2010 FILA World Championships preview Greco-Roman

High level Greco-Roman wrestlers have been a part of MMA since the beginning. Wrestlers like Randy Couture, Dan Henderson, Matt Lindland and Joe Warren have all competed at the highest levels of the sport. The new Bellator featherweight champion even won a World Championships in 2006. The 2010 FILA World Championships kick off on Monday in Moscow. Stay close to ProMMANow.com for coverage and updates. Now, check out this event preview so you can be that elitist guy who knows everything about the next stud wrestler coming into MMA.

55 kg/121 lbs

Favorite
Besides an uncharacteristic performance at the 2008 Olympics, Hamid Sourian has been flawless in world-level competition. He has taken gold at the 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2009 World Championships. Russia’s Nazyr Mankiev who upset Sourian at the 2008 Olympics will be looking to shock the wrestling world again.

U.S. Entry
Spenser Mango has had a lock down on this division for the last few years. This year, the 2008 Olympian won the U.S. Open, the U.S. University Nationals and the World Team Trials. At the 2009 World Championships, Mango went 2-2 and finished ninth.

MMA Connection
Take a look at some of the slams that Mango has been able to pull off. It is clear why so many MMA fans are excited about the expansion of the 125-pound division. Let’s hope WEC gets their act together soon an adds the weight class.

60 kg/132 lbs

Favorite
Russia’s Islam-beka Albiev could be a force at this weight for a very long time. He already has an Olympic gold medal and a FILA World Championship on his resume. When the competition begins at this year’s tournament, he will only be 21 years old.

U.S. Entry
Jeremiah Davis, a member of the U.S. Army World Class Athlete Program, defeated teammate Nathan Piasecki to earn a spot on his second-straight world team. Davis also finished third at the Dave Schultz Memorial earlier this year.

MMA Connection
Earlier this year, Joe Warren made a brief return to Greco-Roman wrestling at the Kit Carson Cup. Japanese wrestler Ryutaro Matsumoto, who defeated Warren, and will represent his country in this World Championships.

66 kg/145.5 lbs

Favorite
For the last few years the wrestler to beat at this weight has been Farid Mansurov of Azerbaijan. He took titles at both the 2007 and 2009 World Championships. However, he is not listed on the country’s roster for the tournament. This opens the door for Ambac Vachadze of Russia who won a bronze in 2009 and took the European Championships this year.

U.S. Entry
Faruk Sahin will return to the world championships after failing to place in 2009. Originally born in Turkey, Sahin moved to the U.S in 2000 and received his citizenship in 2004. This season he placed second at the U.S. Open and fourth at the Dave Schultz Memorial.

74 kg/163 lbs

Favorite
This is probably the most wide-open division in the tournament with many of the top competitors pulling out. The favorite should be Aliaksandr Kikiniouv of Belarus. After picking up a bronze at last year’s tournament, he has returned strong this season and won the European Championships.

U.S. Entry
Jake Fisher defeated Steven Forrest, James Johnson and Kevin Lozano to earn a spot on his very first world team. He also defeated Azizbek Murodov of Uzbekistan to win the Dave Schultz Memorial earlier this year and took silver at the Pan American Championships.

MMA Connection
Like many of the top Greco-Roman wrestlers in the country, Fisher is an alumnus of the U.S. Olympic Education Center at Northern Michigan University. One of his teammates during his time there was TUF veteran and ProMMANow blogger Justin Wren.

84 kg/185 lbs

Favorite
Turkey’s Nazmi Avluca is both the elder statesman and favorite at this weight. Avluca is a three-time world medalist and captured bronze at the 2008 Olympics. In 2010, he has won both the European Championships and the FILA World Cup.

U.S. Entry
Jake Clark of the U.S. Air Force defeated Chas Betts in the finals of the World Team Trials. In July, he placed fifth at the Pytlasinski International in Raciborz, Poland.

MMA Connection
2008 Olympian T.C. Dantzler left his shoes on the mat after failing to make the world team at this weight. On his Twitter, he has talked about training with Muhammed Lawal and Rashad Evans. He said, “MMA is a new world for me and this should be fun.”

96 kg/211.5 lbs

Favorite
Although he did not win the 2009 World Championship, Russia’s Aslanbek Khustov should still be regarded as the most-likely champion. Khustov earned a bronze in 2009, and this year he won the European Championships for the third straight time. Hungarian Balazs Kiss will also return. He won the gold at the 2009 tournament, and has won both the World Cup and Hungarian Golden Grand Prix this year.

U.S. Entry
After taking the 2009 season off, 2005 World bronze medalist Justin Ruiz has returned with a strong 2010. In addition to winning the World Team Trials, he has taken gold medals at the U.S. Open, Dave Schultz Memorial and Pan American Championships. He also took a bronze at the Pytlasinski International.

MMA Connection
SRC training player Katsuya Kitamura will compete for Japan. Kitamura signed to the SRC program in July and has been training at the promotion’s new gym. He has won the All-Japan Wrestling Championship twice in his career.

120 kg/264.5 lbs

Favorite
Cuba’s Mijain Lopez has medaled at every World Championships and Olympics since 2005. His string of medals includes four golds and one silver. Look for Lopez to continue to dominate the field and bring home another gold.

U.S. Entry
On the Greco-Roman side, Dremiel Byers represents the country’s best chance for a world title. Byers took silver at last year’s tournament, and this year he has continued his string of dominance. This year, he took titles at the Dave Schultz Memorial and the Pytlasinski International.

MMA Connection
Last November, Liu Deli entered the SRC ring, removed his shirt and announced his intentions to fight. Rumors circulated that the 6’10” heavyweight wrestler would face Kazushi Sakuraba at last year’s Dynamite!!. However, the fight never materialized. Is the 2008 Olympian still associated with SRC? Is he still planning on fighting? He might be headed towards an MMA fight. He is not listed on China’s roster for the upcoming tournament even though he took a bronze at the 2010 Asian Championships.

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  • edub

    I love these articles. I heart wrestling…