Jordan Burroughs came in with just one loss to an international opponent in his senior level wrestling career, an Olympic Gold Medal, three World titles, and expectations to win his second Olympic gold.
The day started eerily as Burroughs faced the abnormal opponent from Guinea-Bissau. Midana was Burroughs first round opponent when he blew out his knee before then losing to Tsargush (Russia) later in the day. Burroughs got an early lead and cruised to an 8-3 win.
In the second round, Burroughs had to face who many considered the best chance to unseat him, Geduev (Russia). After some early exchanges when neither was stalling, the ref put Burroughs on the clock to give Geduev the 1-0 lead. Geduev did a great job exchanging attacks earning two step outs to make it 3-0. One of the most impressive things I've ever seen was the double leg he got out of. Burroughs would flurry and get a takedown with 30 seconds left. Another score would not come and Burroughs fell 3-2 with the passivity point being the difference.
Geduev would make the finals pulling Burroughs in to repechage. He would face Bekzod Abdurakhmonov (Uzbekistan) who wrestled in college in the US at Clarion. Burroughs clearly did not look himself from the beginning and fell by tech. An emotional and distraught Burroughs at the press conference made no excuses and did not answer any questions about injuries.
Burroughs would only have been the 3rd wrestler to win a gold medal in back to back games. It's a feat that doesn't happen often because of the immense difficulty. Burroughs' career this far has been nothing but incredible, and today really shouldn't change that much at all. After all, it's just the first time we have seen Burroughs go to a Olympic and World tournament and not medal.
Daniel Dennis was in the 57 kg bracket and drew the tough Vladimir Dubov (Bulgaria). After an opening amount of time, Dubov struck with a beautiful double leg finishing with Dennis' legs split. The gut wrench he was able to get out this position was too much and four turns made a tech fall. Dubov lost in the semis making it just one match for Dennis in Rio.
J'Den Cox and Tervel Dlagnev will wrestle Saturday hoping to turn things around for the Men's Freestyle team in Rio. Prelims start at 9am.
U.S. men’s freestyle results
57 kg/125.5 lbs. – Daniel Dennis, Iowa City, Iowa (Titan Mercury WC/Hawkeye WC)
LOSS Vladimir Dubov (Bulgaria), 11-0
74 kg/163 lbs. – Jordan Burroughs, Lincoln, Neb. (Sunkist Kids/Nebraska WTC)
WIN Augusto Midana (Guinea Bissau), 8-3
LOSS Aniuar Geduev (Russia), 3-2
LOSS Bekzod Abdurakhmonov (Uzbekistan), 11-1