USA Wrestling USA flexes muscle ag...

USA flexes muscle against Russia, remains unbeaten at Freestyle World Cup

By Richard Immel, USA Wrestling | Feb. 16, 2017, 1:18 p.m. (ET)

Photo: David Taylor (USA) takes out Vladislav Valiev (RUS) 14-4 to stay undefeated at the Freestyle World Cup. Photo: Justin Hoch,

KERMANSHAH, Iran – Make it two-for-two for Team USA at the Freestyle World Cup after the talented American team soundly defeated Russia 6-2 as the first day of action concluded in Kermanshah, Iran.

The United States-Russia dual featured several tight bouts and some serious cases of star power as the U.S. pulled away in the later stages.

The featured match of the dual came early with 2016 World champion Logan Stieber squaring off against 2016 University World champion Viktor Rassadin at 61 kg/134 lbs.

The two traded points throughout the bout, and it all came down to a challenge from the Russian corner with four second left in the match. With Stieber leading 4-4 on criteria, Rassadin attempted a low-level attack that was popped through by Stieber. The call of two points for Stieber was reviewed and confirmed, cementing the 7-4 win for the American.

“It was a tough one,” Stieber said of his match. “Lots of flurries. Scored at the end. It was a fun match. Got to get to the legs a little bit better, but I think I’ve had a good performance so far.”

Much like Stieber, 2015 World bronze medalist James Green picked up a heart-pounding win at 70 kg/154 lbs. over 2017 Ivan Yarygin bronze medalist Magomedkhabib Kadimagomedov. Green utilized explosive starts to each period to take respective 4-0 and 8-4 leads. Kadiamagomedov hit Green in a chest lock counter to cut the match to 8-6 late, but Green staved off the comeback to win.

“Definitely a good start for day one, and I can’t wait to get back out there tomorrow, you know, really open up and try to put more points on the board. I don’t like giving up points, and that 8-6 match was something I wish I could have avoided, but you learn from it and you keep going,” Green said.

After a sluggish first period that saw Olympic champion Jordan Burroughs trailing 1-0 to Atsamaz Sanakoev, the U.S. great kicked it into overdrive in the second frame to win by a 10-1 score at 74 kg/163 lbs.

Fellow Olympic champion Kyle Snyder took the mat with an opportunity to clinch the dual victory for the U.S., and was in complete control throughout his 97 kg/213 lbs. contest against past University World champion Yury Belonovskiy. Snyder posted five takedowns from start to finish to win by an 11-2 score.

Coming off a thrilling win over Olympic bronze medalist Dato Marsagishvili of Georgia in the morning session, David Taylor kept the motor running against 2013 Junior World champion Vladislav Valiev at 86 kg/189 lbs. Taylor trailed 4-0 early on after surrendering a single leg takedown with exposure. He countered with six-straight takedowns and a turn to sail past Valiev by technical fall, 14-4.

“It’s just so exciting. I’ve been fighting, progressing to get to represent the United States at these events the last couple years, and it’s been difficult, but finally getting a chance and trying to take advantage of this opportunity to wrestle the best guys. That match was a lot of fun,” Taylor said.

With the dual meet result in tow, Zach Rey drove the point home with a top-tier win at 125 kg/275 lbs. over 2016 Russia Nationals champion Mukhamagazi Magomedov. Rey displayed impeccable defense, and some high-level attacks to edge Magomedov, 4-1.

The U.S. dropped a pair of close bouts from Tony Ramos at 57 kg/1125.5 lbs. and Frank Molinaro at 65 kg/143 lbs., both falling to Ivan Yarygin Grand Prix silver medalists.

Ramos went out firing against Artem Gebekov, but was unable to convert on several single leg attempts. Gebekov scored three takedowns to Ramos’ one, giving the Russian a 6-2 win.

Molinaro was without question mixed up in the most controversial bout of the dual. Going up against Cherman Valiev, Molinaro was hit with a caution and two early in the first period, but responded with a takedown to tie things up heading into the break. Holding the same 2-2 score in the final minute, Valiev attempted a single leg and was rolled through by Molinaro, who wound up in the top position. Originally called 2-1 in favor of Russia, the U.S. challenged and the call was reversed to a 2-2 score. The officials determined Valiev was the winner on criteria, 4-4.

Overall, the U.S. men combined for a 13-3 record on the first day of competition at the Freestyle World Cup. With wins over Georgia and Russia, the U.S. moves to 2-0 in the group stage and Azerbaijan looming in the morning. A win over Azerbaijan puts the Americans in the gold medal match.

Action will resume from Iran at 9 a.m. local time with the third round of group duals. The United States-Azerbaijan matchup will be the second dual contested on the day, set for approximately 10:15 a.m. local time. Kermanshah, Iran is situated eight hours and thirty minutes ahead of U.S. Eastern Time, meaning the U.S. will take the mat at 1:45 a.m. (ET) on Friday live on

In other Group A action, Azerbaijan defeated Georgia 5-3 to set up the penultimate showdown against the U.S. Both teams are 2-0 thus far at the Freestyle World Cup.

