Ranking the 10 potential continental finals rematches on tap for Bishkek RS

By Eric Olanowski

BISHKEK, Kyrgyzstan (May 24) --- The Central Asian wrestling fanatical town of Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, is set to play host to the highly anticipated Kaba Uulu Kozhomkul & Raatbek Sanatbaev Ranking Series event from June 1-4. This event, which marks the third stop on the Ranking Series calendar, will gather elite wrestlers from around the world, allowing fans to witness thrilling rematches from some of the fiercest rivalries in the sport.

Over 400 wrestlers from 32 countries are set to showcase their skills in Bishkek, with 28 fresh off grabbing continental glory. In eleven weight classes—four in freestyle and three in Greco-Roman and women’s wrestling—there is the potential to see rematches from the gold-medal bouts at the Asian, European and Pan-American Championships.

We ranked the 10 potential rematches from the Continental finals to keep an eye out for in Bishkek:

1. Aisuluu TYNYBEKOVA (KGZ) vs. Orkhon PUREVDORJ (MGL)

A potential rematch from the 62kg Asian finals could occur between world champions Tynybekova and Purevdorj.

In their previous encounter, Tynybekova showcased her aggression throughout the match, while Purevdorj's counter-wrestling skills kept her in contention. However, Tynybekova prevailed with a 9-5 victory, securing seven crucial points in the second period.


Balihamzehdeh and Dzhuzupbekov have the potential for another intense encounter, following their highly competitive 97kg final match at the Asian Championships.

During that finals bout in Almaty, both wrestlers displayed the will to win, resulting in a 4-4 deadlock after five and a half minutes of action.

However, in the bout's closing moments, Dzhuzupbekov was penalized for a headbutt with 15 seconds remaining. As a result, Balihamzehdeh was awarded a caution and two, granting him a crucial two-point advantage, which ultimately helped him secure the Asian title.

3. Aliabbas RZAZADE (AZE) vs. Suleyman ATLI (TUR)

An eagerly awaited rematch could occur between Rzazade and Atli, the two wrestlers who clashed in the 57kg finals for European gold.

Atli entered Zagreb as the unquestionable favorite to grab gold, but Rzazade had different plans.

Rzazade demonstrated his power and timing in the opening 15 seconds with a four-point arm throw and never looked back. In the end, the Azeri picked up the 12-2 win, surpassing his silver-medal finish from last year’s European Championships.

For Atli, if there’s one guy you’re heading into Kyrgyzstan seeking revenge against, it’s Rzazade.

4.  Poya Soulat DAD MARZ (IRI) vs. Rupin RUPIN (IND)

One of the brightest rising stars at 55kg Dad Marz will look for a second consecutive win over Indian youngster Rupin, who he defeated in the 55kg finals of the Asian Championships.

In that finals meeting in Almaty, Dad Marz and Rupin were squared up at one apiece with less than a minute to go when the referee awarded the Iranian a caution-and-two with 55 seconds after his Indian opponent grabbed his fingers.

This time around, Dad Marz will aim for a clean win, showcasing his skills and putting his own points on the board.

5. Luisa VALVERDE (ECU) vs. Giullia RODRIGUES (BRA)

Valverde and Rodrigues could have another showdown at 57kg after their previous meeting in the Pan-American finals, where Valverde emerged victorious with a 4-2 win.

The match in Buenos Aires saw a crucial call go in Valverde's favor, ultimately changing the bout's outcome. Despite facing adversity with a wrapped head and conceding two shot clock points late in the final frame, Valverde managed to hold onto her 4-2 lead.

Side note: their other meetings came at the 2022 XII South American Games and the 2017 Pan-American Championships.

6. Lkhagvagerel MUNKHTUR (MGL) vs. Yusup BATIRMURZAEV (KAZ)

Munkhtur and Batirmurzaev could clash in a rematch from the 125kg Asian finals.

This would be the fifth meeting between the two. Batirmurzaev won the first two meetings, but Munkhtur won the last two.

The interesting part about this rivalry is how the tides have turned from their first meeting, which came back at the 2019 U23 Asian Championships.

