It has been long time since 2005 Zloty Tur where we watched the matches between Rustam Babaev and Todd Hutchings at 86kg category. It was the year that Todd Hutchings won against John Brzenk in Vegas event where Brzenk pulled also super heavyweight class. As far as I remember Rustam beat Hutchings once without and once with strap and the one with the strap barely came to the pad level. I see some similarity between this Vendetta and Michael Todd vs Andrey Pushkar Vendetta, not that there are technical similarities but the similarity about explosiveness vs endurance. While both American pullers have great endurance both Ukranian pullers are very explosive right from the start. The chances to win the match with a flash pin is high for the Ukranian pullers while both Michael Todd and Todd Hutchings have higher chances in the matches that will require endurance.
As far as I read Rustam will pull regular category as well before the supermatch against Todd Hutchings. So it gives me idea that Rustam feels super strong because last year he was not able to win 95kg category against Ermes Gasparini and him to pull same category right before pulling against Todd Hutchings shows that he is very confident about his shape. But no matter how confident he is I believe that pulling 95kg category will take some energy from him. Rustam’s biggest weapon against Todd Hutchings, is his explosiveness and pulling 95kg category before the Vendetta will reduce his explosiveness and this is exactly what Todd Hutchings would like as once he stops Rustam’s hit it will be an endurance game from that moment till the end and I believe he is not gonna lose such an endurance battle.
For someone who started armwrestling in his late 30s Todd was not very experienced when he met Rustam in 2005 Zloty. Rustam was a young puller but was already WAF champion 4 years in a row. Both pullers must have been much more experienced since the last time they have pulled but I believe that Todd Hutchings’ improvement has been more than Rustam’s since that time. After watching some American middle weights toprolling Hutchings lately I believe that Rustam’s quick pin possibility is higher with toproll than his usual hook technique. Rustam’s side hit is also very powerful but not sure how it would result against Todd’s rock solid elbow joint.
Fresh for fresh I would say Rustam is the favorite but hard to predict the match after Rustam pulling 95kg class category. I don’t even know the full list of 95kg category as someone like Sasho could ruin Rustam’s evening if he is there to pull 95kg class. I wish both athletes the best!