Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

Penn State Wrestling

Penn State Wrestling Legend Weighs in on Potential Aaron Brooks-Hassan Yazdani Clash

UNIVERSITY PARK, PA - APRIL 20: David Taylor (Nittany Lion WC/Titan Mercury WC) and Aaron Brooks (Nittany Lion WC/Titan Mercury WC) wrestle in the men’s freestyle 86kg division of the Olympic Wrestling Team Trials on April, 20, 2024 at the Bryce Jordan Center in University Park, PA. (Photo by Gregory Fisher/Icon Sportswire)

For Penn State wrestling legend David Taylor, there are two competitors at next month’s Olympics in Paris that are above the rest of the field at 86KG.

Taylor is unique in that he’s wrestled them both.

As all Penn State wrestling fans should know, Taylor took on Aaron Brooks in the best-of-three finals at April’s Olympic Trials in Happy Valley, with Brooks sweeping the series to move to Paris.

Taylor also has a history with the man many feel favored to win Gold.

Iran’s Hassan Yazdani is an Olympic Gold Medalist, winning at the Rio Games in 2016, and he’s hardly a one-hit wonder. The 29-year-old took silver at the Tokoyo games in 2021 and is also a three-time World Champion and six-time medalist.

The man who stopped him from winning a second Gold Medal was Taylor, who beat Yazdani in the finals. Yazdani got a measure of revenge months later at the 2021 World Championships in Oslo, Norway.

Taylor ended the series with a 5-1 record. In May, he retired from competition and became the head wrestling coach at Oklahoma State.

So considering Taylor’s history with Yazdani in freestyle and his relationship with Brooks, who he worked for years in the same room with as a member of Nittany Lion Wrestling Club, he’s a pretty good guy to weigh in on this potential clash.

“It’s tough to say, obviously,” Taylor told Christian Pyles of FloWrestling. Yazdani has dominated the world for a long time, and a lot of these guys have never seen Aaron before. They both have some similarities. Obviously, Aaron is extremely dynamic, Yazdani’s confidence wrestling people is through the roof. So I just think, they’re both going to have to figure things out. They’re both going to prepare, they should be preparing for each other. I think there’s a separation between those two guys and the rest of the world, but it’s the Olympics. Everyone’s going to be prepared to be there.”

Taylor said he felt Yazdani was more relaxed in his last competition— the Budapest Ranking Series earlier this month— than he had been in a while.

Yazdani had previously been out eight months with a shoulder injury.

“He almost looked relieved,” Taylor said. “But obviously, Aaron is really good and he’s a fierce competitor. So, like everyone else, I’m looking forward to seeing the results.”

The Olympics will begin Friday, July 26 and run through Sunday, Aug. 11.

Get NSN in your Inbox

Enter your email address to get notifications of new posts by email.

More from Nittany Sports Now

Penn State Wrestling

0 The contract details for Penn State wrestling legend David Taylor in his new job as Oklahoma State’s coach have been released. Taylor, a 2020...

Penn State Wrestling

0 DraftKings and Bet Rivers put out early betting s and odds for USA Men’s Freestyle Wrestling Thursday, and Penn State/Nittany Lion Wrestling Club...

Penn State Wrestling

0   Cael Sanderson and David Taylor will forever be linked as two of the most important figures in Penn State wrestling history. Sanderson...

Penn State Wrestling

0 Penn State is the best wrestling program in the country, having won 11 national titles in the past 13 seasons. Oklahoma State is...