LIVE BLOG: Matteo Pellicone Ranking Series, Day One

By United World Wrestling Press

The first day of the Matteo Pellicone Ranking Series event is in the books. Musa EVLOEV (RUS) won his third RS gold medal while Istvan TAKACS (HUN) stopped fellow countryman Viktor LORINCZ (HUN) from claiming a record-extending seventh RS gold medal. Riza Kayaalp dominated the 130kg category and was crowned the champion. Kazakhstan once against showed their dominance in Greco-Roman and claimed six medals including two golds.

Friday, will be another action filled day with three more Greco-Roman categories and four women's freestyle weight categories in action.

The recap of all the action from Greco Roman

WATCH: Matteo Pellicone Ranking Series


55kg Viktor VEDERNIKOV (RUS) df Khorlan ZHAKANSHA (KAZ) 9-1
60kg Emin SEFERSHAEV (RUS) df Ahmet UYAR (TUR) via inj. def.
63kg Aidos SULTANGALI (KAZ) df Sultan ASSETULY (KAZ) via inj. def.
67kg Meiirzhan SHERMAKHANBET (KAZ) df Mate KRASZNAI (HUN) 12-2
87kg Istvan TAKACS (HUN) df David LOSONCZI (HUN) 4-1
97kg Musa EVLOEV (RUS) df Erik SZILVASSY (HUN) 8-0
130kg Riza Kayaalp (TUR) df Abdellatif Mohamed Ahmed MOHAMED (EGY) 7-0

2020 hrs: GOLD MEDAL! Riza KAYAALP (TUR) completes a 7-0 shutout victory over Abdellatif Mohamed Ahmed MOHAMED (EGY) and is crowed the champion at 130kg. That will close out the first day of action in Rome

2015 hrs: Abdellatif Mohamed thought he has two points against Kayaalp but Turkey challenge the call and the scores are 0-0. Mohamed is then warned for passivity. Opening for Kayaalp and he doesn't waste any time. He gets three exposures and is up 7-0 in the 130kg gold medal bout

2011 hrs: Final bout of the day and it's four-time world champion Riza KAYAALP (TUR) taking on Abdellatif Mohamed Ahmed MOHAMED (EGY)

2010 hrs: Bronze medals for  Zurabi GEDEKHAURI (RUS) and NAVEEN (IND). The Russian completes a 3-1 win while Naveen hangs on for 1-1 criteria win over David STEPHAN (CZE) 

2000 hrs: Final three medal bouts coming up in Rome. On Mat B, Yasmani ACOSTA FERNANDEZ (CHI) is wrestling Zurabi GEDEKHAURI (RUS) while on Mat A, Stepan DAVID (CZE) is up against NAVEEN (IND)

1955 hrs: GOLD MEDAL! Musa EVLOEV (RUS) with a big four-point throw and then comes back to claim the victory with a pushout! Technical superiority finish for him. A third Ranking Series gold medal for EVLOEV


#WrestleRome 97kg GR Medal Match Results
🥇Musa EVLOEV 🇷🇺df. Erik SZILVASSY 🇭🇺, 8-0
🥉Olzhas SYRLYBAY 🇰🇿 df. Ondrej DADAK 🇨🇿, 9-0
🥉Cenk ILDEM 🇹🇷 df. Luca SVAICARI 🇮🇹, 7-1

— United World Wrestling (@wrestling) March 4, 2021


1950 hrs: 97kg final! Two-time defending world champion Musa EVLOEV (RUS) takes on Erik SZILVASSY (HUN). This will be his third Ranking Series gold medal if he can finish in Rome

1947 hrs: Olzhas SYRLYBAY (KAZ) with a pushout and the win! He wins the bronze medal by a technical superiority win. Cenk ILDEM (TUR) also pockets the bronze medal with a 7-1 win

1945 hrs: Both bouts are the 30-second break point. Coincidentally, Syrlybay is leading by 7-0 on Mat B, same as Ildem on Mat A

1940 hrs: Bronze medal bouts in the 97kg weight category. On Mat B, Ondrej DADAK (CZE) is taking on Olzhas SYRLYBAY (KAZ) and on Mat A, it's Rio Olympics bronze medalist Cenk ILDEM (TUR) against Luca SVAICARI (ITA)

