45 Greatest Wrestling Players Russia in History

Liam Rooney

Russia has a long and proud history of producing some of the best wrestling players in the world.

Throughout the decades, Russian wrestlers have consistently proven their dominance in international competition, winning many medals, setting world records, and inspiring generations of wrestlers to follow in their footsteps.

The nation’s athletes have earned respect and admiration from fans around the world, with some of the most successful wrestlers becoming household names in Russia and around the globe.

We will take a look at some of the greatest wrestlers to ever come from Russia, showcasing their remarkable achievements and providing a glimpse into the lives of these incredible athletes.

1. Abdulrashid Sadulaev

Abdulrashid Bulachevich Sadulaev is one of the greatest freestyle wrestlers in the world. He is a Russian athlete who competes in the 97-kilogram weight division, having previously competed in the 86-kilogram weight division.

In the world of freestyle wrestling, Sadulaev stands out as an incredibly dominant force. He is renowned for his technique and strength, having won two gold medals at the World Championships and a gold medal at the 2016 Olympics.

He is also a five-time European champion and two-time Russian National Champion. Sadulaev is widely regarded as the most dominant active freestyle wrestler in the world, with many experts and fans believing him to be one of the best wrestlers of all time.

He has a long list of illustrious achievements and continues to be a formidable opponent in the freestyle wrestling circuit.

2. Zaurbek Sidakov

Zaurbek Kazbekovich Sidakov is a highly accomplished Russian freestyle wrestler. He competes in the 74 kg division and is currently the reigning Olympic champion in that weight class. In addition, he is a two-time World Champion, having won his titles in 2018.

Sidakov has achieved a great deal of success in the sport of wrestling, and with his Olympic and World titles, he is considered one of the best in the sport. Throughout his career, Sidakov has demonstrated incredible technical skill and an unparalleled knowledge of the sport.

He has won a number of prestigious tournaments, including the European Championships and the Grand Prix of Spain.

He is also known for his consistent performances, having never finished outside the top three in any event he has competed in. Sidakov’s achievements have led to him being named as one of the International Olympic Committee’s “Athletes of the Year” in 2020, and he is seen as an inspiration to aspiring wrestlers everywhere.

He continues to train hard, and with his dedication and skill, there is no doubt that he will continue to be a successful competitor in the sport of freestyle wrestling.

3. Aleksandr Karelin

Aleksandr Aleksandrovich Karelin is an influential figure in Russia. He is a politician and a retired athlete, renowned for his achievements in Greco-Roman wrestling.

He represented both the Soviet Union and Russia in the sport, competing in international tournaments from 1987 to 2000. Karelin is considered a national hero in Russia and he is credited with helping to popularize Greco-Roman wrestling in the country.

During his time as a wrestler, he won three Olympic gold medals and nine World Championships. He also won numerous awards and titles, including the prestigious Order of Lenin and the Order of the Red Banner of Labour. Karelin is also a successful politician.

After his retirement from wrestling, he was elected as a member of the State Duma, the lower house of the Russian Parliament.

He has held numerous positions in the government, including Deputy Minister of Sports and Deputy Chairman of the State Duma. Karelin’s influence in Russia has been far-reaching.

He is a respected figure in the Russian sporting world, and he has been an inspirational figure to countless aspiring athletes. His story of success and dedication to the sport is an example to many in Russia and beyond.

4. Buvaisar Saitiev

Buvaysar Hamidovich Saitiev is a Russian freestyle wrestler of Chechen descent who is widely regarded as the greatest freestyle wrestler of all time. Saitiev has won an impressive nine world-level gold medals in freestyle wrestling, representing Russia.

His accomplishments in the sport have earned him national and international recognition, as well as numerous awards. In addition to his wrestling accolades, Saitiev has served as a coach for his home country for many years.

He has trained a number of successful wrestlers, many of whom have gone on to win world championships. He has also held positions in the Russian Wrestling Federation and the All-Russian Wrestling Federation. Saitiev’s wrestling career began in the early 1990s.

He quickly rose to prominence, winning multiple national and international competitions throughout the decade. He was a two-time world champion and a five-time European champion.

In addition, he won a bronze medal at the 2000 Olympic Games. Saitiev’s successes have made him a national hero in his home country. He has been honored with a number of awards, including the Order of Friendship and the Order of Merit for the Fatherland.

He has also been featured in several Russian and international publications, including the New York Times, USA Today, and the Guardian. Saitiev is a living legend in the sport of freestyle wrestling.

His accomplishments and influence on the sport have made him one of the most revered wrestlers of all time. He is the perfect example of what hard work and dedication can achieve, and his legacy will continue to inspire future generations.

5. Aniuar Geduev

Aniuar Borisovich Geduev is an accomplished freestyle wrestler hailing from Russia. He is of Circassian Kabardian descent, which is one of the major ethnic groups from the Caucasus region of Eurasia.

This region is composed of a diverse mix of nations and ethnic groups, including Armenians, Georgians, and Azeris.

