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Burroughs Falls to Taylor 4-4 on Criteria

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Former Husker and Olympic Champion Jordan Burroughs’ late comeback wasn’t enough for win over No. 1 David Taylor

Rio 2016 men’s freestyle wrestling
Jordan Burroughs, seen here reacting to his 2016 Olympics loss, moved up to 86 kg to take on World No. 1 David Taylor and nearly won, falling narrowly 4-4 on criteria Friday in Lincoln, Neb.
Photo by AAron Ontiveroz/The Denver Post via Getty Images

Well, it was interesting to see the heights that Jordan Burroughs could push himself. And he pushed himself to the point where he almost defeated the World No. 1-ranked guy above him in weight David Taylor, but ended up losing 4-4 on criteria.

Burroughs, the king at 74 kg, decided to go up to challenge himself in November when he took on the No. 2 American at 86 kg Zahid Valencia and pulled off a 8-5 victory. He then proceeded to call out Taylor.

That led to some back-and-forth between Burroughs and Taylor in the build-up to this match materializing. Burroughs and Taylor had wrestled four times before, but those matches were down at 74 kg. Going up to 86 kg amounts to about 22 pounds, which is a huge weight bump. Taylor is much bigger (see below) and much better now than he was in 2014 when they last met, and he showed it Wednesday night in Burroughs’ back yard.

Taking part in FloWrestling’s main event in Lincoln, Neb. Wednesday night, Burroughs and Taylor started things off with a lot of aggression. After some heavy hand fighting, Taylor started pouring on the offense, first securing a front headlock, but Burroughs was able to fend off the former Penn State champ. Then Taylor fired off the best attack of the first period when he snagged a single-leg on Burroughs. but the former Husker fended off the attack with a shallow shin whizzer (a defensive technique that fights off lower leg attacks).

Shortly after that flurry by Taylor, Burroughs was called for passivity and put on the 30-second shot clock, and with Burroughs not scoring before the 30 seconds expired Taylor was given a point. Taylor took the 1-0 lead into the break.

To start the second period, Taylor got in on another single-leg. But this time, he was able to elevate the leg, but Burroughs made the smart move by moving toward the edge of the mat, giving up a single point for the step-out rather than giving up a two-point takedown.

With two minutes left, Burroughs shot in and the two looked to have collided heads, but Taylor secured a go-behind for a takedown to go up 4-0. With under a minute remaining, Burroughs showed off his famous “sprint” where he puts the pedal down in an all-out assault when trailing late in a match.

With 50 seconds left, Burroughs secured a step-out on Taylor, cutting the Taylor lead to 4-1. Just 25 seconds later, Burroughs was in on a single-leg but Taylor didn’t give up the takedown but conceded the push-out. With 12 seconds remaining, another push-out by Burroughs to cut the lead to one. Just five seconds later, Burroughs tied the match with another push-out. But Taylor had the tiebreaker with his two-point move earlier in the second period.

That meant that Burroughs had seven seconds to score one more point, but Taylor weathered the storm and secured a razor-thin victory over Burroughs.

Next for these two men is a quest to each bring home gold from Tokyo.