1930 hrs: GOLD MEDAL! Istvan TAKACS (HUN) caps of a stunning day for himself and Hungary with a gold medal in the 87kg final. He beats fellow countryman David LOSONCZI (HUN) 4-1 in the final. He had earlier stopped Lorincz from winning his record seventh gold medal by beating him in the semis

1920 hrs: Lorincz completes a 8-0 win over Fidelbo. His seventh medal at RS events but first which is not gold. In the second bronze medal bout, Bekkhan OZDOEV (RUS) steamrolls against Josef Patrick RAU (USA) for a 8-0 technical superiority win at 87kg

1915 hrs: This may well be an unfamiliar feeling for Viktor LORINCZ (HUN). He had won six gold medal in previous Ranking Series events but he is wrestling for the bronze in Rome. He is up against Simone FIDELBO (ITA)

1910 hrs: GOLD MEDAL! Meiirzhan SHERMAKHANBET (KAZ) adds a second Ranking Series gold and fourth medal overall as he completes a technical superiority 12-2 win over Mate KRASZNAI (HUN)

#WrestleRome 67kg GR Medal Match Results
🥇Meiirzhan SHERMAKHANBET 🇰🇿df.
Mate KRASZNAI 🇭🇺, 12-2
🥉Almat KEBISPAYEV 🇰🇿df. Enes BASAR🇹🇷, 3-2
🥉Nazir ABDULLAEV 🇷🇺df. Murat FIRAT 🇹🇷, 1-1

— United World Wrestling (@wrestling) March 4, 2021

1907 hrs: Final bout at 67kg. Mate KRASZNAI (HUN) is wrestling for the gold medal against Asian Championships silver and former World Championships bonze medallist Meiirzhan SHERMAKHANBET (KAZ)

1905 hrs: Challenge won! The score is back 3-1 for Kebispayev. 10 seconds still remaining in the bout. Basar tries a desperate move but only gets a pushout and a point. Kebispayev wins the bronze medal with a 3-2 win

1902 hrs: Nazir Rachidovitch ABDULLAEV (RUS) wins the bronze medal after holding on to a 1-1 win against Murat FIRAT (TUR). On Mat B, Almat KEBISPAYEV (KAZ) was leading 3-1 when Enes BASAR (TUR), went for a big throw. It was scored 4 points for the Kazakhstan wrestler. Turket with the challenge 

1900 hrs: Almat KEBISPAYEV (KAZ) wrestling for bronze at 67kg against Enes BASAR (TUR). On Mat A, Murat FIRAT (TUR) is leading Nazir Rachidovitch ABDULLAEV (RUS) in the second bronze medal bout of the category

#WrestleRome 63kg Medal Match Results
🥇Aidos SULTANGALI 🇰🇿 df. Sultan ASSETULY , inj. def.
🥉Neeraj NEERAJ 🇮🇳 df. Samuel JONES 🇺🇸, 6-4
🥉Mohammad ALAJMI 🇰🇼 df. Marat GARIPOV 🇷🇺, via inj. def.

— United World Wrestling (@wrestling) March 4, 2021

1850 hrs: GOLD MEDAL! Two Kazakhstan wrestlers in the final of 63kg and it's Aidos SULTANGALI (KAZ) winning the gold medal after Sultan ASSETULY (KAZ) withdraws via injury default

1845 hrs: Both Neeraj and Jones exchanges points but it's the former with a 5-4 lead after Jones failed to complete a throw. USA has challenged the call. Challenge lost and Neeraj leads 6-4 with 22 seconds to go. He will hang on to the lead and will take home a bronze medal from Rome

1835 hrs: NEERAJ (IND) and Samuel Lee JONES (USA) are wrestling on Mat B for the bronze medal at the 63kg weight category. In the other bronze medal bout, Mohammad F Kh M J ALAJMI (KUW) is the winner via injury default against Marat Maksumovitch GARIPOV (RUS)

1830 hrs: GOLD MEDAL! Russia's U23 World Championships silver medallist Emin Narimanovitch SEFERSHAEV (RUS) is the champion at 60kg via injury default from Ahmet UYAR (TUR)

1825 hrs: What a finish! Hafizov tried a head-pinch but gives up two of his own. Sarsenbiyev increases his lead by two points. Final six seconds left and Hafizov gets going with head lock exposure for two. He challenges it but it is lost. Zhanserik SARSENBIYEV (KAZ) takes the bronze medal at 60kg.

