With a shot at history on the line, Jordan Burroughs wasn’t perfect. But he found a way to get the job done in a best-of-three series against a tough Chance Marsteller at Final X: New York on Wednesday.
Burroughs currently has six total World/Olympic gold medals. He’s tied with John Smith for the most ever by an American. With one more, Burroughs will sit on top of that list all by himself.
I guess the @alliseeisgold twitter handle isn’t all talk.
Now, Burroughs’ career hasn’t gone down without his setbacks. There was the 2016 Olympic Games that saw Burroughs get knocked off without medalling. It was the only time in his career he didn’t medal at the Olympics or Worlds.
Three times Burroughs didn’t win gold at Worlds, in 2014, 2018 and 2019. But he wrestled back for bronze all three times.
This will be Burroughs’ 11th World/Olympic Team, the second most by an American behind Bruce Baumgartner’s 15. Burroughs’ nine total medals is also second behind Baumgartner’s 13.
But, as he says, all Burroughs sees is gold. And now he’ll have a chance to have more gold than any American ever.
With all that said, here’s how it all went down...
In the first match against Marsteller, a short and compact competitor, Burroughs scored first when Marsteller was put on the activity clock and didn’t score (In freestyle, if a wrestler gets called for passivity twice, they go on a 30-second shot clock and if they don’t score in those 30 seconds then their opponent gets a point). Burroughs then used one of his patented blast double-legs (see below) to take Marsteller down for a 3-0 lead going into the break.
In the second period, both men’s heads clashed when Burroughs shot in but was stuffed by Marsteller, which led to both wrestlers getting their heads wrapped up.
Marsteller gave up another shot-clock point in the second period, giving Burroughs a controlling 4-0 win.
In Match 2, Marsteller was constantly in Burroughs’ face and used an early arm drag to score an early takedown, slightly tweaking Burroughs’ shoulder along the way. Going into the break, Marsteller held a 2-0 lead.
In the second period, Burroughs scored on another shot-clock point. Again, heads collided and both guys needed a fresh head wrap to stop the bleeding.
Burroughs tried over and over to push Marsteller out, but he was able to ground himself to avoid giving up push-out points. Then with the match winding down, Burroughs pushed Marsteller out again and Marsteller was dinged for a caution for fleeing the mat, making the score 2-2 with Marsteller owning the edge in criteria. Burroughs then was forced to start on top in par terre with six seconds and was unable to score, giving Marsteller the second match 2-2 on criteria, forcing a third decisive bout.
In the third match, Burroughs showed his veteran savvy when he scored three push-out points in the first period. Rather than go for more points, Burroughs took what he was given and built up a 3-0 lead at the break.
Then in the second, Burroughs was put on the clock as he was defending his lead. With his 30-second clock winding down, Burroughs was able to take Marsteller down with another double-leg takedown, avoiding giving up the penalty point while going up 5-0.
Burroughs held off Marsteller for the rest of the match to earn the 5-0 win and secure his spot on the Team USA roster for the 11th time.