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WSOF 23 live results stream: 'Gaethje vs. Palomino 2' play-by-play updates

World Series of Fighting (WSOF) 23: "Gaethje vs. Palomino 2" takes place TONIGHT (Fri., Sept. 18, 2015) in Phoenix, Arizona. In the NBC Sports main event, Lightweight Justin Gaethje defends his championship against Luis Palomino for a second time.

Lucas Noonan/WSOF

World Series of Fighting (WSOF) 23: "Gaethje vs. Palomino" airs live on NBC Sports TONIGHT (Fri., Sept. 18, 2015) from Comerica Theatre in Phoenix, Arizona.

Tonight's top fight has the Lightweight champion making another title defense against a man he already beat in a classic earlier this year -- Justin Gaethje accepts a second challenge from Luis Palomino. The co-main event will crown the inaugural Light Heavyweight champion as David Branch squares off with Teddy Holder.

All of the action-packed televised bouts air this evening on NBC Sports starting at 10 p.m. ET! will deliver LIVE results and real-time play-by-play coverage of WSOF 23: "Gaethje vs. Palomino 2" below, including "Prelims" undercard action that starts at 7 p.m. ET.

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 23) about the bouts before you leave and chat with all the other Maniacs during the show -- it's always a lot of fun!


Justin Gaethje (c) vs. Luis Palomino: Gaethje via TKO 4:30 R2.
David Branch vs. Teddy Holder: Branch via RNC 2:21 R1.
Timur Valiev vs. Tito Jones: Valiev UD 30-27 X2, 29-28.
Phoenix Jones vs. Roberto Yong: Jones via sub (scissors choke) 3:09 R1.
Brian Foster vs. LaRue Burley: Foster via KO 0:32 R1.
Brian Grinnell vs. Vagab Vagabov: Vagabov via TKO at 2:29 R2.
Krasimir Mladenov vs. Clifford Starks: Starks UD 30-27 X2, 29-28.
Danny Davis Jr. vs. Matthew Frincu: Frincu SD 28-29, 30-27, 29-28.
David Nuzzo vs. Andres Ponce: Nuzzo UD 29-28, 30-27 X2.
Joey Miolla vs. Randy Steinke: Miolla via KO at 3:55 of R2.
Jeff Fletcher vs. Benny Madrid: Madrid via sub (RNC) 1:26 R1.


Justin Gaethje (c) vs. Luis Palomino

Palomino is in the red trunks for tonight's main event, 23-10 to date in his career, born in Lima, Peru but fighting out of Miami, Florida. The champion Gaethje is in the white trunks, 14-0, fighting out of Safford, Arizona. Our referee in charge of this lightweight title fight is Ryan Brueggeman.

Round 1: With a touch of the gloves we are underway! Gaethje is immediately pushing forward. Leg kicks are the story right away, though he's taking a few power shots from Palomino to deliver them. Gaethje gets hurt with a left hook, Palomino hits a knee up the middle, but Gaethje rolls on the ground and gets back up. Gaethje gets away at 1:30 and then comes forward throwing bombs. He's leaning forward against Palomino to hold himself up. Gaethje hits a double leg at 2:12. Palomino is right back up at the halfway point. Gaethje hurts Palomino with an uppercut as he tries to block a takedown attempt. Gaethje spins to Palomino's back as he covers up. Gaethje drives hard knees to the body then throws Palomino to the ground right as he gets up, landing in side control. Gaethje stands up and backs away at 3:48 to force Palomino to engage on the feet. Palomino throws a few leg kicks of his own. Gaethje throws a spinning back kick then has to cover up as Palomino throws hard hands. Gaethje gets kicked in the cup and the ref calls time. Round one ends with Gaethje getting one last leg kick. Insane first round. Crazy good.

Round 2: Another glove touch and we're underway again. Gaethje is trying to corner Palomino against the fence, still hunting for those leg kicks, but Gaethje has to cover up as Palomino throws combos. Gaethje rocks Palomino again at 1:01 and goes for the neck but can't get it. Palomino has a cut over his left eyebrow. Palomino breaks free at 1:36. Palomino with a knee to the body. Gaethje with a knee to the head. Palomino with a leg kick at the halfway mark. Gaethje pressing forward again. Gaethje decks Palomino with a right hand but Palomino stays standing. Gaethje drops Palomino with a leg kick at 3:05. Gaethje keeps backing Palomino up for hooks and jabs. Gaethje with a leg kick with a minute left in R2. Palomino goes high but it's checked. Gaethje covers up for a combo then drops Palomino with a big right, and the ref waves it off with 30 seconds left! Gaethje does a backflip off the cage fence to celebrate and lands on his butt. He's so happy though he doesn't care. What a fight!

