tehran for his first-ever international title and a No.13 ranking.

1. RYU Han-Su (KOR) – World No.1 (1)
2. Islambek ALBIEV (RUS) – World No.2 (2)
3. Frank STAEBLER (GER) – World No.3 (3)
4. Sandeep YADAV (IND) – World No.3 (4)
5. Hasan ALIYEV (AZE) – Europe No. 3 (5)
6. Aleksandar MAKSIMOVIC (SRB) – World No.5 (6)
7. Adam KURAK (RUS) – Poddubny No.1 (9)
8. Rasul CHUNAYEV (AZE) – GGP Final No.1 (8)
9. Pedro MULENS HERRERA (CUB) – Cerrado Pelado No.1 (10)
10. Atakan YUKSEL (TUR) - Mediterranean Games No.1 (11)
11. Sasun GHAMBARYAN (ARM) – Trophee Milone No.1 (12)
12. Dominik ETLINGER (CRO) – GGP Final No.3 (13)
13. Asad ALIEV (AZE) – Yadegar Imam No.1 (nr)
14. Marad ABULADZE (GEO) – Yadegar Imam No.2 (nr)
15. Sachino DAVITAIA (GEO) – Pytlasinski No.3 (14)
16. Yerbol KONYRATOV (KAZ) - Asia No.3 (15)
17. Ramin TAHERSARTANG (IRI) – Yadegar Imam No.3 (nr)
18. WON Ri-Hak (PRK) – Yadegar Imam No.3 (nr)
19. Istvan KOZAK (HUN) – Yadegar Imam No.5 (nr)
20. Mehdi ZEIDVAND (IRI) – Asia No.2 (nr)

71kg – London 2012 silver medalist at 66kg Tamas LORINCZ (HUN) topped the 2013 rankings last summer before stumbling at the world championships in Budapest. LORINCZ regains the top spot -- this time in the newly created 71kg category – after a four decisive wins in Tehran.

Two-time former junior world champion Chingiz LABAZANOV (RUS), only 26th last year at 74kg, has found a new home at 71kg and comes in at No.2 in the rankings after a win over last summer’s junior world kingpin Abuyazit MATSIGOV (RUS) at Ivan Poddubny

1. Tamas LORINCZ (HUN) – Yadegar Imam No.1 (7@66)
2. Chingiz LABAZANOV (RUS) – Poddubny No.1 (nr)
3. Abuyazit MANTSIGOV (RUS) – Poddubny No.2 (nr)
4. Bromand ASLANGHAREDAGHI (IRI) – Yadegar Imam No.2 (nr)
5. Afshin BYABANGARD (IRI) – Yadegar Imam No.7 (nr)
6. Adel SADYKOV (RUS) – Poddubny No.3 (nr)
7. Sergey ZACHARIKOV (RUS) – Poddubny No.3 (nr)
8. Mohammad KARIMI (IRI) – Yadegar Imam No.3 (nr)
9. Vahid BABAEIJAFARI (IRI) – Yadegar Imam No.3 (nr)
10. Rauno PAJUVIIDIK (EST) – Herman Kare No.1 (nr)
11. Lari HIRVI (FIN) – Herman Kare No.2 (nr)
12. Islam CHARAEV (RUS) – Poddubny No.5 (nr)
13. Tsutomu FUJIMURA (JPN) – Yadegar Imam No. 5 (nr)
14. Sharur VARDANYAN (SWE) – Yadegar Imam No.5 (nr)
15. Nikolai SAVCHENKO (UKR) – Poddubny No.7 (nr)
16. Zaur GUBAEV (RUS) – Poddubny No.8 (nr)
17. Khadjimurad BAGHMANOV (AZE) – Yadegar Imam No.9 (nr)
18. Yunus Emre BASAR (TUR) – Yadegar Imam No.10 (nr)
19. Sergey KRASILNIKOV (UKR) – Poddubny No.10 (nr)
20. Dishodjon TURDIEV (UZB) – Poddubny No.11 (nr)

75kg – Aleksander CHEKHIRKIN (RUS) scored an early force-out and made it stand for a 1-0 triumph over London 2012 gold medalist Roman VLASOV (RUS) in the final of the Ivan Poddubny tourney. CHEKHIRKIN’s first win in the Greco-Roman winter classic lifted him to No.5 in the rankings.

Meanwhile, 2011 world champion at 66kg Saeid Mourad ABDVALI (IRI) won his third straight Yadegar Imam Cup crown at 74kg-75kg, outscoring four opponents 25-0 to earn the No.7 ranking.

