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


Kyrgyzstan basks in wrestlers' golden glory

By Vinay Siwach

BISHKEK, Kyrgyzstan (June 4) -- Kyrgyzstan once again reminded the world that it is a strong freestyle nation by clinching three gold medals on day four of the Bishkek Ranking Series. Moreover, world bronze medalist Ernazar AKMATALIEV (KGZ) was not one of them.

Asian silver medalist Almaz SMANBEKOV (KGZ) won at 57kg, Asian champion Taiyrbek ZHUMASHBEK UULU (KGZ) won gold at 61kg and Orozobek TOKTOMAMBETOV (KGZ) became the champion at 70kg on the final day of the competition.

Smanbekov began with a 3-1 win over Wanhao ZOU (CHN) in the quarterfinals before beating Beka BUJIASHVILI (GEO), 4-2, in the semifinals to enter the final against fellow Kyrgyzstan wrestler Bekzat ALMAZ UULU (KGZ).

A big arm-throw was the highlight of the match for Smanbekov who managed to win the gold after a 6-1 victory in front of a loud home crowd.

The ever-improving Zhumashbek Uulu survived a scare as he won 5-5 against Emrah ORMANOGLU (TUR) in the quarterfinals after getting a walkover by Ravi KUMAR (IND) who pulled out due to a knee injury. He managed to beat PANKAJ (IND) 7-0 in the semifinals before facing Shota PHARTENADZE (GEO) in the final.

Zhumashbek Uulu gave little to Phartenadze and managed to win the gold after an 8-2 victory at 61kg.

Though it was not Akmataliev, the 70kg gold medal went to Kyrgyzstan. Toktomambetov stepped up when Akmataliev lost 11-6 in the semifinal against Syrbaz TALGAT (KGZ).

Toktomambetov began with a strong win over Servet COSKUN (TUR) in the opening round and faced Orts ISAKOV (JOR) in the quarterfinals and won 11-0. Against Mulaym YADAV (IND) in the semifinals, Toktomambetov managed to fina way and win 7-1.

In the final, Toktomambekov was up against Talgat and wrestled one of his toughest match of the tournament. After six minutes, Toktomambetov won 3-2 and the gold medal.

At 65kg, Tulga TUMUR-OCHIR (MGL) captured his third straight Ranking Series gold medal after beating Alibek OSMONOV (KGZ), 5-2.

As usual, Tumur Ochir began with his underhooks and pressured his opponents before scoring the points. He started with a 4-0 win over Abdulmazhid KUDIEV (TJK) followed by a humdinger against Umidjon JALOLOV (UZB) which the Mongolian won 6-5.

The semifinals saw him beat Meirzhan ASHIROV (KAZ) 8-4 and he step up a clash against Alibek OSMONOV (KGZ). He used his underhook but Osmonov was quick to defend it. But it wasn't long before Tumur Ochir returned to his preferred attack and after six minutes, he managed to win 8-4.

Vladimeri GAMKRELIDZE (GEO) was one of the two Georgians who claimed gold medals on Sunday.

The U23 world champion claimed the gold medal at 79kg by beating Myrza ZHYRGALBEK UULU (KGZ) 11-0 and Zhiger ZAKIROV (KAZ) 9-1. He then faced Khidir SAIPUDINOV (BRN) in the final and managed to stop Saipudinov from any attacks and won a tense final 3-2 to be crowned champion.

The second Georgian was world bronze medalist Miriani MAISURADZE (GEO) who launched Gankhuyag GANBAATAR (MGL) for a big throw which proved to be the difference between the two wrestlers.

Bayramov closer to Belgrade spot

Azerbaijan, for the second straight year, is trying to find the best combination for the all-important World Championships in a Ranking Series. For the same, three wrestlers were entered at 74kg in Bishkek. And for the second straight year, Turan BAYRAMOV (AZE) defeated Dzhabrail GADZHIEV (AZE).

Last year in Rome, Bayramov stopped Gadzhiev and repeated it Sunday as he held off the former 2-1 in a classic Bayramov bout.


Gadzhiev tried all his might to beat Bayramov but he failed to find the attack that could have helped him overcome the defensive challenge that Bayramov brings.


GOLD: Almaz SMANBEKOV (KGZ) df. Bekzat ALMAZ UULU (KGZ), 6-1

BRONZE: Wanhao ZOU (CHN) df. Beka BUJIASHVILI (GEO), 7-0
BRONZE: Meirambek KARTBAY (KAZ) df. Nodirjon SAFAROV (UZB), 12-6


BRONZE: Abdymalik KARACHOV (KGZ) df. Sardor RUZIMOV (UZB), via fall

GOLD: Tulga TUMUR OCHIR (MGL) df. Alibek OSMONOV (KGZ), 5-2

BRONZE: Abdulmazhid KUDIEV (TJK) df. Meirzhan ASHIROV (KAZ), 10-0

GOLD: Orozobek TOKTOMAMBETOV (KGZ) df. Syrbaz TALGAT (KAZ), 3-2

BRONZE: Servet COSKUN (TUR) df. Mulaym YADAV (IND), 6-6

GOLD: Turan BAYRAMOV (AZE) df. Dzhabrail GADZHIEV (AZE), 2-1

BRONZE: Magomet EVLOEV (TJK) df. Otari BAGAURI (GEO), via fall
BRONZE: Khadzhimurad GADZHIYEV (AZE) df. Soner DEMIRTAS (TUR), 12-7

GOLD:  Vladimeri GAMKRELIDZE (GEO) df. Khidir SAIPUDINOV (BRN), 3-2


GOLD: Magomed SHARIPOV (BRN) df. Abubakr ABAKAROV (AZE), via inj. def.


GOLD: Miriani MAISURADZE (GEO) df. Gankhuyag GANBAATAR (MGL), 6-1

BRONZE: Jumabayi AERGEN (CHN) df. Abdimanap BAIGENZHEYEV (KAZ), 2-0
BRONZE: Andro MARGISHVILI (GEO) df. Nurdaulet BEKENOV (KAZ), 6-2