Jordan Burroughs Makes His 9th World Team
This past weekend in Lincoln Nebraska, Jordan Burroughs did something that not many people have ever done. He made his ninth straight world team. His opponent for the night was the formidable Isaiah Martinez who was a two time NCAA champion for the University of Illinois.
Before the matches had even begun though, Burroughs seemed to have another challenge: making weight. There seemed to be some mild drama as Burroughs stepped on the scale and was .1kg over with only 15 minutes left to make weight, but being a seasoned veteran of the sport, he ended up making weight right before the cut off time. Rumor has it the scale the athletes had been using in their workout area was a couple tenths light. Kyle Sydner also weighed in barely over before eventually making weight.
Although some may have thought that Burroughs had an easy path to the world championships, Isaiah Martinez had other things in mind. Martinez stated in a pre-match interview that he had been thinking about this match for the past year and was the best he had ever been and it absolutely showed out on the mat.
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It took all three matches to determine who would represent the United States at 74kg. Burroughs won the first match 5-4, Martinez won the second match 6-5, and Burroughs dominated the third winning 7-1.
Here are a couple of the big takeaways from this past weekend’s 74kg matches.
First, even though Burroughs ended up winning the 74kg spot this year, don’t sleep on Martinez. He came out and gave Burroughs everything he could handle, especially the first two matches. In fact, Martinez was winning the first match until Burroughs scored a last second takedown to put himself ahead by one point. Burroughs in human and is capable of having a bad day on the mat, just look at his disappointing performance in the 2016 Olympics. Next year, when it comes time to wrestle off for the spot on the 2020 Olympic team, Burroughs better be in top form because if he is not, Martinez can very easily swoop in and take the spot.
Another huge takeaway from this event is that Burroughs is a professional in every sense of the word out on the mat. He stayed cool and calm during his matches even though he was behind for quite a bit of time in the first two matches. He didn’t get frustrated. He just kept his composure and kept up the pressure and scored points. It is really impressive to watch.
Watching the three matches between Burroughs and Martinez, you could tell that Burroughs was able to make more adjustments between matches than Martinez was. Being able to listen to your coaches and change up game plans is the sign of a seasoned veteran and that was on full display.
Another impressive aspect of the matches was how great Burroughs’ condition was. While Martinez was in college, he was known for having a huge gas tank; the guy never seemed to get tired. When he was wrestling Burroughs though, by the end of the matches, it seemed that Burroughs had a slight advantage in physical condition. So whatever he is doing for his strength and conditioning, he needs to keep it up because it was impressive.
Lastly, Burroughs ran a clinic on re-shots. If you are a wrestler or a coach at any level, pay attention to Burroughs’ attacks. He was shooting two, three, four, five times to score and it overwhelmed Martinez at times. And honestly, it really isn’t that surprising considering Burroughs is one of the best wrestlers in the world, but it is one thing to talk about it and another to actually see him do it out on the mat. In this regard, he is on another level.
Burroughs will be entering into the world championships ranked third in the world behind top ranked Zaurbek Sidakov from Russian and second ranked Frank Chamizo from Italy. It will be exciting to see him attempt to win his sixth world championship, which will tie him with legendary wrestler and Oklahoma State coach John Smith.
The world championships take place this September in Kazakhstan.
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