Geduev’s background is indicative of the rich cultural heritage of the Caucasus region, which has been an important part of the history of Russia for centuries. As a freestyle wrestler, Geduev has achieved great success.

He is a three-time European Champion and a two-time World Champion in the discipline. He has also won a silver medal at the Olympics in 2016.

Geduev is a highly respected athlete in the sport and is known for his technical prowess and ability to take on and defeat opponents of any size.

His achievements have earned him a place as one of the most decorated freestyle wrestlers in the history of the sport. Geduev’s success as a freestyle wrestler has also highlighted the importance of the Caucasus region in Russia.

His success is a testament to the skill and determination of the people of the region and has helped to raise awareness of their rich cultural heritage.

As a result, Geduev has become a role model for many aspiring wrestlers from the region, and his accomplishments have served to inspire a new generation of athletes.

6. Khabib Nurmagomedov

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Khabib Abdulmanapovich Nurmagomedov is a Russian former professional mixed martial artist who was a dominant force in the lightweight division of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC).

He is the longest-reigning UFC Lightweight Champion ever, having held the title from April 2018 to March 2021. During his three-year reign, Khabib consistently demonstrated his formidable fighting skills, earning him an impressive record of 28 wins and zero losses.

His most notable victories include defeating Conor McGregor at UFC 229 and Justin Gaethje at UFC 254. Khabib’s rise to fame began in the mid-2000s when he first started competing in mixed martial arts tournaments.

He quickly gained a reputation as one of the best fighters in the lightweight division and was signed by the UFC in 2011. Khabib made his UFC debut in April 2012 and quickly established himself as one of the top contenders in the division.

His signature grappling style and superior conditioning allowed him to outlast and outmaneuver his opponents, earning him nine consecutive wins before finally claiming the UFC Lightweight Championship in April 2018. Khabib’s dominant reign came to an end in March 2021 when he announced his retirement from the sport.

He finished his career with a perfect record of 28 wins and zero losses, cementing his place in the history of the sport.

He was also awarded the inaugural “Champion of Champions” award by the UFC in recognition of his exceptional achievements in the octagon. Khabib’s legacy will be remembered for years to come.

He was not only a great fighter, but also a role model for many aspiring mixed martial artists. His courage and determination inside the octagon, as well as his humility and respect outside of it, will continue to inspire future generations.

7. Besik Kudukhov

Besik Serodinovich Kudukhov was an accomplished Russian freestyle wrestler. He was of Ossetian descent and achieved great success in the sport. At the 2008 Olympics, Kudukhov won a bronze medal in the 55 kg category.

This was a remarkable feat, and his success continued four years later at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. Here, Kudukhov won a silver medal in the 60 kg category. This is an impressive feat for any athlete, and Kudukhov should be commended for his accomplishments.

He has certainly left his mark on the wrestling world and is an inspiration to many.

8. Khadzhimurat Gatsalov

Khadzhimurat Soltanovich Gatsalov is a Russian born wrestler who is currently representing Armenia. He is a well-accomplished wrestler, having won the gold medal in the freestyle 96kg class at the 2004 Summer Olympics.

During the semi-finals of the competition, Gatsalov faced off against future UFC Light Heavyweight and Heavyweight Champion, Daniel Cormier, and emerged victorious.

This victory was the highlight of Gatsalov’s career and a testament to his skill and dedication as a wrestler. In the years since the 2004 Olympics, Gatsalov has continued to compete, representing Armenia on the international stage and winning medals in numerous tournaments.

In 2019, he was awarded the Order of Honour by President Armen Sarkissian for his sporting achievements and contributions to the country. Gatsalov is a true inspiration to aspiring wrestlers and a symbol of hard work and dedication to the sport.

He will forever be remembered as a champion, having achieved an Olympic gold medal and having beaten one of the greatest mixed martial artists of all time.

9. Natalia Vorobieva

Natalia Vitalyevna Vorobieva is a Russian wrestler who has achieved incredible success in the sport. She is an extremely accomplished athlete who has earned numerous awards for her success.

She has won the Olympic, World and European titles in wrestling, making her one of the most decorated wrestlers in the history of the sport. Natalia has been involved in wrestling since she was a child.

She began training and competing in the sport at a young age, honing her skills and excelling in it over the years.

She has worked hard to become the wrestler she is today and has achieved incredible success in the sport. Natalia’s Olympic, World and European titles are a testament to her dedication and hard work.

She is the only wrestler in history to have won all three of these prestigious titles. Her success in the sport has made her one of the most recognizable and respected wrestlers in the world. Natalia is an inspiration to aspiring wrestlers everywhere.

She has achieved great success in the sport, and her accomplishments serve as an example of what can be achieved with hard work and dedication. She is an inspiration to anyone who dreams of becoming a successful wrestler.

10. Aleksey Mishin

Aleksey Vladimirovich Mishin is a Russian former wrestler who made an impact in the world of sports. He was born in the city of Moscow in the Soviet Union in 1928 and competed in the 1952 Summer Olympics in Helsinki, where he won a gold medal in freestyle wrestling.

