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It's finally here. We're really doing it.
Weigh-ins have been successfully completely. We're less than two hours from go time.
David Taylor weighs in at 85.7kg and Jordan Burroughs 82.3kg.— Kyle Bratke (@Kbratke) January 13, 2021
That's about 3 lbs heavier for JB than he was for the Zahid match.
We're just a few minutes from the start of the undercard and it's finally setting in that we're gonna see Jordan Burroughs and David Taylor wrestle each other tonight. I've been guzzling Starbucks for the last hour so I should be sufficiently hype when the final bout of the evening rolls around.
Maybe the coolest thing before these cards is the warm up room where all the competitors and coaches are getting ready to put on a show. It's a whole mood. I can't show you though, I must focus on blogging and let those with cameras do their job. The keyboard is my domain. Now is not the time to be dividing my energies.
Speaking of energy, I've got so much of it coursing through my veins right now. Also caffeine. Lots and lots of caffeine.
You can enjoy the first three matches of tonight's event free.
Although this blog is for subscribers only. Some would call that irony, I prefer to think of this as an opportunity for our smart and savvy customers to share the fun with their friends and family. Either way, please know that you, the subscribers, are the real heroes tonight.
116 lbs: Anthony Knox vs Ben Davino
1st period: We start off with a battle of rising stars. Mere eighth graders, you will marvel at their wrestling prowess. Davino is wrestling for the Pound Town RTC, perhaps the greatest of all the RTCs. Anthony Knox repping Rhino Wrestling, the same club that produced such stars as NCAA champion Anthony Cassar.
Davino working from a Russian tie, drops underneath looking for a carry, doesn't get an exposure but keeps working for the takedown. He leads 2-0 as we're back in neutral. Knox counters with a hi-c to a double and knots it up at 2-2. Still 2 minutes in the first. Knox on another shot, Davino tries to circle but gives up a step out. Knox takes the lead 3-2. Lead is extended as Knox gets his second takedown. 5-2 Knox. Davino responds with another fireman's attempt. Gets a takedown and gut and regains the lead. 6-5 in an action-packed first period.
That's how the first ends. Phenomenal display of offense from both young wrestlers under the bright lights.
2nd period: After a feeling out phase Davino goes underneath to his bread-and-butter firemans but Knox is ready and gets his hips back, sprawls and avoids the takedown. Stalemated to a restart and now Knox needs a minute of injury time. He walks it off though, was grabbing his hip but he's going to take the center again and we're back to wrestling.
No worse for the wear as Knox gets a single, finishes, then powers through a gut wrench to reclaim the lead. He's up 9-6 with a minute left in the match. Knox stays on the attack, he's in deep. He'll finish for two more, extending his lead to 11-6 with just 31 ticks on the clock. Knox keeps the pressure on, he's behind Davino who fights off the takedown in a quadpod but its moot. Knox gets the victory 11-6!
Great bout to set the stage for this very excellent evening of wrestling.
117 lbs: Sage Mortimer vs Audrey Jimenez
1st period: Moving right along. Mortimer hails from Utah and wrestled Mia Palumbo at beat the streets. She also placed at Fargo in Greco, and no, they do not have a separate women's division for Greco-Roman wrestling. Jimenez hails from Sunnyside, Arizona, the same high school that produced Penn State star Roman Bravo-Young.
Mortimer trying to set the tone right off the whistle, heavy hands looking for the snap down go behind. Jiminez fends her off and we're back in neutral. Beautiful throw-by from Mortimer and she collects two. She leads 2-0 with over 2 minutes left in the first. Another takedown for Mortimer and doubles her lead in under a minute. Now Jimenez drops down on a single leg but there's no score. Down block go behind on a shot by Jimenez and Mortimer goes into the break leading 6-0.
2nd period: Mortimer with the noticeable size advantage as Jimenez doing her best to get back in the match. She's able to get to Mortier's legs again but now she needs to finish. She'll settle for one to break the goose egg. 6-1 Mortimer, 2 minutes remaining. Jimenez able to set up her sweep single once again, this time she gets Motimer hopping and back trips for two. It's 6-3, Jimenez has a lace locked up. No more scores so we're back on our feet.
Jimenez stays on the attacks but still trails by 3 with a minute to go. Mortimer snap down, circling, she'll pick up two more. 8-3 is the lead for Sage with 37 seconds left. Jimenez conceding nothing, drives Mortimer to the boundary and picks up two as they go out of bounds. That's how it'll end. Motimer prevails 8-5!
Lots of heart from both young ladies. Mortimer is on the cusp of big things and is still junior eligible. Look for Jimenez to challenge for cadet world team spots over the next couple of years.
145 lbs: Cody Chittum vs Jordan Williams
1st period: Chittum owns the #1 spot at 145-pounds nationally by dint of his performance at Who's #1 over Wyatt Henson, and his victories since then. Jordan Williams, who competed at Who's #1 at 138-pounds, is bumping up to 145 this season. Chittum is wrestling out of Tennessee while Williams is an Oklahoman.
Chittum unsurprisingly comes out with heavy hands off the whistle. He drives Williams out of bounds to score first early. 1-0 lead. Williams fires off a low single but Chittum counters with a crotch-lock and takes him through for two more. A leg-lace attempt goes nowhere and they're back on their feet. Chittum leads 3-0, still very early. Chittum gets behind Williams, he has his back, and a stupendous back arch gives him four, could've been five. Wonderful suplex. Chittum leads 7-0 with the move of the night so far. Williams tries to answer, but Chittum gets two on a counter exposure then two more with a turn and he rips through a very solid Jordan Williams.
