Photo courtesy of Mark Lundy/Lutte Lens
The Jordan Burroughs vs. David Taylor super-match was worth the wait. The bout between five-time World and Olympic champion Burroughs, who competes at 74 kg, and 86 kg World champion Taylor was originally slated for last Saturday night but moved due to COVID-19 tracing protocols.
The pair wrestled four times prior to tonight, with Burroughs winning all four matches. This was the first time they squared off since 2014 and also the first time they’ve wrestled since Taylor moved to his new weight class.
In the first period, Taylor was the first wrestler to get in on a leg attack, penetrating deep on a head inside single. Burroughs countered with a strong whizzer, and the pair were put back on their feet. Shortly after, Burroughs was unable to score after being put on the shot clock, giving Taylor a 1-0 lead going into the break.
To start the second period, Taylor got in on another head inside single. He elevated the leg and walked Burroughs out of bounds, nearly converting a takedown on the edge of the mat but settling for the step-out point instead. He followed it up with a go-behind to extend his lead to 4-0.
In the final minute, Burroughs began one of his patented comeback rallies, advancing forward with numerous shots, forcing Taylor out of bounds on four separate occasions to even the match at four. However, Taylor held onto the lead on criteria by virtue of his two-point takedown. In the waning seconds, Taylor dove in on a leg and held on until time expired, cementing his first victory over Burroughs.
In addition to the super-match, the card featured three high-level high school matches and two senior-level bouts.
In the night’s opening match, middle schooler Anthony Knox knocked off No. 7 at 106 pounds Ben Davino. Knox, a New Jersey native, trailed, 6-5, after a back-and-forth first period. In the second period, Davino cracked the match open with a single leg takedown into a gut wrench to go up 9-6. He tacked on one more takedown and earned the victory, 11-6.
No. 2 in the Girls High School Rankings at 106 pounds, Sage Mortimer logged a win over a very game Audrey Jimenez. Mortimer rushed out to a six-point lead on the strength of three takedowns. Jimenez got on the board with a step-out point, nearly scoring a takedown on the edge of the mat. Jimenez kept pressure on and picked up a takedown to cut the lead to 6-3. Mortimer answered with a go-behind to extend her lead to 8-3. Jimenez scored one more takedown, but it was not enough as Mortimer took the match, 8-5.
At 145 pounds, Cody Chittum defended his No. 1 high school ranking with authority, picking up a pin over No. 2 Jordan Williams. At the time of the fall, Chittum was leading 11-0 and had already secured at least a technical fall. Chittum controlled the action early, earning a step-out point, and then adding two exposure points off of a crotch lift. In what was undoubtable the move of the night, Chittum hit a beautiful duck under to a huge four-point suplex to extend his lead to 7-0. Chittum wrapped up the match with four more exposure points off of crotch lifts, covering up for the pin on the second exposure.
At 65 kg, Joey McKenna handled Seth Gross in a 10-0 technical fall. Gross is competing at 57 kg for the Olympic year and was unable to match McKenna’s horsepower. Off the whistle, McKenna lifted Gross with a huge double leg takedown, which he transitioned into a leg lace to take a 4-0 lead. He added two more takedowns and another set of exposure points to secure the match.
World champion J’den Cox put on a strong showing against Nate Jackson of the NJRTC. Cox got on the board first with a step-out point. However, Jackson pulled ahead, 1-1, on criteria in the second period after picking up a passivity point. Cox responded with step-out followed by a throw-by into a gut wrench, to take a commanding 6-1 lead, which is how the match would finish.
All four of the senior wrestlers on the undercard, McKenna, Gross, Cox and Jackson, picked up victories on FloWrestling’s Saturday night card, accepting tonight’s matches on short notice.
116 lbs: Anthony Knox DEC Ben Davino, 11-6
117 lbs: Sage Mortimer DEF Audrey Jimenez, 8-5
145 lbs: Cody Chittum FALL Jordan Williams
65 kg: Joey McKenna DEF Seth Gross, 10-0
215 lbs: J'den Cox DEF Nate Jackson, 6-1
86 kg: David Taylor DEF Jordan Burroughs, 4-4