World Championships Special: Greco-Roman Rankings

By William May

CORSIER-SUR-VEVEY (September 2) – Only three world champions from 2014 complete the year on top of the United World Wrestling rankings for Greco-Roman, but all eight champions are listed on the preliminary entry forms for the upcoming world meet in Las Vegas.

Mijain LOPEZ NUNEZ (CUB) won his fifth world title at super heavyweight in 2014 and added his fourth Pan American Games crown in July to headline the preliminary list of wrestlers expected to compete at 130kg in the September 6-12 championships.

Joining Lopez Nunez at the top of this special world championships edition of the Greco-Roman rankings are Davor STEFANEK (SRB) at 66kg and Artur ALEKSANYAN (ARM) at 98kg.

Meanwhile, with all eight defending champions from 2014 listed on their national federations’ entry lists, a special battle royal looms at 75kg making it one of the marquee events of the championships.

Defending champion Arsen JULFALAKYAN (ARM) and top-ranked Asian Games gold medalist KIM Hyeon-Woo (KOR) face the possibility of squaring off with Chingiz LABAZANOV (RUS), world champion at 71kg, and 80kg kingpin Peter BACSI (HUN).

Labazanov and Bacsi, moving from their non-Olympic weight categories, are both entered at 75kg in a bid to secure a berth at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. Rumors on the social media, however, suggest that London 2012 gold medalist Roman VLASOV (RUS) is still being considered as a possible alternate for Labazanov.

The world championships edition of the rankings provides an overview of which wrestlers will likely be competing in Las Vegas. Some changes may occur since entries do not need to be finalized until noon the day of the medical examination and weigh-in.

Ranked wrestlers not named on their federation’s entry list are mark “NE” or “Not Entered” while entries competing in a different weight category will be noted “[email protected]”.
Also, when a wrestler is listed as an “alternate” – No.2 or No.3 on the preliminary entry form – he/she is marked as “Alt” or “Alt2”.  In some cases, an alternate may be ranked while the top entry is not.

As a reminder, the rankings are meant to reflect a wrestler’s performance at events on the United World Wrestling calendar over the previous 12 months. The rankings are not intended, in any way, to be a predictor of success at the world championships or in any wrestling competition.

Wrestlers in this special edition of the rankings are listed by name, country code, and most notable result(s) in recent years or over their careers.

59kg – World silver medalist Mingiyan SEMENOV (RUS) is the only top-ranked wrestler in Greco-Roman not to be entered in Las Vegas, giving way to European Games gold medalist Stepan MARYANYAN (RUS). 

Fifth-ranked European Games bronze medalist Elman MUKHTAROV (AZE) is listed as an alternate behind unranked Rovshan BAYRAMOV (AZE), a two-time Olympic Games silver medalist.

1. Mingiyan SEMENOV (RUS) – NE
2. Ivo ANGELOV (BUL) – 2013 world champion
3. Elmurat TASMURADOV (UZB) – 2013, 2014 world bronze medalist
4. Stepan MARYANYAN (RUS) – European Games champion
5. (Alt) Elman MUKHTAROV (AZE) – European Games bronze medalist
6. YUN Won-Chol (PRK) – 2013 world champion
7. Soslan DAUROV (BLR) – European Games silver medalist
8. Tarik BELMADANI (FRA) – European Games bronze medalist
9. Victor CIOBANU (MDA) – European U23 champion
10. Aleksandar KOSTADINOV (BUL) – NE
11. Stig Andre BERGE (NOR) – 2014 world bronze medalist
12. Hamid SORYAN (IRI) – 6x world champion (2005-2014)
13. Spenser MANGO (USA) – Pan American Games bronze medalist
14. Andres MONTANO (ECU) – Pan American Games champion
15. Ali SOTO MACIAS (MEX) – Pan American Games silver medalist
16. Shinobu OTA (JPN) – NE
17. Hammet RUSTEM (TUR) – NE
18. Virgil MUNTEANU (ROU) – 2015 Nikola Petrov No.3
19. Fatih UCUNCU (TUR) – 2015 Nikola Petrov No.3
20. Maikel ANACHE LAMOTH (CUB) – 2015 Pan American champion

