Jordan Burroughs, the top-ranked wrestler in the world and favorite to win gold in the 74kg weight class, lost two of his three matches Friday and failed to win a medal.
Entering the day, he had two losses in his entire career.
After losing to rival Aniuar Geduev of Russia, 3-2, in the quarterfinals, Burroughs lost to Uzbekistan's Bekzod Abdurakhmonov, 11-1, in the repachage portion of the tournament, eliminating him from medal contention.
For Burroughs, who won the gold medal in London in 2012, it was a stunning end to a promising tournament.
Burroughs entered the tournament as the world's top-ranked wrestler in the 74g weight class. But the draw meant he would face Geduev, ranked No. 2 and his fiercest rival, in just his second match.
The Russian controlled the pace of the match throughout, building a 3-0 lead that he held onto until the final moments of the match. Burroughs suffered a cut on his head early in the match, and he had to pause often to have it tended to, making it difficult for him to establish a rhythm.
In the second match, Abdurakhmonov jumped out to a six-point lead in the first periods. Burroughs didn't notch his first point until less than 90 seconds remained in the match. In the final minute, Burroughs tried to score a takedown, but could never muster a serious threat.
Burroughs won his first match of the day, against Guinea-Bissau's Augosta Midana.
Burroughs scored four points in the first minute of the match against Midana, and then cruised to an 8-3 victory. He advanced to the quarterfinal, where he will meet Russia's Aniuar Geduev. Burroughs and Geduev were the two top-ranked wrestlers in the 74kg weight class entering the Olympics.
For Burroughs, the expectations were high. He has won a major global title (world or Olympic) four of the last five years and is the current world No. 1 in the 74kg (163 lbs) division. With a career international record of 129-2 entering the tournament, he enteredcompetition as the gold medal favorite.
When he won gold in London, Burroughs' defining match came in the semifinals against another Russian, Denis Tsargush. The two wrestlers, who have combined to win every 74kg world title since 2009, developed an exciting rivalry. Burroughs beat Tsargush in London, but Tsargush got revenge at the 2014 World Championships by handing Burroughs one of his two career losses.
More recently though, Tsargush has been unseated as Russia's top option at 74kg. Geduev essentially locked up his spot on the Olympic team when he defeated Tsargush at this year's Russian Nationals.
In the 57kg weight class, American Daniel Dennis lost 11-0 to Bulgarian Vladimir Dubov.