BELGRADE, Serbia (WETM) – Cornell’s Vito Arujau has earned the title: best in the world.

Arujau won the 2023 Senior World Freestyle Wrestling Championship in Serbia Sunday in a thrilling bout at 61kg. Vito, who won the 2023 NCAA title at Cornell and the US Freestyle Open, was competing for the first time at the senior world tournament.

Arujau won 10-9 over Abasgadzhi Magomedov (independent by way of Russia). Magomedov is the 2021 world champion at 61kg.

With the match tied at seven, Arujau used a big takedown for two with a re-attack and go-behind to the mat. Arujau then scored his final point on a pushout with 16 seconds left in the match.

The bout was close in the first period, Arujau then utilized a chest wrap for exposure points and turned the tide of the contest earning a 5-2 edge over Magomedov. Both wrestlers battled until the end but Arujau emerged with the historic win.

Vito becomes the second in his immediate family to earn a world title in the sport. His Dad, Vougar Oroudjov, won world crowns for the Soviet Union in 1991 and 1995. Vougar also won Olympic Bronze in 1992 at Barcelona.

Arujau will return to Cornell University this year for his final season in a Big Red singlet. Without question, he’ll be looking to win another NCAA crown this year and go back-to-back. Cornell opens their 2023-24 home dual meet slate on Saturday, November 18 at Noon vs Sacred Heart.

Lansing native and Cornell four-time NCAA Champion and World Champion Kyle Dake will compete in the finals Monday in Serbia. Dake will look for his fifth world crown and compete at 74kg against 2020 Olympic champion and two-time World champ Zaurbek Sidakov, a neutral athlete, in Monday’s gold-medal match.