Team USA went out and won its first UWW World Cup team title since 2018. The Americans took out Iran in the finals of the dual-style tournament held in Coralville, Iowa over the weekend.
Two former Huskers represented their country on the mat this weekend in Tyler Berger at 70 kg and Burroughs at 79 kg.
Tyler Berger took the mat in the opening dual on Saturday against Mongolia’s Munkhtulga Zuunbayan. Berger won a dominant 10-0 tech fall, ending things with a blast double-leg. Team USA went with Alec Pantaleo at 70 kg in its final two duals.
For Burroughs — the 7x Olympic/World Champion — things started off with a bang as he took out his Mongolian opponent 10-0 via tech.
Good luck stopping this version of Jordan Burroughs!— FloWrestling (@FloWrestling) December 10, 2022
Team USA wins their opening round dual over Mongolia - 7 matches to 3
Then against Georgia, Burroughs was challenged and had to come from behind to beat Vladimeri Gamkrelidze 5-3.
In the World Cup final against Iran, Burroughs faced off against U23 bronze medalist Ali Savadkouh. Burroughs jumped out to a 4-0 lead with a double-leg and a turn with a leg lace in the first period and took that lead to the break.
In the second period, Savadkouhi was able to take Burroughs down about a minute in to close the gap to 4-2. The Iranian then hit a slick go-behind to take Burroughs down before taking the 6-4 lead with a gut-wrench turn.
Burroughs then spent the remainder of the match in attack mode. Down two points, Burroughs scored two on a step-out and caution on Savadkouhi on the edge. The match was tied 6-6 with 10 seconds left, but Savadkouhi held the advantage on criteria. He fended off Burroughs’ sprint for the final 10 seconds and becomes the first Iranian to ever beat Jordan Burroughs.
Ali Savadkouhi pulls the upset and becomes the first Iranian to defeat Jordan Burroughs— FloWrestling (@FloWrestling) December 12, 2022
Iran evens up the dual score at 3-3
Watch - https://t.co/96sFsFuPym pic.twitter.com/yG7mtlL72R
Okay, so what does this mean?
I wouldn’t read too much into this loss. Burroughs is coming off winning his seventh Olympic/World Championship, and he probably wasn’t at his best in a December World Cup event. But, at the age of 34, Burroughs may also be finally showing signs of aging.
I wouldn’t worry too much, but honestly, this loss is kind of concerning.
Husker Recruits Impress at Ironman
In the toughest in-season tournament around — where almost 100 ranked wrestlers were in attendance — Nebraska had four signees and another couple commits in the field.
Of Nebraska’s 2023 recruiting class, Nebraska had wrestling: 5-seed Kael Lauridsen at 120 pounds (No. 12 nationally at 120), 3-seed Weston Dalton at 150 pounds (No. 5 at 152), 2-seed Ethan Stiles (No. 6 at 160), and Camden McDanel at 190 pounds (No. 8 at 195). Also competing was Matthew Moore at 285 pounds. According to MattScouts, Moore is committed to Nebraska and is ranked No. 7 in the country at heavyweight. I have not been able to confirm this though, so take it for what it is.
Also competing was a Husker commit for the class of 2024 in Omar Ayoub out of Dublin Coffman in Ohio. Ayoud was the 6-seed and is ranked No. 9 in the country at 138 pounds.
Pacing the future Huskers, Stiles was the lone Ironman champion. After pinning his first three opponents, including over 7-seed Logan Swaw in the quarters, Stiles then beat 6-seed Anthony Rinehart 5-2 in the semis.
In the final, Stiles controlled 5-seed Ethan Birden on the way to a 12-6 decision win. Birden took out Penn State commit No. 3 Joe Sealey in the semis.
McDanel started his tournament off with a pin before a decision in the second round. McDanel then won a dominant 15-0 tech fall against 19-seed Josh Cordio out of Pennsylvania. McDanel then took out No. 11 (at 182) Orlando Cruz in the quarters 5-1 before downing No. 7 Rune Lawrence 6-4 in the semis.
In the final, McDanel fell to Junior world-teamer and top-ranked Brayden Thompson from Illinois in a close 3-2 decision, taking second place.
Moore, also possibly a 2023 signee, pinned his first four opponents before falling to No. 7 Dillan Johnson out of Illinois in the final via 7-3 decision.
Both Dalton and Ayoub took fourth place in their weight classes. Dalton won his first three matches before falling to No. 2 PJ Duke in a close 4-3 decision in the semis. He then downed 6-seed Jeremiah Price in the consolation semis before falling to No. 3 LaDarion Lockett 2-0 in the 3rd-place match.
Ayoub won three straight, including a 3-2 decision over No. 20 Jakob Romero, to start the tournament before falling to No. 6 Kollin Rath via 4-2 decision in the quarters. Ayoub then won a couple decisions on the back side before rematching Rath in the 3rd-place match. Ayoub again fell to Rath, this time a 6-2 decision.
Also competing as a Husker commit was Lauridsen who went 4-3 to finish in 6th place. Lauridsen won his first four matches, including a 7-4 decision over No. 3 Jordyn Raney in the quarters. Then in the semis, Lauridsen was dominated by No. 1 Jax Forrest — a freshman — via 20-4 tech fall in just three minutes. Lauridsen then lost his consolation semifinal and 3rd-place matches via pinfall to No. 8 Marcus Blaze and No. 3 Raney, respectively.
With all six of their recruits finishing as medalists, the Huskers proved to have a strong incoming class.