World Series of Fighting (WSOF) 19: "Gaethje vs. Palomino" airs live on NBC Sports TONIGHT (Sat., March 28, 2015) at the Comerica Theatre in Phoenix, Arizona. Undefeated lightweight champion Justin Gaethje will put his title on the line against the hard hitting Luis Palomino in the main event.
WSOF will also be kicking off its four-man light heavyweight tournament, although the line-up of said tournament has been completely shaken up due to Matt Hamill withdrawing from WSOF 19.
In addition Ed "Wild" West takes on Timur Valiev in the opening bout for television.
All of the action-packed TV bouts air this evening on NBC Sports starting at 9 p.m. ET! MMAmania.com will bring you LIVE results and real-time play-by-play coverage of the televised fights below, along with a live video stream for all the preliminary violence.
Many readers check in before, during and after the fights to share their thoughts on all of the action. Feel free to leave a comment (or 19) about the bouts before you leave and chat with all the other Maniacs during the show -- it's always a lot of fun!
WSOF 19 QUICK RESULTS:
Champ Justin Gaethje vs. Luis Palomino for lightweight title: Gaethje via TKO at 3:57 of R3.
Teddy Holder vs. Thiago Silva - light heavyweight tournament: Holder via TKO at 2:00 of R1.
Timur Valiev vs. Ed West: Valiev via TKO at 1:39 of R1.
Jake Heun vs. Clifford Starks - light heavyweight reserve bout: Starks via sub (arm triangle choke) at 4:11 of R2.
Benny Madrid vs. Jimmy Spicuzza: Spicuzzi via split decision (30-27, 28-29, 30-27).
Joe Gigliotti vs. Brendan Tierney: Gigliotti via TKO at 4:45 of R3.
Andres Ponce vs. Juan Archuleta: Ponce via sub (triangle) 0:53 of R2.
Dan Huber vs. Israel Aquino: Huber via TKO at 3:03 of R1.
Matthew Frincu vs. Eric Regan: Frincu wins via KO (kick) 0:14 of R2.
Joe Madrid vs. Erik Villalobos: Villalobos wins via UD 30-27 X3.
WSOF 19 PLAY-BY-PLAY:
Justin Gaethje vs. Luis Palomino:
Palomino is out first in red trunks to boos from the partial crowd in Phoenix. He's 23-9 thus far in his career with two devastating finishes in two WSOF fights. Gaethje receives thunderous applause as he comes out in the black trunks, smiling and bobbing his head to the beat. He's undefeated at 13-0. Our referee in charge for Gaethje's lightweight title defense is Al Guinee. Here we go!
Round 1: Simultaneous leg kicks open the bout. Gaethje hurts Palomino with a left and an uppercut as he pushes him toward the fence. Palomino weathers the storm. Gaethje with a leg kick and another right. Gaethje with a left head kick. Palomino stumbled for a second. Gaethje with a takedown at 1:22. Palomino pops up. Gaethje wades into striking range with Palomino and cracks him with an uppercut. Palomino comes back with fireworks and Gaethje clinches. Gaethje with an uppercut and a right. Neither guy seems to want to get out of the first round. 2:40 gone and they've already clocked each other a half-dozen times. Palomino pulls Gaethje's head down for a knee as they're in front of the cage door. Gaethje backs away then throws Palomino down to take the back, throwing heavy rights as Palomino covers up. Palomino gets back up and gets creamed by a head kick. Gaethje gives chase with 35 seconds left. Guiness stops the action to put Palomino's mouthpiece back in and that may have saved him. Jump knee right and Palomino comes swinging in, so Gaethje hits a flying cartwheel kick to end R1! 10-9 Gaethje.
