It was touch-and-go there for awhile.
World Series of Fighting (WSOF) was able to overcome Cage-gate and successfully pull the trigger on its sophomore mixed martial arts (MMA) extravaganza, which aired live on NBC Sports from the Revel Resort & Casino on Saturday night (March 23, 2013) in Atlantic City, New Jersey.
If you missed any or all of the live action, check out our complete results and play-by-play right here.
While there were some compelling match-ups on the televised main card, I don't think it's an exaggeration to suggest this event was bought and sold on the gimmicky headliner that featured former welterweight, Anthony Johnson, moving up to heavyweight to challenge Andrei Arlovski.
I'll give him an "A" for effort.
I'll also give him a "B" for ballsack, surviving a knee to the yams in the second stanza. "Rumble" secured a unanimous decision win -- despite a hideous third round of exhausted wrestling -- thanks to his ability to drop "The Pitbull" and nearly finish him in the opening frame.
Saved by the bell.
When all was said and done, Johnson looked pretty good at 265 pounds, Well, for the first 10 minutes, that is. Arlovski looked about the same as he always does. Light on his feet, but unable to keep his hands up and chin down. Very difficult to predict where he goes from here.
Anyone out there in MMA land have any ideas?
Up-and-coming 135-pound prospects Tyson Nam and Marlon Moraes were booked in what was an early candidate for "Fight of the Night," based on their respective performances leading up to Saturday night's highly-anticipated bantamweight brouhaha.
Sorry, you'll have to settle for "Knockout of the Night," instead.
Moraes came out as the aggressor, using a variety of leg kicks to soften up the Oregonian, who seemed to be taking it all in stride, until the Brazilian went high and sent him crashing to the canvas courtesy of a punishing head kick. A few knuckles to the dome for good measure and Nam was bagged and tagged.
Any questions following his win over Miguel Torres last November have now been answered. This kid is for real.
The biggest question surrounding Paulo Filho coming into his WSOF debut was, would he actually show up? He did, which then, of course, led to the second biggest question. Would the former World Extreme Cagefighting (WEC) Middleweight Champion be able to get through a 15-minute fight without having a mental breakdown?
The answer is, "Yes."
Unfortunately, it didn't stop him from getting his ass handed to him by David Branch, who dominated the troubled Brazilian for three rounds. "Ely" was clearly uncomfortable inside the cage and aside from his offense, defense and conditioning, looked great.
At least he got paid, which at times, looked like the only reason he was there.
Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) castaways Aaron Simpson and Josh Burkman went to war in what was the first appearance for "A-Train" under the WSOF banner. And judging by the way "The People's Warrior" systematically destroyed him, it could also be his last.
Burkman did a stand-up job of keeping away from Simpson's vaunted wrestling (pun intended) and unleashed a vicious combo -- which he claims to have learned from watching Bas Rutten's self-defense DVDs -- to force an intervention at 3:04 of the first round.
Could a fight against Jon Fitch be next?
Jerking the curtain for the NBC Sports televised broadcast was longtime International veteran and former K-1 Hero's champion Gesias Cavalcante, who was tasked with welcoming Justin Gaethje to the WSOF organization, who's billed as a wrestler but stormed out of the gate with a boatload of bombs.
Including one that sliced "JZ" wide open.
The Brazilian was game and returned fire, but following a clinch against the cage -- one that allowed referee Keith Peterson to get a closer look at the split wig -- action was halted and the cageside physician was called in to lend her two cents.
Cue the boo birds.
Much to the chagrin of the live crowd, this one was called at 2:27 of the opening frame (doctor's stoppage) and Cavalcante will go have his face stitched up. Perhaps a rematch against Gaethje at WSOF 3? That's for Ray Sefo and his cronies to decide.
As for you, the fight fan, it's time to decide whether or not WSOF delivered on its promise of bringing entertaining fights to the airwaves. How about it, Maniacs, are you not entertained?
Let's get some feedback in he comments section below.