We had a lot of fun with these last year so let's do it again. I haven't been paying near as much attention this year, so this is strictly a shot in the dark. All input is welcomed. My criteria combnies both past results and present preformance, I don't have a strict formula or anything
1- Lebedev, Russia. I wish he would wrestle more, but he is at the top- and probably #2 pound-for-pound- until he loses.
2- Otasultranov, Russa. I feel for this guy. Been winning just about everything for years but stuck behind Kudukhov and then Lebedev on the depth chart.
3- Veiikov, Bulgaria. Comically inconsistent, but has 4 world medals including silver last year.
4- . Ramihi, Iran Don't know much about him but he placed 3rd wth a brutal bracket last year
5- Khinegashvili, Turkey. 2x jr world champ is one of my personal favorites.
6- Yang, North Korea. Former world champ with a win over Lebedev.
1- Kudukhov,Russia. Best pound for pound in the world. People were trying to stall him out like crazy at last year's worlds and took him to some clinches . Interesting to see how he wrestles with the pressure of the Olympics on him.
2- Asgarov, Azerbayjan. Former silver medallist has been tearing through everything including Europeans and Qualifiers this year. Probably the highest scoring top level wrestler in the world today.
3- Sat, Russia. Still very good, but did lose to Asgarov and another Russia this year.
4- Gomez, Puerto Rico. After his suprising silver at worlds, he beat a tough Cuban to win the Pan Ams.
5- Yumoto Japan. Beat Fedorishin and took Kudukhov to double clinches at last year's worlds.
6- Fedorishin, Ukraine. Getting old, but still good.
66 kg. This weight could probably be ranked about a dozen different ways. Here's my best shot at it...
1- Taghavi, Iran. 2 titles in 3 years. Still beatable, though- lost to another Iranian recently.
2- Yonomisu, Japan. 2x world medallast has beaten Taghavi in the past
3- Lopez, Cuba. Great run at last year's worlds to bronze, Pan Am chanp.
4- Hasaynov, Azerbayjan. Bit of a difficult year with loss to Metcalf, won his nationals at 74.
5- M. Batriov. Most accomplished guy here, but long ago at a lighter weight. Could be ranked anywhere from 2 to not at alll.
6- Gogaev, Russia. The young Yarygin/Euro champ is a bit of a pinner it seems.
7- Kumar, India. Assuming he actually qualifies for the Olympics, he hasn't yet.
8- Stadnik, Ukraine- Olympic finalist struggling quite a bit. Note that his nemesis Shahiin (2x champ) doesn't even make the list, that is how deep 66 is these days
1- Burroughs, USA. I cautiously have him at #3 pound for pound, currently has a bit of that "unbeatable" mystique IMO.
2- Tsargush, Russia. Has picked things up offensively since last year's worlds.
3- Goudrazi, Iran. Should maybe be #2, but I can't get over his 0-2 record vs Tsarguh.
4- Adam Saitiev. Has looked great so far, I hope he wins the Olympic spot.
5- Geduev, Russia. What a thrower!
6- Aliyev, Azerbayjan. Not unbeatable by any means, but gave Burroughs a tough match at worlds and won the consi bracket that Tsargush was in.
84: lots of fun guys to watch here too. Anyone in this list could win the worlds.
1- Sharifov, Azerbayjan. World champ and former bronze medallist.
2- Aldaatov, Ukraine. Another inconsistent guy who always seems to peak for worlds and has the most hardware here (along with Sokhiev).
3- Dato, Ukraine. Would not shock me to have him at #1 soon. World bronze, Euro gold and silver.
4- Saritov, Russia
6- Sokhiev, Uzbekistan. Hasn't done well lately but is still a 4x world medallist.
7- Ganev, Bulgaria. Still probably too high; 2nd at Euros and then a wierd loss at the qualifiers.
8- Urishev, Russia. Won Yarygin this year again. Could arguably be higher, but has never made a world team.
96- the toughest one to rank IMO.
1- Gadisov, Russia. On a hell of a tear. Lost one to Gogchelidze this year I think; wn Euros, qualifiers and Yarygin in mostly dominant fashion.
2- Yazdani, Iran. Defending world champ lost a close one to Gadisov.
3- Gayzumov, Azerbayjan. The best guy here IMO but he DNP at last year's worlds and hasn't wrestled much since, apparently injured.
4- Saidov, Russia. 2nd at Yarygin over Varner. Doesn't seem to compete a whole lot, so hard to rank.
5- Varner, USA. World bronze, Yarygin bronze, Pan Am champ. Has less hardware than many of these guys, but has lookd prety nasty.
6- Tigiev, Uzbekistan. Dangerous veteran.
7- Gatsalov, Russia. Easily the most accomplished wrestler on this list but seems to have lost a step.
8- Balci, Turkey. Ranked too low? I know he beat Varner and Tigiev but I've never really seen him as a superstap.
9- Gogchelidze, Georgia.
120 kg: I really have no clue with these guys, please help out.
1- Shemarov, Belarus. Actually beat Makhov in a grand prix event before taking him out with double clinches at worlds.
2- Makhov, Russia. Arguably the favorite again. Has admitted to struggling with the weight cut, what a beast-man he is.
3- Taymazov, Uzkebekistan. 2x olympic champ.
4- Dlagnev, USA. Beat Taymazov at the worlds, but lost to him beforehand and has been beatable since.
5- Akhmedov, Russia. Won the Yargyin, but apparently got sick at the Euro's or soemthing and had to pull out.
6- Akgul, Turkey.