Round 2: Gaethje lands a leg kick to open R2 and pushes forward trying to pin Palomino against he fence and cut off the angles. Palomino is wary of it and keeps moving side to side. Gaethje moves back to center at 50 seconds, covers up for a Palomino flurry, and keeps looking for his spot. He misses with an overhand right but lands a solid right after. Uppercut and a big left from Gaethje. The crowd is chanting for him. Right left right uppercut. Gaethje keeps doubling up in every exchange. Palomino is still swinging for the fences and lands some good rights and left hooks. 2:30. They clinch and trade. Gaethje has been cut over the right eye. He takes Palomino's back and drives him to the ground. Palomino stands up at 3:10. Gaethje keeps him against the fence and lands a right hook as Palomino escapes. Gaethje throws the occasional leg kick but he wants that knockout. He covers up to block a knee. Both guys have slowed down now - they couldn't keep up this pace forever. This might have been Palomino's round - it was close - but on my own scorecard I give Gaethje a narrow 10-0.
Round 3: Gaethje immediately comes forward to start the third round. Palomino tries to turn him around into the fence but Gaethje reverses. Gaethje with a big right hand. Palomino checks a left head kick but Guinee calls time to check something on Palomino's glove. After the restart Gaethje goes toe to toe with Palomino again and they tie up after he throws a knee. Knee and uppercut by Gaethje against the fence. Palomino is bleeding from his nose. Palomino sprawls to stop a takedown and Gaethje lands to the body when he gets up. Gaethje is trying to clinch with Palomino but he's wary of it so Gaethje opens up his stance and sends Palomino to the ground with a leg kick. Guinee stands him back up. Gaethje smells blood and he wants a low kick but instead he throws a flying knee then a roundhouse kick to the leg, and as Palomino crumbles to the ground Gaethje pours on hammers for the stoppage just before four minutes!!
Final result: Justin Gaethje improves to 14-0 and retains the lightweight title by TKO at 3:57 of the third round.
Teddy Holder vs. Thiago Silva:
Holder is the first to make his way to the Decagon in white trunks. He's 8-1 and making his WSOF debut. Silva charges to the ring in a Blackzilians t-shirt and also has white trunks, though his are decorated with red and black logos. He's 16-3-0-2 and also making his promotional debut. Our referee in charge of this light heavyweight tournament bout is Ryan Brueggeman.
Round 1: Both fighters are patient in the first 30 seconds. Holder is not afraid to throw hands after but Silva is covering up to block the power. Silva snaps Holder's head back with a right but Holder knocks Silva down with a right in response and jumps into side control on the ground. He hammers away with right hands and the ref waves it off at the two minute mark! Kenny Rice dubs Holder the "bracket buster" of the tournament.
Final result: Teddy Holder finishes the fight via TKO at 2:00 of the first round.
Timur Valiev vs. Ed West:
Round 1: West is in the navy blue trunks. Valiev is in the camouflage trunks. Our referee in charge is Ryan Brueggeman. Valiev is active early - lots of kicks and strikes. He chases West with a few lefts and then lands a cracking right hand. He drops West with another right but "Wild" West quickly recovers. Valiev pins him up against the fence for elbows and knees. West is taking a beating with hammer fists and Brueggeman stops it at 1:40.
Final result: Valiev finishes Ed West with ground and pound (TKO) at 1:39 of the first round.
Jake Heun vs. Clifford Starks:
Round 1: Al Guinee is our referee. Starks is in the camouflage trunks, Heun in the black trunks. Heun is using kicks early to keep Starks at a distance. He throws a high kick. Starks intercepts another kick and has him on the ground for a split second. Starks pushes Heun into the cage. Heun breaks the clinch with a flurry and returns to the center. He throws a hard body kick and Starks gets a takedown. Starks keeps the top mount this time in full guard. Heun pushes off the cage with his feet but can't escape. Heun gets back up at 4:09 but Starks has a waist cinch from behind. Heun turns out and lands a spinning elbow as he does. Starks takes him down and Heun tries to make it a guillotine but lets go when he realizes he doesn't have it. Starks ends R1 on top.
