Greco-Roman seeds released for Belgrade World Championships

By Vinay Siwach

CORSIER-SUR-VEVEY, Switzerland (August 26) -- Greco-Roman wrapped up the World Championships in Oslo last year. But in Belgrade, Greco-Roman will kick off the competition on September 10. With just two weeks remaining for the first whistles at the '22 World Championships, United World Wrestling released the tentative top eight Greco-Roman seeds.

The point-based seeds were determined by a wrestler's participation and placement at the 2021 Tokyo Olympic Games, 2021 World Championships, 2022 Continental Championships, 2022 Ranking Series events, and selected Regional Games.

While the seeds may or may not hold in the 10 weight classes, here's how the bracket will look leading up to the gold-medal match according to the top-eight seeded system:

No. 1 vs. No. 8 (top side)
No. 4 vs. No. 5 (top side)
No. 2 vs. No. 7 (bottom side)
No. 3 vs. No. 6 (bottom side)

No. 1 vs. No. 4 (top side)
No. 2 vs. No. 3 (bottom side)

No. 1 vs. No. 2 

*National Federations were required to submit their world entries by last week but can still update them until 24 hours before the draws. This means these seeds and entries are subject to change.


No. 1 Eldaniz AZIZLI (AZE)
No. 2 Nugzari TSURTSUMIA (GEO)
No. 3 Ekrem OZTURK (TUR)
No. 4 Max NOWRY (USA)
No. 5 Fabian SCHMITT (GER)
No. 6 Amangali BEKBOLATOV (KAZ)
No. 7 Jasurbek ORTIKBOEV (UZB)
No. 8 Koriun SAHRADIAN (UKR)

If seeds hold at 55kg:

No. 1 Eldaniz AZIZLI (AZE) vs. No. 8 Koriun SAHRADIAN (UKR) (top side)
No. 4 Max NOWRY (USA) vs. No. 5 Fabian SCHMITT (GER) (top side)
No. 3 Ekrem OZTURK (TUR) vs. No. 6 Amangali BEKBOLATOV (KAZ) (bottom side)
No. 2 Nugzari TSURTSUMIA (GEO) vs. No. 7 Jasurbek ORTIKBOEV (UZB) (bottom side)

No. 1 Eldaniz AZIZLI (AZE) vs. No. 4 Max NOWRY (USA) (top side)
No. 2 Nugzari TSURTSUMIA (GEO) vs. No. 3 Ekrem OZTURK (TUR) (bottom side)

No. 1 Eldaniz AZIZLI (AZE) vs. No. 2 Nugzari TSURTSUMIA (GEO)

Azizli, Tsutsumia best
2021 World Championships bronze medalists Eldaniz AZIZLI (AZE) and Nugzari TSURTSUMIA (GEO) are the top two seeds at 55kg. Azizli went on to win the European Championships in Budapest while Tsurtsumia was second to him.

Three other seeded wrestlers on Azizli's side of the bracket are Koriun Fabian SCHMITT (GER), Max NOWRY (USA) and Koriun SAHRADIAN (UKR). The first clash of the seeded wrestlers will be a quarterfinal between Azizli and Sahradian. The other quarterfinal will be Schmitt taking on Nowry.

Azizli will then proceed to a semifinal against Nowry with a win taking him to the gold medal bout.

The lower side has Tsurtsumia along with Ekrem OZTURK (TUR), Amangali BEKBOLATOV (KAZ) and Jasurbek ORTIKBOEV (UZB). Tsurtsumia will face Asian bronze medalist Ortikboev in the quarterfinals and will face the winner of Ozturk and Bekbolatov in the semifinals.

A rematch of the European final between Azizli and Tsurtsumia is on the cards in Belgrade as well.


