Jordan Burroughs Claims Historic Title At Wrestling World Championships

by Paul D. Bowker

Jordan Burroghs celebrates winning the men's freestyle 79 kg. title bout at the 2022 United World Wrestling Championships on Sept. 16, 2022 in Belgrade, Serbia.


Jordan Burroughs put a stamp on his American wrestling legacy with another gold-medal performance Friday.
Burroughs defeated Iran’s Mohammad Nokhodi for a repeat world title in the men’s freestyle 79 kg. weight class at the United World Wrestling World Championships in Belgrade, Serbia.
The 4-2 victory established Burroughs as the most decorated U.S. wrestler of all time with six world titles to go along with his 2012 Olympic gold medal. He defeated Nokhodi for the 2021 world title, and prior to that Burroughs won four world titles and an Olympic championship at 74 kg. John Smith (two Olympic gold medals, four world) and Adeline Gray (six world titles) each have six global championships.

Burroughs has said he plans to compete through the Olympic Games Paris 2024, though his 79 kg. weight class is not included in the Olympic program, meaning he’d likely have to drop back down to 74 kg.

Burroughs was one of three U.S. wrestlers to win medals on the first day of finals in men’s freestyle. David Taylor won the gold medal at 86 kg. in a rematch of last year’s Olympic final, and Zain Retherford won the silver medal at 70 kg.
Three more Americans with a combined six world titles to their names won in the semifinals Friday and reached the Saturday finals in their respective weight classes. Kyle Dake, a three-time world champion, is in the 74 kg. final. J’den Cox, a two-time world champ, is in the 92 kg. final, and Thomas Gilman defends his 2021 world title at 57 kg.
Taylor, the 2020 Olympic champion, reclaimed the world’s top ranking at 86 kg. with yet another battle against 2021 world champion Hassan Yazdani of Iran. Taylor defeated Yazdani in the Olympic final last year in Tokyo, then lost to Yazdani in the 2021 world championships final.
Taylor dominated Friday’s match, winning 7-1.
Retherford, a former NCAA champion at Penn State and the No. 6 seed at 70 kg., won his first world championships medal. He lost the title match to Japan’s Taishi Narikuni by technical fall to capture the silver medal. Retherford reached the final with a 7-0 win over 2017 world champion Zurabi Iakobishvili of Georgia.
Dake, a 2020 Olympic bronze medalist, will go after his fourth world title Saturday in the 74 kg. final against Slovakia’s Tajmuraz Salkazanov for the second year in a row. Dake won last year’s gold-medal final 7-3.
Cox, a 2016 Olympic bronze medalist, goes after his third world title against 2021 world champion Kamran Ghasempour of Iran in the 92 kg. final. Cox was third last year. Gilman, a 2020 Olympic bronze medalist, will defend his 2021 world title at 57 kg. against Mediterranean Games champion Zelimkhan Abakarov of Albania.

Paul D. Bowker has been writing about Olympic sports since 1996, when he was an assistant bureau chief in Atlanta. He is a freelance contributor to on behalf of Red Line Editorial, Inc.
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