1820 hrs: Sarsenbiyev gets a two and then exposes Hafizov for two more. 5-3 lead for the Kazak with two minutes left in the bronze medal bout. Hungary's Kecskemeti hangs on for a 2-1 win and the bronze medal

1815 hrs: The two bronze medal bouts at 60kg are underway. On Mat B, Zhanserik SARSENBIYEV (KAZ) had 1-0 lead before Ildar HAFIZOV (USA) got a point for passivity and an exposure to take 3-1 lead. On Mat A, Krisztian KECSKEMETI (HUN) leads Joshua Xavier MEDINA (PUR) 2-1.

1810 hrs: Both Viktor VEDERNIKOV (RUS) and Khorlan Zhakansha (KAZ) exchange passivity points but the former then launches a big four-point throw and three gut-wrenches to claim the gold medal at 55kg with a dominant 11-1 win via technical superiority

1750 hrs: We are just minutes are away from the medal bouts in Rome. The bouts will take place on Mat B and A with Viktor VEDERNIKOV (RUS) and Khorlan ZHAKANSHA (KAZ) battling it out for the 55kg gold on the former and Krisztian KECSKEMETI (HUN) vs Joshua Xavier MEDINA (PUR) fighting for the bronze medal at 60kg on the latter.

In case you missed the first session of the day, below is the recap of some upsets and Kazakhstan and Hungary advancing four wrestlers each to the finals

That'll wrap the first session of the day in Rome. The line-up for the finals is set and the second session will give us seven Greco-Roman champions at the Matteo Pellicone Ranking Series event. We will be back after a three-hour break

In the warm-up hall in Rome today, two of wrestling's biggest stars sparred. Theo Lowenstien was there to capture this epic moment

1350 hrs: With that, we have our finals set in seven Greco-Roman weight categories

                 55kg Viktor VEDERNIKOV (RUS) vs Khorlan ZHAKANSHA (KAZ)
                 60kg Ahmet UYAR (TUR) vs Emin Narimanovitch SEFERSHAEV (RUS)
                 63kg Aidos SULTANGALI (KAZ) vs Sultan ASSETULY (KAZ)
                 67kg Meiirzhan SHERMAKHANBET (KAZ) vs Mate KRASZNAI (HUN)
                 87kg David LOSONCZI (HUN) vs Istvan TAKACS (HUN)
                 97kg Erik SZILVASSY (HUN) vs Musa Evloev (RUS)
                 130kg Riza KAYAALP (TUR) vs Abdellatif Mohamed Ahmed MOHAMED (EGY)

1335 hrs: Defending world champion Musa EVLOEV (RUS) storms into the final of 97kg. He beats Rio Olympics bronze medallist Cenk Ildem (TUR) 6-0 and will wrestle Erik SZILVASSY (HUN) in the final

1330 hrs: Almat KEBISPAYEV (KAZ) is wrestling his countryman Meiirzhan SHERMAKHANBET (KAZ). He gets tossed early in the bout and down 0-6. He had a very good run so far but now in deep trouble 

1315 hrs: Riza KAYAALP (TUR) with a fall! The four-time world champion secures a place in the 130kg final against Abdellatif Mohamed Ahmed Mohamed (EYG), who defeated Naveen NAVEEN (IND) 3-1

1312 hrs: Give it to Istvan TAKACS (HUN)! He hands Viktor LORINCZ (HUN) his first defeat ever in Ranking Series events. He shuts out the defending champ 3-1. He moves into the 87kg final

1310 hrs: Viktor LORINCZ (HUN) is staring at his first defeat in Ranking Series events. He trains compatriot Istvan TAKACS (HUN) 1-3

