Jordan Burroughs’ unbeaten streak was snapped at 69.
Burroughs, 2012 Olympic gold medalist wrestler and two-time NCAA champ for University of Nebraska, lost his first freestyle match since 2009 to fellow U.S. wrestler Nick Marable in the quarterfinals of the Yasar Dogu International in Istanbul, Turkey Saturday.
It was the former Cornhusker mat champ’s first loss in senior-level international freestyle competition.
Marable, a two-time NCAA All-American at the University of Missouri, went on to win the gold medal at 74 kilos/163 pounds, while Burroughs claimed bronze.
In the quarterfinals match between the two Americans, Burroughs earned the first point of the bout to go up 1-0 at the end of the first period. Marable countered with two takedowns to grab a 4-1 lead. Burroughs battled back, scoring a push-out point and late takedown to tie up the score 4-4 at the end of regulation. With no overtime under the new freestyle rules approved by the international wrestling federation FILA in 2013, Marable earned the victory on criteria (most takedowns).
After defeating Burroughs in the quarters, Marable went on to beat Batuhan Demircin of Turkey in the semifinals, 6-3. The former Mizzou matman then edged Iran’s Morteza Rezae Ghaleh in the finals, 4-3, to win gold.
Burroughs earned the bronze medal with a 10-2 victory over Demircin.
It was Marable’s second gold medal in international freestyle competition in 2014, having won the title at the Grand Prix of Paris earlier this month.
Burroughs posted this message on his @alliseeisgold Twitter account: "Thanks everyone! I want to personally thank all the wrestling fans for following me on this journey to 69 straight wins. Although it has ended, now begins a new chapter of my wrestling career, but with the same goal! Be the best in the world!"
Burroughs is one of the world’s great wrestlers in action today, having won three straight gold medals in world freestyle competition at 74 kilos/163 pounds with titles at the 2011 and 2013 World championships to bracket his 2012 Olympic gold won in London. In 2011, the New Jersey native completed his college career by winning his second NCAA title at Nebraska, and the Hodge Trophy as the best college wrestler that year. After the 2012 Olympics, Burroughs had said that he planned to continue in wrestling at least until 2017, seeking to surpass current Oklahoma State coach John Smith’s four world titles and two Olympic gold medals, then possibly enter mixed martial arts competition. However, in Nov. 2013, after watching a bloody Bellator main event, Burroughs tweeted, “MMA is brutal. Great sport, but not for me. I will never step foot in the Octagon.”
Marable, a native of Collierville, Tenn., earned All-American honors for Missouri at 165 pounds in 2008 and 2009, and was a three-time Big 12 conference champ. He has competed in international events since 2010. Marable, who is a volunteer assistant coach at his college alma mater, has also competed in two of the new ventures – Tour ACW (Association of Career Wrestlers), and Victory Wrestling Challenge -- which allow post-college wrestlers to continue in the sport they love, and earn money doing it. Marable won the 170-pound title at the inaugural Tour ACW event in Pittsburgh in October 2013.
About the photos: On the left, Nick Marable has his arm raised after winning the 170-pound crown at Tour ACW in Pittsburgh last fall; Jordan Burroughs showing his 2012 Olympic gold medal.
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