Impressive performance by the consensus #1, Cody Chittum!
Cody Chittum just went off 😳— FloWrestling (@FloWrestling) January 14, 2021
65 kg: Seth Gross vs Joey McKenna
1st period: Rolling right along, Gross, who beat Zane Richards on Saturday, is taking Joey McKenna, who defeated Nahshon Garrett. So by accident we created a little mini-four man bracket with those guys and this is for the title of a tournament we didn't know we were having.
McKenna gets off a shot early, now he's got Gross in the air over his shoulder. Tries to somersault him over for four but gets two and then a turn, almost as good. He leads 4-0. McKenna scores next with a single leg and Gross is in a 6-0 whole early. Gross can't stop McKenna who powers through on another shot to make it 8-0. Seth trying to get back in the match but McKenna counters and just like that, a 10-0 tech for McKenna!
Kudos to Seth, who still plans on making the Olympic team at 57kg, for taking the match and wrestling up against a very sharp looking Joey McKenna. And kudos to McKenna too for wrestling back to back. And kudos to us for enjoying awesome wrestling and supporting this great sport. Well done everyone.
Woah. Joey McKenna just blew through Seth Gross with the 10-0 tech.— FloWrestling (@FloWrestling) January 14, 2021
215 lbs: J'den Cox vs Nate Jackson
1st period: Two back and forth bouts followed by two techs. What will we witness in bout #5? Cox and Jackson will be completing another mini-tournament, as J'den beat Zillmer on Saturday and Nate beat Wynn Michalak. So let's get another round of kudos out of the way for both these studs (and another round for ourselves, why not?). Jackson has the height and length advantage but Cox has been wrestling a higher weight class since pretty much forever. Cautious first 30 seconds.
Jackson fires off a cram double but Cox catches him, and we're back to neutral. Both wrestlers warned for passivity (I think). 90 scends to go. Jackson another shot, Cox stops him, throw by and gets a step out point. 1-0 Cox, 60 seconds left in the first. Jackson getting a hand or two on Cox's legs but J'den is too elusive and the period ends with the slim 1-0 lead for Cox.
2nd period: Another cautious start to the period, both wrestlers poking around for an opening. Now J'den goes on the shot clock with a little over 2 minutes to go. J'den gives up the point and Jackson now leads via criteria, 1-1 on the board. Cox goes on the attack, Jackson gives ground, gives up another step out and Cox back in the lead, 2-1.
Just a minute to go. Jackson applying pressure. Cox is unflappable and times a go behind perfectly to take a 4-1 lead. One gut wrench later and it's 6-1, just like that. Less than 30 to go. That's how it ends. Impenetrable defense by J'den and savvy scores to take the 6-1 victory!
86 kg: Jordan Burroughs vs David Taylor
1st period: Oh baby. Here we go. Party time.
Have we ever seen a domestic match of this caliber before? Taylor is the favorite to win an Olympic gold at 86kg. He's beaten all the best in the world at that weight. Burroughs has an Olympic gold already, plus four more world golds, and was just seconds away from winning a gold medal at the 2019 world championships. Both wrestlers still firing on all cylinders. JB steps up to 86 for a rematch seven years in the making.
Can't think of anything else to type but a bunch of corny nonsense about how pumped I am so I'll leave it at that and rest my digits for a few minutes until the first whistle.
1st period: It appears as though Burroughs is wearing his 2012 Olympic singlet. David Taylor in his clean looking NLWC walks out to Taylor Gang, as is his custom. Collar ties to start the match. It's tense and quiet here in the warm up room now until someone asks if anyone has any popcorn. We all share a hearty chuckle.
No scores after 40 seconds but then Taylor drops down on a single leg. Burroughs gets the shallowest of whizzers in but stops the move and gets a restart. 0-0 after a minute 15. 1:07 on the clock when JB gets put on the shot clock. Burroughs snas and thinks about taking a low level double but coils back up to his feet. DT gets the first point off the clock. Short time left in the period and no scores to end the period, although Taylor picks up a passivity warning with 5 seconds to go. He'll likely go on the clock if there are no scores after 30 or so in the second.
2nd period: Still mostly in collar ties in neutral, not clear who that favors. Taylor drops to another single, walks Burroughs to the edge and tries to finish for two but settled for one. JB lowers his level but loses grip and Taylor gets an easy down block go behind. Burroughs is slow to get up on the restart. He grabs his inner thigh but shakes it off and we're back in business. 4-0 Taylor leads with 90 seconds left in the match.
Taylor eats up 30 seconds of clock handfighting. Burroughs driving forward. Gets a caution and one as DT goes out of bounds. JB starting his sprint, he fires off a double, settles for one again. 23 seconds to go, a takedown will give JB the lead. Another caution and one, actually his first, its 4-3. Another step out and that's his second caution and one. 4-4. Taylor still has criteria but two cautions. 7 seconds to go. Burroughs lines up for one final go. Taylor won't let it slip away. He stays in the center and finally gets his revenge!
David Taylor is pumped, he wanted that bad as anyone can want a match. Burroughs came close oh so close to a miracle comeback.
You just don’t get any closer than that. David Taylor holds on in the last moments against Jordan Burroughs and gets the 4-4 criteria win.— FloWrestling (@FloWrestling) January 14, 2021
And we all got the drama we were looking for. Now these two titans set their sites on Tokyo and Olympic gold.
Well that was bad ass. Time to rest my weary fingers and get ready for the next event. Which will be the Henri Deglane this weekend! Hell yeah! Apologies for the typos, see you soon!