2022 Russian National champion Zavur Uguev (photo courtesy of Tony Rotundo; WrestlersAreWarriors.com)
Clutch superduck wins title number five for #1 Zavur Uguev at 57 KG.
GOLD: #1 Zavur Uguev over #5 Nachyn Mongush 3-2
BRONZE: #6 Ramiz Gamzatov over Ramazan Abdurakhimov 15-13
BRONZE: Musa Mekhtikhanov over Amir Chamzyn 8-7
In a hard-fought rematch of the 2021 national finals against #5 Nachyn Mongush, #1 Zavur Uguev was put on the shot clock tied 1-1, with under 2 minutes left in the match, and immediately scored a beautiful super duck to take the 3-1 lead. A charging Mongush would attempt to rally back, but the composed Uguev held on to win his fifth national title. The other medal matches at 57 KG brought major fireworks as well, with #6 Ramiz Gamzatov overcoming a massive 10-2 deficit in the second period to pull out a 15-13 win over Ramazan Abdurakhimov after a series of last-second chest wraps. 2021 Yarygin runner-up Musa Mekhtikhanov used a last-second takedown to come out on top of Amir Chamzyn 8-7. I am very interested in seeing how Chamzyn grows from here after his win over #4 Azamat Tuskaev from day two and if he can continue to make an impact on the shark tank of 57KG.
#14 Ibragim Ibragimov controls Gadzhimurad Omarov for 65 KG national title.
GOLD: #14 Ibragim Ibragimov over Gadzhimurad Omarov 5-1
BRONZE: Aripgadzhi Abdullaev over Elbrus Valiev 11-10
BRONZE: Aykhaan Antonov forfeit over #2 Gadzhimurad Rashidov
#14 Ibragim Ibragimov stopped any chances of Gadzhimurad Omarov's chances of a national title, after his sensational upset of #2 Gadzhimurad Rashidov on day two, by shutting out Omarov in a 5-1 win. Two passivity points, a takedown off a go behind and a stepout made for an intelligent win for Ibragimov who came out on top of the chaotic 65KG bracket. Aripgadzhi Abdullaev just barely survived a late comeback from Elbrus Valiev and was put on his back with 20 seconds left in the match but held on for an 11-10 win off the strength of a huge throw in the first period. Aykhaan Antonov won a forfeit over #2 Gadzhimurad Rashidov.
#6 Razambek Zhamalov wins second national title at 74 KG with victory over #7 Cherman Valiev.
GOLD: #6 Razambek Zhamalov over #7 Cherman Valiev 3-2
BRONZE: #5 David Baev over Semen Tereschenko 4-0
BRONZE: Magomed Dibirgadzhiev over Robert Dzhukaev 3-0
An underhook throwby in the second period would be the difference-maker for #6 Razambek Zhamalov as he fought off a late charge from 2020 70 KG national champion #7 Cherman Valiev to win his second national title. Zhamalov's return to the top of the podium after being sidelined for a year with shoulder and knee injuries was a major storyline coming into nationals, and it will be interesting to see how he will do against reigning Olympic champion #1 Zaurbek Sidakov as he lost to the North Ossetian great 3-2 in the 2021 national finals. Both #5 David Baev and Magomed Dibirgadzhiev comfortably won their bronze medal matches securing their fifth and second Russian Nationals medals respectively.
#3 Artur Naifonov controls #7 Amanulla Rasulov for third national title. #13 Arsenali Musalaliev earns fourth Russian Nationals medal.
GOLD: #3 Artur Naifonov over #7 Amanulla Rasulov 3-0
BRONZE: #13 Arsenali Musalaliev over Slavik Naniev 6-2
BRONZE: #6 Ada Bagomedov forfeit over #4 Dauren Kurugliev
#3 Artur Naifonov used a head outside single leg in the first period to score the only takedown of the match and held on to blank #7 Amanulla Rasulov 3-0 and earn his third national title. Naifonov is clearly the #3 man behind #1 Hassan Yazdani Charati (IRI) and #2 David Taylor (USA) and showed that with his performance in Kyzyl. #13 Arsenali Musalaliev used a big takedown late in the match to lock up his fourth Russian Nationals bronze medal over Slavik Naniev. Musalaliev continues to prove his staying power at the weight.
Aslanbek Sotiev uses late go-behind to win on first national title on criteria against #10 Shamil Musaev at 97KG
GOLD: Aslanbek Sotiev over #10 Shamil Musaev 3-3
BRONZE: #15 Sergey Kozyrev over Igor Ovsyannikov 3-2
BRONZE: #7 Akhmed Tazhudinov over David Dzhugaev 9-3
In what was a rematch of their incredible 2020 national semifinals match, Aslanbek Sotiev and #10 Shamil Musaev fought tooth and nail for their first national title. Musaev took the lead early with a takedown and held on 3-1 for the majority of the match until a poorly timed shot was stuffed and converted into a go-behind for Sotiev for the 3-3 lead and eventual match win. After having a poor end to the 2021 season and inconsistent performances through 2022, Sotiev coming back to win nationals by beating #7 Akhmed Tazhudinov and #10 Shamil Musaev is huge for him and his growth. On the subject of growth, #10 Shamil Musaev looked far improved with his cardio as he is notorious for fading hard late in matches and he held steady with Sotiev throughout. 2021 125 KG national champion #15 Sergey Kozyrev held onto a close 3-2 win over two-time national bronze medalist Igor Ovsyannikov and Ivan Poddubny Tournament champion #7 Akhmed Tazhudinov cruised for bronze with a 9-3 win over David Dzhugaev.
#19 Alen Khubulov wins by forfeit over Tamerlan Rasuev for gold at 125 KG.
GOLD: #19 Alen Khubulov forfeit over Tamerlan Rasuev
BRONZE: #8 Baldan Tsyzhipov over Alan Khugaev 3-1
BRONZE; #11 Erik Dzhioev over Gamzat Alizhudinov 8-1
Contrasted to all the action and upsets of day two of Russian Nationals at heavyweight, day three was pretty quiet with #19 Alen Khubulov winning gold by forfeit over Tamerlan Rasuev and established standouts #8 Baldan Tsyzhipov and #11 Erik Dzhioev posted strong wins to secure their second career Russian Nationals bronze medals. I'd like to see Khubulov and Rasuev get some international starts but that's unlikely to happen anytime soon, while sanctions against Russia are still ongoing, so here's hoping they can finally get Russia a medal again since they haven't placed anyone since Bilyal Makhov in 2015.