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Burroughs Overcomes Injury to Reach Wrestling Immortality

Former Husker Jordan Burroughs won his 6th World/Olympic Gold Medal with torn calf

Jordan Burroughs
Photo by BERIT ROALD/NTB/AFP via Getty Images

Reminiscent of his 2013 World Title just four weeks after breaking his ankle and having surgery, Burroughs again proved he’s one of the toughest athletes around as he won his sixth World or Olympic Gold Medal and ninth World/Olympic medal overall.

Many (myself included) talked about Burroughs’ injury that he sustained at the end of the World Team Trials a month ago, but it didn’t seem to affect him much this weekend. But it turns out that Burroughs had suffered a torn calf muscle against Alex Dieringer in the World Team Trials finals.

In fact, Burroughs has been in nine medal matches in his career and is undefeated while a medal has been on the line.

With six gold medals, Burroughs ties the great John Smith for career gold medals and solidified himself as the greatest USA wrestler of all time.

Burroughs started things off with a quick 10-0 win by technical superiority in just 1:14 over Canada’s Samuel Barmish for his 200th career senior-level win.

After a win via injury forfeit in the next round, Burroughs took on Russia’s Radik ValievA in the quarterfinal round. ValievA took an early 2-0 lead over Burroughs. Burroughs then scored two push-outs while ValievA scored one. Burroughs trailed 3-2 at the break.

In the second period, Burroughs forced two more step-outs to go up 4-3 before blasting through ValievA for one of his patented double-leg takedowns, putting ValievA from his feet to back for four points and a commanding 8-3 lead.

Burroughs then got a point on a lost Russian challenge before giving up a last-second desperation step-out on his way to a 9-4 win and a trip to the semis.

In the semis, Burroughs fell behind 1-0 to Japan’s Ryuki Yoshida before scoring a push-out and a takedown to lead the match 3-1 at the break.

In the second period, Burroughs scored a push-out, two takedowns and a turn to get the 10-1 win.

In the final against Iran’s Mohammad Nokhodilarimi, Burroughs took a 1-0 lead in the first period when Nokhodilarimi was put on the activity clock and failed to score.

In the second period, Burroughs iced the match with two more blast double-leg takedowns before giving up a point on a hands-to-the-face call. Burroughs secured an easy 5-1 win for his first gold medal at 79 kg after a career at 74 kg.

Burroughs is undoubtedly the American GOAT.

James Green

Former Husker James Green also competed for Team USA at the World Championships. Representing America for the sixth time at 70 kg, Green failed to bring home a medal.

Green made quick work of South Korea’s Seungchut Lee 10-0 in the first round before taking on Shamil Ustaev of Georgia in the pre-quarters.

Against Ustaev, Green was again unblemished as he won a second straight match 10-0 via technical superiority.

In the quarterfinal round, Green faced Azerbaijan’s Turan Bayramov. Green went up 1-0 early before giving up a takedown and a gut-wrench turn, falling behind 4-1.

Late in the second period, Green went for a shot but Bayramov countered for a takedown of his own to go up 6-1. Up against it, Green was able to blow through Bayramov for a 4-point takedown. Down just 6-5, Green spent the last 10 seconds desperately going for a takedown, but Bayramov was able to fend off the attacks.

Bayramov then fell in the semifinal round, meaning Green’s tournament was over. If Bayramov would have made it to the final, Green would have been been in the repichage, which is basically the consolation bracket, and would have had a chance for a bronze medal.