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IOWA CITY, Iowa — Last August, Jordan Burroughs and Kyle Snyder used a pair of individual championships to clinch the United States’ first World team championship since 1995.
Nearly eight months later, the superstar pair and two more Americans — Kyle Dake and David Taylor — ended a perfect weekend in style as they added to their lore by leading the USA to a 6-4 dual victory over Azerbaijan to clinch the USA’s first UWW World Cup championship since 2003.
Burroughs capped off a perfect 4-0 individual weekend of matches when he scored his only fall of the weekend by pinning Gadzhimurad Omarov 20 seconds into the second period of their 74-kilogram match.
“Usually guys belly up,” said Burroughs, the former NCAA champion from Nebraska, regarding his opponent’s sit-out after the takedown, which allowed Burroughs to snap Omarov to his back. “But I wrestle a lot of folkstyle guys so I’m used to that position.”
That was Burroughs first fall of the event after the World/Olympic champ scored a decision and two technical falls in matches against India, Japan and Georgia before meeting Azerbaijan — winners of the opposite pool — in the championship dual.
“I’m not a pinner,” Burroughs said. “It’s an art form to be able to pin. I was saying, ‘please slap the mat.’ All I do is squeeze as much as I can.”
That victory gave the USA a 3-2 lead in the team score before both Kyle Dake and David Taylor also scored their fourth wins of the weekend at 79 and 86 kilograms, respectively, to give USA a 5-2 lead with three bouts left.
But after Aslanbek Alborov edged USA’s J’den Cox in criteria at 92 kilograms, the host country needed Snyder to also win a fourth match in Carver-Hawkeye Arena and the three-time NCAA champ from Ohio State, two-time World champ and 2016 Olympic gold medalist came through when he scored a 14-3 technical fall over Roman Bakirov at 97 kilograms.
It was nice to tech fall him and another opportunity to seal it for the United States,” said Snyder, who outscored four foes, 44-2, in two days. “I would also pick myself with team title on the line. I have a lot of confidence in my ability.”
This team victory also comes one year after the United States lost to Iran in the 2017 World Cup.
“The team did a great job,” said USA National team coach Bill Zadick. “We knew that Azerbaijan was going to wrestle tough. I’m happy for the USA to bring the cup back home. This is something you key on because of the prestige it brings on.”
Zadick, who also led the USA to the UWW World team championship last August in Paris, did not want to call this the best-ever American team.
“That’s up for historians to call,” said Zadick, who once wrestled in Carver-Hawkeye Arena where he earned NCAA All-American honors at Iowa. “I know it’s a bunch of really good guys that are good wrestlers, too.”
The team victory was also important to Dake, who was competing on his first American World-level team after backing up Burroughs and Cox that past few years. He capped off a 4-0 weekend with a physical 5-3 win over Jabrayil Hasanov.
“Jabrayil l and I have some history,” said the former four-time NCAA champ from Cornell, who scored the deciding takedown amidst a scramble between the two wrestlers. “He’s a really tough competitor and Olympic bronze medalist. I went out and competed the best of my ability.”
Taylor meanwhile added his fourth straight technical fall on the weekend with a 12-2 win over Aleksandr Gostiyev. Overall, the former two-time NCAA champ and Hodge Trophy winner from Penn State outscored his four opponents, 45-5.
Many of the Americans were impressed by the turnout in Iowa City.
“This was a crazy atmosphere,” said Dake. “The crowds were amazing and great for this sport. I love competing here.”
The United States’ other two wins came from Kendric Maple and Logan Stieber at 61 and 65-kilograms, respectively.
The United States earned a second-straight spot in the World Cup finals when it completed a perfect (3-0) pool play performance with an 8-2 victory over Georgia earlier on Sunday.
The USA outscored the former Soviet republic by a 75-14 margin in match points as Five Americans scored technical falls: Stieber (65k), Burroughs (74k), Dake (79k), Taylor (86k) and Snyder (97k). Other USA victors were former Thomas Gilman (57k), James Green (70k) and Nick Gwiazdowski (125k).
2018 UWW Freestyle World Cup
April 8 • Iowa City, Iowa
Gold Medal Dual
USA 6, AZERBAIJAN 4
57 kg/125.5 lbs. – Giorgi Edisherrashvili (Azerbaijan) dec. Thomas Gilman (USA) 8-7 — Edisherrashvili scored six straight points off a pair of body lock moves with a minute left before the former Hawkeye scored two takedowns in the final 15 seconds to cut the final margin to one. Edisherrashvili also benefitted from USA losing a video challenge following the second takedown by Edisherrashvili.
