Using all his experience, the wily Indian had raced to a 9-4 lead but lost seven points in a row to lose the 74kg qualification bout. Sushil employed a four-point throw after trailing 0-2 to take lead and further consolidated it with another four-point throw, which came from a difficult position.
The Uzbek camp challenged the throw but lost the call, giving one additional point to Sushil for a 9-4 lead at the break.
However, the second period belonged to the Azerbaijan, who first pushed Sushil out and the scored of a takedown and took the lead with a gut wrench from ground position.
Time was running out but Sushil appeared to tired himself out as Gadzhiyev scored two more points with a two-point push out throw to clinch the bout.
The two-time Olympic medallist will now have to wait to know his fate. If Gadzhiyev reaches the final, Sushil, will get a chance to fight for Olympic qualification as well as a bronze. Sushil is the only Indian to have won a World title when he triumphed in 2010 in Moscow.
In the non-Olympic 70kg, Karan lost his Qualification round bout 0-7 to Uzbekistan’s Ikhtiyor Navruzov.