No. 2 Murad MAMMADOV (AZE)
No. 3 Kenichiro FUMITA (JPN)
No. 4 Gevorg GHARIBYAN (ARM)
No. 6 Kerem KAMAL (TUR)
No. 7 Haithem MAHMOUD (EGY)
No. 8 Helary MAEGISALU (EST)

If the seeds hold at 60kg:

No. 1 Zholaman SHARSHENBEKOV (KGZ) vs. No. 8 Helary MAEGISALU (EST) (top side)
No. 4 Gevorg GHARIBYAN (ARM) vs. No. 5 GYANENDER (IND) (top side)
No. 3 Kenichiro FUMITA (JPN) vs. No. 6 Kerem KAMAL (TUR) (bottom side)
No. 2 Murad MAMMADOV (AZE) vs. No. 7 Haithem MAHMOUD (EGY) (bottom side)

No. 1 Zholaman SHARSHENBEKOV (KGZ) vs. No. 4 Gevorg GHARIBYAN (ARM) (top side)
No. 2 Murad MAMMADOV (AZE) vs. No. 3 Kenichiro FUMITA (JPN) (bottom side)

No. 1 Zholaman SHARSHENBEKOV (KGZ) vs. No. 2 Murad MAMMADOV (AZE)

Sharshenbekov poised to reach third Worlds final
Zholaman SHARSHENBEKOV (KGZ) has reached the gold medal bout at World Championships twice but finished with silver on both occasions. He has a chance to change that record as he is seeded number one in the 60kg bracket. To reach another world final, he will have to go through Helary MAEGISALU (EST) in the quarterfinal and one of Gevorg GHARIBYAN (ARM) and GYANENDER (IND) in the semifinal as these are the seeded wrestlers on the top side of the bracket.

The Asian champion finished seventh at the Olympics before winning the silver in Oslo. He won the gold at Asian Championships in Mongolia.

On the bottom side, Murad MAMMADOV (AZE) is seeded number two and will face Haithem MAHMOUD (EGY) in the quarterfinal. Barring upsets, the other quarterfinal will be a clash of Olympic silver medalist Kenichiro FUMITA (JPN) and European champion Kerem KAMAL (TUR) as they are seeded number three and six respectively. The winner will then get Mammadov in the semifinal.


No. 2 Taleh MAMMADOV (AZE)
No. 3 Erik TORBA (HUN)
No. 4 Victor CIOBANU (MDA)
No. 5 Ahmet UYAR (TUR)
No. 6 Hrachya POGHOSYAN (ARM)

If the seeds hold at 63kg:

No. 1 Leri ABULADZE (GEO) vs. No. 8 Tynar SHARSHENBEKOV (KGZ) (top side)
No. 4 Victor CIOBANU (MDA) vs. No. 5 Ahmet UYAR (TUR) (top side)
No. 3 Erik TORBA (HUN) vs. No. 6 Hrachya POGHOSYAN (ARM) (bottom side)
No. 2 Taleh MAMMADOV (AZE) vs. No. 7 NEERAJ (IND) (bottom side)

No. 1 Leri ABULADZE (GEO) vs. No. 4 Victor CIOBANU (MDA) (top side)
No. 2 Taleh MAMMADOV (AZE) vs. No. 3 Erik TORBA (HUN) (bottom side)

No. 1 Leri ABULADZE (GEO) vs. No. 2 Taleh MAMMADOV (AZE)

Abuladze locks up top seed
He fell agonizingly short of the gold in Oslo but Leri ABULADZE (GEO) will hope to win the gold this time at 63kg. He locked up the top seed with his silver in Oslo and a gold medal at the European Championships. Abuladze's quarterfinal will be against Asian champion Tynar SHARSHENBEKOV (KGZ) who is seeded number eight.

The other quarterfinal on the top side will feature 60kg world champion Victor CIOBANU (MDA) and Ahmet UYAR (TUR), who are seeded number four and five respectively.

Taleh MAMMADOV (AZE), who was fifth at the World Championships, is seeded number two and will feature on the bottom side of the bracket with a potential quarterfinal against NEERAJ (IND). His semifinal will be against one of Erik TORBA (HUN) or Hrachya POGHOSYAN (ARM).

An Abuladze-Mammadov final will be a repeat of the European Championships final which the Georgian won.