1. KIM Hyeon-Woo (KOR) - World No.1 (1)
2. Roman VLASOV (RUS) – World No.2 (2)
3. Arsen JULFALAKYAN (ARM) - World No.3 (3)
4. Emrah KUS (TUR) - World No.3 (4)
5. Aleksander CHEKHIRKIN (RUS) – Poddubny No.1 (nr)
6. Mark MADSEN (DEN) – GGP Final No.2 (5)
7. Saeid Mourad ABDVALI (IRI) – Yadegar Imam No.1 (nr)
8. Veli-Karri SUOMINEN (FIN) – World No.5 (6)
9. Nikolai DARAGAN (UKR) – GGP Final No.3 (7)
10. Yavor YANAKIEV (BUL) - Europe No.3 (8)
11. Rafik HUSEYNOV (AZE) – GGP Final No.1 (9)
12. Robert ROSENGREN (SWE) – Yadegar Imam No.3 (10)
13. Hadi ALIZEDAH POURNIA (IRI) - Universiade No.2 (11)
14. Takehiro KANAKUBO (JPN) – Yadegar Imam No.3 (12)
15. Aleksandr KAZAKEVICH (LTU) – Pytlasinski No.3 (13)
16. Esengeldi KOZHOBEK ULUU (KGZ) – World No.9 (14)
17. Ilia GULBATASHVILI (GEO) – Oleg Karavaev No.4 (15)
18. Rafik MANUKYAN (ARM) – Yadegar Imam No.2 (nr)
19. Henri VAELIMAEKI (FIN) – Herman Kare No.1 (nr)
20. Ushang CHITIASHVILI (GEO) – GGP Final No.3 (nr)

80kg – Two-time Olympian Peter BACSI (HUN) tops the second special non-Olympic weight category after winning the Yadegar Imam Cup while junior world bronze medalist at 74kg Bekhan OZDOEV (RUS) comes in at No.2 with a win on criteria at Ivan Poddubny.

Vyacheslav ZVARYCH (UKR) won the Herman Kare tourney in Kouvola, Finland to kick off the 2014 Greco-Roman season and slips in at No.14 in the newly expanded rankings.

1. Peter BACSI (HUN) – Yadegar Imam No.1 (nr)
2. Bekhan OZDOEV (RUS) – Poddubny No.1 (nr)
3. Viktor SASUNOVSKI (BLR) – Poddubny No.2 (nr)
4. Imil SHARAFEDINOV (RUS) – Poddubny No.3 (nr)
5. Evgeni BOGOMOLOV (RUS) – Poddubny No.3 (nr)
6. Tadeusz MICHALIK (POL) – Poddubny No.5 (nr)
7. Andrey SOLOVYEV (RUS) – Poddubny No.5 (nr)
8. Mehdi KHODAEI (IRI) – Yadegar Imam No.2 (nr)
9. Mehdi MOHAMMADI (IRI) – Yadegar Imam No.3 (nr)
10. Yousef GHADERIAN (IRI) – Yadegar Imam No.3 (nr)
11. Elvin MURSALIYEV (AZE) – Yadegar Imam No.5 (nr)
12. Hossein NOURI (IRI) – Yadegar Imam No.5 (nr)
13. Ilya GUDIEV (RUS) – Poddubny No.7 (nr)
14. Vyacheslav ZVARYCH (UKR) – Herman Kare No.1 (nr)
15. Mairbek ADYGEUNOV (RUS) – Herman Kare No.2 (nr)
16. Julius MATUZEVICIUS (LTU) – Herman Kare No.3 (nr)
17. Jonne UKKOLA (FIN) – Herman Kare No.3 (nr)
18. Tarek MOHAMED (EGY) – Mediterranean Games No.3 (nr)
19. Sosruko KODZOKOV (RUS) – Jr World No.1 (nr)
20. Alexander KIKINOV (BLR) – Poddubny No.16 (nr)

85kg – Ageless Alexej MISHIN (RUS) edged Asamat BIKBAEV (RUS) with a caution midway through the second period and held on for a 1-0 victory and his third straight and fourth overall Poddubny triumph.

Mojtaba KARIMFAR (IRI) repeated as Yadegar Imam champion with a 5-1 win over 2010 Asia junior silver medalist Saman AZIZI (IRI), who had scored a 4-0 quarterfinal win over world bronze medalist Viktor LORINCZ (HUN).

1. Taleb Nariman NEMATPOUR (IRI) – World No.1 (1)
2. Hassan Saman TAHMASEBI (AZE) – World No.2 (2)
3. Viktor LORINCZ (HUN) – Yadegar Imam No.3 (3)
4. Javid HAMZATOV (BLR) – World No.3 (4)
5. Alexej MISHIN (RUS) – Poddubny No.1 (8)
6. Asamat BIKBAEV (RUS) – Poddubny No.2 (nr)
7. Damian JANIKOWSKI (POL) – Poddubny No.3 (5)
8. Rami HIETANIEMI (FIN) – World No.5 (6)
9. Nenad ZUGAJ (CRO) – Europe No.3 (7)
10. Mojtaba KARIMFAR (IRI) – Yadegar Imam No.1 (nr)
11. Giorgi TSIREKIDZE (GEO) – GGP Final No.5 (9)
12. Rustam ASSAKALOV (UZB) – Asia No.1 (10)
13. Selcuk CEBI (TUR) – Vehbi Emre No.1 (11)
14. Revazi NADAREISHVILI (GEO) - Hungarian GGP No.2 (12)
15. Alan KHUGAEV (RUS) – Universiade No.1 (13)
16. Maksim MANUKYAN (ARM) – Universiade No.2 (14)
17. Nursultan TURSYNOV (KAZ) – Universiade No.5 (15)
18. Laimutis ADMAITIS (LTU) – Herman Kare No.1 (nr)
19. Saman AZIZI (IRI) – Yadegar Imam No.2 (nr)
20. Marko KIVIMAEKI (FIN) – Herman Kare No.2 (nr)

98kg – Junior world champion Musa EVLOEV (RUS) scored a bodylock takedown to defeat reigning senior world titlist Nikita MELNIKOV (RUS), 2-1, in the 98kg Poddubny final, reversing last year’s result and avenging a November loss at the Copa Brasil.