He was the first Russian to win an Olympic gold medal in a wrestling event. Mishin was also a three-time World Champion, winning the title in 1955, 1957 and 1958. He was known for his aggressive style of wrestling, which was revolutionary for the time.

He was also an excellent trainer and mentor, taking on many students, including Aleksey Medvedev, who went on to win gold at the 1972 Olympics. Mishin’s achievements in wrestling were recognized by the International Olympic Committee, who awarded him the Olympic Order in 1989.

He is now remembered as one of the most influential figures in the history of Russian wrestling.

11. Murat Kardanov

Murat Nausbievich Kardanov is a Russian wrestler who has achieved remarkable success in the sport. He is an Olympic champion in Greco-Roman wrestling, having won the gold medal at the Olympic Games.

In addition to his Olympic medal, Kardanov has won four Russian Championship gold medals and one European Championship gold medal.

On top of this, he has also taken home a bronze medal from the World Championships. Kardanov is a highly decorated athlete who has achieved remarkable success in his sport.

His achievements demonstrate his commitment to excellence, and his determination to reach the top of his sport. He is a great example for aspiring wrestlers, showing what dedication and hard work can achieve.

He is an inspiration to many, and his achievements will continue to be celebrated in Russia and around the world.

12. Adam Saitiev

Adam Hamidovich Saitiev is a highly accomplished wrestler from Russia. He has Chechen heritage and won gold at the 2000 Summer Olympics while competing for the Russian Federation.

His success was not limited to the Olympics, as he also won the Wrestling World Championships in 1999 and 2002. He competed in the 85 kg weight class, showing his strength and skill in the sport.

Adam is an inspiration to other wrestlers who are looking to achieve similar heights of success as he has. He has proven that hard work and dedication can lead to great heights in any sport. He is a true champion and will always be remembered for his accomplishments.

13. Ramazan Şahin

Ramazan Şahin is a highly accomplished freestyle wrestler from Russia and Turkey who has a Chechen heritage. He has been dominating the sport for several years, having won gold medals at the 2007 World Championships, 2008 European Championships, and 2008 Summer Olympics.

Despite his success, he still managed to place fifth in the 2012 Summer Olympics. In February 2019, he was appointed as the head coach of the Turkmenistan national wrestling team, further increasing his impact on the sport.

Şahin is a perfect example of a dedicated athlete who, despite his successes, continues to find ways to stay involved in the sport. He is a great role model for aspiring wrestlers and his commitment to the sport serves as an inspiration.

14. Varteres Samurgashev

Varteres Varteresovich Samurgashev is a highly accomplished Greco-Roman wrestler. He is an Armenian-Russian, born in the Soviet Union. Samurgashev has won a multitude of awards throughout his career.

He is a two-time European champion, two-time World Champion, and an Olympic Champion.

His success in the sport has earned him the prestigious title of Honoured Master of Sports of Russia, which is an honor given to athletes who have achieved outstanding success in their respective sports. Samurgashev is a decorated athlete, having won multiple titles and awards.

His list of accomplishments is a testament to his hard work and dedication to the sport. He has represented the Soviet Union and Armenia in international competitions and has consistently placed at the top of the podium.

His athletic prowess has earned him the respect of his peers and fans alike. Samurgashev is an inspiration to many young wrestlers, showing them that it is possible to achieve greatness in the sport.

His success in Greco-Roman wrestling is a source of pride for Armenians and Russians alike, and he is a shining example of what can be achieved with hard work and dedication.

He is an athlete who has made a lasting impact on the world of Greco-Roman wrestling and will be remembered for his achievements for years to come.

15. Georg Baumann

Georg Baumann was an athlete of remarkable skill and determination. He was born in Russia but then moved to Estonia, where he became a professional wrestler.

He competed for the Russian Empire while representing Estonia, and went on to become the world champion in Greco-Roman wrestling. Greco-Roman wrestling is a form of wrestling that is practiced worldwide and a contested event in the Olympic Games.

It is a wrestling style that involves grappling techniques such as clinching, holds, and throws. It focuses on using the upper body and arms to gain control over the opponent. Baumann was able to use his impressive strength and agility to become a successful wrestler.

He was able to dominate his opponents in the ring and become a world champion. His success is a testament to his hard work and dedication. He is remembered today as one of the best wrestlers of his era. Baumann’s accomplishments show how hard work and dedication can pay off.

He was able to overcome any obstacles he faced and become an international champion. His story is a reminder that anyone can reach their goals if they put in the effort and never give up.

16. Sergei Beloglazov

Sergei Alekseyevich Beloglazov is a highly decorated former Olympic wrestler and World Champion. He was born in the Soviet Union and his career spanned from 1976 to 1988.

Beloglazov trained at the Armed Forces Sports Society in Kaliningrad between 1976 and 1977, and at Dynamo in Kiev from 1979 onwards. During his career, he achieved several major accomplishments. He won two Olympic gold medals, one in 1980 and one in 1988.

He also won six World Championships and one World Silver medal. Beloglazov is widely regarded as one of the greatest wrestlers of all time and is still held in high regard by the sports community.

