Hassan Yazdani defeats David Taylor in battle of Olympic champions at wrestling world championships

Rio 2016 Olympic champion Yazdani avenged his Tokyo 2020 final loss to Taylor, beating the American to 86kg gold at the 2021 Wrestling World Championships in Oslo, Norway.

By Ken Browne
Picture by 2016 Getty Images

Hassan Yazdani is the 86kg freestyle wrestling world champion once more after a sensational 6-2 win in the 86kg final over Tokyo 2020 Olympic champion David Taylor on Sunday 3 October in Oslo, Norway.

It was a box-office clash between reigning Olympic champ Taylor and Rio 2016 Olympic champ Yazdani.

Iranian Yazdani had plenty of support in the Nye Jordal Amfi stadium in Oslo, who roared him on right to the end before celebrating his win wildly.

Elsewhere in the 2021 Wrestling World Championships on Sunday, there was more to celebrate for Iran as Kamran Ghasempour provided the shock of the day, defeating another big American hope - double world champ J'den Cox.

There was better news for the United States in the 74kg category as Kyle Dake won gold in style.

Yazdani blitzes Taylor in Olympic final rematch

It was their first meeting since Taylor beat Yazdani in that Tokyo 2020 final thriller, and it lived up to all the pre-bout hype.

Yazdani gave his fans in the crowd plenty to cheer about after taking an early 2-0 lead through couple of step-outs.

Taylor's strategy was to let Yazdani burn his energy at the beginning of the match and the American tried to up the pace after they came back from their respective corners, but the Iranian's quick change of direction caught the American with an underhook for 4-0, before Taylor replied for his first points of the match to make it 4-2.

With 30 seconds left on the clock Yazdani stayed chest-to-chest with Taylor, not giving him an opportunity to score, and eventually took two more points to win the bout 6-2.

Kyle Dake wins third World title at 74kg

It wasn't all bad news for Team USA, as Tokyo 2020 bronze medallist Kyle Dake claimed his third World Championship winner's medal with a classic performance in the 74kg final.

Dake defeated Tajmuraz Salkazanov 7-3 and whooped in delight as he toured the stadium draped in the American flag.

It was an exciting encounter right from the off as the first point went the American's way for a step-out, Dake putting the pressure on early.

But Salkazanov, born in Russia but a naturalised Slovakia citizen, has built a reputation as a giant-killer and countered well to even things up at 1-1 then make it 2-1 with another step-out.

Dake's class shone through however, as he put two points on the scoreboard with a trademark body lock, and then showed lightning fast reaction with a reach inside to put it beyond doubt.

A two-time world champion at the non-Olympic 79kg weight, now the USA superstar is on top of the world again at 74kg, proving his versatility and natural wrestling talent.

In the 125kg final, Iranian youngster Amir Hossein Zare had too much pace for Georgian three-time world champion Geno Petriashvili, taking the bout - and his first world title - with a 9-2 win.

Rio 2016 Olympic champion Taha Akgul of Turkey took the bronze medal with victory over Nick Gwiazdowski of the USA.

Ghasempour stuns J'den Cox

Iranian grappler Kamran Ghasempour brought more joy to the partisan crowd and pulled off the shock of the day as he ended double world champ J'den Cox's tournament in the 92kg semi-finals in Oslo.

Jordan Burroughs makes 79kg final

Meanwhile London 2012 Olympic champion Jordan Burroughs was right at home in his new weight category of 79kg cruising into the final after defeating Japan's YOSHIDA Ryuki 10-1 in the semi-final.

The U.S. wrestler will fight for a fifth World title against Iran's Mohammad Nokhodilarimi tomorrow Monday 4 October.

Victory would be a fitting turnaround for Burroughs, who failed to make the USA team for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

"It's good to be back" - Jordan Burroughs

After winning his semi-final in emphatic fashion, Burroughs bounced off the mat, gave his singlet to an American fan in the stands and spoke in the mixed zone area.

"It's good to be back, it feels good to be back, I'm happy so far," he said, pumped up after his convincing victory.

Another World title will help Burroughs back on the path to his ultimate goal: "Becoming an Olympian again."