2023 UWW Worlds Preview: 74k MFS, 72k GR, 59k WFS

Updated: September 1, 2023

Photos: Four-time World champ Kyle Dake defeated a fellow NLWC teammate Jason Nolf in men’s freestyle at Final X, where Patrick Smith needed three bouts to earn a fourth World Team berth in Greco-Roman and where Jennifer Page made her first World Team in women’s freestyle. (Photos by Tony Rotundo, WrestlersAreWarriors.com)

The Nittany Lion Wrestling Club out of State College, Pa., features six different wrestlers who will compete at the 2023 UWW World Championships, Sept. 16-24, in Belgrade, Serbia. That includes a pair — Kyle Dake in men’s freestyle and Jennifer Page in women’s freestyle — who are part of today’s preview of three of the 30 weights that will be contested later this month. The third featured wrestler is Pat Smith from the Minnesota Storm in Greco-Roman.

WIN Magazine, which is running these previews through Sept. 11,  will provide comprehensive coverage of the 2023 Worlds in its next issue, which will be printed on Sept. 28. Click here or call 888-305-0606 to subscribe.


Men’s Freestyle: 74k/163 lbs — Kyle Dake (Nittany Lion WC / TMWC)

Competes Sept. 17-18

Age: 32 (born Feb. 25, 1991); Hometown: Ithaca, N.Y.

Beat Jason Nolf at Final X

International Experience: Four-time World champion (2021 and 2022 at 74k; 2018 and 2019 at 79k); 2020 Olympic bronze medalist; Overall Record: 20-1 (17-0 in three Worlds and 3-1 in 2020 Olympics)

Other: Four-time NCAA champ (in four straight years, 2010-13 at four different weights) and 2013 Hodge Trophy winner from Cornell.

Top International Competition: Slovakia’s Tajmuraz Salkazanov, who lost 3-1 to Dake in last year’s gold medal bout, returns as do both 2022 bronze medal winners, including Iran’s Yones Emamichoghaei, who lost 2-2 to Dake in last year’s semifinals. The other third-place finisher from 2022 was Turkey’s Soner Demirtas, who has wrestled in six different Worlds, earned a bronze at the 2016 Olympics and was actually ranked ahead of Dake in this year’s pre-tournament seedings.

Other notable wrestlers with past World/Olympic glories are: Mahamedkhabib Kadzimahamedau, formerly of Belarus who will compete as a “Independent Neutral Athlete” and who defeated Dake in the 2020 Olympics; and Italy’s Frank Chamizo, a two-time World champion and four-time World medalist, who actually finished third against Demirtas last year but was disqualified for doping.

Meanwhile, there are several other wrestlers with American college ties who are expected to represent other countries: Uzbekistan’s Bekzod Abdurakhmonov (Clarion) who earned a 2020 Olympic bronze medal, Israel’s Mitch Finesilver (Duke), San Marino’s Malik Amine (Michigan) and Cabo Verde’s Anthony Wesley (Iowa State).


Greco-Roman: 72k/158.5 lbs — Patrick Smith (Minnesota Storm)

Competes Sept. 22-23

Age: 32 (born Dec. 19, 1990); Hometown: Chaska, Minn.

Beat Justus Scott at Final X

International Experience: This marks the fourth time that Smith has earned a spot on the World Team and he’s 1-3 in his career.  He also competed in 2017 (going 1-1 at 71k), 2019 (0-1 at 77k) and 2021 (0-1 at 72k). He finished second to RaVaughn Perkins in the 2016 Olympic Trials at 66 kilos.

Other: A two-time Minnesota state champ, Smith first wrestled at the University of Minnesota before putting his focus on Greco.

Top International Competition: Ali Arsalan of Serbia and Ulvi Ganizade of Azerbaijan, who finished first and second in last year’s Worlds, are expected to compete again this year and are favorites as well as 2022 World bronze medalists Selcuk Can of Turkey, who was seeded No. 1 in the World’s preseeds.


Women’s Freestyle: 59k/130 lbs — Jennifer Page (Nittany Lion WC / Titan Mercury WC)

Competes Sept. 18-19

Age: 30 (born March 14, 1993); Hometown: Sacramento, Calif.

Beat Michaela Beck at Final X (after finishing second at the U.S. Open at 63 kilos)

International Experience: This is the first Senior-level World/Olympic tournament for Page, who did compete in two Junior Worlds in 2012 (5th) and 2013, when she earned a bronze medal. She also reached the Final X in 2022, but lost to Kayla Miracle and finished third in the 2012 Olympic Trials.

Other: She wrestled in college at Oklahoma City University.

Top International Competition: With three of last year’s World medalists — gold medalist Anastasia Nichita of Moldova and silver medalist Grace Bullen of Norway and bronze medalist Sakura Motoki of Japan — moving up or down to Olympic weight classes this year, the remaining 2022 bronze medalist Maria Wrzesien of Poland could be a favorite. Other top challengers could be Ukraine’s Yuliia Ostapchuk, who has placed in four previous Worlds, including gold in 2017, and also competed in the 2016 Olympics; and Kazakhstan’s Diana Kayumova, who has wrestled in the last two Worlds, earning a bronze in 2021.

The following is a schedule of WIN’s other daily World Championship previews (including pertinent information on the American who will wrestle at that weight class and style). Click on previous days to read those previews: