Even though Jordan Burroughs was knocked out in the quarterfinals, the gold medal match in men's 74kg freestyle wrestling still provided a thrilling duel between Russia's Aniuar Geduev and Iran's Hassan Yazdani.
Due to a cut above his eye suffered in a previous bout, Geduev came out with a bandage around his head. The match had to be stopped several times for Geduev to receive treatment when the cut opened up, resulting in the bandage getting progressively larger until it resembled something closer to a helmet and encompassed everything except his face. A frustrated Yazdani could only wait out the delays.
In between the stoppages, Geduev posted three takedowns worth two points apiece in the opening period. Yazdani battled back in the second period to cut the score to 6-4, then got a two-point takedown inside the final five seconds to make it 6-6. By virtue of getting the final score, Yazdani gained the advantage on criteria and sealed the comeback win.
The key point in the tournament came hours earlier when Geduev faced Burroughs, the reigning Olympic champion, in the quarterfinals. Even though Burroughs and Geduev are ranked No. 1 and No. 2, respectively, in the world, they were subjected to a randomized draw that placed them on the same side of the bracket.
As the highly-anticipated matchup drew to a close, Burroughs found himself trailing the Russian by a score of 3-0. Although Burroughs got a late takedown to bring it to 3-2, he ran out of time and suffered just his third international loss in 133 career matches.
Because Geduev reached the final, Burroughs was pulled into the repechage. But he was unable to wrestle back and earn a spot in the bronze medal match, as Uzbekistan's Bekzod Abdurakhmanov controlled their repechage bout and won by technical fall, 11-1.
While Geduev had the most impressive victory — in terms of the opponent — en route to the gold medal match, Yazdani had the most dominant ones. The 2015 World silver medalist (at 70kg) outscored his first three opponents by a combined score of 27-0. Two of those matches ended early with a technical fall.
Bronze medals went to Azerbaijan's Jabrayil Hasanov and Turkey's Soner Demirtas.
Geduev (RUS) wins 3-2 vs. Burroughs (USA)
Hasanov (AZE) wins by tech fall 11-0 vs. Makarashvili (GEO)
Yazdani (IRI) wins 7-0 vs. Demirtas (TUR)
Usserbayev (KAZ) wins 4-3 vs. Takatani (JPN)
Geduev (RUS) wins 5-4 vs. Hasanov (AZE)
Yazdani (IRI) wins by tech fall 10-0 vs. Usserbayev (KAZ)
Abdurakhmonov (UZB) wins by tech fall 11-1 vs. Burroughs (USA)
Demirtas (TUR) wins by tech fall 12-0 vs. Castelly (HAI)
74kg bronze medal matches
Hasanov (AZE) wins 9-7 vs. Abdurakhmonov (UZB)
Demirtas (TUR) wins 6-0 vs. Usserbayev (KAZ)
74kg gold medal match
Yazdani (IRI) wins on criteria 6-6 vs. Geduev (RUS)