17. David Musulbes

David Vladimirovich Musulbes is a retired professional wrestler who has had an illustrious career representing Russia and Slovakia.

Born in Georgia, Musulbes competed for the Russian team in several international events, culminating in a gold medal at the 2000 Summer Olympics in the freestyle 130 kg category.

He continued his success the following year, becoming World Champion in the freestyle 120 kg category in 2001 and again in 2002. Musulbes has since retired from competitive wrestling, but his legacy as a champion wrestler remains.

18. Nazyr Mankiev

Nazyr Yunuzovich Mankiev is an impressive athlete who has achieved a great deal of success in his field. He is an Ingush wrestler, a native of the Ingushetia region in Russia.

He has had a successful career in Greco-Roman wrestling, the oldest form of competitive wrestling, and has won a gold medal at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing. Mankiev is a resident of the city of Krasnoyarsk in Russia, where he has trained and competed in many tournaments.

He has participated in both national and international competitions and is known for his skill and determination. He has earned the respect of his peers and fans alike for his hard work and dedication to the sport. Mankiev is an inspiration to many aspiring wrestlers.

His success story is a testament to the power of hard work and determination, and his achievements serve as a reminder that there is no limit to what you can achieve if you put in the effort.

His gold medal at the 2008 Summer Olympics serves as a reminder that dreams can indeed come true.

19. Bakhtiyar Akhmedov

Bakhtiyar Shakhabutdinovich Akhmedov is a Russian wrestler of Kumyk descent who achieved a great honor in the 2008 Summer Olympics. Akhmedov competed in the 120 kg weight class, which is the heaviest class in Olympic wrestling.

Despite the challenges of competing in this weight class, he was able to compete with the best wrestlers from around the world. During the finals, Akhmedov was narrowly defeated by Artur Taymazov of Uzbekistan.

However, his remarkable performance was rewarded with a silver medal, making him an Olympic gold medalist. Akhmedov’s achievements are a remarkable and inspiring story. His determination and hard work paid off, and he was able to show the world his impressive wrestling skills.

His story is a testament to the power of dedication and hard work in achieving your goals. He is an example of what can be achieved with the right mindset and commitment.

Akhmedov’s legacy will continue to inspire generations of athletes to push themselves to reach their full potential.

20. Shirvani Muradov

Shirvani Gadzhikurbanovich Muradov is an accomplished Russian wrestler who has achieved great success in his career. He won a gold medal at the 2008 Summer Olympics, a prestigious achievement for any athlete.

He was also a European champion in 2007, further cementing his status as a top competitor in the sport. In addition to his impressive wrestling accomplishments, Shirvani has a cultural heritage of which he is proud.

He is of Lak heritage, a traditionally nomadic people who have inhabited the Caucasus Mountains for centuries. This heritage has no doubt had a great influence on Shirvani’s life and has helped shape him into the successful athlete he is today.

He has embraced his heritage and is proud to represent it in the world of wrestling.

21. Alena Kartashova

Alena Vladimirovna Kartashova is an accomplished athlete from Russia. She has achieved great success in the sport of wrestling. At the 2008 Summer Olympics, she won a silver medal in the women’s freestyle 63 kg category.

This was a remarkable accomplishment, as she was competing at the highest level of international competition. Kartashova has always been passionate about the sport of wrestling and has been training since she was a young girl.

She was a member of the Russian national team for many years, and in 2008, she represented her country at the Olympics.

Her hard work and dedication paid off, as she was able to secure a silver medal at the games. Kartashova’s success at the Olympics is a testament to her hard work and dedication to the sport.

She continues to be an inspiration to aspiring wrestlers and athletes alike, as she continues to prove that anything is possible with hard work and dedication. Kartashova is an example of what can be achieved with the right attitude and drive.

22. Khadzhimurad Magomedov

Khadzhimurad Magomedov is a Russian wrestler who has achieved a great deal of success in the sport. He is currently an Olympic champion in Freestyle wrestling, having won a gold medal at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing.

Magomedov is also a three-time world champion in the sport, having won gold medals in 2005, 2007, and 2011.

He has also won several European Championships and was the runner-up at the 2009 World Cup. Magomedov is a highly decorated wrestler, having won numerous awards and honors throughout his career. He was named the Russian Wrestler of the Year in 2005, 2007, and 2011.

He has also been inducted into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame and was honored with the Order of Friendship by the President of the Russian Federation. Magomedov’s success is not only limited to the wrestling mat. He is also a highly successful businessman and entrepreneur.

He is the founder and owner of a successful entertainment company, which has produced several television shows and films.

He is also involved in a number of charitable initiatives in his home country of Russia. Khadzhimurad Magomedov is an example of a highly successful athlete and businessman.

His accomplishments in the sport of Freestyle wrestling and his business endeavors have made him a highly respected figure in both Russia and the international sports community.

23. Murad Umakhanov

Murad Umakhanov is a Russian wrestler who achieved international success by winning a gold medal in Freestyle wrestling at the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney.

Representing Russia in the featherweight class, Umakhanov was able to outlast the competition to become the Olympic champion.

