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Burroughs claims Ranking Series gold, four others earn podium spots at Yasar Dogu in Turkey

by Taylor Miller-Gregorio, USA Wrestling

Photo of Jordan Burroughs at the 2021 World Championships. Photo by Kadir Caliskan, United World Wrestling.

ISTANBUL, Turkey – Team USA closed out the final day of the Yasar Dogu International, winning five medals, including one gold, two silver and two bronze, on Sunday in Istanbul, Turkey.

Five-time World champion and 2012 Olympic champion Jordan Burroughs secured the gold medal for the Stars and Stripes, with a solid day of competition at 79 kg.

Burroughs tallied back-to-back shutout technical falls over Kazakhstan’s Meiir Koshkinbayev and Zhiger Zakirov to begin his championship run. In the quarterfinals, Burroughs outwrestled Gadzhimurad Alikhmaev from the Russian Wrestling Federation, 4-1. He was tested in the semifinals against U23 World bronze medalist Ali Savadkouhi from Iran, but came out on top with a 2-1 victory and a spot in the finals, where U.S. teammate Chance Marsteller awaited him.

In the gold-medal match, Burroughs dominated with three takedowns and two step outs to defeat Marsteller, 8-0, for the 79 kg crown at UWW’s first Ranking Series event of the season. It was Burroughs' third time winning the Yasar Dogu as he also won titles in 2016 and 2019. 

To get to the finals, Marsteller put together some outstanding wins, most notably a 10-5 decision in the second round over 2014 World champion and 2017 World silver medalist Hetik Cabolov of Serbia, formerly of Russia. He also scored a 10-7 win over USA’s David McFadden in his first bout. Punching his ticket to the finals, Marsteller took out Nuri Temur of Turkey and Arslan Budazhapov of Kyrgyzstan in the quarterfinals and semifinals, respectively.

Marsteller’s silver medal marks the first international medal of his career.

Two-time World medalist James Green snagged a silver medal in Istanbul, wrestling at 70 kg. He was unstoppable in his first two matches, collecting an 11-0 technical fall against Khanburged Gankhuyag from Mongolia and a 10-0 victory over 2021 U23 World bronze medalist Aliakbar Fazlikhalili of Iran. In the semifinals, Green trailed Viktor Rassadin of the Russian Wrestling Federation, 2-1, but with about 10 seconds left, the American grinded out a takedown to win the match and punch his ticket to the finals.

There, he faced 2021 World silver medalist Amirmohammad Yazdanicherati from Iran, who used a takedown to gut wrench combination twice to outlast the American, 8-2.

Two U.S. wrestlers bounced back from morning-session losses to claim bronze medals at their respective weights.

At 61 kg, Nico Megaludis competed at his first individual international tournament since September of 2018. He put together an impressive tournament, going 3-1 on the day and grinding out some tough wins. He opened the tournament with an 11-8 decision over former Russia representative Georgii Okorokov, who now competes for Australia. Megaludis dropped his next bout to Tokyo Olympic silver medalist Ravi Kumar from India, 10-1. Because Kumar advanced to the finals, Megaludis was pulled into repechage, where he took down another former Russian, Shamil Omarov of Italy, 4-4 on criteria, to move onto the bronze match.

For bronze, the American used two crucial second-period takedowns to claim a 6-4 win against 2021 Military World silver medalist Mohammadbagher Yakhkeshi from Iran to pick up his first international medal since 2018.

At 65 kg, Joey McKenna showed he is true threat this season, scoring a ton of points in his first international tournament of the year and recording a 4-1 record. McKenna began with a 15-4 technical fall against 2021 Junior World bronze medalist Bekzat Yermekbay from Kazakhstan and followed it up with a 17-9 win over USA teammate Evan Henderson. In the quarterfinals, McKenna fell in a heartbreaker to reigning World champion Zagir Shakhiev of the Russian Wrestling Federation, 11-9, despite leading for much of the bout. Shakhiev did advance to the finals, bringing McKenna into repechage, where he recorded a pin against Nikolai Okhlopkov of Romania in 5:21 to move on to the medal match.