Final result: Justin Gaethje does it again at 4:30 of the second round via technical knockout.


David Branch vs. Teddy Holder

Round 1: Holder is in white trunks for tonight's co-main event. Branch is in blue, red and white trunks. Holder is 9-1 out of Memphis, Tennessee by way of Henderson, Tennessee. Branch is 16-3 out of Brooklyn, New York. Our referee in charge of the inaugural light heavyweight title fight is Al Guinee. Branch lands the first leg kick. Branch rushes in and clinches at 28 seconds then takes Holder down 10 seconds later. Holder is doing his best to elbow Branch in the head off the bottom. Branch stands up to rain down blows and switches to side control. 90 seconds gone so far. Branch blasts Holder with two right elbows to the head then takes the back with the hooks in. Branch is going for the rear naked choke hard and Holder taps at 2:21.

Final result: David Branch becomes a dual champion via rear naked choke submission at 2:21 of the first round.


Timur Valiev vs. Tito Jones

Round 1: Black trunks, 11-7, fighting out of Tempe, Arizona by way of Panama City, Florida is Tito Jones. Black/red/white trunks, 9-1, fighting out of Dagestan, Russian is Timur Valiev. Our referee in charge is Ryan Brueggeman. Jones immediately takes the outside to circle at the bell. Both men are moving quickly, but Jones seems to flinch any time Valiev even feints a strike. Valiev connects with a couple of kicks as Jones keeps trying to move away. Jones catches Valiev's foot in the air and pops Valiev with a shot that knocks him down, then lets him back up. Valiev misses with a spinning backfist. Valiev lands a slapping leg kick. He keeps trying to back Jones to the fence and Jones keeps slipping to the side. Another hard inside leg kick from Valiev. Jones lands a knee in clinch. Body kick from Valiev and one last leg kick before R1 ends. If you can win a round by running away for five minutes and getting one flash knockdown, it's arguable that Jones just did.

Round 2: Valiev ties Jones up at 29 seconds and tries to throw a few knees. He keeps trying to cut Jones off but the one thing he can consistently land is the leg kicks. Said leg kicks may be slowing Jones down slightly because a few of Valiev's lefts are connecting. Valiev is getting close to pinning Jones against the cage at the halfway point then switches up to get a takedown at 2:50. Valiev is trying to lay in body shots and elbows from full guard, but right now he's the one bleeding, smearing it on Jones' chest. Jones does his best to tie Valiev up, but it doesn't look like any fun eating hammerfists. Bureggeman warns Valiev to keep his fingers out of Jones' eyes. A solid R2 goes to Valiev.

Round 3: Valiev misses with a spinning head kick at 0:24 but props for the attempt. Jones is no longer running away - he's coming to the center to trade. He may realize that's the only way to win - pray he can outpoint Valiev in the exchanges this round. Nice trade on both sides at 2:14. They are getting wilder in their striking. Valiev hits a hard double leg at 2:41 and is in half guard immediately. Both fighters are breathing hard as the camera man standing right outside the cage gets a close-up. Jones gets up at 3:46 but ends up eating right hands unblocked from Valiev so he grounds himself again. Valiev has side control with 40 seconds remaining. Brueggeman warns them to improve with short time left. Valiev gets one last GNP flurry before the final bell. He should win two out of three rounds.

Final result: Timur Valiev wins via unanimous decision - 30-27 X2 and 29-28.


Phoenix Jones vs. Roberto Yong

Round 1: Yong is in the black trunks, 2-2, fighting out of Phoenix, Arizona by way of Sacramento, California. Jones is in the American flag trunk, 5-1-1, fighting out of Seattle, Washington. Our referee is Ryan Brueggeman. Jones and Yong meet in the center and Jones pushes him toward the fence. Yong slips away at 29 seconds and starts coming forward with strikes. Jones ties him up and then breaks. Yong comes forward throwing bombs at 46 seconds and Jones grabs another front headlock. Jones may be trying to choke him out this time, but instead goes for a knee, a right hand, then grabs the head again. Jones is trying to lean back to get it but Yong pops out and comes forward bombing and Jones is being warned to fight back against the fence. 2:20 gone in a crazy fight so far. Jones rushes Yong to the fence and takes him down into side control. He goes North South and may be looking for a kimura, then scissors his legs around Yong's neck. Yong taps out at 3:09 and Jones nearly spills out of the cage head first trying to celebrate on the fence.

