In a jaw-dropping turn of events at the Wrestling World Championships, Abdulrashid Sadulaev, often hailed as the No. 1 pound-for-pound wrestler in the world and a legend in the sport, experienced a stunning defeat in the semifinal round. This unexpected upset left the wrestling community in disbelief and drew comparisons to the famous “Roberto Duran ‘no mas’ moment” in boxing history.
Sadulaev, representing himself as a neutral athlete due to Russia’s absence from the tournament, seemed poised for a showdown in the gold medal match against his long-time rival, Kyle Snyder, in the 97kg weight class. Snyder, an Olympic gold medalist in 2016, was the last wrestler to best Sadulaev in 2017, setting the stage for an epic rematch. However, fate had different plans.
In an astonishing turn of events, 20-year-old prodigy Akhmed Tazhudinov, originally from Russia but now competing for Bahrain, delivered a remarkable 11-0 technical fall victory over Snyder. This unexpected triumph not only shocked the wrestling world but also paved the way for an even more dramatic moment.
With Tazhudinov firmly ahead in the score, leading 9-2, Sadulaev made a surprising decision. He rolled over and signaled to the referee, citing an injury as the reason for his withdrawal from the match. This sudden exit left spectators and fellow wrestlers in awe, prompting former Olympian Ben Askren to draw parallels to Roberto Duran’s famous ‘no mas’ incident in boxing history.
Askren took to Twitter to express his astonishment, stating, “Wrestling just had its Roberto Duran ‘no mas’ moment. Possibly the greatest wrestler of all time, Abdulrashid Sadulaev, just quits in the middle of the match while losing. So insane, still trying to process it.”
In a separate report by FloWrestling, Sadulaev confirmed that he had called a halt to the match due to a head injury. This revelation added a layer of complexity to the surprising turn of events.
While Akhmed Tazhudinov is undeniably a talented wrestler in his own right, nobody could have predicted that the 20-year-old would achieve back-to-back victories against two Olympic gold medalists of the caliber of Sadulaev and Snyder.
Throughout his illustrious career, Sadulaev has been a dominant force in the wrestling world, conquering multiple weight classes and amassing an impressive collection of two Olympic gold medals and four wrestling World Championship gold medals. Ironically, his unexpected loss opened the door for Kyle Snyder to re-enter the tournament and aim for a bronze medal, as Tazhudinov advanced to the finals in the gold medal match. This twist added even more intrigue to an already unforgettable chapter in wrestling history.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Wrestling Upset
What caused Abdulrashid Sadulaev’s shocking mid-match exit?
Abdulrashid Sadulaev cited a head injury as the reason for his abrupt withdrawal during the match against Akhmed Tazhudinov.
Who is Akhmed Tazhudinov, and what’s his wrestling background?
Akhmed Tazhudinov, a 20-year-old wrestler originally from Russia but now representing Bahrain, stunned the wrestling world with his remarkable victory over Kyle Snyder and Sadulaev. His unexpected success has catapulted him into the spotlight.
Why is this compared to Roberto Duran’s ‘no mas’ moment?
Ben Askren drew parallels to Roberto Duran’s famous ‘no mas’ incident in boxing history to emphasize the shock and drama of Sadulaev’s mid-match exit, despite being one of the greatest wrestlers of all time.
How does Sadulaev’s exit affect the tournament?
Sadulaev’s unexpected loss allowed Kyle Snyder to re-enter the tournament, competing for a bronze medal, while Tazhudinov advanced to the finals for the gold medal match, adding an intriguing twist to the event.