In their first two encounters, Batirmurzaev emerged victorious, showcasing his dominance over Munkhtur. He secured a pin in their first bout, and in the subsequent match, defeated Munkhtur by a score of 4-2.

During this period, Batirmurzaev appeared to have Munkhtur's number, leaving the Mongolian wrestler eager for redemption.

However, the tides began to turn in favor of Munkhtur after dropping two consecutive matches. In their third meeting, Munkhtur finally claimed victory, defeating Batirmurzaev by a score of 2-1. This marked a significant turning point in their rivalry and highlighted Munkhtur's growth and development as a super heavyweight.

Most recently, in their fourth encounter, Munkhtur continued his upward trajectory, securing a hard-fought 1-1 victory to claim his first Asian title. This victory solidified Munkhtur's position as a formidable force in the 125kg category, not only in Asia but worldwide.

7. Taiyrbek ZHUMASHBEK UULU (KGZ) vs. Minghu LIU (CHN)

Zhumashbek Uulu and Liu could potentially meet in a rematch from the 61kg Asian finals.

Zhumashbek Uulu gave up a straight-on double in the first period but adjusted accordingly in the second. He adapted quickly, limiting Liu to one shot in the final three minutes. The Kyrgyz wrestler’s effective use of an underhook on his Chinese opponent’s right side dictated the pace of the match in the closing period, and after Liu’s gas tank diminished, Zhumashbek Uulu scored a pair of step-outs and two shot clock points to win, 4-2.


Hrushyna Akobiia and Aliyeva could meet for the third time, continuing their rivalry that has seen Hrushyna Akobiia emerge victorious in their previous encounters at the 2022 World Championships and 2023 European Championships.

In the 57kg finals of this year's European Championships, Hrushyna Akobiia dominated the match, leading 10-0 before securing a fall to claim back-to-back European titles.

Aliyeva will be determined to reverse the trend and pick up a much-needed win against Hrushyna Akobiia.

9. Sanzhar DOSZHANOV (KAZ) vs. Zafarbek OTAKHONOV (UZB)

Doszhanov and Otakhonov could meet in a rematch from the Asian Championships where they vied for the 70kg gold medal.

Doszhanov capitalized on his single scoring opportunity, executing a front headlock that propelled Otakhonov out of bounds as the inactivity clock expired. Doszhanov secured a crucial 2-0 victory in this low-scoring affair.

10. Iman MOHAMMADI (IRI) vs. Shermukhammad SHARIBJANOV (UZB)

Mohammadi proved to be the superior wrestler in their previous encounter, securing a dominant 9-0 victory over Sharibjanov in the 63kg Asian finals.

Mohammadi displayed his wide array of skills, scoring points through go-behinds and step-outs, before concluding the match with a remarkable four-point throw.

Sharibjanov will be eager to turn the tables and seek redemption in their potential rematch.

Catch all the action live from Bishkek on uwww.org or the Home of Wrestling, United WorldW Wrestling’s app


LIVE BLOG: Bishkek Ranking Series event, Day Two

By Eric Olanowski

BISHKEK, Kyrgyzstan (June 2) --- The second day of wrestling at the Bishkek Ranking Series event get underway at 10:30 am. Friday's action will feature the final three Greco-Roman weights--72kg, 77kg and 87kg, and the first four women's wrestling weights--57kg, 62kg, 68kg and 76kg.

Everything you need to know:
📍Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan 🇰🇬
🗓️: June 1-4
🕙: Qualification = 10:30
🥇🥈🥉= 18:00
🖥️: http://uww.org 
📱: UWW App

Friday's final matches:

72kg: Mohammadreza GERAEI (IRI) vs.Ramaz ZOIDZE (GEO) 
77kg: Mohammadali Abdolhamid GERAEI (IRI) vs. Iuri LOMADZE (GEO) 
82kg: Alireza Azizkhoon MOHMADIPIANI (IRI) vs. Alperen BERBER (TUR) 

Women's Wrestling
57kg: Kexin HONG (CHN) vs. Alina HRUSHYNA AKOBIIA (UKR) 
62kg: Orkhon PUREVDORJ (MGL) vs. Ilona PROKOPEVNIUK (UKR) 
68kg: Delgermaa ENKHSAIKHAN (MGL) vs. Feng ZHOU (CHN) 
76kg: Aiperi MEDET KYZY (KGZ) vs. Yuanyuan HUANG (CHN) 

13:31: Talk about feeding off the crowd. Aiperi MEDET KYZY (KGZ) picked up her second come-from-behind win of the day, scoring four points in the final 20 seconds to defeat Qiandegenchagan QIANDEGENCHAGAN (CHN), 6-3. She reached the finals, where she'll meet Yuanyuan HUANG (CHN) for the 76kg title.