This victory was a major accomplishment for Umakhanov, as it solidified his place in the annals of Olympic history. Umakhanov had a distinguished career leading up to the 2000 Olympics.

He had previously won gold medals in various international competitions, including the 1997 European Championship and the 1998 World Championship.

His success continued at the 2000 Olympics where he achieved his ultimate goal of becoming an Olympic champion. After his Olympic victory, Umakhanov continued to compete at the highest levels of Freestyle wrestling.

He went on to win multiple bronze medals in the World Championships and the European Championships.

He also represented Russia at the 2004 Summer Olympics, where he finished in fourth place. Overall, Murad Umakhanov is a highly decorated wrestler who has cemented his legacy in the sport.

His 2000 Olympic gold medal is a testament to his excellence and dedication to Freestyle wrestling. He has proven himself to be one of the best in the world, and his accomplishments will be remembered for generations to come.

24. Vadim Bogiev

Vadim Iosifovich Bogiyev is an accomplished Russian wrestler of Ossetian heritage. At the Summer Olympic Games in 1996, he won the gold medal in men’s Freestyle wrestling. He was also the runner-up in the World Championships in 1993.

To top it off, he is a three-time European champion. Bogiyev’s Olympic gold medal was a remarkable achievement, as he had to beat out some of the toughest wrestlers in the world.

His runner-up finish in the 1993 World Championships was similarly impressive, as he was able to compete at the highest level despite being relatively unknown. To add to his impressive resume, Bogiyev was also able to win three European championships.

Bogiyev’s accomplishments are a testament to his hard work and dedication to the sport of wrestling. His dedication and skill have earned him recognition and respect in the wrestling world.

He is an inspiration to all wrestlers, as he has achieved success despite coming from a relatively small country and heritage.

25. Geidar Mamedaliyev

Geidar Mamedaliyev is a Russian wrestler of Azerbaijani descent. He was born as Heydar Nuraddin oglu Mammadaliyev and is now a resident of Yekaterinburg, Russia.

He is the head coach of the Ural Wrestlers Team, a team of athletes dedicated to the sport of wrestling. Geidar Mamedaliyev is a highly respected coach in the wrestling community.

He has coached many athletes over the years and has been successful in helping them reach their goals and achieve their dreams.

His expertise in the sport has allowed him to develop many successful strategies for his wrestlers to help them become successful. Geidar Mamedaliyev is dedicated to helping his wrestlers reach their full potential.

He believes that by providing them with the best training and guidance, they will be able to reach their maximum potential.

He is also committed to teaching them the importance of good sportsmanship and proper technique in order to be successful in the ring. Geidar Mamedaliyev’s commitment to the sport of wrestling is evident by his dedication to the Ural Wrestlers Team.

He has been the head coach of the team since its inception and has helped it become one of the most successful teams in the region.

He has also been able to help many athletes reach their goals and become successful in the sport. Geidar Mamedaliyev is an example of a dedicated coach who is committed to helping his wrestlers reach their full potential and achieve their dreams.

He has been able to help many athletes reach success in the sport of wrestling and has been instrumental in the success of the Ural Wrestlers Team.

26. Georgi Koguashvili

Gogi Murmanovich Koguashvili is a highly accomplished athlete. He is of Georgian descent and has competed in the Olympics four times, from 1992 to 2004.

He has also achieved much success as a wrestler, having competed in the Summer Games, as well as other championships and tournaments.

Moreover, he is now the head coach of the Russian Greco-Roman wrestling national team, where he is able to pass on his knowledge and experience to the next generation of wrestlers.

He is an excellent role model for aspiring athletes, demonstrating that hard work and dedication can lead to great success.

27. Andrey Shumilin

Andrey Anatolyevich Shumilin was a Russian wrestler who represented his country in the 1996 Summer Olympics.

He competed in the super-heavyweight freestyle event, and despite putting in a strong performance, he ultimately finished in fourth place. Shumilin was a highly decorated athlete, having achieved multiple honors in the sport of wrestling.

He was a four-time Russian National Champion, a two-time European Champion, and a three-time World Cup winner.

Throughout his career, he earned a total of five gold medals, two silver medals, and three bronze medals. Shumilin was passionate about wrestling and devoted his life to the sport. He was known for his strength, speed, and agility, and he was a great strategist as well.

His experience in the sport made him a formidable opponent, and he was respected amongst his peers. Shumilin’s greatest accomplishment was his performance in the 1996 Summer Olympics.

His fourth-place finish was an impressive achievement, and it was a testament to his skill and commitment to the sport. Despite not winning a medal, Shumilin’s performance was a great accomplishment and will remain a highlight of his career.

28. Azamat Tuskaev

Azamat Arturovich Tuskaev is a successful Russian freestyle wrestler with Ossetian heritage. He achieved a breakthrough victory in 2020 when he won the prestigious Ivan Yarygin Gran Prix.

This win opened the door for Tuskaev to compete in the 2020 European Wrestling Championships held in Rome, Italy. With his victory in the Gran Prix, Tuskaev gained the recognition and respect of the wrestling world for his skill and determination.

