|Date||11 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.|
Besik Kudukhov of Russia had begun his career as a featherweight freestyle wrestler and had found a fair amount of success, finishing as runner-up at the 2006 World Championships before taking the World and European titles in 2007. After entering the 2008 Olympic Games as the favorite in the division, and then ending up with only a bronze medal, Kudukhov switched to the lightweight division and grew even more successful, winning the three World Championships and again earning a reputation as a favorite, this time for the London Games. Strong challenges, however, were possible from Yogeshwar Dutt of India, the reigning Asian and Commonwealth Champion and an Olympic veteran from 2004 and 2008, Toğrul Əsgərov of Azerbaijan, the reigning European Champion and 2010 World runner-up, and Franklin Gómez of Puerto Rico, the reigning Pan American Champion and runner-up in the most recent World Championships.
In the end it was Kudukhov and Əsgərov who met in the final, with the latter having the easier time advancing through his bracket. The Russian, however, arguably had the stronger opponents, having to get through Gómez, Dutt, and Iran’s Masoud Esmaeilpoor, the 2010 Asian Champion and 2012 runner-up, on his way to the gold medal match. In the final, however, it was Əsgərov who was surprisingly dominant, winning the first round with a single point and scoring three points in the first fifteen seconds of the second period. An extra two points by the end were superfluous, as the Azerbaijani unseated the World Champion and earned the Olympic crown.
The first bronze medal match was contested by Kenichi Yumoto of Japan, a bronze medalist at both the 2008 Summer Olympics and the most recent World Championships, and Coleman Scott of the United States, a rookie on the international scene. The pair were evenly matched at first, leading the first round to a par terre in which Yumoto drew the advantage and was able to convert it into a point. In the second period Scott reversed a leg hold to score two points on his opponent, which rose to three following an unsuccessful challenge from the Japanese coaches. Yumoto then scored the first point in the final round, but Scott came back in the final fifteen seconds to score three points and take the medal. For the final podium spot, it was Dutt against Ri Jong-Myong of North Korea, whose best international finish was third at the 2011 Asian Championships. Both competitors looked strong at first, with Ri and Dutt winning the first and second rounds respectively by one point. By the end of the final period, however, Dutt had scored six unanswered points against Ri, clinching the bronze.
That was how the event and the results seemed to have ended. In 2015, however, the IOC began re-testing samples from the 2008 Beijing and 2012 London Olympics, using newer, more advanced testing techniques, in an effort to find those who had used performance enhancing drugs (PEDs), but in whom it could not be detected at the time of those Olympics. This was one of the events affected, in a sense.
In December 2013, Russian silver medalist Besik Kudukhov was killed in a car accident after colliding with a truck. In October 2016, his samples from the 2012 London Olympics were re-tested and came back positive for turinabol (dehydrochloromethyltestosterone). Because he was deceased, and had no chance for an appeal, no change in the result standings, nor the medals, was made.
Winner of each match advanced to round two. Losers to eventual finalists advanced to repêchage round one.
|Match #1||Coleman Scott||USA||Bye|
|Match #2||Lee Seung-Cheol||KOR||Bye|
|Match #3||Malkhaz Zarkua||GEO||Bye|
|Match #4||Vasyl Fedoryshyn||UKR||Bye|
|Match #5||Kenichi Yumoto||JPN||Bye|
|Match #6||Yowlys Bonne||CUB||Bye|
|Match #7||Toğrul Əsgərov||AZE||Bye|
|Match #8||Tim Schleicher||GER||Bye|
|Match #9||Hassan Madani||EGY||Bye|
|Match #10||Didier Païs||FRA||Bye|
|Match #11||Ri Jong-Myong||PRK||Bye|
|Match #12||Farzad Tarash||AUS||Bye|
|Match #13||Dauren Zhumagaziyev||KAZ||Bye|
|Match #14||Masoud Esmaeilpour||IRI||Guillermo Torres||MEX||Decision (8 - 1)|
|Match #15||Yogeshwar Dutt||IND||Anatoliy Guydya||BUL||Decision (7 - 3)|
|Match #16||Besik Kudukhov||RUS||Franklin Gómez||PUR||Decision (4 - 2)|
Winner of each match advanced to quarter-finals. Losers to eventual finalists advanced to repêchage round one.
|Match #1||Coleman Scott||USA||Lee Seung-Cheol||KOR||Decision by shutout (6 - 0)|
|Match #2||Malkhaz Zarkua||GEO||Vasyl Fedoryshyn||UKR||Decision by shutout (5 - 0)|
|Match #3||Kenichi Yumoto||JPN||Yowlys Bonne||CUB||Decision (4 - 2)|
|Match #4||Toğrul Əsgərov||AZE||Tim Schleicher||GER||Decision (9 - 1)|
|Match #5||Hassan Madani||EGY||Didier Païs||FRA||Decision (7 - 6)|
|Match #6||Ri Jong-Myong||PRK||Farzad Tarash||AUS||Decision by shutout (8 - 0)|
|Match #7||Masoud Esmaeilpour||IRI||Dauren Zhumagaziyev||KAZ||Decision (9 - 5)|
|Match #8||Besik Kudukhov||RUS||Yogeshwar Dutt||IND||Decision by shutout (3 - 0)|
Winner of each match advanced to semi-finals. Losers to eventual finalists advanced to repêchage round two.
|Match #1||Coleman Scott||USA||Malkhaz Zarkua||GEO||Fall (3:29)|
|Match #2||Toğrul Əsgərov||AZE||Kenichi Yumoto||JPN||Decision (3 - 2)|
|Match #3||Ri Jong-Myong||PRK||Hassan Madani||EGY||Decision (6 - 2)|
|Match #4||Besik Kudukhov||RUS||Masoud Esmaeilpour||IRI||Decision (5 - 1)|
Winner of each match advanced to final. Losers advanced to repêchage final.
|Match #1||Toğrul Əsgərov||AZE||Coleman Scott||USA||Decision by shutout (5 - 0)|
|Match #2||Besik Kudukhov||RUS||Ri Jong-Myong||PRK||Decision by shutout (5 - 0)|
Winner of each match advanced to repêchage round two.
|Match #1||Tim Schleicher||GER||Bye|
|Match #2||Yogeshwar Dutt||IND||Franklin Gómez||PUR||Decision by shutout (2 - 0)|
Winner of each match advanced to repêchage final.
|Match #1||Kenichi Yumoto||JPN||Tim Schleicher||GER||Decision (9 - 2)|
|Match #2||Yogeshwar Dutt||IND||Masoud Esmaeilpour||IRI||Decision (7 - 5)|
|Match #1||Coleman Scott||USA||Kenichi Yumoto||JPN||Decision (6 - 2)|
|Match #2||Yogeshwar Dutt||IND||Ri Jong-Myong||PRK||Decision (7 - 1)|
|Match 1/2||Toğrul Əsgərov||AZE||Besik Kudukhov||RUS||Decision by shutout (6 - 0)|