66kg – Davor STEFANEK (SRB) won his first world title in Tashkent, while 2013 world champion RYU Han-Soo (KOR) was focused on winning the gold medal at the Incheon 2014 Asian Games.
1. Davor STEFANEK (SRB) – 2014 world champion
2. Tamas LORINCZ (HUN) – 2014 world bronze medalist
3. RYU Han-Soo (KOR) – 2013 world champion
4. Artem SURKOV (RUS) – European Games champion
5. Frank STAEBLER (GER) – European Games bronze medalist
6. Migran ARUTUNYAN (ARM) – European Games silver medalist
7. Dominik ETLINGER (CRO) – European U23 runner-up
8. Hasan ALIYEV (AZE) – European Games bronze medalist
9. Istvan LEVAI (SVK) – European Games bronze medalist
10. Mateusz BERNATEK (POL) – 2015 Pytlasinski Cup No.3
11. [email protected] Aleksander MAKSIMOVIC (SRB) – European Games No.5
12. Denys DEMYANKOV (UKR) – 2015 Takhti Cup winner
13. Mohammadali GERAEI (IRI) – NE
14. [email protected] Mathias MAASCH (GER) – 2015 Pytlasinski winner
15. Wuileixis RIVAS ESPINOZA (VEN) – Pan American Games champion
16. Demeu ZHADRAYEV (KAZ) – 2015 Asian bronze medalist
17. Abdulsamet UGURLU (TUR) – 2015 Vehbi Emre winner
18. Konstantin STAS (BUL) – 2015 Nikola Petrov winner

71kg – World bronze medalist Rasul CHUNAYEV (AZE) appears to have found his stride with a triumph before the home crowd at the European Games in Baku.

A number of wrestlers who have competed at 71kg over the last 12 months, like Tamas LORINCZ (HUN) and Chingiz LABAZANOV (RUS), have departed to 66kg or 75kg for a chance to earn a berth at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

1. Rasul CHUNAYEV (AZE) – European Games champion
2. Afshin BYABANGARD (IRI) – 2014 Asian Games bronze medalist
3. Balint KORPASI (HUN) – European Games silver medalist
6. Yuri DENISOV (RUS) – 2014 Pytlasinski winner
7. [email protected] Daniel CATARAGA (MDA) – European U23 champion
8. Yunus OZEL (TUR) – 2014 world silver medalist
9. Sachino DAVITAIA (GEO) – NE
10. Ruslan TSAREV (KGZ) – NE
11. ZHANG Ridong (CHN) – 2015 Asian bronze medalist
12. Petter KARLSEN (NOR) – N
13. Rafael ALEKSANYAN (ARM) – NE
14. Varsham BORANYAN (ARM) – Spanish GP winner
16. Dilshod TURDIEV (UZB) – NE
17. Nikolai SAVCHENKO (UKR) – NE
18. JUNG Ji-Hyun (KOR) – NE
19. Zackarias TALLROTH (SWE) – Paris GP winner
20. Svilen KOSTADINOV (BUL) – European Games No.5

75kg – Asian Games gold medalist KIM Hyeon-Woo, also the 2013 world champion, and 2014 winner Arsen JULFALAKYAN (ARM) lead a parade of world champions into Las Vegas.

Unranked: Asian Games bronze medalist at 71kg Saeid Mourad ABDVALI (IRI), also a 2011 world champion at 66kg in 2011, steps onto the mats for the first time since Incheon 2014.

