Savadkouhi makes history in Wrestling World Cup

Savadkouhi makes history in Wrestling World Cup

Iran freestyle wrestling team lost to the U.S. 6-4 in the 2022 World Cup final but Ali Savadkouhi did a great job, beating the American legendary wrestler Jordan Burroughs.

Savadkouhi used a takedown to earn a win over Burroughs in the 79kg in the World Cup in Iowa on Monday.

Beating Burroughs in his home country made it even more special for Savadkouhi who became the first Iranian wrestler to beat the 2012 Olympic champion whose career has spanned around 15 years.

The Asian champion may have broken new ground by joining the list, which only has five other wrestlers, to win against Burroughs, his feat was not enough to guide Iran to the World Cup title as it lost the final to the U.S.

“I knew I was down,” Savadkouhi said. “But I was thinking of moving forward and being offensive. I lost one opportunity to score. But I knew from the first minute that he would make a mistake.”

In Iowa, he did not make a mistake. He went on an outside single and scored the takedown to cut the lead to 4-2. Burroughs took time to return to neutral, showing signs of tiredness. Savadkouhi pushed more from here and 15 seconds later scored another takedown. He did not let Burroughs settle down in par terre and turned him, a rare sight, to add two more.

From here, he had to defend the two-point lead for more than a minute. Burroughs tried but could not find a breakthrough. He pushed Savadkouhi out of bounds and got one point for fleeing to make it 6-6 but the Iranian still held criteria with nine seconds to go.

Savadkouhi managed to pass the time. He had achieved the unthinkable. He knew doing it in the US was special.

“I am happy to be the first Iranian to beat Burroughs and more importantly to win in his home country,” he said. “I am blessed to be supported by Iranian people and the coaches.”

Savadkouhi also talked about the confidence the Iran coaches had in him against Burroughs who had defeated Mohammad Nokhodi, who was in Iowa, in two finals at the World Championships.

“The coaches put more energy in me and head coach Pejman Dorostkar believed I will win,” he said.