1255 hrs: We are set for the semi-finals on Day 1 in Rome

                 60kg (TUR) Ahmet UYAR vs (PUR) Joshua Xavier MEDINA
                 60kg (USA) Ildar HAFIZOV vs (RUS) Emin Narimanovitch SEFERSHAEV
                 63kg (KAZ) Aidos SULTANGALI vs (RUS) Marat Maksumovitch GARIPOV
                 63kg (USA) Samuel Lee JONES vs (KAZ) Sultan ASSETULY
                 67kg (KAZ) Almat KEBISPAYEV vs (KAZ) Meiirzhan SHERMAKHANBET
                 67kg (RUS) Nazir Rachidovitch ABDULLAEV vs (HUN) Mate KRASZNAI
                 87kg (RUS) Bekkhan OZDOEV vs (HUN) David LOSONCZI
                 87kg (HUN) Istvan TAKACS vs (HUN) Viktor LORINCZ
                 97kg (RUS) Musa EVLOEV vs (TUR) Cenk ILDEM
                 97kg (KAZ) Olzhas SYRLYBAY vs (HUN) Erik SZILVASSY
                 130kg (IND) Naveen NAVEEN vs (EGY) Abdellatif Mohamed Ahmed MOHAMED
                 130kg (RUS) Zurabi GEDEKHAURI vs (TUR) Riza KAYAALP 

1240 hrs: Nazir ABDULLAEV (RUS) with an upset! He takes out Tokyo Olympian Mohamed ELSAYED (EYG) 6-5 to move into the semi-finals at 67 kg

1230 hrs: Russian Championships runner-up Marat Maksumovitch GARIPOV (RUS) gets two four-point throws in the final 12 seconds to beat Aidos SULTANGALI (KAZ) and move into the 67kg semi-final

1225 hrs: Almat Kebispayev (KAZ) with a very close win! Trailing 2-4, he got a point for Jamel Rasheed JOHNSON'S (USA) passivity and then gets the exposure to lead 5-4. That remains the final score between the two.

1222 hrs: 2-0 win for Riza KAYAALP (TUR)! He moves into the semi-finals at 130kg. On Mat A, Kebispayev is in trouble as Johnson is leading 4-2 at the break in their 67kg quarter-final 

1217 hrs: Multiple-time world medallist Almat KEBISPAYEV (KAZ) is up on Mat A against Jamel Rasheed JOHNSON (USA). Meanwhile, Kayaalp is controlling the bout against Fernandez with a 2-0 lead

1210 hrs: Four-time world champion Riza KAYAALP (TUR) is wrestling against Yasmani ACOSTA FERNANDEZ (CHI) on Mat C in the 130kg quarter-final

1201 hrs: A comfortable win to start off his tournament! Viktor LORINCZ (HUN) scores a point for passivity, takedown, and pushout to seal a 4-0 win against Azamat Kustubayev (KAZ)

1200 hrs: Rio Olympics bronze medallist from Turkey Cenk ILDEM leads Yerulan ISKAKOV (KAZ) 3-0 at the break in their 97kg quarter-final on Mat A

1152 hrs: The six-time champion at Ranking Series tournaments Viktor LORINCZ (HUN) makes his way to MAT C for his first-round bout against Azamat KUSTUBAYEV (KAZ). The Hungarian is 23-0 so far in Ranking Series

1150 hrs: Emin Narimanovitch SEFERSHAEV (RUS) gives up a point for passivity but Zhanserik SARSENBIYEV (KAZ) could not capitalize. The Russian plays the clock well and will hold on for a 2-2 victory by criteria and advance to the semi-finals

1145 hrs: World Cup champion Emin Narimanovitch SEFERSHAEV (RUS) leads 2-1 at the break against Zhanserik SARSENBIYEV (KAZ) in their 60kg quarter-final. The Kazak also has a caution warning against him 

1133 hrs: Almat KEBISPAYEV (KAZ) holds on for a win! Kerem KAMAL (TUR), the defending champion from the 60kg weight category, goes down 3-3 in the first round of 67kg in Rome. What a stunning first hour we have had here

1130 hrs: Kerem KAMAL (TUR) gets a pushout and rewarded with two points to take a 4-3 lead but Almat KEBISPAYEV (KAZ) with a challenge to that call. Challenge won! 3-3 with 0:11 to go