61 kg/134 lbs. –Kendric Maple (USA) dec. Afgan Khasahalo (Azerbaijan), 6-2 — The former NCAA champion from Oklahoma scored four of his points off a pair of strong double legs. The first takedown also led to two additional back points near the edge of the mat at the 4:17 mark.
65 kg/143 lbs. – Logan Stieber (USA) dec. Haji Aliyev (Azerbaijan), 6-3 — In a battle between two World champions, the former four-time NCAA champ from Ohio State clinched the victory when he scored a third takedown with eight seconds left. Aliyev, a three-time World champ, cut the margin to 4-3 with 1:43 left.
70 kg/154 lbs. – Joshgun Azimov (Azerbaijan) dec. James Green (USA), 4-4 criteria — Trailing 2-0 at intermission, Azimov scored his only takedown with 1:47 left and quickly added two more back points, which provided the tie-breaking criteria. Green, the former World bronze medalist, scored a stepout and caution in the final 45 seconds but was not enough for the win.
74 kg/163 lbs. – Jordan Burroughs (USA) pinned Gadzhimurad Omarov (Azerbaijan), 2:40 — Leading 3-0 after the intermission, Burroughs quickly scored off a single leg and then pulled the U23 World champ to his back for the fall. Burroughs, the World and Olympic champ also scored off a pushout and double in the first period.
79 kg/174 lbs. – Kyle Dake (USA) dec. Jabrayil Hasanov (Azerbaijan), 5-3 — The former four-time NCAA champ from Cornell scored a critical high crotch with 1:33 left to break open a 2-2 deadlock, in which Hasanov enjoyed criteria after scoring a takedown to lead 2-1 at the 2:20 mark. Hazanov was also penalized with 45 seconds left before he forced a stepout for the final point.
86 kg/189 lbs. – David Taylor (USA) won by TF over Aleksandr Gostiyev (Azerbaijan), 12-2 — The former two-time NCAA champion and Hodge Trophy winner from Penn State clinched his fourth technical fall of the two days when scored a fifth takedown and added back points in the final seconds.
92 kg/202.5 lbs. – Aslanbek Alborov (Azerbaijan) dec. J’den Cox (USA), 4-4 criteria — A pair of takedowns by Alborov — the final one coming with 1:33 left — provided the winning margin in this battle of 2017 World bronze medalists. Cox tied the bout 2-2 on a takedown with 2:45 left but could only added a pair of stepouts in the final 1:20
97 kg/213 lbs. – Kyle Snyder (USA) won by TF over Roman Bakirov (Azerbaijan), 14-3 — The defending World and Olympic champion clinched the team on a takedown in the first 10 seconds of the second period, but more importantly scored eight straight back points from a tight-waist tilt after scoring his first takedown with 3:30 left in the first frame.
125 kg/275 lbs. – Jamaladdin Magomedov (Azerbaijan) dec. Nick Gwiazdowski (USA), 4-3 — Magomedov scored a takedown in the final 10 seconds to beat the former NCAA champ from NC State, who led 3-0 off a takedown and stepout in the first period. Magomedov scored his first takedown with 1:06 left to pull within 3-2.
Final Pool Match
USA 8, GEORGIA 2
57 kg/125.5 lbs. – Thomas Gilman (USA) decision over Teimuraz Vanishvili (Georgia), 6-4
61 kg/134 lbs. – Lasha Lomtadze (Georgia) decision over Kendric Maple (USA), 4-3
65 kg/143 lbs. – Logan Stieber (USA) tech fall over Magomed Saidovi (Georgia), 10-0
70 kg/154 lbs. – James Green (USA) decision over Levan Kelekhsashvili (Georgia), 8-0
74 kg/163 lbs. – Jordan Burroughs (USA) tech fall over Tarzan Maisuradze (Georgia), 10-0
79 kg/174 lbs. – Kyle Dake (USA) tech fall over Tariel Gaphrindashvili (Georgia), 10-0
86 kg/189 lbs. – David Taylor (USA) tech fall over David Khutsishvili (Georgia), 11-1
92 kg/202.5 lbs. – Dato Marsagishvili (Georgia) decision over J’den Cox (USA), 5-0
97 kg/213 lbs. – Kyle Snyder (USA) tech fall over Givi Matcharashvili (Georgia), 10-0
125 kg/275 lbs. – Nick Gwiazdowski (USA) decision over Zviadi Metreveli (Georgia), 7-0
OTHER PLACEMENT DUALS
3rd PLACE — Japan 6, Cuba 4
5TH PLACE — Georgia 6, Mongolia 4
7TH PLACE — Kazahkstan 10, India 0