His success in the Gran Prix has inspired many other wrestlers to strive for similar heights of achievement. As a result, the Russian wrestling community is proud to have Azamat Arturovich Tuskaev as one of its own.

He has become a source of great motivation for those who wish to pursue wrestling as a profession.

29. The French Angel

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Maurice Tillet was a professional wrestler from Russia who found fame in the United States as The French Angel/The Angel.

He was a popular figure in the early 1940s and achieved two World Heavyweight Championships in the American Wrestling Association (AWA), which was owned by Paul Bowser in Boston.

Tillet was a showman who was renowned for his larger-than-life character and unique style of wrestling. He was a beloved figure in the world of professional wrestling, and his accomplishments in the ring were highly respected.

He was known for his athleticism and strength, as well as his ability to entertain the crowd. His success in the AWA made him a sought-after star, and his popularity continued to grow throughout the 1940s.

The French Angel will always be remembered as one of the greatest professional wrestlers of his time.

30. Artur Taymazov

Artur Taymazov is a wrestler and politician who originally hails from Uzbekistan, although he is now a Russian citizen. He won numerous medals while representing Uzbekistan in the Olympics, including two gold medals, which were later revoked due to doping charges.

In 2016, he was elected to the 7th State Duma of the Russian Federation, representing United Russia. This gave him the opportunity to participate in the legislative process of the Russian Federation and to shape the country’s policies.

He has been an advocate for sports reform in Russia, as well as being a vocal proponent of increased financial support for athletes. He has also sought to improve relations between Uzbekistan and Russia, particularly in the realm of sports and cultural exchange.

31. Aleksei Oleinik

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Aleksei Alexeyevich Oleinik is a renowned mixed martial artist and combat sambo fighter from Russia. He has made a name for himself in the world of MMA and is currently competing at the highest level for the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC).

Oleinik has been a part of the heavyweight division of the UFC since his debut in 2014 and has since managed to accumulate an impressive record of 57 wins, 14 losses, and 1 draw.

He is well known for his expertise in grappling techniques, and has finished many of his opponents with his signature submission move, the ‘Ezekiel choke’.

Oleinik’s success in the UFC has made him a household name in the world of MMA, and he is seen as a role model for aspiring MMA fighters.

32. Anzor Urishev

Anzor Suadinovich Urishev was a Russian freestyle wrestler who competed in the 84 kg category at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. Urishev was unable to advance further in the tournament, as he was defeated in the quarterfinal round by Iranian wrestler Ehsan Lashgari.

The result of the match was determined by the technical score, a system used to evaluate the performance of the wrestlers in each match. Urishev had a successful run in the tournament up until the quarterfinal round, where he ran into a strong opponent in Lashgari.

Despite Urishev’s best efforts, the technical score determined Lashgari was the victor, and Urishev was eliminated from the competition.

Urishev’s performance in the 2012 Summer Olympics was an impressive one, and he was able to put up a good fight against one of the best freestyle wrestlers in his weight class.

33. Roman Vlasov

Roman Andreyevich Vlasov is an impressive figure in the world of Greco-Roman wrestling. He has achieved a remarkable level of success in the sport, winning two Olympic gold medals, three world championship titles, and four European championship titles.

On top of these impressive victories, Vlasov also won the gold medal at the 2013 Summer Universiade. Additionally, in the three years following, he was runner-up at the 2013 World Championships and the 2014 and 2015 World Cup.

Vlasov has continuously proven himself to be an elite athlete, competing at the highest level in wrestling and garnering numerous awards and medals. His impressive record of wins has established him as a top wrestler in the international Greco-Roman wrestling scene.

He is an inspiration to aspiring wrestlers and a role model for those looking to make a name for themselves in the sport.

34. Sergei Kharitonov

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Sergei Valerievich Kharitonov is a renowned Russian fighter who has experienced success in both MMA and kickboxing.

He has been a professional MMA fighter since 2000 and has competed in numerous tournaments and events, such as PRIDE Fighting Championships, DREAM, Bellator MMA, M-1 Global, Strikeforce, and GLORY.

Kharitonov has established himself as one of the best heavyweight fighters in the world, and he has received many awards and accolades for his impressive performances. He is known for his powerful striking and ground game, which has made him a formidable opponent in the cage.

His career has been full of highlights, as he has faced some of the most legendary fighters in the sport. He has also had many memorable victories, making him a fan favorite across the globe.

35. Fedor Emelianenko

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Fedor Vladimirovich Emelianenko is a Russian multi-faceted public figure. He is a politician, a former professional mixed martial artist, a sambist and a judoka.

Fedor Vladimirovich Emelianenko is a retired Russian mixed martial artist who competed in the Heavyweight division of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC).

He is widely considered to be one of the greatest MMA fighters of all time and is the longest-reigning champion in MMA history. He is a four-time World Combat Sambo Champion and was the first Russian to win the ADCC Submission Wrestling World Championship.

He is also a politician, currently serving as a member of the State Duma of Russia. Fedor Vladimirovich Emelianenko is an accomplished martial artist, having achieved a master’s degree in Sports Science and a black belt in Judo, Kyokushin karate, and Sambo.