1127 hrs: Almat KEBISPAYEV (KAZ) got the advantage after Kerem KAMAL (TUR) was warned for passivity. The Kazak wrestler gets a head pinch and a lead of 3-1 over the Turkish wrestler

1120 hrs: Match of the morning in Rome! Kerem KAMAL (TUR) is facing Almat KEBISPAYEV (KAZ) on Mat C. Kerem KAMAL (TUR) is the defending champion in Rome

1115 hrs: Eypgt's Tokyo Olympian Mohamed Ibrahim Elsayed Ibrahi ELSAYED gets going with a victory by fall in 67kg first round

1045 hrs: Four-time world champion Riza KAYAALP (TUR) begins with a comfortable 4-2 win over Mansur SHADUKAYEV (KAZ)

1030 hrs: All set for the first bouts in Rome! This will be the start of the new ranking cycle for all the wrestlers for 2021


'Focused' Chamizo Steals Gold Against Burroughs at Matteo Pellicone

By Vinay Siwach

OSTIA (Italy), March 8 --- After a 25-month wait, Jordan BURROUGHS (USA) and Frank CHAMIZO (ITA) finally met again on the mat.

At the Yasar Dogu in 2019, Chamizo had decided to sit out of the final, giving Burroughs the win. This was five months after the American had scored his third win over Chamizo at the Dan Kolov-Nikola Petrov event in February.

Sure, the pandemic delayed the matchup but Burroughs' loss at the 2019 World Championships  semifinal to Zaurbek SIDAKOV (RUS) in September deprived the fans of a rematch in NurSultan, Kazakhstan. Chamizo was on the other side of the bracket and reached the final against Sidakov.

But on a blockbuster Sunday at the Matteo Pellicone Ranking Series event in Rome, the two superstars clashed for the sixth time in what is quickly becoming wrestling's prized rivalry in recent years.

For the record, Chamizo closed the gap with Burroughs in head-to-head to 4-2 after winning a tense gold medal bout 3-2 at 74kg. Two of Chamizo's points were step out while one was for Burroughs passivity. Even Burroughs scored his two via step outs.

“I am feeling good. I did not even know he (Jordan) will be here,” Chamizo said. “I thought it would be an easy competition. My training is less but I am focused. That's what it is right now. I'm focused on my goals.”

Both wrestlers got into an intense scramble in the first period of the bout which resulted in Chamizo scoring a step out from a situation that seemed advantageous for Burroughs.

Chamizo explained the situation in the post-final interview. “I think he is a little bit scared when there's a scramble,” he said. “He loses focus and that's when I attack. When there is a scramble, he loses focus. He is like I don't want to be here.”

The bout was once again the most anticipated bout in Rome and like always was a medal bout. The two have wrestled for world medals, Ranking Series medals including the title which shows how dominant the two have been in their weight categories.

While Burroughs had talked about how is focused on winning his second Olympic gold medal after missing it in 2016 at Rio, Chamizo has been particularly expressive about being the top guy at 74kg.

Every tournament before the grand event in August will only be a virtual pit stop for wrestler but Chamizo thinks that the changes he has brought in himself will be enough to propel him to the top when it will matter the most five months from now.

“Before, I had training but I had no focus,” he said. “Now, I am a real 74kg. You see the difference between 2018 and now. Jordan is the best. For me, I always prepare for him. But I am the champion. I don't want to say but I the new man.”

It was evident in the final bout as well as Chamizo controlled the center of the mat instead of chasing Burroughs who has a tendency to pounce on the slightest of openings offered the opponent.

“I am training for this. I want to be in the center against him,” he said. “He has good scrambles and attacks. He is like a train. So I want to stay in the center and see what happens.”

Leading into the finals, Burroughs outscored his opponents 9-1 in the two bouts. 2019 Asian champion and world bronze medalist Daniyar KAISINOV (KAZ) was the first to fall to the American 5-0 before he beat Narsingh YADAV (IND) 4-1 in the semifinal.

On the other side, Chamizo had a roller-coaster especially in the quarter-final against Malik AMINE (SMR). Chamizo was at one point trailing Amine but managed to come back and win 13-8.

In the semifinal, Chamizo closed a 6-0 win over Franklin GOMEZ (PUR) to set up the summit clash against Burroughs.

