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2014 Wrestling World Championships results day 1: Undefeated MMA prospect Abdurakhmenov wins bronze

Bekzod Aburakhmenov, currently one of MMA's rising stars at lightweight, returned to his wrestling roots and won a bronze medal on day 1 of the World Wrestling Championships. The USA's Tervel Dlagnev (pictured) was the only wrestler to medal; he finished with bronze.

Harry How

The older I get, the more I realize how little I know about wrestling. When undefeated blue-chip MMA prospect Bekzod Abdurakhmenov won a bronze medal at 70 kg in freestyle at the 2014 Wrestling World Championships, he showed that I actually might know nothing.

If one of my kids approached me and told me that he'd embark on a full time MMA career and then, when he felt like it, run out and wrestle his way to a world medal, I'd probably say the following:

"Yeah, sure, whatever kid. You really must be stupid, dummy. Now get the hell out of my room, and if you're thirsty, drink that warm water from the crusty fountain in the hall, the Gatorade in here is for winners."

As it turns out, today Abdurakhmenov stepped out of his fight trunks and into a singlet, won a bronze medal for his native Uzbekistan, and proved me to be a grade-A moron.

I knew Abdurakhmenov was good, but I didn't think he was this good. During his college days  in the United States, he won a JuCo national championship for Daniel Cormier's Colby Community College, and placed third in NCAA Division I wrestling for Kurt Angle's Clarion University. That's pretty impressive, but medaling on the world stage proves beyond the reach of some of the United States' most decorated collegiate wrestlers.

Speaking of decorated Americans, the United States' stalwart big man Tervel Dlagnev won his second bronze medal, this time in the 125 kg weight class. Were it not for a bit of a screw job in the semifinals, he would have wound up in a winnable match in the finals, but that's wrestling in the big city (and by big city, we mean Tashkent, Uzbekistan)

Things didn't go quite so well for the other three Americans. Ed Ruth, Tony Ramos and Nick Marable all appeared in their first World Championship, and their inexperience showed through. On one hand, all three lost to guys who placed in the top five, but on the other, they all missed out on obtainable wins which would have put a medal in reach.

There is a bright side: I finished 3-1 in my champion predictions, choosing correctly at 70 kg, 84 kg and 125 kg. I'm particularly proud of my pick at heavyweight, because I've been hyping Turkey's Taha Akguel for a while. As for my pick at 84 kg, I would have been a full not to pick Russia's Sadulaev; the eighteen year old prodigy beat the ever-living hog shit out of everyone he faced. It was scary.

Full medal match results appear below. In day two, the USA fields Jimmy Kennedy, Brent Metcalf, Jordan Burroughs and Jake Varner.

57 kg

GOLD:  Kyong Il Yang (North Korea) df. Vladimer Khinchegashvili (Georgia), 5-3

BRONZE: Uladzislau Andreyeu (Belarus) df. Bekhbayar Erdenebat (Mongolia), 1-1

BRONZE: Hassan Rahimi (Iran) df. Yuki Takahashi (Japan), 7-4

70 kg

GOLD: Khetik Tsabolov (Russia) df. Yakup Gor (Turkey) by TF, 10-0

BRONZE: Ali Shabanau (Belarus) df. Cleopas Ncube (Canada) by TF, 11-1

BRONZE: Bekzod Abdurakhmonov (Uzbekistan) df. Zalimkhan Yusupov (Tajikistan), 7-3

86 kg

GOLD: Abdulrashid Sadulaev (Russia) df. Reineris Salas (Cuba) by TF, 10-0

BRONZE: Mohammadhossein Mohammadian (Iran) df. Gamzat Osmanov (Azerbaijan) by TF, 11-1

BRONZE: Selim Yasar (Turkey) df. Aslan Kakhidze (Kazakhstan), 5-2

125 kg

GOLD: Taha Akgul (Turkey) df. Komil Ghasemi (Iran), 4-3

BRONZE: Tervel Dlagnev (USA) df. Alexei Shemarov (Belarus), 2-1

BRONZE: Khadzhimurat Gatsalov (Russia) df. Oleksandr Khotsianivskyi (Ukraine) by FALL