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David Taylor was unquestionably the wrestler of the tournament, helping America to a second place finish at the 2017 Freestyle World Cup. Over the course of two days, the Magicman upended not one, not two, but three Olympic medalists, including a reigning champion. His low single, scrambling ability and unmatchable pace and gas tank carried him to his victories
The two-time Hodge winner beat London bronze Dato Marsagishvili of Georgia 8-3 and teched junior world champ Vladislav Valiev of Russia 14-4 to help USA go 2-0 on day one. He followed that up with a methodical tech of 2012 Olympic gold medalist Sharif Sharifov of Azerbaijan, and then his coup de grâce was coming back to pin Rio champ Hassan Yazdanicharati, pulling America within striking distance with two matches to go in the finals.
Jordan Burroughs also went 4-0 in his return, although it wasn't easy. One of Burrough's wins came on criteria and another was by a single point. There was also a match in which he forced Murad Suleymanov of Azerbaijan, the same one who wrestled Mark Hall at junior worlds, to caution out while Burroughs was trailing at the time.
America went 3-0 to win Pool A, knocking off Georgia, Russia and Azerbaijan in that order. In this morning's match against, the Azeris and Americans tied at four matches a piece, but Team USA won 20-14 on classification points. The turning point was James Green's 10-0 first period tech, which spurred a run of three straight victories to seal the dual. After Green, Jordan Burroughs wrestled Murad Suleymanov, the same Azeri who Mark Hall wrestled at junior world the past two years.
Burroughs trailed 5-1 at the break after giving up a cutback and losing a challenge. But the four time world champ stormed back, picking up a second shot clock point early in the second period. Late in the match, Burroughs got Suleymanov to the edge and walked him out. The ref and judge threw up a caution and one, sending the crowd into a frenzy and disqualifying Suleymanov. Taylor's tech of Sharifov gave the US 13 points in three matches, almost enough to win the dual on their own.
LIVE UPDATES: Team USA and Iran make their way to the stage. The crowd is absolutely insane. Teams line up to shake hands. Each Iranian is shaking our entire teams hand, so USA is reciprocating. Cool moment.
Iran huddles up in the middle and the crowd is somehow more insane. The noise does not cease.
57kg - Hassan Rahimi (Iran) vs Tony Ramos (USA)1st Period: Rahimi comes to the stage to a loud ovation. Ramos now on the mat and we are underway. Collar and wrist for Tony and Rahimi clears. Tied up in the center of the mat as Rhimi looks for a 2 on 1. Ramos clears, and they get back into contact and Tony is warned for passivity in the first 47 seconds. Finger fight as Rahimi continues to take ground. Tony is going on the clock. 1:19 into the first. Rahimi shoots a sweep and finishes. 2-0 Rahimi with a minute to go. Same shot and another finish for Rahimi and Ramos is fighting off a lace. No turn and it's 4-0 Rahimi with 30 to go. First period is over.
2nd Period: Back to action now in the 2nd. Ramos with a few level changes but can't finish. Single by Ramos and Rahimi sprawls. Rahimi warned for hands to the face. 90 seconds to go and Rahimi controlling center again. Another takedown off a throw by attempt from Ramos. 6-0 and now the mission turns to Tony getting a point. Match ends 6-0
61kg - Masoud Esmaeilpoor (Iran) vs Logan Stieber(USA)1st Period: Scoreless 1 minute in. They're in the middle of the mat. Single by Esmaeilpoor, Logan looks to funk roll but gets taken down and then gutted. Logan trails 4-0. 1 minute to go. Nice single by Stieber but better hips from Esmaeilpoor. First period ends 4-0 Iran.
2nd Period: Esmaeilpoor coming out physical and moving Logan. Underhook right side throws it by and gets two more. Not looking good. Logan not getting any attempts off at all. 1:10 left. 30 to go and it's Logan picking up his hand fight but he can't get a whiff of a leg. Another 6-0 shut out for Iran. Not a good start at all. Just kidding! Esmaeilpoor stepped out at the end. 6-2 final after failed caution.