Final result: Phoenix Jones defeats Roberto Yong via submission at 3:09 of the first round.


Brian Foster vs. LaRue Burley

Round 1: Burley is in the red trunks, 6-0, fighting out of Gilbert, Arizona. Foster is in the black trunks, 22-7, fighting out of Inglewood, California by way of Sallisaw, Oklahoma. Our referee in charge of this lightweight fight is Al Guinee. Foster lands a right hand and a combo 25 seconds in and Burley starts trying to swing back but gets KO'd with a right seven seconds later. One hammer on the ground landed but it was academic. Foster does a backflip to celebrate.

Final result: Brian Foster wins by knockout at 0:32 of the first round.


Brian Grinnell vs. Vagab Vagabov

Round 1: Grinnell makes his way to the cage in silver and blue trunks. Vagabov is in black and white Hayabusa trunks. Our referee in charge of this middleweight fight is Al Guinee. Vagabov and Grinnell get tied up quickly against the fence and Vagabov tries to snatch an arm standing. It doesn't work and Grinnell ends up on top on the ground with Vagabov trying to take the head off his back. It's been a stalemate on the ground for about two minutes now. Grinnell is slowly trying to inch his way up in half guard - so slowly you can see paint drying a thousand miles away. Grinnell is landing elbows and body shots sporadically but only to open up his creeping advance and to prevent it being stood up. Grinnell wins an extremely boring 10-9 round.

Round 2: Grinnell tries to catch Vagabov off guard to open R2. Grinnell shoots at 20 seconds and can't get anything. Vagabov knocks Grinnell's mouthpiece out with a shot but Grinnell gets another takedown and then backs off at 50 seconds to take the back as Vagabov tries to stand. He's got the back standing at 1:12 but Vagabov pops his head out the back at 1:26. Guinee calls time to to put Grinnell's mouthpiece back in. Vagabov lands one shot before Grinnell goes for the single leg again. Vagabov hops away lands a big knee, starts to unload with knees in the clinch, the referee waves off the fight. Vagabov keeps unloading with knees even though the fight was already stopped and everything is total confusion. The replay shows Vagabov should clearly have known when the referee put his hands on him that the fight was over, but Vagabov blatantly ignored him and threw another knee and a hand to the head.

Final result: Vagab Vagabov is your winner at 2:29 of the second round via TKO.


Krasimir Mladenov vs. Clifford Starks

Round 1: Mladenov is in red trunks with a yellow logo on his left leg. Starks is in red, white and black Venum trunks for this fight. Our referee in charge for this middleweight bout is Ryan Brueggeman. Mladenov seems comfortable with letting Starks control the center and circling around him in the early going. Of course given Mladenov's pedigree he's probably just waiting for Starks to overcommit on a strike and shoot through or underneath it for a takedown. Starks is landing some good shots in the meantime though. Mladenov shoots at 2:15, misses, and pays for it with a left from Starks. Mladenov has blood coming down into his right eye. Starks keeps finding a home for the left jab and right hook. He also goes to the body when the opening is there. By the end of round one Mladenov's right side from his eyebrow to his chest is smeared with blood. 10-9 Starks.

Round 2: The first minute of R2 is an almost perfect copy of the first minute of R1. Mladenov lands the occasional shot, but he's not getting the better of the exchanges, and the 77" to 68" reach advantage is pretty evident for Starks. Starks lands a really clean left hook at 2:45, following up with some body blows as Mladenov dances and circles. Brueggeman calls time at 3:14 to check the cut over Mladenov's right eye. The doctor lets him continue with a warning that if the cut goes lower on the eyelid they'll decide to stop it. Starks immediately goes after it on the restart. Mladenov gets a single leg but gets caught in a choke from Starks who ends up on top in full mount when he lets it go. 10-9.

