Athens, Greece - Five-time world champion Bouvaissa Saitiev of Russia and Belarus' Murad Gaidarov fought briefly off the arena floor minutes after Saitiev's disputed victory in Olympic 74-kg freestyle wrestling on Sunday.

At least one spectator jumped from the grandstands and tried to become involved in the skirmish, which bystanders said was quickly controlled by police and Olympics volunteers.

Saitiev was awarded the decisive point in his 3-2 quarterfinal victory for escaping a clinch at the start of overtime. In a clinch, the two wrestlers lock hands behind each other's backs and try to escape or turn the clinch into a points-producing throw.

TV replays appeared to show Gaidarov escaping first, but Saitiev was given the point. Gaidarov was so unhappy he began arguing with the referee, and initially declined to shake hands or stand for the ceremonial end of match hand-raising, though he eventually stood for just a moment.

As he left the mat, the 24-year-old Gaidarov screamed at his coach and again at referee Grzegorz Brudzinski of Poland. The fight then took place in the mixed zone - the area just off the arena

floor where wrestlers meet with reporters en route to their dressing areas.

John Fuller, a USA Wrestling spokesperson, was standing nearby when the off-the-mat meeting took place.

"Two wrestlers who don't like each other met each other," Fuller said. "That's all you're going to get out of me."

The two have a history with each other, as Saitiev beat Gaidarov in overtime on criteria in the 2003 world championship finals in New York.

Saitiev, 29, was beaten by America's Brandon Slay in Sydney in one of the biggest upsets in Olympic wrestling history. Saitiev, a 1996 Olympic gold medalist, has won every major international championship he has entered since 1995 except for those 2000 Sydney Games.

Saitiev has won the last two world championships he has entered, 2001 and 2003.

After Saitiev lost in Sydney, his younger brother, Adam, won the gold medal. Adam Saitiev has since lost his spot on Russia's team to Sazhid Sazhidov, who took the bronze Saturday in 84kg, the class won by America's Cael Sanderson.

Gaidarov, who lists his occupation as jurist, has wrestled for three countries since 1996 in an attempt to find a spot on a junior or senior level world team. He wrestled on a Russian junior team in 1996, then failed to qualify for the 2000 Olympics with Azerbaijan. He returned to the Russian team later that year, but switched to Belarus in 2001.

Despite often changing loyalties, Gaidarov has a long history of top finishes. He was second in the European championships in April - Saitiev did not wrestle - and in 2002 and third in the 2003 European championships. - Sapa-AP