Prior to Hassan Yazdani moving up to 86kg in 2017, Karimi manned the spot for Iran in 2015 and 2016 where he won world bronze and qualified for the Rio Olympics. Karimi successfully transitioned up to 92kg and won a world bronze medal in 2018 and silver in 2019. In both world championships, Karimi lost only to eventual world champ J’den Cox. Karimi then attempted to make the Tokyo Olympics for Iran at 97kg but didn’t have near the same level of success up in weight. At 97kg, Karimi was kept off the Olympic team after losing to Mohammadian and notably split matches with Kollin Moore.
Amouzad came out on top in that bout with a 13-8 victory over Yianni. The difference came in the second period as Amouzad was able to shut down Yianni’s offense and effectively impose his under-hook to generate offense. Yianni has been vocal about his desire for the rematch with Amouzad and is sure to be prepared if the two meet on Sunday in Coarallvile. Yianni’s best success in their match at worlds came early in the first period during a scramble when Yianni was able to convert on a double-leg and take an 8-6 lead from the one exchange. For Yianni to get revenge on Amouzad, he’ll have to clear Amouzad’s powerful under hook and force more exchanges where he’s in on the Iranian’s legs. Prediction: Amouzad by decisionAmouzad’s win over Yianni Diakomihalis in the finals of the 2022 Senior World Championships:70 kg: Alec Pantaleo/Tyler Berger, USA vs #8 Amir Yazdani, IRIAmir Yazdani won a silver medal at the 2021 World Championships at 65kg and worked his way up to the #1 ranked wrestler in the world at 70kg earlier this year.
USA vs Iran - 2022 World Cup Preview & Predictions - FloWrestlingThe 2022 World Cup finals will go down Sunday, December 11 at 7:00 pm (ET) between Team USA and Iran. Before the two powerhouses take the mat in Iowa, check out a full preview and predictions for this incredible dual. USA vs Iran expected matchups57 kg: Zane Richards/Nick Suriano, USA vs Reza Momeni, IRI61 kg: #7 Seth Gross/Daniel DeShazer, USA vs Armin Habibzadeh, IRI65 kg: #4 Yianni Diakomihalis/Evan Henderson, USA vs #1 Rahman Amouzad, IRI70 kg: Alec Pantaleo/Tyler Berger, USA vs #8 Amir Yazdani, IRI74 kg: #8 Jason Nolf/Vincenzo Joseph, USA vs #18 Mohmmadsadegh Firouzpour, IRI79 kg: #1 Jordan Burroughs/#14 Chance Marsteller, USA vs #6 Ali Savadkouhi, IRI/#7 Mohammad Nokhodi86 kg: #7 Zahid Valencia/Mark Hall, USA vs #11 Alireza Mohammad Karimimachian, IRI92 kg: #9 Nate Jackson/Jay Aiello, USA vs #3 Amir Firouzpour, IRI97 kg: #2 Kyle Snyder, USA vs Amirali Azarpira, IRI125 kg: #7 Hayden Zillmer/#10 Nick Gwiazdowski, USA vs #5 Amirreza Masoumi, IRI57 kg: Zane Richards/Nick Suriano, USA vs Reza Momeni, IRIIran’s Reza Momeni has had success against Iranian wrestlers but is largely unproven on the senior level.
Yazdani then went to U23 Worlds in October where he won a silver medal and lost in the finals to Georgia’s Giorgi Elbakidze. It’s worth understanding that context to see that Yazdani is one of the best wrestlers in the world at 70kg, but he’s not unbeatable. At U23 Worlds, Yahya Thomas pushed Yazdani to the brink and was holding a 2-2 criteria lead with a minute to go in the match. Yazdani would ultimately go on to win 4-2 but showed his vulnerabilities in that match. Yazdani may be the slight favorite in this match, but Pantaleo or Berger are both capable of defeating the Iranian. Prediction: Yazdani by decisionYazdani's win over James Green at the 2022 Yasar Dogu:74 kg: #8 Jason Nolf/Vincenzo Joseph, USA vs #18 Mohmmadsadegh Firouzpour, IRIFirouzpour moved into the top 20 at 74kg after he won the U23 world championships and defeated Azerbaijan’s Khadzhimruad Gadzhiyev in the finals, 5-2. Despite that result, I still give Jason Nolf an edge over Firouzpour based on Nolf’s performance over the past year at the senior level.
Based on the inexperience of Momeni, I give Suriano and Richards the advantage in this match. Suriano’s gold at the 2021 Henri Deglane and silver at the 2021 Matteo Pellicone proves his style is highly effective against some of the best wrestlers in the world at 57kg. Prediction: Suriano/Richards by decision61 kg: #7 Seth Gross/Daniel DeShazer, USA vs Armin Habibzadeh, IRIArmin Habibzadeh, like Momeni, is a young up-and-comer for Iran but largely unproven on the senior level. Habibzadeh won a silver medal at the 2022 U20 World Championships but failed to place at the 2022 U23 World Championships where he went 0-1. Habibzadeh notably defeated USA’s Nic Bouzakis in a high scoring, 15-13 bout. Because of that result against Bouzakis, and Habibzadeh’s failure to place at U23 worlds, I give Seth Gross the edge here.
Yazdani earned that #1 spot after he beat James Green, 8-2 at the 2022 Yasar Dogu in February of 2022. He carried that ranking into the 2022 senior world championships in September but forfeited out of worlds after drawing Israel’s Josh Finesilver in the first round (Iran forbids their wrestlers from competing against Israel).
There, Savadkouhi took out both Nokohodi and world/Olympic champion Zaurbek Sidakov. Because of that recent success, I expect Iran to send out Savadkouhi against Burroughs in what should be an incredible match. Prediction: Burroughs by decisionBurroughs' win over Nokhodi in the 2022 World Finals:Burroughs' win over Savadkouhi at the 2022 Yasar Dogu:86 kg: #7 Zahid Valencia/Mark Hall, USA vs #11 Alireza Karimi, IRIAs a three-time world medalist, Alireza Karimi is one of Iran’s most experienced wrestlers on this world cup squad.
Jordan Burroughs is the two-time defending world champion and has defeated Iran’s Mohammad Nokhodi in the finals of each of the last two worlds - 5-1 in 2021 and 4-2 in 2022. Burroughs also had a highly competitive match against Iran’s other 79kg wrestler Ali Savadkouhi at the 2022 Yasar Dogu in February. In that bout, Savadkouhi was less than 30 seconds away from defeating Burroughs until he was hit with a penalty point for grabbing Burroughs' singlet. JB ultimately went on to win the match, 2-1. It’s also worth noting that Savadkouhi had an incredible month of competition in November at the Iranian Premier League.