Round 3: Mladenov is in a big hole now in R3 and was a bit lucky the doctor didn't stop it between rounds. Despite that he hasn't changed up his attack at all - he's still circling around Starks and letting 'Big Cat' control the cage. Starks is executing a technically perfect striking style - chin tucked, hands up, delivering blows and avoiding taking hard shots in return. Any time Mladenov tries to close the distance he gets tagged multiple times. Starks with a nice uppercut at 2:38. Mladenov gets caught looking up at the big screen trying to see how much time is left. He keeps wiping the blood away from his right eye. Even if Mladenov would risk getting knocked out by opening up he might as well go for broke because he has nothing to lose. Instead he goes for a single leg and lets precious time tick away as he can't get Starks down. Brueggeman calls for improvement at 4:16 as they stall against the fence. Body punches by Starks when they break. The two decide to slug it out for the final 15 seconds, Mladenov gets a late takedown, but it won't help. Easy UD for Starks.

Final result: The judges score this contest 30-27, 30-27 and 29-28 all for Clifford Starks.


Danny Davis Jr. vs. Matthew Frincu

Round 1: Davis comes out in gray trunks with @DEE1LV printed on the black trim. Frincu comes out in kickboxing trunks, black with red lettering. Our referee for this welterweight bout is Al Guinee. Davis takes the center quickly and tries to hunt Frincu down to no effect. Davis goes for a single leg and Frincu hops to the fence before he breaks free at the minute mark. Frincu comes over the top with an elbow as Davis tries to clinch up, and then pushes Davis into the fence. They break at 1:53 and move back to the center. Frincu is looking to unload a big left hand. Davis tries to keep him at distance via kicks. Frincu throws a straight left and pushes Davis to the fence then breaks at 3:06. Frincu's corner calls for a body punch and he delivers. Frincu keeps landing great individual strikes but isn't putting combos together. Davis pushes Frincu to the ground but can't capitalize before he gets back up. Davis goes for a throw but Frincu breaks it off. Davis goes backward into the fence off a strike right as R1 ends. 10-9 Frincu.

Round 2: There's a weird moment 11 seconds into R2 as Guinee briefly stops the action, as apparently the fighters were complaining about the canvas being slippery. Moments later we see Davis ice skating across the cage unintentionally. Davis gets a takedown at 1:10 but Frincu is back up 8 seconds later. Davis lands a decent body kick and a few combos. Frincu lands a audibly hard left hand at 2:20 but Davis' chin holds up. Frincu is practically telegraphing that it's what he wants now but Davis is having a hard time stopping the southpaw attack. He lands a straight left and a kick to the body, and Frincu's corner screams that Davis is badly hurt. 90 seconds left in the round. Frincu throws a couple of spin kicks and then connects with a right hook. Frincu stalks Davis for the last 30 seconds but has to settle for an outside leg trip takedown and kick to the body for another 10-9.

Round 3: Frincu takes the back standing at 39 seconds, then lands a head kick as Davis tries to escape. Davis wobbled a bit but didn't fall down. Frincu has a trickle of blood in the right side of his head but it feels like the sight of his own juices has mad him more aggressive. When Davis tries to go for his own damage Frincu is usually a half step out of his reach. Davis doubles over like he got hurt by a kick but then seemingly was playing possum and hits Frincu with a few good shots as he comes forward. Davis is managing to duck underneath some of the lefts - but not all of them. A straight left jab at 3:46 looked nasty. Davis tries to tie up for clinch with 22 seconds left but can't take advantage of it. He throws an exhausted kick right at the bell as both men seem to have emptied their tanks.

Final result: The judges score this contest 29-28 Davis, 30-27 Frincu, 29-28 Frincu by split decision.


David Nuzzo vs. Andres Ponce

Round 1: Ponce was one of three fighters to miss weight last night, but this is still being contested at bantamweight. Nuzzo is out in the black and gray trunks with GrindTime logos. Ponce is in black and red trunks, with a bright yellow streak in his hair. Our referee in charge is Ryan Brueggeman. Ponce wastes no time unloading with leg kicks repeatedly. Sonnen seems concerned he might gas out. Ponce purposefully goes to the ground trying to lure Nuzzo into his guard. Nuzzo avoids it at first then tries to get into half guard and elbow him in the head. He scrambles back to his feet at 1:46. Ponce is throwing head kicks too but seems to have slowed, and Nuzzo is throwing kicks of his own. Nuzzo gets Ponce against the fence at 3:15 and seems to have him hurt. He gets full mount at 3:38 and is unloading with more elbows to the head. Ponce is just covering up trying to survive to the bell. 10-9 for Nuzzo.

