|Date||7 August 2012|
|Location||ExCeL, Newham, London (North Arena 2)|
|Participants||19 from 19 countries|
|Format||Single elimination tournament. Competitors losing to the finalists entered repechage tournament for bronze medals.|
The reigning World Champion in men’s heavyweight Greco-Roman wrestling, and a favorite for gold at the London Olympics, was Elis Guri, who had first participated in the Olympics in 2008 as a competitor for his native Albania. Thereafter he was absent from major competitions for three years as he switched allegiances to Bulgaria and made his return by winning a bronze medal at the 2011 European Championships prior to his victory at the World Championships. He faced challenges from several wrestlers in his quest for Olympic glory, most notably Jimmy Lidberg of Sweden, who was twice runner-up (2009 and 2011) and once a bronze medalist (2010) at the World Championships.
Guri and Lidberg were drawn into the same half, setting up a potentially exciting semi-final match, but it was not to be: both wrestlers were eliminated in the quarterfinals. Guri was defeated by Timofey Deynichenko of Belarus, runner-up at the 2010 European and World Championships, while Lindberg was bested by 2011 World Championship bronze medalist Rustam Totrov of Russia. Totrov then conquered Deynichenko in the semifinals, eliminating any chance of Guri winning a medal. In the final the Russian met Ghasem Rezaei of Iran, a two-time Asian Champion (2007 and 2008) whose best finish at the World Championships was third in 2007.The first round went to par terre where, although Totrov almost managed to rise from the bottom position, he was taken down at the last moment by Rezaei and scored upon. The second period again went to par terre, despite the best efforts of the Russian, who was unable to convert his top advantage to a point, even with a fantastic push that tossed both competitors out of the ring simultaneously (and therefore scored no points). Thus Iran, which had begun the 2012 Olympics with zero Greco-Roman gold medals to its name, left the tournament with three, following earlier victories by Hamid Soryan and Omid Noroozi in the featherweight and lightweight categories respectively.
Lidberg and Deynichenko, meanwhile, met up in a bronze medal bout, where Deynichenko took an early lead by reversing the Swede’s advantage in the first par terre and scoring two points in the dying seconds of the period. Lidberg struck back in the next two rounds, however, starting with a successful defense in the second par terre that forced a third, decisive period. This round too went to par terre, but the Swede had fewer cautions and was therefore granted the top advantage, using it to score four points to Deynichenko’s one in the final twenty-two seconds of the match and clinch the bronze. The final podium spot was decided between Yunior Estrada of Cuba and Artur Aleksanyan of Armenia, the 2012 European Champion and 2011 runner-up. For many years, including an appearance at the 2008 Summer Olympics, Estrada was a light-heavyweight wrestler and had won bronze in this division at the 2007 Pan American Games. He had switched to heavyweight by 2010, however, and won gold at the 2011 Pan American Games. In the bronze medal bout, Aleksanyan was dominant: he converted his top advantage in the round one par terre to two points and then pushed Estrada out of the ring in the second period to claim victory.
|=13||Mohamed Abd El-Fatah||EGY|
Winner of each match advanced to round two. Losers to eventual finalists advanced to repêchage round one.
|Match #1||Ghasem Rezaei||IRI||Bye|
|Match #2||Cenk İldem||TUR||Bye|
|Match #3||Artur Aleksanyan||ARM||Bye|
|Match #4||Daigoro Timoncini||ITA||Bye|
|Match #5||Hassine Ayari||TUN||Bye|
|Match #6||Choucri Atafi||MAR||Bye|
|Match #7||Yunior Estrada||CUB||Bye|
|Match #8||David Vála||CZE||Bye|
|Match #9||Rustam Totrov||RUS||Bye|
|Match #10||Şalva Qadabadze||AZE||Bye|
|Match #11||Jimmy Lidberg||SWE||Bye|
|Match #12||Norikatsu Saikawa||JPN||Bye|
|Match #13||Soso Jabidze||GEO||Bye|
|Match #14||Elis Guri||BUL||Alin Alexuc-Ciurariu||ROU||Decision by shutout (2 - 0)|
|Match #15||Tsimafei Dzeinichenka||BLR||Mohamed Abd El-Fatah||EGY||Decision (3 - 1)|
|Match #16||Ardo Arusaar||EST||Erwin Caraballo||VEN||Decision by shutout (5 - 0)|
Winner of each match advanced to quarter-finals. Losers to eventual finalists advanced to repêchage round one.
|Match #1||Ghasem Rezaei||IRI||Cenk İldem||TUR||Decision (3 - 2)|
|Match #2||Artur Aleksanyan||ARM||Daigoro Timoncini||ITA||Decision by shutout (3 - 0)|
|Match #3||Hassine Ayari||TUN||Choucri Atafi||MAR||Decision (5 - 1)|
|Match #4||Yunior Estrada||CUB||David Vála||CZE||Decision (2 - 1)|
|Match #5||Rustam Totrov||RUS||Şalva Qadabadze||AZE||Decision (3 - 3)|
|Match #6||Jimmy Lidberg||SWE||Norikatsu Saikawa||JPN||Decision by shutout (3 - 0)|
|Match #7||Elis Guri||BUL||Soso Jabidze||GEO||Decision (3 - 1)|
|Match #8||Tsimafei Dzeinichenka||BLR||Ardo Arusaar||EST||Decision (2 - 1)|
Winner of each match advanced to semi-finals. Losers to eventual finalists advanced to repêchage round two.
|Match #1||Ghasem Rezaei||IRI||Artur Aleksanyan||ARM||Decision by shutout (3 - 0)|
|Match #2||Yunior Estrada||CUB||Hassine Ayari||TUN||Decision by shutout (2 - 0)|
|Match #3||Rustam Totrov||RUS||Jimmy Lidberg||SWE||Decision by shutout (4 - 0)|
|Match #4||Tsimafei Dzeinichenka||BLR||Elis Guri||BUL||Decision by shutout (4 - 0)|
Winner of each match advanced to final. Losers advanced to repêchage final.
|Match #1||Ghasem Rezaei||IRI||Yunior Estrada||CUB||Decision by shutout (3 - 0)|
|Match #2||Rustam Totrov||RUS||Tsimafei Dzeinichenka||BLR||Decision by shutout (4 - 0)|
Winner of each match advanced to repêchage round two.
|Match #1||Cenk İldem||TUR||Bye|
|Match #2||Şalva Qadabadze||AZE||Bye|
Winner of each match advanced to repêchage final.
|Match #1||Artur Aleksanyan||ARM||Cenk İldem||TUR||Decision by shutout (3 - 0)|
|Match #2||Jimmy Lidberg||SWE||Şalva Qadabadze||AZE||Decision (2 - 1)|
|Match #1||Artur Aleksanyan||ARM||Yunior Estrada||CUB||Decision by shutout (3 - 0)|
|Match #2||Jimmy Lidberg||SWE||Tsimafei Dzeinichenka||BLR||Decision (5 - 3)|
|Match 1/2||Ghasem Rezaei||IRI||Rustam Totrov||RUS||Decision by shutout (3 - 0)|