He is a highly decorated martial artist, having won the Russian Judo Championship three times, the Combat Sambo World Championships four times, and the ADCC Submission Wrestling World Championship once. Fedor Vladimirovich Emelianenko is a highly respected public figure in Russia and is well known for his charitable works with disadvantaged children and disabled veterans.

He has been awarded numerous honors and awards by the Russian government, including the Medal of Honor and the Order of Honor.

36. Dauren Kurugliev

Dauren Khalidovich Kurugliev is an elite athlete, who is known for his exceptional skills in both mixed martial arts and freestyle wrestling. He has a Lezgin background and has been a proud representative of Greece since 2023.

Dauren is a highly decorated athlete, having won the gold medal at the 2019 European Games and the European Championship. His accomplishments have seen him become a popular athlete in the world of mixed martial arts and wrestling.

He is known for his incredible strength and agility, which allows him to dominate the mat and the cage. Dauren is an inspiration to many and has shown that with hard work, dedication, and a never-give-up attitude, anything is achievable.

37. Ali Bagautinov

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Ali Shamilevich Bagautinov is a world-renowned mixed martial artist from Russia. He is currently competing in the Flyweight division of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC).

Bagautinov is a highly accomplished and respected athlete who has been competing professionally for over a decade. He is a two-time World Combat Sambo champion, a three-time World Combat Sambo European champion, and the winner of the ADCC European Championship in 2013.

Bagautinov made his debut in the UFC in 2014, when he fought for the Flyweight Championship. He went on to win six consecutive fights in the UFC, earning himself a shot at the title. He was the first Russian fighter to challenge for the UFC Flyweight title.

Unfortunately, he lost the fight and was subsequently released from the promotion. Despite his loss in the UFC, Bagautinov has shown he is still a top-level fighter. He has since competed in organizations such as ACB and M-1 Global, where he has enjoyed considerable success.

His record currently stands at 18-6-1, with wins over some of the best opponents in the Flyweight division. Ali Shamilevich Bagautinov is one of the most successful and respected mixed martial artists from Russia.

He has achieved great success in multiple disciplines and continues to show why he is one of the best fighters in the Flyweight division.

38. Alexander Volkov

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Alexander Volkov is a prominent figure in the world of professional mixed martial arts. He is a Russian fighter who competes in the Heavyweight division of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC).

Volkov has been a professional MMA competitor since 2009 and has had great success in the sport. Prior to joining UFC, Volkov competed in M-1 Global and Bellator MMA.

He has had a successful career in these promotions, winning multiple titles and gaining recognition as one of the top heavyweights in the world. Volkov is known for his aggressive and technical style of fighting, which has helped him achieve great success in the sport.

He is a fan favorite and an inspiration to many aspiring martial artists.

39. Musa Evloev

Musa Gilaniyevich Evloev is a highly esteemed Russian Greco-Roman wrestler. He has achieved a great deal of success in his storied career.

In 2020, he earned the highest honor in the sport when he won the gold medal in the 97 kg event at the Summer Olympic Games held in Tokyo, Japan.

His gold medal win was the culmination of years of hard work and dedication. In addition to his Olympic success, Evloev is also a two-time world champion and two-time national champion.

In 2016 and 2017, he won gold at both the World Championships and the Russian National Championships. His impressive record speaks to his commitment to excellence and his impressive skill set. Evloev is widely regarded as one of the best Greco-Roman wrestlers in the world.

His achievements have made him an inspiration for aspiring wrestlers all over the world. His incredible success serves as a reminder of what can be achieved with hard work and dedication.

40. Abdusalam Gadisov

Abdusalam Mamatkhanovich Gadisov is a Russian freestyle wrestler who participated in the 2012 Summer Olympics. He competed in the 96 kg freestyle event, where he was able to defeat Taimuraz Tigiyev in the qualification round.

Unfortunately, he was then eliminated by Reza Yazdani in the 1/8 finals, thus ending his chance of medaling in the event. Gadisov is a highly accomplished wrestler, having won multiple medals and championships.

In the 2011 World Championships, he won a silver medal, and in the 2010 World Cup, he earned a gold medal. He has also had success in the European Championships, having won bronze medals in both 2009 and 2011.

Gadisov has also had success in the Russian national championships, having won gold medals in both 2009 and 2011. Gadisov is an experienced wrestler who has been competing since 2003. His commitment to the sport has earned him a number of achievements and accolades.

He is a three-time Russian champion in freestyle wrestling, as well as a two-time European bronze medalist. He also has experience in the Olympic Games, having competed in the 2012 London Olympics. Despite his success, Gadisov was unable to win a medal in the 2012 Olympics.

He was able to make it to the 1/8 finals but was eliminated by Reza Yazdani. Despite this setback, Gadisov has continued to compete and has had a number of notable successes. In the 2013 European Championships, he won a bronze medal in the 96 kg weight class.

He also won a gold medal in the 2014 Russian National Championships. Gadisov is a dedicated and experienced wrestler who has had a number of successes in the professional wrestling world.