Round 2: Ponce comes out firing wildly and knocks himself to the ground at 14 seconds, gets back up, then Nuzzo kicks the leg out from under him and is on top in half guard. Ponce is trying to hold Nuzzo's head and body down, but Nuzzo improves his posture by moving to full guard so he can sit up and throw down. Ponce tries to sneak a leg up around Nuzzo's head to no avail. Brueggeman stops the fight at 2:59 so Nuzzo can put in a mouthpiece he lost. Brueggeman calls for improvement at 3:47 as they inch their way toward the fence, right over the NBCSN logo. He gives another warning to improve at 4:10. Another 10-9 for Nuzzo.

Round 3: Ponce hurts Nuzzo him with some rights and a spinning back kick a half minute into the third but doesn't drop him. Ponce gets a little too fancy though and Nuzzo takes it to the ground again. Ponce gets back up at 2:28 and comes forward firing and gets a takedown of his own, being on top in Nuzzo's guard. He's in half guard looking to improve but time is running down with under two minutes left. Nuzzo sits up but is pushed back down at 3:40. He scrambles again at 3:50, Ponce tries to take the back, Nuzzo slips it and now he's the man on top with under a minute left. Brueggeman calls for improved position so Nuzzo takes full mount for the final 30 seconds. Ponce keeps his arms up over his head, sweeps with ten seconds left, and tries to jump over the knees with a Superman punch but can't land. Nuzzo should take the decision.

Final result: The judges score this contest 29-28, 30-27 and 30-27 all for David Nuzzo.


Joey Miolla vs. Randy Steinke

Round 1: Miolla is in short black trunks with no logos or sponsors whatsoever. Steinke on the other hand has a whole bunch of sponsors on his trunks, giving them a black and gold appearance. Our referee for this bantamweight bout is Al Guinee. Steinke tries to control the center and force Miolla to work from the outside, successfully landing a right hook when Miolla tries to push into range. Steinke drops levels and puts Miolla against the fence, but he slides to the side and breaks free at 1:40. Miolla is starting to throw more but he gets taken down in the process, but Miolla goes for a guillotine when Steinke gets it to the ground. Steinke signals to the ref that he's okay with a thumbs up twice and tries to elbow Miolla's knee. Steinke breaks free and is on top but Miolla is able to get back to his feet at 3:07. Miolla breaks away from another takedown attempt at 4:01. Steinke lands a few hard leg kicks before R1 ends. 10-9 Steinke.

Round 2: Steinke is mixing it up nicely to open R2 with combos and leg kicks. Miolla goes for an uppercut but can't land it flush. Miolla is getting wary of these leg kicks and flinching before they land. He tries to turn one into a takedown at 1:58, doesn't get it, but hurts Steinke with a left hand as he's trying to reset. Steinke is back on his feet with 2:30 left but Miolla has to feel he can ring Steinke's bell again if he can find the range. And Miolla FINDS IT again this time with the right knee to the head at 3:54, right as Steinke appeared to be shooting, and Steinke is KTFO. Miolla throws one right hand on the ground afterward but it's already over.

Final result: Joey Miolla defeats Randy Steinke via knockout at 3:55 of the second round.


Jeff Fletcher vs. Benny Madrid

Fletcher is in long black trunks. Madrid is in short Jaco trunks and has a long ponytail tied back. For some reason after both fighters enter the cage we go to a music video set to WSOF highlights, then Chael Sonnen and Ray Sefo introduce the night's opening bout. Madrid missed weight badly last night but this is still allegedly a Lightweight fight. Our referee in charge is Ryan Brueggeman.

Round 1: Madrid gets a takedown 10 seconds into the fight and ties up the head as Fletcher stands back up, throwing knees. Fletcher grounds himself to avoid more and tries to escape but Madrid takes him right down to a full mount. Fletcher gives up his back and Madrid quickly gets both hooks in. Fletcher taps to the rear naked choke at 1:26. Fletcher starts freaking out afterward, clearly unaware he just submitted

Final result: Benny Madrid wins via submission to a rear naked choke at 1:26 of the first round.


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