Host City: Montréal, Canada
Venue(s): Maurice Richard Arena, Montréal, Québec; Pierre Charbonneau Centre, Olympic Park, Montréal, Québec
Date Started: July 27, 1976
Date Finished: July 31, 1976
Format: Scoring by negative points, with negative points given for any result short of a fall. Accumulation of 6 negative points eliminated the wrestler, but a wrestler could not be eliminated after a victory. When three or fewer wrestlers remained, they advanced to a final round, with preliminary results carried forward.
The defending champion and favorite was Soviet Ivan Yarygin, who had won the World title in 1973 and the Europeans in 1972, 1975, and 1976. He was expected to be challenged by American Russ Hellickson, who had been a medal favorite as a light-heavyweight in 1972. However, Hellickson had lost in the 1972 Olympic Trials to [Ben Petersen], who went on to win the light-heavyweight gold medal in München. Hellickson continued to compete as a light-heavy but could not beat dominant Soviet Georgian Levan Tediashvili, so Hellickson elected to move up to heavyweight, which was a more natural weight for him. In round five Yarygin and Hellickson met with Yarygin winning a hard-fought match, 19-13, to defend his gold medal. Hellickson then defeated Bulgarian Dimo Kostov to take the silver medal.
|1||Ivan Yarygin||27||Soviet Union||URS||Gold|
|2||Russ Hellickson||28||United States||USA||Silver|
|7||Hans-Peter Stratz||26||West Germany||FRG|
|AC||Reza Sokhtesaraie||26||Iran||IRI||Eliminated r3/6||8,0|
|AC||Steve Daniar||21||Canada||CAN||Eliminated r3/6||8,5|
|AC||Harald Büttner||23||East Germany||GDR||Eliminated r2/6||6,5|
|AC||Enache Panait||26||Romania||ROU||Eliminated r2/6||7,0|
|AC||Keith Peache||28||Great Britain||GBR||Eliminated r2/6||7,5|
|AC||Robert N'Diaye||34||Senegal||SEN||Eliminated r2/6||8,0|
|AC||Tore Hem||31||Norway||NOR||Withdrew r2/6||4,0|