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Jordan Burroughs - all-time top-six US wrestler

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Burroughs now has three world-level titles. He is most definitely a top-six wrestler now.

 

I have it this way:

 

1- Smith - 6 world-level golds

2- Baumgartner - 5 world-level golds, 13 world-level medals (*1984 Olympic gold)

3- Kemp - 3 world-level golds, 4 world-level medals (*missed boycotted 1980 Olympics)

4- Burroughs - 3 world-level golds

4- Jackson - 3 world-level golds

4- M. Schultz - 3 world-level golds (*1984 Olympic gold)

 

It's all the more impressive in that Burroughs won his world-level golds in an era of only 7 weight classes and the breakup of the Soviet Union. We might not see anyone else like him for a generation.

 

EDIT: Just to clarify, this is a resume-based list. In terms of skill level, I think it would be fair to put Burroughs anywhere between 2 and 5. It's just impossible to make that call across eras.

 

Finally, I think Burroughs is pound-for-pound the best active wrestler in the world.

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Burroughs #3 IMO. He has the Olympic gold, Kemp does not (I know that was due to a boycott, but still). The only thing lacking on JBs resume is quality of competition (Tsargush aside). I was trying to figure out all the world champs Gatsalov has beaten the other day. Burroughs, through no fault of his own, has only beaten one. We won't really know where to rank him until he starts losing matches though. Not even John smith was undefeated, and so far Burroughs is.

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Burroughs #3 IMO. He has the Olympic gold, Kemp does not (I know that was due to a boycott, but still). The only thing lacking on JBs resume is quality of competition (Tsargush aside). I was trying to figure out all the world champs Gatsalov has beaten the other day. Burroughs, through no fault of his own, has only beaten one. We won't really know where to rank him until he starts losing matches though. Not even John smith was undefeated, and so far Burroughs is.

 

I think it would be fair to put him anywhere between 2 and 5. In terms of skill level, he could be second behind only Smith. It's really impossible to compare between eras.

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Burroughs #3 IMO. He has the Olympic gold, Kemp does not (I know that was due to a boycott, but still). The only thing lacking on JBs resume is quality of competition (Tsargush aside). I was trying to figure out all the world champs Gatsalov has beaten the other day. Burroughs, through no fault of his own, has only beaten one. We won't really know where to rank him until he starts losing matches though. Not even John smith was undefeated, and so far Burroughs is.

 

The weight classes are so far apart now, it's more rare to see guys change weight classes. Discounting him for not beating former world champions is sort of like discounting him for wrestling in an era of fewer weight classes.

 

Beating the two-time reigning world champ and Goudarzi fresh out of college is pretty impressive, IMO.

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Burroughs #3 IMO. He has the Olympic gold, Kemp does not (I know that was due to a boycott, but still). The only thing lacking on JBs resume is quality of competition (Tsargush aside). I was trying to figure out all the world champs Gatsalov has beaten the other day. Burroughs, through no fault of his own, has only beaten one. We won't really know where to rank him until he starts losing matches though. Not even John smith was undefeated, and so far Burroughs is.

 

Did you just say the quality of competition is less? Dude the competition today is much tougher because you have fewer weight classes.

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Acadia is right. With less weight classes, there jam packed with competition. And before with more weights you had more CHAMPIONS alot which wouldn't be now with less. Not too mention a ton of wrestlers competed in this worlds unknowing if there Olympic dream would be hopeful.

 

Nevertheless... People will always say "your lucky", or it was "easy". When it comes to World titles none of the two are relevant in any shape or matter. Jordan makes solid international wrestlers look horrible. The weight isnt weak, the wrestler is strong. Thats why hes 65-0 with three World titles..

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Burroughs is top 3 minimum. Winning at the World/Olympics is so much harder today because of more Soviet entries and fewer weight classes. I probably would put Baumgartner #1 just because of his being one of the 2-3 best wrestlers in the world for 15 years. And heavyweight has been impacted less by the weight changes, it's the same guys it always would have been. But then again, the Soviet countries are always really good at heavyweight, so Bruce definitely benefitted from one USSR.

 

OK, I'm back to Burroughs being #1. Then Smith and Bruce in whatever order you want.

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Burroughs #3 IMO. He has the Olympic gold, Kemp does not (I know that was due to a boycott, but still). The only thing lacking on JBs resume is quality of competition (Tsargush aside). I was trying to figure out all the world champs Gatsalov has beaten the other day. Burroughs, through no fault of his own, has only beaten one. We won't really know where to rank him until he starts losing matches though. Not even John smith was undefeated, and so far Burroughs is.

 

The weight classes are so far apart now, it's more rare to see guys change weight classes. Discounting him for not beating former world champions is sort of like discounting him for wrestling in an era of fewer weight classes.

 

Beating the two-time reigning world champ and Goudarzi fresh out of college is pretty impressive, IMO.

We lost the two bottom wts (105.5, 114.5), and the top three (198, 220, UNL) were combined into two since '72. His wt class starts 2kg lower than in '72. Not a big change. The breakup of the USSR is a much bigger deal for the middle weights.

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with only seven weight classes there are fewer world champions out there to beat

 

exactly, they wouldve been champions before with more... but now theyre bronze medalists etc

How many of the missing 105.5, 114.5, or 220lbers would have made 74 kg?

