Greco News

Monday Roundup: Military Worlds Wrapped, More On Provisor at NLWC, Tournament Update

ben provisor, 2017 world military wrestling championships
Ben Provisor-- Photo: Tony Rotundo

As most are aware by now, the 2017 World Military Wrestling Championships were last week in Lithuania with Greco-Roman competition taking place on Friday and Saturday. The United States team was unable to put a wrestler on the medal stand and since the event wasn’t streamed live, most of the details we relied on came from US Marine Corps head coach Jason Loukides, who served as one of the team’s coaches along with WCAP head Shon Lewis. But we do have a few video clips available, which are displayed below.

Ildar Hafizov (59 kg, Army/WCAP) came the closest to stepping on the podium by virtue of making it to the bronze medal match, where he lost to 2017 U23 European Championships gold medalist Murad Mammadov (AZE, world no. 12). Mammadov placed third at the CISM Worlds in 2016, as well. Although Hafizov didn’t earn himself some hardware, he did gain a measure of revenge. In an interesting twist, his first match on Friday came against Vazgen Khatchatryan (ARM), who incidentally, defeated Hafizov in the qualification round at the Senior World Championships last month in Paris. Hafizov cruised right past Khatchatryan via tech fall in on Friday.

Daniel Miller (98 kg, Marines) also grabbed a victory over a past opponent who had beaten him. Miller fell to Greece’s Spyridon Kountouratzis at the 2016 World Wrestling Clubs Cup last December, and that was who he had first on Saturday. Miller shut Kountouratzis down en-route to a 7-1 decision before falling to Staradub Siarhei (BLR) in the quarterfinals. Courtney Myers (80 kg, Army/WCAP) delivered a beatdown on Nikolaos Varkas (GRE) in his first match that was so profound, he was called for “brutality” after it appeared the bout was over via fall. Myers was forced to keep wrestling, eventually prevailing with a 10-1 tech. He was then turned back by Ali Sharifi (IRI) in the 80 kilogram quarterfinals 6-3.

At 66 kilograms was Ellis Coleman (Army/WCAP), who like Hafizov, was also a member of this year’s Senior World Team. Coleman drew Dawid Karecinski (POL) for his first match. Karecinski tech’ed out Coleman a year and half ago in Hungary, but it was a different story this time around until the second period. Coleman was hanging in there with Karecinski through the first when things went south. During the break between periods, the WCAP wrestler intimated that something was amiss. He went back out there, and the situation apparently became serious enough to where he was pulled from the match. There’s no word at this time as to what happened or what the illness was, but we hope to find out soon.

Greco-Roman neophyte Brandon Mueller (Air Force) didn’t win a match in the 71 kilogram bracket, but check this out for a second. Mueller’s two opponents — Adam Kurak (RUS) and Afshin Byabangard (IRI, world no. 16) — were two of the better guys in the entire tournament — and he lost by a combined seven points to both of them. Kurak defeated Mueller 7-3 and Byabangard gritted past him 3-0. Heading into Friday’s action, Mueller had accumulated less than a dozen Senior Greco-Roman matches under his belt and was training in a part-time environment for most of the year. When you look at his performance at the Armed Forces Championships in February, his silver medal in Estonia over the spring, and then throw in his ability to hang in there with two extremely experienced and talented foreign opponents like Kurak and Byabangard, it seems almost crazy that he isn’t in a full-time training environment.

It was great to see Dillon Cowan (Army/WCAP) get a crack at some international competition for the first time in awhile. Cowan put up some points in his first bout of the day against eventual runner-up Elmar Nuraliev (UKR), but not enough, as Nuraliev moved on with a 13-8 victory. Since Nuraliev made the final, Cowan received another shot at a medal in the repechage round. There, returning champ Tsiumur Berdiev (BLR) got the better of him with a 10-1 tech, ending the American’s day.

2017 World Military Wrestling Championships


59 kg: Ildar Hafizov (Army/WCAP) — 5th
WON Vazgen Khatchatryan (ARM) 10-0, TF
LOSS Michal Tracz (POL) 2-1
WON Rakhmatsirhudo Khaibarau (BLR) 6-1
LOSS Murad Mammadov (AZE) 9-0, TF

66 kg: Ellis Coleman (Army/WCAP) — 11th
LOSS Dawid Karecinski (POL) via injury default (5-1)

71 kg: Brandon Mueller (Air Force) — 10th
LOSS Adam Kurak (RUS) 7-3
LOSS Afshin Byabangard (IRI) 3-0

75 kg: Dillon Cowan (Army/WCAP) — 9th
LOSS Elmar Nuraliev (UKR) 13-8
LOSS Tsiumur Berdiev (BLR) 8-0, TF

80 kg: Courtney Myers (Army/WCAP)
WON Nikolaos Varkas (GRE) 10-1, TF
LOSS Ali Sharifi (IRI) 6-3