World bronze medalist Balasz KISS (HUN) won his second title since the world meet in Budapest by claiming the Yadegar Imam Cup crown. KISS also won the Golden Grand Prix Final in Baku in November to further solidify his No.3 ranking.

1. Nikita MELNIKOV (RUS) - World No.1 (1)
2. Artur ALEKSANYAN (ARM) - World No.2 (2)
3. Balasz KISS (HUN) – Yadegar Imam No.1 (3)
4. Shalva GADABADZE (AZE) – World No.3 (4)
5. Mahdi ALIYARI FEYZABADI (IRI) – Yadegar Imam No.3 (5)
6. Norikatsu SAIKAWA (JPN) – World No.5 (6)
7. Marthin NIELSEN (NOR) – GGP Final (7)
8. Musa EVLOEV (RUS) – Poddubny No.1 (nr)
9. Cenk ILDEM (TUR) - Europe No.3 (8)
10. Dimitri TIMCHENKO (UKR) - German GP No.1 (9)
11. Yerulan ISKAKOV (KAZ) – World No.7 (10)
12. Timo KALLIO (FIN) - German GP No.3 (11)
13. Melonin NOUMONVI (FRA) – World No.9 (12)
14. Vladislav METODIEV (BUL) – Europe No.2 (13)
15. Rustam TOTROV (RUS) – Vehbi Emre No.2 (14)
16. Mikhail KAJAIA (GEO) – Universiade No.3 (nr)
17. Aleksander HRABOVIK (BLR) – Poddubny No.3 (nr)
18. Ali ALIYARI FEYZABADI (IRI) – Yadegar Imam No.2 (nr)
19. Ardo ARUSAAR (EST) – Vantaa Painicup No.1 (nr)
20. Elias KUOSMANEN (FIN) – Herman Kare No.1 (nr)

130kg – World and Olympic bronze medalist Johan Magnus EUREN (SWE) defeated Behnam MEHDIZADEH (IRI), 6-1, to win the Yadegar Imam Cup title – his ninth tourney triumph since August 2012.

Vitali ILNITSKI (RUS) broke open a scoreless bout in the 130kg final at Ivan Poddubny with a pair of go-behind takedowns on his way to a 6-0 win over surprise finalist Vitali TSUR (RUS).

1. Heiki NABI (EST) – World No.1 (1)
2. Riza KAYAALP (TUR) - World No.2 (2)
3. Nurmakhan TINALIEV (KAZ) – World No.3 (3)
4. Johan Magnus EUREN (SWE) – Yadegar Imam No.1 (4)
5. Mihaly DEAK BARDOS (HUN) – Pytlasinski No.3 (5)
6. Robert SMITH (USA) – Pan America No.2 (6)
7. Eduard POPP (GER) – German GP No.2 (7)
8. Balint LAM (HUN) – Yadegar Imam No.3 (8)
9. Aleksander CHERNETSKI (UKR) - German GP No.3 (9)
10. Miloslav METODIEV (BUL) – Pytlasinski No.2 (10)
11. Evgeni ORLOV (UKR) - Europe No.2 (11)
12. Guram PHERSELIDZE (GEO) - Europe No.3 (12)
13. Iosif CHUGOSHVILI (BLR) – Pytlasinski No.3 (13)
14. Vitali ILNITSKI (RUS) – Poddubny No.1 (nr)
15. NIE Xiaoming (CHN) - Asia No.2 (14)
16. Iakobi KAJAIA (GEO) – GGP Final No.2 (nr)
17. Zaur KODOEV (RUS) – Haparanda No.2 (15)
18. Mindaugas MIZGAITIS (LTU) – Herman Kare No.1 (nr)
19. Behnam MEHDIZADEH (IRI) – Yadegar Imam No.2 (nr)
20. Vasily PARSHIN (RUS) – Poddubny No.3 (nr)

William May conducts the World Rankings for FILA. He has been active in wrestling across three continents for more than 40 years as a competitor, coach, referee and journalist. William worked as the "Sports Information Specialist" for wrestling at the Beijing 2008 and London 2012 Olympic Games. He can be reached on his Facebook page or by email, wmay52@hotmail.com

About FILA

FILA, the International Federation of Associated Wrestling Styles, is the global governing body of the sport of wrestling. It works to promote the sport and facilitate the activities of its 177 national federations from around the world. It is based in Corsier-sur-Vevey, Switzerland.

To learn more about FILA visit its official website, http://www.fila-official.com/; Facebook page, http://www.facebook.com/fila.official, or Twitter handle, @FILA_Official.