13:18: Geraei just made Basar's feet touch the ceiling with a perfectly timed duck under. I'm waiting for the video and will have it up shortly.

13:06: World bronze medalists Mohammadali Abdolhamid GERAEI (IRI) and Yunus Emre BASAR (TUR) are in a tight battle over on Mat A. Geraei just picked up two from a gut wrench, grabbing the 3-2 lead heading into the second period.

12:37: Two Olympic medalist are wrestling now. Reza Geraei is up on A and Meerim ZHUMANAZAROVA (KGZ) is up on Mat C.

12:35: Jia LONG (CHN) just put up 14 points in the second period against Bullen, erasing a nine-point first-period deficit. In one of the craziest turn of event I've ever seen, she went from being down 10-1 to winning 15-10.

12:29: Grace BULLEN (NOR) is in the midst of blowing a 10-1 lead. She's given up eight consecutive points in the second period and there's still over a minute to go.

12:12: In the battle of Mongolian world champs over on Mat C, Purevdorj picked up three counter-offensive go-behinds against Sukhee, picking up the 6-4 win. This was Purevdorj's second win over Sukhee after defeating her at the 2023 Mongolian National Championships. Although it's not official, with a 2-0 record against Sukhee, Purevdorj will likely be Mongolia's rep at the 2023 World Championships.

11:40: The Pan-American champions who made the trip to Bishkek are having a tough day. Elvira KAMALOGLU (TUR), who entered the competition with a 1-2 record on the season, just cruised to a 12-1 win over Luisa VALVERDE  (ECU). She'll wrestle reigning two-time European champion Alina HRUSHYNA AKOBIIA (UKR) next for a spot in the 57kg finals

11:21: Mongolia's pair of world champions Tserenchimed SUKHEE (MGL) and Orkhon PUREVDORJ (MGL) will wrestle in four matches on Mat C. This will likely determine the starting spot at 62kg on Mongolia's Belgrade world team.

11:12: The Olympic champ skates away with a 9-3 win over Abuladze and will meet  Adilkhan SATAYEV (KAZ) in the 72kg quarterfinals.

11:03: Things are getting crazy on Mat A. Otar ABULADZE (GEO) just pinned Olympic champ Mohammadreza Abdolhamid GERAEI (IRI) but the fall didn't stick.

After a back and forth exchange near the Georgian corner, Geraei ended up flat on his back, with Otar picking up the fall. But Geraei challenged that Abuladze's head and left head went out of bounds, which should have stopped all action. He was correct and we're back to action.

10:49: Continuing with the action on Mat A, world bronze medalist Aiperi MEDET KYZY (KGZ) has a slim 1-0 lead Gulmaral YERKEBAYEVA (KAZ) but is on the shot clock. Her coach just told her to start working on the head and get to her undertook on her right side.

10:45: Prokopevniuk and Godinez trade takedown in period two, but the Ukrainian pulls out the early upset of the morning, 8-3. She'll take on Lydia PEREZ TOURINO (ESP) in the 62kg quarterfinals.

10:41:  Ilona PROKOPEVNIUK (UKR) has built a solid 6-1 lead on Ana Paula GODINEZ GONZALEZ (CAN), scoring three takedowns on the reigning Pan-American champion. There's just under two minutes left in the opening round match 62kg. 

10:23: Welcome back to Bishkek, wrestling. Today, there will be three Olympic medalists in action: Olympic champion Mohammadreza Abdolhamid GERAEI (IRI), and Olympic bronze medal winners Iryna KOLIADENKO (UKR) and Meerim ZHUMANAZAROVA (KGZ).