Iran continued its dominance in Group B with its second 8-0 victory of the tournament, this time against India. Also in Group B, Turkey took down Mongolia, 5-3. All indications are Iran will emerge as the Group B representative in the gold medal match against either the United States or Azerbaijan.

Feb. 16-17 in Kermanshah, Iran

Session II Results
Group A
United States 6 (21) – Russia 2 (12)

57 kg/125.5 lbs. – Artem Gebekov (Russia) dec. Tony Ramos (United States), 6-2
61 kg/134 lbs. – Logan Stieber (United States) dec. Viktor Rassadin (Russia), 7-4
65 kg/143 lbs. – Chermen Valiev (Russia) dec. Frank Molinaro (United States), 4-4
70 kg/154 lbs. – James Green (United States) dec. Magomedkhabib Kadimagomedov (Russia), 8-6
74 kg/163 lbs. – Jordan Burroughs (United States) dec. Atsamaz Sanakoev (Russia), 10-1
86 kg/189 lbs. – David Taylor (United States) tech. fall Vladislav Valiev (Russia), 14-4
97 kg/213 lbs. – Kyle Snyder (United States) dec. Yury Belonovskiy (Russia), 11-2
125 kg/275 lbs. – Zach Rey (United States) dec. Mukhamagazi Magomedov (Russia), 4-1

Azerbaijan 5 (21) – Georgia 3 (11)
57 kg/125.5 lbs. – Otari Gogava (Georgia) dec. Mahir Amiraslanov (Azerbaijan), 5-5
61 kg/134 lbs. – Ali Rahimzade (Azerbaijan) tech. fall Girogi Revazishvili (Georgia), 12-2
65 kg/143 lbs. – Haji Aliyev (Azerbaijan) tech. fall Iveriko Julakidze (Georgia), 10-0
70 kg/154 lbs. – David Suynyuchkhanov (Azerbaijan) dec. Konstantine Khabalashvili (Georgia), 7-5
74 kg/163 lbs. – Jabrayil Hasanov (Azerbaijan) dec. Jumber Kvelashvili (Georgia), 5-0
86 kg/189 lbs. – Davit Khutsishvili (Georgia) dec. Sharif Sharifov (Azerbaijan), 2-2
97 kg/213 lbs. – Aslanbek Alborov (Azerbaijan) tech. fall Zviad Metreveli (Georgia), 10-0
125 kg/275 lbs. – Geno Petriashvili (Georgia) dec. Jamaladdin Magomedov (Azerbaijan), 13-7

Group B
Iran 8 (33) – India 0 (2)

57 kg/125.5 lbs. – Younez Sarmastidizaji (Iran) forfeit (India)
61 kg/134 lbs. – Masound Esmaelpoorjouybari (Iran) fall Harphool Harphool (India)
65 kg/143 lbs. – Meisam Nasiri (Iran) dec. Bajrang Bajrang (India), 9-2
70 kg/154 lbs. – Mostafa Hosseinkhani (Iran) tech. fall Amit Dhankhar (India), 11-0
74 kg/163 lbs. – Bahman Teymouri (Iran) dec. Jitender Jitender (India), 8-2
86 kg/189 lbs. –Alireza Karimimachiani (Iran) tech. fall Deepak Deepak, 10-0
97 kg/213 lbs. – Hossein Shahbazigazvar (Iran) tech. fall Roublejit Rangi (India), 10-0
125 kg/275 lbs. – Komeil Ghasemi (Iran) inj. def. Krishan Krishan (India)

Turkey 5 (20) – Mongolia 3 (13)
57 kg/125.5 lbs. – Sezar Akgul (Turkey) fall Batbold Sodnomdash (Mongolia)
61 kg/134 lbs. – Cengizhan Erdogan (Turkey) dec. Nyam-Ochir Enkhsaikhan (Mongolia), 4-2
65 kg/143 lbs. – Safa Aksoy (Turkey) dec. Batmagnai Batchuluun (Mongolia), 9-3
70 kg/154 lbs. – Mandakhnaran Ganzorig (Mongolia) dec. Yakup Gor (Turkey), 6-0
74 kg/163 lbs. – Islam Kilic (Turkey) tech. fall Ankhbayar Batchuluun (Mongolia), 12-1
86 kg/189 lbs. – Selim Yasar (Turkey) dec. Unurbat Purevjav (Mongolia), 10-1
97 kg/213 lbs. – Batzul Ulziisaikhan (Mongolia) dec. Faruk Akkoyun (Turkey), 7-4
125 kg/275 lbs. – Zolboo Natsagsuren (Mongolia) dec. Riza Yildirim (Turkey), 6-2