For bronze, McKenna received a win by forfeit to Kyrgyzstan’s Ikromzhon Khadzhimurodov.

Others who represented the U.S. today included Daniel Deshazer (61 kg), Evan Henderson (65 kg), Anthony Ashnault (70 kg), Jordan Oliver (70 kg), Joey LaVallee (74 kg), David McFadden (79 kg) and Mark Hall (86 kg).

Overall, Team USA secured 12 medals over the weekend, including three gold, four silver and five bronze.


Feb. 24-27, 2022 | Istanbul, Turkey

U.S. men’s freestyle results
61 kg: Nico Megaludis (Titan Mercury WC) – BRONZE
WIN Georgii Okorokov (Australia), 11-8
LOSS Ravi Kumar (India), 10-1
WIN Shamil Omarov (Italy), 4-4
WIN Mohammadbagher Yakhkeshi (Iran), 6-4

61 kg: Daniel Deshazer (Gopher WC RTC) – eliminated
LOSS Ramiz Gamzatov (Russian Wrestling Federation), 5-1

65 kg: Evan Henderson (Ohio RTC/Titan Mercury WC) – eliminated
LOSS Joey McKenna (USA), 17-9

65 kg: Joey McKenna (Pennsylvania RTC/Titan Mercury WC) – BRONZE
Bekzat Yermekbay (Kazakhstan), 15-4
WIN Evan Henderson (USA), 17-9
LOSS Zagir Shakhiev (Russian Wrestling Federation), 11-9
WIN Nikolai Okhlopkov (Romania), fall 5:21
WIN Ikromzhon Khadzhimurodov (Kyrgzstan), forfeit

70 kg: Anthony Ashnault (Scarlet Knights WC/New York AC) – eliminated
LOSS Ernazar Akmataliev (Kyrgyzstan), 10-3

70 kg: James Green (Southeast RTC/Titan Mercury WC) – SILVER
WIN Khanburged Gankhuyag (Mongolia), 11-0
WIN Aliakbar Fazlikhalili (Iran), 10-0
WIN Viktor Rassadin (Russian Wrestling Federation), 3-2
LOSS Amirmohammad Yazdanicherati (Iran), 8-2

70 kg: Jordan Oliver (Sunkist Kids WC) – eliminated
LOSS Aliakbar Fazlikhalili (Iran), 4-2

74 kg: Joey Lavallee (Lehigh Valley WC/Titan Mercury WC) – eliminated
LOSS Soslan Tigiyev (Azerbaijan), 4-2

79 kg: Jordan Burroughs (Pennsylvania RTC/Sunkist Kids) - GOLD
WIN Meiir Koshkinbayev (Kazakhstan), 11-0
WIN Zhiger Zakirov (Kazakhstan), 10-0
WIN Gadzhimurad Alikhmaev (Russian Wrestling Federation), 4-1
WIN Ali Bakhtiar Savadkouhi (Iran), 2-1
WIN Chance Marsteller (USA), 8-0

79 kg: Chance Marsteller (Titan Mercury WC) – SILVER
WIN David McFadden (USA), 10-7
WIN Hetik Cabolov (Serbia), 10-5
WIN Nuri Temur (Turkey), 5-2
WIN Arslan Budazhapov (Kyrgyzstan), 6-3
LOSS Jordan Burroughs (USA), 8-0

79 kg: David McFadden (Pennsylvania RTC/Titan Mercury WC) – eliminated
LOSS Chance Marsteller (USA), 10-7
WIN Hetik Cabolov (Serbia), 12-6
LOSS Nuri Temur (Turkey), 5-5

86 kg: Mark Hall (Pennsylvania RTC/Titan Mercury WC) – eliminated
LOSS Tarzan Maisuradze (Georgia), 8-5