2023 UWW Worlds Preview: 125k MFS, 130k GR, 76k WFS

Updated: September 11, 2023

Photo: Adeline Gray clinched her 10th all-time World/Olympic Team berth at Final X, where she defeated U.S. Open champ Kennedy Blades in New Jersey. That is where Mason Parris actually lost to Gable Steveson but will now compete at this month’s UWW World Championships in Belgrade, Serbia, after the 2020 Olympic champ withdrew. Meanwhile, Cohlton Schultz earned his second straight Senior World spot when he beat former World silver medalist Adam Coon at Final X. (Photos by Tony Rotundo,

The heaviest weight class in all three styles has provided some great talent for Team USA, especially in women’s freestyle, where Adeline Gray has won six World championships to go along with a silver medal finish at the 2020 Olympics and the mother of twins will shoot for her seventh title at the 2023 UWW World Championships, Sept. 16-24, in Belgrade, Serbia.

Men’s freestyle was also going to feature an Olympic champion at heavyweight in Gable Steveson, who left college early in 2022 to focus on professional wrestling. He said he wanted to return to international freestyle, but later announced recently that he would not compete at the 2023 Worlds. In his place will be Final X runner-up Mason Parris, who enjoyed a banner final year at Michigan this winter when he claimed the NCAA championship and Dan Hodge Trophy.

Meanwhile, Greco-Roman wrestling will also feature a talented big man in current Arizona State heavyweight Cohlton Schultz, a three-time World participant who was oddly born on the same day Rulon Gardner won an historic Olympic gold medal over Russia’s superstar Alexander Karelin in 2000.

These are the final three of 30 weight classes that WIN Magazine has previewed over the past two weeks. WIN Magazine will also provide comprehensive coverage of the 2023 World Championships in its next issue, printed Sept. 28. Click here or call 888-305-0606 to subscribe.

Men’s Freestyle: 125k/275lbs — Mason Parris (Cliff Keen WC)

Competes Sept. 16-17

Age: 23 (born Oct. 1, 1999); Hometown: Lawrenceburg, Ind.

Became a replacement for 2020 Olympic gold medalist Gable Steveson, who beat Parris at Final X, but withdrew from the Worlds on Sept. 6.

International Experience: This is Parris’ first Senior World championships, but he did win a Junior World championship in 2019.

Other: Parris completed his college career this past spring as the three-time NCAA All-American won his first national championship and the Dan Hodge Trophy for Michigan. He also claimed second in 2021 and fifth in 2022 and ranks 15th in school history for career wins as he posted a 124-18 record with 45 career pins.

Top International Competition: There are plenty of past World champions competing at this weight, including Turkey’s Taha Akgul (a 2016 Olympic gold medalist and three-time World champ, including 2022), Iran’s Amir Zare (2021) and Georgia’s Geno Petriashvili (2017-19), who finished second to Gable Stevenson in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Zare and Petriashvili also settled for bronze last year. Also back is 2022 World silver medalist Lkhagvagerel Munkhtur who finished fifth in the 2020 Olympics before earning a bronze in the 2021 Worlds.

Greco-Roman: 130k/286.5 lbs — Cohlton Schultz (Sunkist Kids WC)

Competes Sept. 21-22

Age: 22 (born Sept. 27, 2000, the same date that Rulon Gardner beat Alexander Karelin in the Olympics); Hometown: Parker, Colo.

Beat Adam Coon at Final X

International Experience: This marks the third time that Schultz will compete in the Senior Worlds; going 0-1 in 2021 and 1-1 a year ago. He also has competed in two Cadet Worlds, winning gold in 2017, before securing both a bronze and silver medal, respectively, in the 2018 and 2019 Junior Worlds.

Other: Schultz will be a junior (given an extra year because of COVID) at Arizona State, where he is a three-time NCAA All-American, finishing fourth in 2021, second (to Gable Steveson) in 2022 and seventh last March.

Top International Competition: No big man in the 2023 Greco Worlds has been better than Turkey’s Riza Kayaalp, who will be shooting for his sixth World title and 10th overall World medal to go along with three Olympic medals (one silver and two bronze). Hoping to also challenge the Turk is Iranian Amin Mirzazadeh, who finished second to Kayaalp last year and bronze medalist Alin Ciurariu of Romania.

Women’s Freestyle: 76k/167.5 lbs — Adeline Gray (NYAC / Beaver Dam RTC)

Competes Sept. 19-20

Age: 32 (born Jan. 15, 1991): Hometown: Denver, Colo.

Beat Kennedy Blades at Final X

International Experience: No American woman has captured more World championships than Gray, who returned to competition this year after giving birth to twins last summer. Overall, her record is 36-4, which includes a 32-2 mark and six titles (2012, 2014, 2015, 2018, 2019 and 2021) in eight World Championships. She also earned World bronze medals in 2011 and 2013. Gray also has competed in two Olympics (2016 and 2020); winning four of six matches. Her Olympic resume includes a runner-up finish for silver in Tokyo (2021).

Top International Competition: With last year’s World champ Yasemin Adar of Turkey expected to miss this year’s World Championships, a trio of 2022 World medalists will be looking to spoil Gray’s run at a seventh title: Egypt’s Samar Hamza, who finished second last year, as well as bronze medalists Yuka Kagami of Japan and Estonia’s Epp Mae (who finished second to Gray in 2021).

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