Bajrang PUNIA (IND)

In other freestyle action, Bajrang PUNIA (IND) defended his title at 65kg with a tense 2-2 win over Tulga TUMUR OCHIR (MGL) in the gold medal bout. This was Punia's fifth gold medal at a Ranking Series event, making him the most successful freestyle wrestler at the series.

In a far from ideal bout in the final, Punia was left struggling to find an opening against Ochir. He was put on shot-clock and did not score giving a 1-0 lead to Ochir, who later scored a step out to lead 2-0. With 30 seconds to go, Ochir went for a shot but missed, while Punia capitalized on it to take a takedown with 14 seconds remaining.

“It was a good match with him. I am wrestling after a year off and he is also an Olympic qualified wrestler so it was a tough bout,” Punia said. “Before the Olympics, I want to wrestle every Tokyo qualified wrestler..”

Punia began with a 7-0 win over Selim KOZAN (TUR) but was tested by Joseph McKEENA (USA) in the semifinal. It was a rematch from last year which Punia won 4-2. This time, he improved the score to 6-3.

Ochir, on the other hand, dominated his opponents starting with Hamza ALACA (TUR) who he beat 10-0 before a 4-0 win against ROHIT (IND).


In an all-USA final at 86kg, former junior world silver medalist Zahid VALENCIA claimed a stunning 11-0 victory over Mark HALL (USA), himself a two-time junior world champion at 74kg.

Valencia was undoubtedly the top performer of the day as he outscored his opponents 34-2, winning all his bouts via technical superiority.

Another American wrestler who struck gold was Alec PANTALEO (USA) at 70kg. He defeated world silver medalist at 65kg Daulet NIYAZBEKOV (KAZ) twice in the day to claim the gold medal.

The surprise came at 61kg where U23 World Championships silver medalist Adlan ASKAROV (KAZ) defeated world and European silver medalist Suleyman ATLI (TUR) 8-3 in the first bout of the day. The Kazak youngster remained unbeaten for the day and claimed the gold medal while Atli settled for silver.  

World Championships bronze medalist Nurislam SANAYEV captured the top position at 57kg by defeating Nicholas SUNIARO (USA) twice in the day. In the final, Sanayev beat the US wrestler 4-2 while in the day the score was 3-2.

The 79kg gold medal was captured by veteran Galymzhan USSERBAYEV (KAZ). He had to see off a late challenge from David Vincent MC FADDEN (USA) before winning 6-5.

Rio Olympics silver medalist at 86kg Selim YASAR (TUR) won the gold medal at 92kg to close out the competition which was the first Ranking Series event of the year.


Final #WrestleRome MFS team scores

GOLD: USA (190 points)
SILVER: Kazakhstan (178 points)
BRONZE: Turkey (113 points)
FOURTH: India (98 points)
FIFTH: Italy (48 points)

Men's freestyle

GOLD: Nurislam SANAYEV (KAZ) df. Nicholas Raymond SURIANO (USA) 4-2


GOLD: Bajrang PUNIA (IND) df. Tulga TUMUR OCHIR (MGL) 2-2
BRONZE: Hamza ALACA (TUR) df. ROHIT (IND) 12-10
BRONZE: Joseph Christopher McKENNA 8-2 Selim KOZAN (TUR)

GOLD: Alec William PANTALEO (USA) df. Daulet NIYAZBEKOV (KAZ) 4-0

GOLD: Frank CHAMIZO (ITA) df. Jordan BURROUGHS (USA) 3-2
BRONZE: Nurkozha KAIPANOV (KAZ) df. Franklin GOMEZ MATOS (PUR) 8-1
BRONZE: Daniyar KAISANOV df. Narsingh Pancham YADAV (IND) 5-0

GOLD: Galymzhan USSERBAYEV (KAZ) df. David Vincent MC FADDEN (USA) 6-5
BRONZE: Muhammet Nuri KOTANOGLU (TUR) df. Ramazan Ishak SARI (TUR) 6-0

GOLD: Zahid VALENCIA (USA) df. Mark HALL (USA) 11-0
BRONZE: Myles Najee MARTIN (USA) df. Clayton Steven PYE (CAN) 12-2