1. KIM Hyeon-Woo (KOR) – 2013 world champion
2. Arsen JULFALAKYAN (ARM) – 2014 world champion
3. Roman VLASOV (RUS) – NE
4. Elvin MURSALIYEV (AZE) – European Games champion
5. Viktor NEMES (SRB) – European Games silver medalist
6. Chingiz LABAZANOV (RUS) – European Games bronze medalist
7. Zurabi DATUNASHVILI (GEO) – 2013 European runner-up
8. Bozo STARCEVIC (CRO) – 2015 Pytlasinski runner-up
9. Emrah KUS (TUR) – 2013 world bronze medalist
10. Dmitri PYSHKOV (UKR) – European Games bronze medalist
11. Mark MADSEN (DEN) – 2013 European bronze medalist
12. Karapet CHALYAN (ARM) – NE
14. Andrew BISEK (USA) – Pan American Games champion
15. Yavor YANAKIEV (BUL) – 2013 European bronze medalist
16. Petru SEVCIUC (MDA) – European U23 bronze medalist
17. Juan Angel ESCOBAR (MEX) – Pan American Games bronze medalist
18. Florian NEUMAIER (GER) – 2014 Pytlasinski runner-up
19. Laszlo SZABO (HUN) – NE
20. Manukhar TSKHADAIA (GEO) – NE

80kg – World silver medalist Evgeni SALEEV (RUS) tops the rankings as European Games champion, while world champion Peter BACSI (HUN) returns to welterweight (75kg) for a chance to secure a Rio 2016 berth.
1. Evgeni SALEEV (RUS) – European Games champion
2. Rafik HUSEYNOV (AZE) – European Games silver medalist
3. [email protected] Peter BACSI (HUN) – 2014 world champion
4. Daniel ALEKSANDROV (BUL) – European Games bronze medalist
5. Viktor SASUNOVSKI (BLR) – European Games bronze medalist
6. Selcuk CEBI (TUR) – 2014 world bronze medalist
7. Lasha GOBADZE (GEO) – European U23 champion
8. Arslan ATEM (TUR) – NE
9. Yousef GHADERIAN (IRI) – 2015 Asian champion
10. Eduard SARGSYAN (ARM) – 2015 Spanish GP winner
11. Aleksander SHYSHMAN (UKR) – 2015 European bronze medalist
12. Dogan GOKTAS (TUR) – NE
13. [email protected] Jonas BOSSERT (SUI) – Ion Corneanu winner
14. Igor BESLEAGA (MDA) – NE
15. AISHAN Aishan (CHN) – 2015 Asian runner-up
16. Giorgi TSIREKIDZE (GEO) – NE
17. Ashkat DILMUKHAMEDOV (KAZ) – Vehbi Emre No.3
18. Nikolaos VARKAS (GRE) – Olympia Tourney winner
20. Alexander JERSGREN (SWE) – NE

85kg – European Games finalists David CHAKVETADZE (RUS) and Zhan BELENYUK (UKR) lead the list of challengers for the world title with defending world champion Melonin NOUMONVI (FRA) slipping to No.10.

Unranked: two-time world silver medalist Hasan Saman TAHMASEBI (AZE) and London 2012 bronze medalist Damian JANIKOWSKI (POL).
1. David CHAKVETADZE (RUS) – European Games champion
2. Zhan BELENYUK (UKR) – 2014 world bronze medalist
3. Habibollah AKHLAGHI (IRI) – 2014 Asian Games gold medalist
4. Viktor LORINCZ (HUN) – 2013, 2014 world bronze medalist
5. Ramsin AZIZSIR (GER) – European Games bronze medalist
6. Metehan BASAR (TUR) – European Games bronze medalist
7. (Alt) Islam ABBASOV (AZE) – 2015 European junior champion
8. Maksim MANUKYAN (ARM) – Nikola Petrov runner-up
9. Alexej MISHIN (RUS) – NE
10. Melonin NOUMONVI (FRA) – 2014 world champion
11. Denis KUDLA (GER) – NE
12. Rustam ASSAKALOV (UZB) – 2014 Asian Games gold medalist
13. Jordan HOLM (USA) – 2015 Hungarian GP winner
14. Kristoffer JOHANSSON (SWE) – 2015 Hungarian GP runner-up
15. Mojtaba KARIMFAR (IRI) – NE
16. Artur SHAHINYAN (ARM) – NE
17. (Alt) Jonathan ANDERSON (USA) – Pan American Games silver medalist
18. Nenad ZUGAJ (CRO) – 2013 European bronze medalist
19. Javid HAMZATOV (BLR) – 2013 world bronze medalist
20. Nursultan TURSYNOV (KAZ) – 2015 Asian runner-up