65kg - Meisam Nasiri (Iran) vs Frank Molinaro (USA)1st Period: LET'S GO G-HULK! Underway 10 seconds in against Nasiri. Tied up in the center of the mat, there's some fakes from Molinaro and Nasiri is warned for passivity. Front headlock for Nasiri has Molinaro backing away but he's able to clear and get back to center. Nasiri on shot clock. Frank shoots a double leg and can't finish. Time runs out and it's 1-0 Frank. Shot by Molinaro, single leg and he drives for the step out! 2-0! Period ends.
2nd Period: Underway now and they're in the center. Nasiri threatens upper body, Frank evades and gets warned for passivity, same single again! This time he runs his feet and finishes out of bounds! 2 more! 4-0 Frank! Iran throws brick but Nasiri throws it back. 90 to go and it's a duck-double for 2. Underhook to a throw by for Nasiri and he leads 4-4 with 40 seconds left. Shot by Molinaro, underhook and Nasiri takes the lead on a step out. 5-4 final for Iran.
70kg - Mostafa Hosseinkhani (Iran) vs James Green (USA)1st Period: Ok underway now. Hard snaps by Hosseinkhani. Underhook left side but Green clears it. Right back to it is Hosseinkhani. Green going on the clock. 1-0 Hosseinkhani after the clock expires.Time runs out in the first. 1-0 Hosseinkhani at the break.
2nd Period: Shot by Hosseinkhani, no room to breathe, good hips from Green and he clears but Hosseinkhani keeps an underhook. A few attacks from Green but he can't score. Still trailing 1-0. Green on the clock again. 30 expires and it's 2-0 now. TD still would put James in the lead but that doesn't look likely. 40 left. Whizzer seatbelt and it's a 2-0 final. Another shutout. USA must win out.
74kg - Peyman Yarahmadi (Iran) vs Jordan Burroughs (USA)1st Period: Shot by Yarahmadi and he finishes. Great leftside high crotch and it's 2-0. JB beat this guy at Beat the Streets. DOUBLE by Jordan! 2-2 his lead. Battling in the middle right now. Period ends 2-2.
2nd Period: Underway now, lots of level changes from JB. 1 point stepout for Jordan. 3-2. 1:15 to go. Shots by Yarahmadi. 27 to go. Another shot and JB defends well. 16 to go. JB wins and there's a tense moment afterwards.
86kg - Hassan Yazdanicharati (Iran) vs David Taylor (USA)1st Period: HERE WE GO! DT vs Olympic champ. Tied up and DT hits his knees on the edge and they go back to center. 1-0 on the step out. Caution and 1 and it's 2-0 Yaz. He's killing with double underhooks. Another caution and 1 and it's 3-0. One more and he's disqualified. DT looked to have a td off a single but it hasn't gone up on the board yet. Period ends. 3-2 Yaz.
2nd Period: Stepout for Yaz and it's 4-2. Takedown by DT off another counter!! Counter TD FOR DT AND HE'S UP 6-4!!! 90 left! ANOTHER TD AND HE PINS YAZDANICHARITI THE OLYMPIC CHAMP THIS IS NOT A DRILL!
97kg - Amir Mohammadi (Iran) vs Kyle Snyder (USA)1st Period: HERE WE GO! Single by Snyder and he's looking to finish but can't and gets the step out. 1-0 Kyle. Left side high crotch but Kyle can't finish. Another high crotch by Snyder. 1 more for Kyle. Period ends 2-0 Snyder.
2nd Period: Shot by Mohammadi but Snyder defends. Strange scramble and Mohammadi nearly gets the 2 but they get put up instead. Snyder not shooting, another shot by Mohammadi but a reattack by Kyle makes it 4-0!! 40 left. Go behind takedown for Snyder and it's 6-0!! That's the final and it comes down to heavyweight!!!!
125kg - Komeil Ghasemi (Iran) vs Nick Gwiazdowski (USA)1st Period: FOR THE CHIP! Gwiz beat Ghasemi's teammate Parviz Hadi a few months ago to win the Clubs Cup. Gwiaz gets warned for passivity. Gwiaz goes on the clock and gives up the 1. High crotch for Ghasemi makes it 3-0.
2nd Period: Counter TD by Ghasemi and it's 5-0. Short time to go. Time runs out and Iran clinches it with a 5-0 win.