Round 2: Heun tries a jump knee and a superman punch early in R2. Guinee calls time as Heun and Starks accidentally land simultaneous knees to the groin. They're quickly recovered and ready to resume. Heun throws the body kick and Starks takes him down again. Heun is back up quicker this time at 1:10. He gets out but Starks hurts him with a left and starts pouring it on. Heun gets free and starts turning it up, but he's too late withdrawing a knee to a downed opponent and it lands (but not flush) so Guinee calls for a one point deduction after a stoppage. When we restart Starks takes Heun down again. Heun is going hard for a kimura but loses the hold. Starks works from half guard looking for a side choke. Guinee warns Heun to get his toes out of the cage. Starks passes to the side and the end is nigh. Heun taps at 4:09.
Final result: Clifford Starks via submission (arm triangle choke) at 4:11 of the second round.
Benny Madrid vs. Jimmy Spicuzza:
The WSOF internet stream has been blinking in and out since before this fight began. We're now in the second round of this fight and the feed is hopelessly broken no matter what I do, and the A-U-D-I-O keeps S-T-U-T-T-E-R-I-N-G as it replays over and over. Thankfully this is the last prelim fight.
Final result: Spicuzza wins via split decision (30-27, 28-29, 30-27).
Joe Gigliotti vs. Brendan Tierney:
Round 1: Tierney is in blue trunks for tonight's fight. Kenny and Bas go on a long soliloquy about Billy Joel thanks to his entrance music. Gigliotti is in solid black trunks as the "Wheel in the Sky" keeps on turning. This fight is at a catchweight of 180 pounds. Our referee is Al Guinee. Gigliotti gets a takedown 40 seconds in, Tierney goes for a leg lock, then jumps to take the back and get his hooks in. Gigliotti is holding onto his hands to prevent Tierney from doing more damage but Tierney ultimately gets free and starts pounding away as Guinee warns him about the back of the head. Tierney goes for the neck but Gigliotti escapes. Tierney continues to pound away as blood leaks out of Gigliotti, who manages to flip it around and get on top in guard. Tierney goes for a knee bar as Gigliotti hammers away. He's landing hard lefts with 15 seconds left as Guinee looks in close. Crazy first round.
Round 2: Gigliotti lands a big right early. He's got Tierney hurt with a left and a combo. Tierney is backpedaling as Gigliotti throws a kick for good measure. Gigliotti slows the pace a little by pushing Tierney into the fence. Tierney sits down on him and tries to get out the back door but Gigliotti is on top throwing huge rights. Tierney goes for a knee bar again and Gigliotti escapes and pours on more shots. He punishes the ribs from North-South and then spins to the back to throw lefts and rights to the body and head. Tierney rolls for a knee but Gigliotti easily sees it coming. Thudding body shots from Gigliotti. Aaron Simpson barks out instructions in Gigliotti's corner as he easily wins the second round.
Round 3: Gigliotti has a takedown in the first 15 seconds of R3. Tierney tries to get up but gives up his back instead. Tierney looks completely exhausted. All he can do is try weakly to block shots as he Gigliotti jumps to full back mount. Guinee should probably stop it. He's warning Tierney to fight back. Right hands keep coming. Tierney might just want to tap to strikes. He tries one more time to go for a leg and Gigliotti spins on top and continues to punish from guard. You can hear Simpson yelling: "Keep it up Joe he's about to stop it!" Guinee stands them up at 3:20. Tierney is stumbling after just one shot. Gigliotti single legs him to the ground. Tierney is done - Guinee stops it with 15 seconds left. It could have been stopped sooner. He's black, blue, bruised, bloody and beaten.
Final result: Joe Gigliotti wins via TKO at 4:45 of the third round.
Andres Ponce vs. Juan Archuleta:
Round 1: Our referee for this bout is Ryan Brueggeman. Archuleta is in the purple trunks and Steinke the black. He gets a takedown to start the fight after Steinke is warned not to grab the cage. Archuleta spins to North-South as Steinke tries to push off the fence to his feet, so Archuleta stands back up to bang and takes him down again. Steinke tries to grab the neck for a guillotine but Archuleta pops out. Archuleta slowly but surely advances to full mount and Ponce is able to escape briefly with 44 seconds left, but Archuleta jumps right back on top. 10-9 Archuleta as he hammers away with right hands to end the round.