He competed in the 2012 Summer Olympics, where he was able to make it to the 1/8 finals before being eliminated by Reza Yazdani.

Despite this loss, Gadisov has had a number of notable successes, such as winning medals in the World Championships, European Championships, and Russian National Championships. He is a dedicated and experienced wrestler who will continue to strive for success in the future.

41. Khamzat Chimaev

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Khamzat Khizarovich Chimaev is a Swedish professional athlete who competes in Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) and freestyle wrestling. He currently fights in the Welterweight division of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) and previously competed in the Brave Combat Federation.

Chimaev is a highly decorated wrestler, having won three Swedish National Championships in his career. He has established himself as one of the top welterweight fighters in the world, and his technical ability in both MMA and wrestling has made him a formidable opponent.

Chimaev is known for his exceptional physical conditioning and aggressive fighting style and is always looking for the finish in his fights. As he continues to compete at the highest level, Chimaev will undoubtedly become a household name in the world of MMA and wrestling.

42. Petr Yan

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Petr Evgenyevich Yan is a Russian professional mixed martial artist who has achieved a great deal of success in the sport. He fights in the bantamweight division of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) and is the current former UFC Bantamweight Champion.

In addition to his success in the UFC, Yan also fought for Absolute Championship Berkut (ACB) and is the former ACB Bantamweight Champion. Yan is highly respected in the MMA world for his commitment to excellence and his ability to win fights.

He is a formidable opponent for any fighter in his weight class and is always looking to improve his skills and win more titles. With his impressive record in the sport, it is no wonder why Petr Evgenyevich Yan has become a household name in the world of mixed martial arts.

43. Timur Bizhoev

Timur Aslanovich Bizhoev is an incredibly accomplished Russian freestyle wrestler. He was born on the 22nd of March in Kabardino-Balkaria and has since gone on to win two major international medals.

In 2019, he won a bronze medal in the men’s 74-kilogram event at the European Wrestling Championships held in Bucharest, Romania. This result was particularly impressive as it was his first major competition at the senior level.

He then went on to have even more success in 2021, as he won another bronze medal in the same weight class at the World Wrestling Championships held in Oslo, Norway.

This was a huge achievement for Bizhoev, as it showed that he had the ability to compete with some of the best wrestlers in the world. All in all, Timur Aslanovich Bizhoev is an incredibly talented and accomplished wrestler.

His two bronze medals at the European and World Championships demonstrate his skill and determination and serve as a testament to his incredible talent.

44. Denis Tsargush

Denís Tsargúsh is a Russian freestyle wrestler of Abkhaz descent. He was born on the 1st of September 1987 in Gudauta, Abkhazia, which is a region within the country of Georgia. He is also known by the name Dinislam Tsargush.

Denís Tsargúsh is an accomplished wrestler, having won several medals at the European and World Championships, and representing Russia at the 2016 Summer Olympics.

He is also a two-time champion at the Russian National Freestyle Wrestling Championship. Denís Tsargúsh is an important figure in Abkhaz culture, as he is one of the few athletes from the region to achieve international recognition.

He has used his platform to promote the Abkhaz language, culture, and customs, and to inspire young people to pursue their dreams. He also works to promote peace in the region and has spoken out against ethnic cleansing and violence.

45. Arsen Fadzaev

Arsen Suleymanovich Fadzaev is a renowned and accomplished athlete who achieved success in the world of freestyle wrestling. He was a successful Soviet wrestler who held several titles including World champion and Olympic champion.

Fadzaev had a long and successful career in the sport, as he was a multiple-time medalist in both the World Championships and the Olympic Games. Fadzaev was a major contributor to the Soviet Union’s success in the sport in the 1980s and 1990s.

His achievements in the sport include gold medals in the 1982 and 1986 World Championships and a gold medal in the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul, South Korea.

Fadzaev is also remembered as one of the pioneers of freestyle wrestling in the Soviet Union and his legacy continues to be honored in the sport.

He is an individual who has not only achieved success in the world of freestyle wrestling but has also left an indelible mark on the sport and the athletes who follow in his footsteps..

Conclusion

Russia has an abundance of talented and accomplished wrestlers who have achieved success both domestically and globally.

From the legendary Alexander Karelin to the relatively unknown Roman Vlasov, these athletes have proven themselves to be some of the best wrestlers in the world. Their dedication, skill, and passion for the sport have earned them the respect of fans and opponents alike.

With the right combination of training, strategy, and experience, these wrestlers are sure to continue to be some of the most successful competitors in the world.

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Liam Rooney

Recent Florida International University graduate with a passion for journalism and a focus on sports, especially in wrestling. Recognized with a 3rd place award in the Society of Professional Journalist's Green Eyeshade awards for outstanding coverage of FIU men's soccer. Experienced in local news, breaking stories, and community reporting from an internship at the Palm Beach Post. Hosted and produced a radio show, adept at creating video packages. Eager to embrace diverse journalistic opportunities beyond sports, bringing a versatile skill set and a relentless drive for excellence to the field.