No. 1 Mohammadreza GERAEI (IRI)
No. 2 Murat FIRAT (TUR)
No. 3 Hasrat JAFAROV (AZE)
No. 4 Mohamed ELSAYED (EGY)
No. 5 Morten THORESEN (NOR)
No. 6 Mateusz BERNATEK (POL)
No. 7 Hansu RYU (KOR)
No. 8 Witalis LAZOVSKI (GER)

If the seeds hold at 67kg:

No. 1 Mohammadreza GERAEI (IRI) vs. No. 8 Witalis LAZOVSKI (GER) (top side)
No. 4 Mohamed ELSAYED (EGY) vs. No. 5 Morten THORESEN (NOR) (top side)
No. 3 Hasrat JAFAROV (AZE) vs. No. 6 Mateusz BERNATEK (POL) (bottom side)
No. 2 Murat FIRAT (TUR) vs. No. 7 Hansu RYU (KOR) (bottom side)

No. 1 Mohammadreza GERAEI (IRI) vs. No. 4 Mohamed ELSAYED (EGY) (top side)
No. 2 Murat FIRAT (TUR) vs. No. 3 Hasrat JAFAROV (AZE) (bottom side)

No. 1 Mohammadreza GERAEI (IRI) vs. No. 2 Murat FIRAT (TUR)

Geraei primed for gold
To reach back-to-back World finals, Mohammadreza GERAEI (IRI) will need to go through an Olympic bronze medalist in the final. Olympic champion Geraei will face Witalis LAZOVSKI (GER) in the quarterfinals before facing Mohamed ELSAYED (EGY) in the semifinal if the Egypt wrestler can beat Morten THORESEN (NOR) in the other quarterfinal in the top half.

The bottom half of the bracket has number two seed Murat FIRAT (TUR) facing former world champion Hansu RYU (KOR) in the quarterfinals. Firat finished fifth in Oslo before winning the European Championships and the Mediterranean Games to clinch the second seed.

If he wins against Ryu, U23 world champion and fellow fifth at Worlds Hasrat JAFAROV (AZE) awaits Firat. Jafarov has to beat Mateusz BERNATEK (POL) in the quarterfinals to set up a match against Firat.

Geraei will have the winner of the Firat-Jafarov semifinal if he manages to get past Elsayed as both have a similar style.


No. 1 Kristupas SLEIVA (LTU)
No. 3 Gevorg SAHAKYAN (POL)
No. 4 Mohammad Reza MOKHTARI (IRI)
No. 5 Valentin PETIC (MDA)
No. 6 Selcuk CAN (TUR)
No. 7 Deyvid DIMITROV (BUL)
No. 8 Robert FRITSCH (HUN)

If the seeds hold at 72kg:

No. 1 Kristupas SLEIVA (LTU) vs. No. 8 Robert FRITSCH (HUN) (top side)
No. 4 Mohammad Reza MOKHTARI (IRI) vs. No. 5 Valentin PETIC (MDA) (top side)
No. 3 Gevorg SAHAKYAN (POL) vs. No. 6 Selcuk CAN (TUR) (bottom side)
No. 2 Ulvu GANIZADE (AZE) vs. No. 7 Deyvid DIMITROV (BUL) (bottom side)

No. 1 Kristupas SLEIVA (LTU) vs. No. 4 Mohammad Reza MOKHTARI (IRI) (top side)
No. 2 Ulvu GANIZADE (AZE) vs. No. 3 Gevorg SAHAKYAN (POL) (bottom side)

No. 1 Kristupas SLEIVA (LTU) vs. No. 2 Ulvu GANIZADE (AZE)

Sleiva eyes history
With both the finalists from Oslo not registered, top seed Kristupas SLEIVA (LTU) will hope to improve on his bronze medal from Oslo. Lithuania has never won the gold medal at World Championships but can pin hopes on Sleiva who locked the top seed with bronze in Oslo, fifth place at European Championships, gold at Matteo Pellicone and silver in Istanbul at the start of the season.

But a big quarterfinal against European champion Robert FRITSCH (HUN) will test Sleiva. If he manages to win that, he will have Mohammad Reza MOKHTARI (IRI) in the semifinal. Sleiva defeated Mokhtari for the bronze in Oslo.

Ulvu GANIZADE (AZE) is seeded second and will be in the bottom half with third seed Gevorg SAHAKYAN (POL), number six Selcuk CAN (TUR) and number seven Deyvid DIMITROV (BUL). Ganizade finished eighth in Oslo but won bronze at Euros and silver at Matteo Pellicone. He also has a 10th-place finish in Istanbul.

