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Can Pat Downey Fill David Taylor’s Shoes at this year’s world championships?

Can Pat Downey Fill David Taylor’s Shoes at this year’s world championships?

Will Downey Capitalize On This Opportunity?

Final X went down this past weekend at Rutgers University and Pat Downey made his first world team. His opponent was supposed to David Taylor, but Taylor pulled out of the event after injuring his knee at the Beat The Streets event in New York City this past May in his match against Drew Foster. Due to his knee injury, Taylor made the tough decision to sit out the 2019 world championships and take time to rehab his knee to  ensure it will be at 100% for the 2020 Olympics.


Instead of David Taylor, Downey’s only opponent was the scale, and after making weight he solidified his spot on this year’s world team, but does he have what it takes to bring home gold this year at 86kg?


Throughout the duration of his wrestling career, Downey has bounced around from program to program, but has now returned to the east coast to train at the NJRTC and in doing so has become the NJRTC’s first world team member. This, coupled with a few more years of mat experience and mental maturity seems to have created a winning recipe for Downey this year at the U.S. Open.


Taylor and Downey did wrestle in 2017 and Taylor won via tech fall in a pretty dominant fashion, but if you compare 2017 Downey to 2019 Downey, you will see quite a difference. Watching him compete this year at the U.S. Open, his movement was better, his attacks were sharper, he was in better shape, and he wrestled with more confidence. In other words, what ever his coaches are doing with him at the NJRTC seems to be working.


Now if Taylor would have been healthy and wrestled Downey at Final X, would Downey have won? Truthfully, probably not, but this doesn’t mean that their matches wouldn’t have been a lot closer this year than they were two years ago. And it definitely doesn’t mean that Downey can’t make a run at a world title in Kazakhstan this September. Taylor is currently the world champ at 86kg and with him not defending it this year, the 86 kilo title is more open than normal for taking.


Although Downey will be coming to the world championships as an underdog, few doubt that he views himself that way. Downey’s confidence, brashness, and to the point one-liners is one of the reasons he has found himself as a fan favorite, and fans of USA wrestling will have fun watching him both on and off the mat this fall.


So, can Downey fill Taylor’s shoes and bring home a world title? Well it’s possible, but he is definitely not one of the top picks to win even with Taylor out of the picture. But if he is ever going to win a world championship, it seems that this would be the year for him to do it.

Check out the Takedown Passport over at Fanatic Wrestling.  In this instructional by international powerhouse Bekzod Abdurakhminov, you will learn all of the secrets to his takedown game.  Check it out here!