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  • Photo: Sam Janicki

    Photo: Sam Janicki

    2021 World Championship Preview: Greco-Roman Day One (55 kg/72 kg/77 kg/82 kg)

    Ben Provisor at the 2021 World Team Trials (Photo/Tony Rotundo/UWW)

    55 kg

    Sajjad Abbaspourragani (Iran) 2018 Cadet World Bronze

    Eldaniz Azizli (Azerbaijan) 2019 World Bronze, 2018 World Champion

    Ken Matsui (Japan) 2019 Junior World Bronze, 2017 Cadet World Champion

    Ekrem Ozturk (Turkey) 2019 U23 World Bronze, 2018 World Bronze

    Emin Sefershaev (Russia) 2019 U23 World Silver, 2x Junior World Bronze

    Nugzari Tsurtsumia (Georgia) 2019 World Champion, 2018 U23 World Champion, 2018 World Bronze

    Khorlan Zhakansha (Kazakhstan) 2019 World Silver

    The American Entry: Max Nowry

    This is the smallest bracket of today's Greco weights also could be the deepest of the bunch. A pair of past world champions (Azizli and Tsurtsumia) headline the weight, that also features another 2019 world medalist (Zhakansha). We also could see some younger wrestlers break out, as there are a handful that have age group world medals.

    One of those young talents is pair with Max Nowry in the opening round. He'll face 2018 Cadet World bronze medalist Sajjad Abbaspourragani of Iran.

    72 kg

    Malkhas Amoyan (Armenia) 2021 European Silver, 2018 Junior World Champion, 2017 Junior World Silver

    Cengiz Arslan (Turkey) 2019 European Silver, 2018 U23 World Champion

    Shmagi Bolkvadze (Georgia) 2017 U23 World Champion

    Robert Fristch (Hungary) 2021 European Bronze, 017 U23 World Silver

    Ulvi Ganizadeh (Azerbaijan) 2020 European Bronze, 2019 Junior World Silver

    Kharman Kissymetov (Kazakhstan) 2018 U23 World Bronze, 2016 Junior World Silver

    Sergey Kutuzov (Russia) 2021 European U23 Bronze

    Valentin Petic (Moldova) 2019 U23 World Bronze, 2019 Junior World Bronze

    Gevorg Sahakyan (Poland) 2018 World Bronze

    Ruslan Tsarev (Kyrgyzstan) 2021 Asian Silver

    The American Entry: Pat Smith

    This will be a weight where someone breaks out and establishes themselves as a star. There are plenty of entrants with strong credentials, but none that stand out more significantly than others. Cengiz Arslan and Shmagi Bolkvadze are both U23 World champions, but still haven't totally established themselves at the Senior level. One that could be rising is Malkhas Amoyan, who was a runner-up in Europe this year.

    Without a clear-cut tier of definitive medal contenders, a veteran like Pat Smith could thrive. We'll see how Smith fares at this new weight. He has not competed internationally below 77 kg since 2018.

    77 kg

    Yunus Basar (Turkey) 2021 European Silver

    Gela Bolkvadze (Georgia) 2018 U23 World Champion, 2017 U23 World Silver, 2015 Junior World Champion

    Mohammadali Geraei (Iran) 2019 World Bronze, 2019 Asian Bronze

    Alexandrin Gutu (Moldova) 2021 Junior World Bronze, 2019 Cadet World Bronze

    Tamas Levai (Hungary) 2018 U23 World Bronze

    Aik Mnatsakanian (Bulgaria) 2019 World Bronze

    Exauce Mukubu (Norway) 2021 Junior World Silver

    Viktor Nemes (Serbia) 2018 World Bronze, 2017 World Champion

    Kodai Sakuraba (Japan) 2019 U23 World Silver

    Tamerlan Shadukaev (Kazakhstan) 2020 Asian Champion, 2019 U23 World Bronze, 2016 Junior World Champion

    Sanen Suleyman (Azerbaijan) 2021 European Bronze, 2019 U23 World Silver

    Roman Vlasov (Russia) 2x Olympic gold medalist, 2x World Champion

    The American Entry: Jesse Porter

    The big question at 77 kg is just how much Roman Vlasov has left. He is far and away the most credentialed entrant at this weight with a pair of Olympic golds and two other world championships. While Vlasov won the Individual World Cup in 2020, but was eighth in 2019 and 20th in 2017 at World's. A trio of Senior World medalists Mohammadali Geraei (Iran), Viktor Nemes (Serbia), and Aik Mnatsakanian (Bulgaria) could be in the mix if Vlasov isn't up to the task. Like other weights before it, 77 kg also has plenty of young contenders with gaudy age-group resumes that could be ready to break out.

    After making three U23 World teams, Jesse Porter gets the opportunity to compete at the Senior World Championships for the first time. Porter had the tournament of a lifetime at the Olympic Team Trials to win the 77 kg spot. Unfortunately, the weight was not qualified for the Games and Porter was unable to do it, at the OG Qualifier. At the World Team Trials, Porter proved he was not just a one-tournament flash in the pan. Porter possesses one of the more entertaining styles of anyone on Team USA.

    82 kg

    Burhan Akbudak (Turkey) 2017 U23 World Champion

    Adlan Akiev (Russia) 2021 European Champion

    Alex Bjurberg Kessidis (Sweden) 2019 World Silver

    Rafig Huseynov (Azerbaijan) 2020 Olympic Bronze, 2019 World Silver

    Radzik Kuliyeu (Belarus) 2020 Individual World Cup Bronze, 2017 World Bronze

    Per Anders Kure (Norway) 2018 Junior World Bronze

    Peyman Poshtam (Iran) 2021 Asian Champion

    Aivengo Rikadze (Georgia) 2021 European Bronze, 2019 U23 World Bronze

    The American Entry: Ben Provisor

    82 kg has a solid tier of possible contenders, any number of which could come away with gold on their best day. Rafig Huseynov (Azerbaijan) is coming off a bronze medal performance at the Olympics and is a past world finalist. The same can be said for Alex Bjurberg Kessidis (Sweden), though he did not have a great Olympics. This weight also has a handful of contenders that seem to be rising at the right time. Adlan Akiev (Russia) was a European champion this year, while Peyman Poshtam (Iran) won Asia. In the same breath, Radzik Kuliyeu was a winner at the Individual World Cup last year and is a past world medal winner.

    Watch out for the young, upstart Grand View freshman Ben Provisor. Ok, even though Provisor is now a college student, he's anything but inexperienced. Provisor is a two-time Olympian and a 2017 world team member. Ben has a first-round bye and will face the winner of Petr Novak (Czech Republic) and Satoki Mukai (Japan).

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