He will face Dimitrov in the quarterfinals before getting one of Sahakyan or Can in the semifinal. A final against Sleiva will be a rematch from the European bronze medal bout in which Ganizade won. But Sleiva won the gold in Rome over Ganizade.


No. 2 Mohammadali GERAEI (IRI)
No. 3 Akzhol MAKHMUDOV (KGZ)
No. 4 Viktor NEMES (SRB)
No. 5 Shohei YABIKU (JPN)
No. 6 Yunus BASAR (TUR)
No. 7 Yosvanys PENA FLORES (CUB)

If the seeds hold at 77kg:

No. 1 Sanan SULEYMANOV (AZE) vs. No. 8 Aik MNATSAKANIAN (BUL) (top side)
No. 4 Viktor NEMES (SRB) vs. No. 5 Shohei YABIKU (JPN) (top side)
No. 3 Akzhol MAKHMUDOV (KGZ) vs. No. 6 Yunus BASAR (TUR) (bottom side)
No. 2 Mohammadali GERAEI (IRI) vs. No. 7 Yosvanys PENA FLORES (CUB) (bottom side)

No. 1 Sanan SULEYMANOV (AZE) vs. No. 4 Viktor NEMES (SRB) (top side)
No. 2 Mohammadali GERAEI (IRI) vs. No. 3 Akzhol MAKHMUDOV (KGZ) (bottom side)

No. 1 Sanan SULEYMANOV (AZE) vs. No. 2 Mohammadali GERAEI (IRI)

Suleymanov top at 77kg
Sanan SULEYMANOV (AZE) will that the top seeding helps him end the misery of missing out on the gold last year. The silver medalist from Oslo finished with a bronze at European Championships and silver in Istanbul to lock up the top seed.

Given the seeds hold, Suleymanov will face Aik MNATSAKANIAN (BUL) in the quarterfinal before moving to the semifinals against Viktor NEMES (SRB) who is seeded fourth. But Nemes will have to beat Olympic bronze medalist Shohei YABIKU (JPN) in the quarterfinals.

The stacked bottoms side has World bronze and Olympic fifth Mohammadali GERAEI (IRI) as second seed along with Olympic silver Akzhol MAKHMUDOV (KGZ) as third, European champion Yunus BASAR (TUR) as sixth and Yosvanys PENA FLORES (CUB) as the seventh seed.

Geraei will face Flores in the quarterfinal while Makhmudov will take on Basar. According to the seeds, Geraei and Makhmudov will advance to the semifinal, a mouth-watering match-up. The winner will face Suleymanov in the final.


No. 1 Rafig HUSEYNOV (AZE)
No. 2 Burhan AKBUDAK (TUR)
No. 3 Pejman POSHTAM (IRI)
No. 4 Mihail BRADU (MDA)
No. 5 Ranet KALJOLA (EST)
No. 6 Harpreet SINGH (IND)
No. 8 Dias KALEN (KAZ)

If the seeds hold at 82kg:

No. 1 Rafig HUSEYNOV (AZE) vs. No. 8 Dias KALEN (KAZ) (top side)
No. 4 Mihail BRADU (MDA) vs. No. 5 Ranet KALJOLA (EST) (top side)
No. 3 Pejman POSHTAM (IRI) vs. No. 6 Harpreet SINGH (IND) (bottom side)
No. 2 Burhan AKBUDAK (TUR) vs. No. 7 Gela BOLKVADZE (GEO) (bottom side)

No. 1 Rafig HUSEYNOV (AZE) vs. No. 4 Mihail BRADU (MDA) (top side)
No. 2 Burhan AKBUDAK (TUR) vs. No. 3 Pejman POSHTAM (IRI) (bottom side)

No. 1 Rafig HUSEYNOV (AZE) vs. No. 2 Burhan AKBUDAK (TUR)

Huseynov, Akbudak rematch on cards
For long, Rafig HUSEYNOV (AZE) and Burhan AKBUDAK (TUR) have held the top two seeds at 82kg. Heading into the World Championships, the two will remain one and two respectively.

