Live Blog: Yasar Dogu, Vehbi Emre & Hamit Kaplan Ranking Series Day 4

By United World Wrestling Press

ISTANBUL, Turkey (February 27) -- The final day of the Yasar Dogu, Vehbi Emre & Hamit Kaplan Ranking Series is here. After the Greco-Roman and Women's Freestyle, the men's freestyle will round off the tournament.

Eight weight classes will be in action with five-time world champion Jordan BURROUGHS (USA) highlighting the field. He wrestles at 79kg. Olympic silver medalist Ravi KUMAR (IND) wrestles at 61kg. U23 world champion Ernazar AKMATALIEV (KGZ), world champion Zagir SHAKHIEV (RWF), Tokyo bronze Bekzod ABDURAKHAMANOV (UZB) are the other names to keep an eye on.


1814: Ravi KUMAR (IND) works Mohammad YAKHKESHI (IRI) so much that he gives up a pin. The Tokyo silver medalist is moving on into the final at 61kg

1810: Almaz SMANBEKO (KGZ) humbles Muhammet KARAVUS (TUR) in front of some loud Kyrgyzstan fans. Big 11-0 win inside two minutes in that 57kg semifinal  

1755: James GREEN (USA) waited for the final 30 seconds to score a takedown and take out Viktor RASSADIN (RWF) in the 70kg semifinal

1730: The 74kg semifinal are set

Pritam PRITAM (IND) vs Fazli ERYILMAZ (TUR) 

1715: Jordan BURROUGHS (USA) was put on the activity clock in the final minute with a score of 1-1 against Ali Bakhtiar SAVADKOUHI (IRI). But a clear singlet grab from Savadkouhi gives the point to Burroughs and the win at 2-1

1625: Bekzod ABDURAKHAMANOV (UZB), debuting at 86kg, began with a win and is now wrestling in the quarterfinals against Tarzan MAISURADZE (GEO). It was 2-1 for the Uzbek wrestler before he scores a takedown on the edge to lead 4-1. A stepout to extend the lead. It's 7-1. Another stepout and he wins 8-1.

1610: Suleyman ATLI (TUR) had it covered with a 5-3 lead and needed to defend 10 seconds. But Mohammad Esmaeil YAKHKESHI (IRI) throws him for four points with 5 seconds remaining and secures the win

1600: The semifinals for the 92kg weight class are set

Elkhan ASSADOV (KAZ) vs. Ahmad Yousef BAZRIGHALEH (IRI)

1545: Viktor RASSDIN (RWF) takes out Ernazar AKMATALIEV (KGZ). After building an 8-0 lead, Rassadin defended all the attacks and hangs on for a 12-7 win.

1445: Are you excited for these 65kg quarterfinals?

Suleyman ATLI (TUR) vs Mohammad YAKHKESHI (IRI)
Nicholas MEGALUDIS (USA) vs Ravi KUMAR (IND) 

1415: Gulamjon ABDULLAEV (UZB) sneaks one out at the end. He beats Islam BAZARGANOV (AZE) 3-2.

1345: The crowd here has is on its feet. Ahmet TAS (TUR) gets two body locks to four points and beats Ramiz GAMZATOV (RWF) 11-0. Just a stunning show of power

1330: Jordan BURROUGHS (USA) with some more double-leg attacks and Zhiger ZAKIROV (KAZ) has no answers to them. The USA wrestler wins 10-0 

1315: Ernazar AKMATALIEV (KGZ) has a tendency to give up early points but then rallies to come back in those bouts. In a similar fashion, he beats Anthony ASHNAULT (USA) 10-3 

1300: Jordan OLIVER (USA) was in the lead but Aliakbar FAZLIKHALILI (IRI) scored two takedowns and moves on with a 4-2 win at 70kg

1235: Zagir SHAKHIEV (RWF) wins 11-0. But don't move away from Mat C. We have Umidjon JALOLOV (UZB) coming up followed by Tulga TUMUR OCHIR (MGL)

1225: Joey MCKENNA (USA) now has two big wins to start off. He won his first bout 10-0 and now beats Evan HENDERSON (USA) 16-9 at 65kg.

1200: Junior Asian champion Mohmmad FIROUZPOUR (IRI) with a good start. A technical superiority win over Abdullah J M Th A ABDALKAREEM (KUW).

1145: Tokyo silver medalist Ravi KUMAR (IND) uses his outside single to great effect and scores a 7-0 win over compatriot Mangal KADYAN (IND) at 61kg.

1130: Russian champion Ramiz GAMZATOV (RWF) got a tough challenge from Daniel DESHAZER (USA) but comes out on top 5-1. Great technical wrestling from him 

1115: Jordan BURROUGHS (USA) got some double-legs, some stepouts and he a win at 79kg. He moves on to the quarterfinals.

1105: Ernazar AKMATALIEV (KGZ) has nerves of steel. He was trailing 3-4 with 10 seconds remaining and pulls out a huge takedown at the edge to win 5-3 at 70kg

1050: Cadet world champion Umidjon JALOLOV (UZB) with a good win over Ali RAHIMZADE (AZE) 10-0. It will be interesting how far Jalolov can go in the tournament at 65kg

1040: Welcome to the final day of the #WrestleIstanbul event. Kicking off proceeding on Mat B is the world champion Zagir Shakhiev (RWF) and Adil OSPANOV (KAZ). Shakhiev with a quick leg lace and leads 6-0. Ospanov with a two and two to make it 4-8. But Shakhiev has bounced back nicely to win 15-5


Akgul answers if he's headed to the UFC

By Eric Olanowski

ISTANBUL, Turkey (April 14) --- Taha AKGUL (TUR) sat down with United World Wrestling after winning gold on home soil at the #WrestleIstanbul Yasar Dogu to answer questions from his loyal fan base. The Olympic champion opened up about fighting in the UFC, his favorite meal to eat, his ideal vacation destination and much more.