85 kg: John Stefanowicz (Marines)
LOSS Mahdi Fallah Hamidabiadi (IRI) 3-1

98 kg: Daniel Miller (Marines)
WON Spyridon Kountouratzis 7-1
LOSS Stardub Siarhei (BLR) 10-1, TF

130 kg: Eric Fader (Marines)
LOSS Lenard Istvan Berei (ROU) 12-4, TF


59 kg:
Gold: Nkorbaksh Mohamad (IRI) def. Michal Tracz (POL) 5-3
Bronze: Justas Petravicius (LTU) def. Abdenour Laouni (ALG) 10-0, TF
Bronze: Murad Mammadov (AZE) def. Ildar Hafizov (USA) 9-0, TF

66 kg:
Gold: Karen Aslanyan (ARM) def. Aleksey Kiyankin (RUS) 3-1
Bronze: Jeong Che-Ol (KOR) def. Kerim Caferov (AZE) 7-2
Bronze: Matid Khalili (IRI) def. Fevzi Mamutov (UKR) 10-8

71 kg:
Gold: Adam Kurak (RUS) def. Armen Hakobyan (ARM) 3-1
Bronze: Afshin Byabangard (IRI) def. Quing Gele 9-4
Bronze: Maksim Yevtushenko (UKR) def. Senan Almirzeyev (AZE) 5-1

75 kg:
Gold: Georgios Prevolarakis (GRE) def. Elmar Nuraliev (UKR) 6-1
Bronze: Babj Vahid Jafari (IRI) def. Boudjemline Akrem (ALG) 8-4
Bronze: Tsimur Berdiev (BLR) def. George-Vlad Mariea (ROU) 10-1, TF

80 kg:
Gold: Andreii Antoniuk (UKR) def. Eltun Vazirzade (AZE) 2-1
Bronze: Azamat Khakulov (RUS) def. Ali Sharifi (IRI) 9-0, TF
Bronze: Rafik Manukyan (ARM) def. Damian Dietsche (SUI) 9-0, TF

85 kg:
Gold: Zhan Belenyuk (UKR) def. Evegeni Saleev (RUS) 2-1
Bronze: Mahdi Fallah Hamidabiadi (IRI) def. Toni Metsomaki (FIN) 8-1
Bronze: Islam Abbasov (AZE) def. Argisti Agbaryan (ARM) 5-0

98 kg:
Gold: Nikita Melnikov (RUS) def. Orkhan Nuriev (AZE) 4-1
Bronze: Yevhenii Seveta (UKR) Staradub Siarhei (BLR) 2-2 (criteria)
Bronze: Matti Elias Kousamanen (FIN) def. Alimulati Dalawubai (CHN) 5-1

130 kg:
Gold: Mantas Knystautas (LTU) def. Edgar Khachatryan (ARM) 9-2
Bronze: Vasilii Parshin (RUS) def. Armen Nasari (IRI) 5-2
Bronze: Heiki Nabi (EST) def. Lukasz Banak (POL) 4-0

Provisor’s Status with the Nittany Lions

We published a Q&A with two-time Olympian and recent World Team member Ben Provisor earlier today regarding his visit to the campus of Penn State University and the seeming formality that he will eventually agree to terms with the Nittany Lion Wrestling Club. Thus far, the situation is this: there is interest on both sides and Provisor arrived in State College late last week, where he will stay for the remainder of this week. The thought process is that once a deal is finalized, which at this point appears imminent, Provisor will then move from Wisconsin to Pennsylvania to begin training with the NLWC.

Provisor acknowledged that 2017 US World Team member Mason Manville (75 kg) played a key role in turning him onto the possibilities awaiting him in this new venture, which makes sense considering Manville’s status as a freshman at the university coupled with the fact he trained there prior to his incredible run at the World Team Trials. If/once this goes through, Provisor would obviously be leaving his home state and his longtime coach, 1995 World Champion and 1996 Olympic silver medalist Dennis Hall. But the way the 27-year-old sees it, this is a move that would buoy both his financial security and his ability to compete at a consistently high-level. Definitely check out the piece when you get the chance.

Tournament alert

This weekend, there are two Senior Greco-Roman tournaments with one featuring a plethora of United States competitors. Saturday is the Eduardo Campbell Cup in Panama, and that is where seven athletes from Northern Michigan University’s Olympic Training Site will be breaking open their competitive seasons. For a full list of who is going to that, just head over to here.

On the other side of the world is the Turlykhanov Cup in Almaty, Kazakhstan, which is a Greco-Roman-only event that should feature some high-powered talent from Eastern Europe and elsewhere. Neither event is advertising a livestream, but if that changes we’ll let you know.

What’s coming up here

  • An all-new “Coach Lindland’s Report” discussing schedule changes for the upcoming year as well as info on training camps and other stuff. If you have questions for Coach Lindland, be sure to get them in soon.
  • Two athlete interviews.
  • U23 Trials previews are on the way!

Questions? Concerns? Feel like reaching out? Do so on TwitterFacebook, and Instagram!

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