Huseynov won the gold in Oslo and Budapest to add to his bronze in Tokyo and Istanbul to claim the top seed. He faces Dias KALEN (KAZ) in the quarterfinals. A win will take Huseynov to the semifinals against Mihail BRADU (MDA) who is seeded number four. Bradu will have to beat Ranet KALJOLA (EST) in the quarterfinal to wrestle Huseynov.

On the bottom side, Akbudak faces European silver medalist Gela BOLKVADZE (GEO) in the quarterfinals. World bronze medalist Pejman POSHTAM (IRI) has Harpreet SINGH (IND) in the other quarterfinal.

Akbudak and Poshtam will clash in the semifinals if they win according to the seeds before a rematch from 2021 Worlds between Huseynov and Akbudak occurs.


No. 3 Bachir SID AZARA (ALG)
No. 4 Islam ABBASOV (AZE)
No. 5 Nursultan TURSYNOV (KAZ)
No. 6 Mohamed METWALLY (EGY)
No. 7 Sunil KUMAR (IND)
No. 8 Atabek AZISBEKOV (KGZ)

If the seeds hold at 87kg:

No. 1 Zurabi DATUNASHVILI (SRB) vs. No. 8 Atabek AZISBEKOV (KGZ) (top side)
No. 4 Islam ABBASOV (AZE) vs. No. 5 Nursultan TURSYNOV (KAZ) (top side)
No. 3 Bachir SID AZARA (ALG) vs. No. 6 Mohamed METWALLY (EGY) (bottom side)
No. 2 Turpal BISULTANOV (DEN) vs. No. 7 Sunil KUMAR (IND) (bottom side)

No. 1 Zurabi DATUNASHVILI (SRB) vs. No. 4 Islam ABBASOV (AZE) (top side)
No. 2 Turpal BISULTANOV (DEN) vs. No. 3 Bachir SID AZARA (ALG) (bottom side)

No. 1 Zurabi DATUNASHVILI (SRB) vs. No. 2 Turpal BISULTANOV (DEN)

Datunashvili top-seeded at home
Serbia will have its own top seed as Zurabi DATUNASHVILI (SRB) hopes to defend his title at 87kg. Olympic bronze and gold in Oslo helped him to be in the top three before silver in Istanbul and eight-place at European Championships pushed him to the top.

To win gold in front of his home crowd, Datunashvili will have to navigate through eighth seed Atabek AZISBEKOV (KGZ) in the quarterfinal, fourth seed Islam ABBASOV (AZE) in the semifinals and second seed Turpal BISULTANOV (DEN) in the final. Abassov in the semifinals is a massive match-up as he has defeated Datunashvili in the previous two meetings.

European champion Bisultanov, who finished fifth in Oslo, is on the bottom side and faces Sunil KUMAR (IND) in the quarterfinals before Bachir SID AZARA (ALG) in the semifinals.


No. 1 Mohammadhadi SARAVI (IRI)
No. 2 Alex SZOKE (HUN)
No. 3 Kiril MILOV (BUL)
No. 5 Tadeusz MICHALIK (POL)
No. 8 Mihail KAJAIA (SRB)

If the seeds hold at 97kg:

No. 1 Mohammadhadi SARAVI (IRI) vs. No. 8 Mihail KAJAIA (SRB) (top side)
No. 4 Artur ALEKSANYAN (ARM) vs. No. 5 Tadeusz MICHALIK (POL) (top side)
No. 3 Kiril MILOV (BUL) vs. No. 6 Nikoloz KAKHELASHVILI (ITA) (bottom side)
No. 2 Alex SZOKE (HUN) vs. No. 7 Vilius LAURINAITIS (LTU) (bottom side)

No. 1 Mohammadhadi SARAVI (IRI) vs. No. 4 Artur ALEKSANYAN (ARM) (top side)
No. 2 Alex SZOKE (HUN) vs. No. 3 Kiril MILOV (BUL) (bottom side)

No. 1 Mohammadhadi SARAVI (IRI) vs. No. 2 Alex SZOKE (HUN)

Saravi, Szoke rematch at 97kg
Another World Championships final rematch can happen in Belgrade if Mohammadhadi SARAVI (IRI) and Alex SZOKE (HUN) can hold their seeds.

