The hyped clash between American wrestling stars David Taylor and Jordan Burroughs lived up to expectations on Wednesday (13 January).
Postponed from Saturday after a COVID scare in the Taylor camp, the two faced off in Lincoln, Nebraska with 2018 world 86kg champion Taylor boasting a significant weight advantage over London 2012 gold medallist Burroughs.
Taylor had lost all four of their previous bouts, the last in 2014 before he moved up in weight, and started the more aggressively.
He also went into a 1-0 lead after Burroughs failed to score when put on the 30-second clock for passivity.
At the start of the second period, Taylor pushed the four-time world champion out of bounds to go 2-0 in front before a go-behind takedown put him into a commanding 4-0 lead.
Burroughs roared back inside the final minute with his opponent unable to resist his all-out attack, sending him out of bounds four times to level the scores.
But Taylor's takedown - as a two-point score - meant he still had the advantage, and he held on in the dying seconds to take the win.
The reigning two-time 92kg world champion and Rio 2016 bronze medallist defeated Nate Jackson 6-1, a late gut-wrench helping secure the decision.
Now that they have ended long absences from competition, attention now turns to the USA Olympic Trials scheduled for 9-11 April at State College, Pennsylvania.