BAKU EURO GAMES 2015 – JAROSLAV’S RAD MEN’S FREESTYLE PREVIEW – PART 2

Now, more worthless than ever!

57, 65, 74 and 97 wrestled yesterday and were very rad indeed. Tonight, starting at 1 am Eastern, they’ll wrestle 61, 70, 86 and 125 grams of the kilo variety. The brackets are up, let’s check em out!

61: Only 15 competitors, the smallest of all the brackets. Bogomoev has the coolest name in the tournament and will probably win. There are about half a dozen Russians that can win this weight class to be honest. Friggin Russians. Bogo has the solitary bye to the quarterfinals. There he might face savvy veteran Andrei Perpelita from Moldova. Moldova sounds like a made up country. Like some movie writer was like, let’s make the villain from some made up country, like, I dunno, Moldova. And then someone would say, uh, Moldova is a real country. And then someone would have to go on Wikipedia to prove to the first guy that it’s real.

Right, and in the bottom half of the bracket is Vasyl Shuptar, from Ukraine, who’s got a medal, I think. And… not really seeing anybody I recognize. How about Guidea? From Romania? Sure, why not, let’s go with Guido.

MY WORTHLESS PREDICTION: Gold – Bogo; Silver – Shuppy; Bronzes – Perp & Gweedster

70: 17 dudes here. One of them being Gazimagomedov, from Russia, showing off one of the 500,000 variants of the name Haji-Mohammed that exist in the international wrestling community. I know GAHZ-ee MAG-o-MAY-dov sounds cooler but I’m pretty sure it’s pronounce like HA-gee Muh-HA-meh-dov. Gazi is starting for team Ruskie over reigning world champion Khetag Tsabolov. No idea where the name Khetag comes from, by the way.

There’s also some guy from Germany named Mueller. Which I think is the same as Miller. Hey here’s a challenge to all the German Americans out there with weird vowels and pronunciations in their last names: change the spelling. You’re not in the old country anymore. No one cares that it’s Haaaaamburg, not Hamburg. Mueller can do whatever he wants, I’m talking to the 4th generation Americans who have to spend their whole life correcting people on because it’s Stein like Steen not Stine. Whatever just go by Steen then.

Or maybe I’m getting too fired up about it. Let’s just cut to the predictions. No idea about any of these, mind you.

MY WORTHLESS PREDICTION: Gold – Gazi; Silver – Kirov BUL; Bronzes – Gor TUR & Gulyaz HUN

86: Because of the super dumb 26 pound jump from 74 kg to 86 kg, there are 24 wrestling in this division, the most in the games (wekk in men’s freestyle anyway). Despite the depth, there is no doubt that the winner will be Abdulrashid Sadulaev. Sadulaev has terrorized the weight class since bursting on the senior scene in 2014 as a 19 year old (cough *bullshit* cough) phenom.

Competing for Armenia is Musa Murtalaziev. You can tell he’s not ethnically Armenia because his name doesn’t end with a “yan”.  Musa is Avar, a people native to Dagestan. Sadulaev is Avar too, and so are probably a dozen or so other wrestlers at this tournament. There are no more than 1,000,000 Avars in the world. For all the talk Pennsylvania and Iowa does for how bad ass they are at wrestling, they are puny insignificant nothings when compared to the tiny nations of Caucasus Mountains.

Alex Dolly, from Mishawaka High School, Indiana, is representing Ireland. Kind of a genius move on his part. I bet Americans could fill all sorts of random western European rosters if they were willing to get creative with their citizenship. Maybe if I start cutting weight I could make the Irish wrestling team at 97 kilos. Yeah maybe not. Dolly has a “Spanish” opponent in the first round, Taimuraz Friev (psst, Friev is not Spanish).

MY WORTHLESS PREDICTION: Gold – Sadulaev (My stone cold laser lock pick of the week… of the century); Silver – Murta; Bronzes – Qadjiev (another Haji variant) AZE & Stefan ROU

125: 21 big boys in this tourney. The favorite is 2014 World Champ Taha Akgul. Just 24 years old and already 3 Euro golds, 1 world gold and 1 world silver. He could be wrecking heavies for a long while. On the other side of the bracket, thankfully, is living legend Khadzhimurat Gatsalov. The ageless wonder Gats owns hardware from 8 different world and Olympic championships. 6 gold, 1 silver and 1 bronze. Recently, Gatsalov has been bumped out of his natural weight class of 97 kilos by his teammate, Abdusalam “the Specimen” Gadisov. So Gatsalov moved up to the biggest weightclass and promptly won a gold and bronze in consecutive world championships. Gatsalov is a true master of the sport.

I also learned from wikipedia that Gatsman is a Digor, a tiny subset of the Ossetians, who are a tiny subset of Farsi speaking people (ie Persians or Iranians). Digors are usually Muslim, as opposed to Eastern Orthodox Christian, the religion of most Ossetians. This would explain Gatsalov’s first name, which long puzzled me. Khadzhimurat = Hadji Murad = this guy, a Muslim freedom fighter and folk hero from the 19th Century (kind of like a Caucasus Davy Crockett I think). Khadzhi/Hadji/Haji means Pilgrim and Murad means vow fulfilled, just fyi.

Some other good dudes in the brackets but I’ma just skip to the worthless predictions now if that’s all right.

MY WORTHLESS PREDICTION: Gold – Akgul; Silver – Gatsalov; Bronzes – Petriashvili GEO & Gagloev SVK (another Ossetian)

Well that’s about all the useless pap and blather I have in me. Only 4 more hours until wrestling starts again. How will you while away the time? Take a nap? Watch a movie? Research Title IX legal briefs and literature so you can adequately express outrage on social media to appease some demented attention-starved nutbar on twitter? Whatever you do, do it safely and enjoy the final session of wrestling at the 2015 Baku European Games!

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