98kg – Artur ALEKSANYAN (ARM) won his first world title in Tashkent and tightened his grip on No.1 with wins in Sofia and Madrid, followed by European Games winner Islam MAGOMEDOV (RUS) and London 2012 gold medalist Ghasem REZAEI (IRI).
1. Artur ALEKSANYAN (ARM) – 2014 world champion
2. Islam MAGOMEDOV (RUS) – European Games gold medalist
3. Ghasem REZAEI (IRI) – 2014 world bronze medalist
4. Cenk ILDEM (TUR) – European Games bronze medalist
5. Dimitri TIMCHENKO (UKR) – European Games silver medalis
6. ([email protected]) Mahdi ALIYARI FEYZABADI (IRI) – 2014 Asia Games champion
7. Orkhan NURIEV (AZE) – European Games No.5
9. Daigoro TIMONCINI (ITA) – 2015 Hungarian GP runner-up
10. Aleksander HRABOVIK (BLR) – 2014 world No.5
11. Alin ALEXUC-CIURARIU (ROU) – 2014 world No.5
12. Peter OEHLER (GER) – 2015 Pytlasinski runner-up
13. Fredrik SCHOEN (SWE) – 2014 European bronze medalist
14. Felix BALDAUF (NOR) – NE
15. Marthin Hamlet NIELSEN (NOR) – 2014 European bronze medalist
16. Ardo ARUSAAR (EST) – 2015 Paris GP winner
17. XIAO Di (CHN) – 2014 Asian Games silver medalist
18. Vladislav METODIEV (BUL) – NE
19. Seyedmostafa SALEHIZADEH (IRI) – NE
20. Balasz KISS (HUN) – 2013 world bronze medalist

130kg – Five-time world champion Mijain LOPEZ NUNEZ (CUB) will seek a sixth world title and qualification to his fourth Olympic Games in a row.

Former freestyle world champion Beylal MAKHOV (RUS) won a bronze medal in his initial foray into Greco-Roman in Tashkent and is considered in some circles to be the greatest challenger to Lopez Nunez. 

1. Mijain LOPEZ NUNEZ (CUB) – 5x world champion
2. Riza KAYAALP (TUR) – 2011 world champion
3. Johan Magnus EUREN (SWE) – 2014 European bronze medalist
4. Heiki NABI (EST) – 2006, 2013 world champion
5. Nurmakhan TINALIEV (KAZ) – 2013 world bronze medalist
6. Beylal MAKHOV (RUS) – 2014 world bronze medalist
7. MENG Qiang (CHN) – 2014 Asian Games bronze medalist
8. Balint LAM (HUN) – 2015 Hungarian GP runner-up
9. Sergey SEMENOV (RUS) – NE
10. Sabah SHARIATI (AZE) – European Games silver medalist
11. Christian JOHN (GER) – NE
12. Bashir Asgari BABAJANZADEH – NE
13. Ali Nail ARSLAN (TUR) – NE
14. Miloslav METODIEV (BUL) – NE
15. Behnam MEHDIZADEH (IRI) – NE
16. Iosif CHUGOSHVILI (BLR) – European Games bronze medalist
17. KIM Yong-Min (KOR) – 2015 Spanish GP runner-up
18. Robert SMITH (USA) – Pan American Games bronze medalist
20. Vitali SHCHUR (RUS) – NE