Round 2: Ponce turns it around in the second round to hand Archuleta his first defeat, locking on a triangle off his back that ultimately forced Archuleta to tap out. Ponce improves to 8-4.
Final result: Andres Ponce via submission (triangle) at 0:53 of the second round.
Dan Huber vs. Israel Aquino:
Round 1: Our next bout is at middleweight. Aquino is in the red trunks. Huber is in the black trunks with green accents. Our referee in charge is Al Guinee. The stream is flaking out again but it appears that Huber got a takedown and got Aquino's back at some point in the first 2:20. Aquino tries to roll out and Huber flattens him out from his back, at which point the stream crashes again - but Huber got the TKO shortly after.
Final result: Dan Huber via TKO at 3:03 of the first round.
Matthew Frincu vs. Eric Regan:
Round 1: Regan is in black trunks with white trim and comes out to "Ironman," causing Bas Rutten to make robot noises. Frincu is in the black/red trunks and comes out to "I Can't Stop." Our referee for this welterweight fight is Ryan Brueggeman. Frincu comes out swinging and Regan tries to get a takedown to no avail. Frincu pours it on with kicks and knees and puts him on the ground at 35 seconds, letting him back up for more knees to the body. Regan falls down and Frincu lets him up again. Regan's in big trouble though. He shoots for a single and Frincu slips out easily. Regan goes down from another knee at 1:45 and the announcers are asking the ref to step in - he does but it's only to call time. He asks Regan if he's okay to continue, he says yes, and he gets walloped again at the restart. Regan gets a takedown but walks away and lets Frincu up. It's pretty clear why Frincu is 5-1 and his foe is 15-24. The ref calls time again at 3:17 - this time it's clear it was for a lost mouthpiece by Regan. Regan tries a flying kick, he gets a lucky shot in when Frincu slips out of a takedown, then gets a takedown off a flying kick with 8 seconds left. Frincu is saved from an armbar attempt by the bell.
Round 2: Regan shoots for a takedown, misses, gets nailed with a left kick and HE'S OUT COLD. It's over in the first fifteen seconds of R2.
Final result: Matthew 'The Thunder From Down Under" Frincu by knockout at 0:14 of the second round.
Joe Madrid vs. Erik Villalobos:
Round 1: Madrid is in red trunks, Villalobos the white. Our referee for this bantamweight fight is Ryan Brueggeman. Madrid pushes him into the fence but Villalobos gets his back and slams him into the mat in side control. Villalobos looks to trap the right arm and hammer but he gets swept. They spring back up and Madrid jumps on his back looking for a choke. Villalobos is trying to peel him off, falls backward with Madrid, and that shakes him off momentarily. Madrid hasn't given up though and rolls with Villalobos as he tries to turn out. He finally gets out at 3:08 and Villalobos slams him down as the ref warns Madrid to defend himself. Villalobos tries to pull his left leg free for a full mount but he's doing plenty of damage as is. Madrid is bleeding from his forehead. 10-9 Villalobos.
Round 2: The first six seconds of R2 have been on a loop for two minutes. When we come back Villalobos has his back on the ground. Bas Rutten and Kenny Rice say he's been there almost the whole time. Madrid sweeps to the top in full guard. Both men receive a call for more work. Madrid tries to posture up with short time for lefts and rights and elbows but can't land much. If the announcers are right that's another round to Villalobos.
Round 3: Villalobos goes for a takedown early. Madrid puts his back on the fence. Madrid tries to drop levels for a double. Villalobos' corner tells him to respond with elbows. As soon as he tries Madrid takes him down, but he gets up quickly and goes to take Madrid's back - at which point the stream freezes again. While we were away Villalobos got on top on the ground and laid a pounding on Madrid, to the point Bas and Kenny say it was in danger of being stopped. This should go down as a unanimous decision for Villalobos.
Final result: The judges score this contest 30-27 X3 for Erik Villalobos.