Belgrade (IP) - The wrestling world holds its collective breath as the 86-kilogram division prepares for yet another epic showdown between David Taylor and Iran's Hassan Yazdani. These two titans have dominated the weight class since 2017, and the stage is now illuminated for their sixth encounter, set to take place this Sunday at approximately 17:30 GMT.

Iran PressEurope: The 86-kilogram crown, an illustrious prize coveted by wrestlers worldwide, has alternated between the grasp of David Taylor and Hassan Yazdani since 2017. Yazdani, originally a force in the 74-kilogram division, elevated himself to the 86-kilogram category after his resounding victory at the Rio Olympic Games. Since then, these wrestling icons have clashed five times before, with Sunday's bout marking their fourth showdown with a World or Olympic title hanging in the balance.

Rewinding to 2021, Hassan Yazdani showcased his dominance in the 86-kilogram final, where he controlled the match from start to finish, securing a decisive 6-2 victory over Taylor. This triumph clinched the gold medal at the World Championships in Oslo, a pivotal moment in their ongoing rivalry. However, David Taylor maintains an overall 4-1 lead in their head-to-head series, including a commanding 7-1 win in last year's World finals. Despite Taylor's numerical advantage, their battles have consistently been tightly contested affairs, showcasing their unparalleled skill and tenacity.

Saturday's preliminary matches served as a reminder that both Taylor and Yazdani remain the indisputable luminaries of the 86-kilogram division. Taylor initiated his day with a lightning-fast 14-second pin and culminated it with a dominant victory over Kazakhstan's Azamat Dauletbekov in the semifinals. The three-time World and Olympic champion found himself ahead 7-0 midway through the second period when he executed a masterful bar and half technique, pinning the 2022 World bronze medalist. Taylor also notched a pair of technical superiority victories in his other matches, leaving no doubt about his readiness.

On the other hand, Hassan Yazdani gained momentum as the day progressed. He faced an early takedown against Australia's Jayden Lawrence in his opening bout but swiftly rebounded with a decisive fall. Subsequently, the four-time World and Olympic champion delivered an 11-0 technical superiority victory against Mongolia's Bat Erdene Byambasuren, followed by a 7-2 triumph over Olympic bronze medalist Myles Amine in the quarterfinals. In the semifinals, Yazdani exhibited his prowess once again, overpowering Uzbekistan's Javrail Shapiev with a commanding 10-0 victory.

The wrestling world now awaits the culmination of this epic rivalry as David Taylor and Hassan Yazdani prepare to step onto the mat once more. With the 86-kilogram World title at stake, their clash promises to be a defining moment in the annals of wrestling history. Wrestling enthusiasts worldwide can anticipate a battle of skill, determination, and resilience as these two legends vie for supremacy in their weight class. Stay tuned for the electrifying showdown today.

By Mojtaba Darabi


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