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I didnt say winning a world championship is easy or trying to bellite Burroughs, who is my #1 pound for pound wrestler in the world and #3 (or even 2) all time in the US. I just wish as a fan that he had a chance to wrestle, and probably beat, Murtazaliev, Aldatov and so on. Can you imagine how fun a match up with eithr Saitiev would have been?:

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Burroughs now has three world-level titles. He is most definitely a top-six wrestler now.

 

I have it this way:

 

1- Smith - 6 world-level golds

2- Baumgartner - 5 world-level golds, 13 world-level medals (*1984 Olympic gold)

3- Kemp - 3 world-level golds, 4 world-level medals (*missed boycotted 1980 Olympics)

4- Burroughs - 3 world-level golds

4- Jackson - 3 world-level golds

4- M. Schultz - 3 world-level golds (*1984 Olympic gold)

 

It's all the more impressive in that Burroughs won his world-level golds in an era of only 7 weight classes and the breakup of the Soviet Union. We might not see anyone else like him for a generation.

 

I understand we're looking at this strictly from a statistical perspective. Sometimes, stats don't tell the whole story. Longevity does count for something, but not everything.

 

Lee Kemp is the best wrestler I've ever seen. Watching him wrestle in person was like Jeff Beck seeing Jimi Hendrix play guitar for the first time and realizing he was never, ever going to be as good as him. As great as Dave Schultz was, I'm still not sure how he beat him.

 

And, Gable has to be on this list ahead of Jackson and Mark Schultz.

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How many of those guys broke their ankle, had surgery, and 6 screws put in? 27 days before the world championship. Pretty incredible what we are witnessing. JB also had 3 techs, was winning 7-2 when the guy got DQ'd, and won 4-0 in the finals. So dominating.

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I didnt say winning a world championship is easy or trying to bellite Burroughs, who is my #1 pound for pound wrestler in the world and #3 (or even 2) all time in the US. I just wish as a fan that he had a chance to wrestle, and probably beat, Murtazaliev, Aldatov and so on. Can you imagine how fun a match up with eithr Saitiev would have been?:

 

i hear what you're saying and agree. it would be enormously fun to see Burroughs mix it up with other big names. but he's only been on the international level for 3 years, and in fairness to him, has beaten all the big names in his weight class. here's the credentials of the guys Burroughs beat on his way to his 3-peat.

 

Tsargush: Worlds 1,1,3; Euro 1,1,1

Goudarzi: Worlds 2,2,2,3; Asia 1,1,1

Hasonov: Worlds 3,3; Euro 1,1,2 (at 66kg)

Akbari: Worlds 2; Asia 3

Shabanau: Worlds 3

Aliev: Worlds 3

 

He's had to go through the best each time. without Burroughs in the way Tsargusha and probably Goudarzi would be considered legends on their own. and we'll see what happens in the next few years. Akbari is young and tall, he could be making noise at 84kg before his career is over.

 

i know you probably know all this and aren't trying to take anything away from Burroughs. just added some perspective.

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After watching Burroughs today, it's hard for me to understand how anyone would at least not give reasonable consideration to him being the all time top US freestyler. That was domination in a way I have rarely seen at this level and it really made an impression on me since I was able to watch it all unfold via live streaming video.

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How many of those guys broke their ankle, had surgery, and 6 screws put in? 27 days before the world championship. Pretty incredible what we are witnessing. JB also had 3 techs, was winning 7-2 when the guy got DQ'd, and won 4-0 in the finals. So dominating.

Amazing feat. The Q cuts both ways, though. How many others had injuries that required surgery, but prior to the advent of arthroscopic surgery simply postponed it until after the competition?

 

JB has the titles to be top 6ish. Can't move him past Smith and Baumgardner...yet.

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I have a problem with the original list. You can't simply rank wrestlers by number of titles. That matters, but it's not the only way to determine greatness. A healthy Burroughs might be better than any of those guys or he might not be, but it's more complicated than just doing some counting.

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CC seems to be tripping over himself trying to diminish where Burroughs really stands all time. When you say that the only weights eliminated were at the very top, and very bottom, is in fact disingenuous.

From 10 weights to 7 will impact, in some way, EVERY weight class. Anyone with a grip on statistics will tell you this.

The fact that the USSR is now sending a handful of elite guys (under different flags) as opposed to just one wrestler is an ENORMOUS difference.

Now you're saying he had an advantage because of the development of arthroscopic surgery? :roll: :lol:

Which US wrestlers would have won a world title (in dominating fashion), but didn't because they had to postpone surgery?

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with only seven weight classes there are fewer world champions out there to beat

 

exactly, they wouldve been champions before with more... but now theyre bronze medalists etc

How many of the missing 105.5, 114.5, or 220lbers would have made 74 kg?

 

From 97-01 there was a 69 kg weight class (152 pounds). From 69-96 there was a 68 kg weight class (150 pounds) and an 82 kg weight class (180 pounds). That absolutely affects what competition would compete in the 160s range.

 

And the Soviet Union existed until 1991. That also has a huge impact. Lots of wrestlers from former Soviet Republics now compete, and lots of Russians compete for other countries.

 

It is absolutely more difficult to medal today that it used to be. For Burroughs to win three golds in a row in the current environment is sensational.

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