Olympic bronze and world champion Saravi locked up the top seed with those two medals and will face Mihail KAJAIA (SRB) in the quarterfinals. Second seed Szoke, a silver medalist from Oslo, has Vilius LAURINAITIS (LTU) in his quarterfinal on the bottom side.

The other quarterfinal on the top side will see two Olympic medalists from the Tokyo clash. Silver medalist Artur ALEKSANYAN (ARM) will return to the competition and will have bronze medalist Tadeusz MICHALIK (POL) in the quarterfinals. The bottom side will see Oslo fifth Nikoloz KAKHELASHVILI (ITA), seeded sixth, face European champion and fifth seed Kiril MILOV (BUL) in the quarterfinals.

Saravi will get a chance to avenge his loss from Olympics as he faces Aleksanyan in the semifinal. In the other semifinal, Olympic fifth Szoke will have Milov.

Szoke lost the final in Oslo 3-1 against Saravi but if the two meet again for the gold, he will hope to turn the result in his favor. 


No. 1 Iakobi KAJAIA (GEO)
No. 2 Riza KAYAALP (TUR)
No. 3 Yasmani ACOSTA (CHI)
No. 5 Oskar MARVIK (NOR)
No. 6 Muminjon ABDULLAEV (UZB)

If the seeds hold at 130kg:

No. 1 Iakobi KAJAIA (GEO) vs. No. 8 Amin MIRZAZADEH (IRI) (top side)
No. 4 Mantas KNYSTAUTAS (LTU) vs. No. 5 Oskar MARVIK (NOR) (top side)
No. 3 Yasmani ACOSTA (CHI) vs. No. 6 Muminjon ABDULLAEV (UZB) (bottom side)
No. 2 Riza KAYAALP (TUR) vs. No. 7 Alin ALEXUC CIURARIU (ROU) (bottom side)

No. 1 Iakobi KAJAIA (GEO) vs. No. 4 Mantas KNYSTAUTAS (LTU) (top side)
No. 2 Riza KAYAALP (TUR) vs. No. 3 Yasmani ACOSTA (CHI) (bottom side)

No. 1 Iakobi KAJAIA (GEO) vs. No. 2 Riza KAYAALP (TUR)

Kajaia locks top seed at 130kg
Olympic silver medalist Iakobi KAJAIA (GEO) will be seeded number one for the World Championships he won a bronze in Oslo and has ranking points from European Championships and Bolat Turlykhanov Cup.

The top seed puts him on the opposite side of Riza KAYAALP (TUR) who is looking for his fifth world title and first since 2019.

Kajaia will face U23 world champion Amin MIRZAZADEH (IRI) in the quarterfinals as he is seeded eighth. Kayaalp on the bottom side will have seventh seed Alin ALEXUC CIURARIU (ROU).

The two other quarterfinals will have Mantas KNYSTAUTAS (LTU) wrestling Oskar MARVIK (NOR) on the top side and third seed Yasmani ACOSTA (CHI) wrestling Muminjon ABDULLAEV (UZB) on the bottom side.

The semifinals will feature Kajaia and Knystautas from the top side and Kayaalp and Acosta from the bottom with both Kajaia and Kayaalp primed to win according to their seeds.

Kajaia will try to Kayaalp from winning the title one more team and instead win his first.


Losonczi awarded share of 87kg world title

By United World Wrestling Press

CORSIER-SUR-VEVEY, Switzerland (November 13) -- The UWW Bureau gathered on November 10, 2023, to review several matters of importance, including the outcome of the final match in GR 87kg of the Senior World Championship in Belgrade. 

In their discussions, the Bureau recognized that a serious refereeing mistake had been committed which changed the outcome of this bout. 

Following a thorough expert analysis, according to the current wrestling rules, a fall performed by David LOSONCZI (HUN) on his opponent and announced by the referee should have been confirmed by the mat chairman as it was actually controlled according to the experts’ review.

Considering that the refereeing mistake was indisputable according to the experts’ analysis, on an exceptional basis, the Bureau agreed that fairness required that a second gold medal be awarded in this category to Losonczi and that he is also declared as 2023 World Champion in Greco-Roman Wrestling (87kg). 

The final ranking in this category will be modified and the corresponding ranking points will be awarded to Losonczi.