clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

WSOF 27 predictions, preview for 'Future Champs' NBC Sports-televised main card

World Series of Fighting (WSOF) returns to NBC Sports Network this weekend (Sat., Jan. 23, 2016) with its latest mixed martial arts (MMA) event, which will take place inside FedEx Forum in Memphis, Tennessee.

The headline bout for WSOF 27: "Future Champs" is a Light Heavyweight showdown between undefeated Russian Shamil Gamzatov -- who was originally scheduled to fight Andreas Spang at WSOF 26 in Dec. 2015 -- against tournament semifinalist Teddy Holder.

Let's break down all of the WSOF 27 main card matches below:

205 lbs.: Teddy Holder (9-2) vs. Shamil Gamzatov (9-0)

Holder is an ideal candidate to headline a card in Memphis as a native of Bartlett, Tenn., even though he ended up there when WSOF shuffled the card because of and injury. Holder's stunning knockout of Thiago Silva made's "Top 5 of 2015," so the undefeated Gamzatov has to know what he's up against in his Decagon debut.

Gamzatov comes in with the confidence of a finisher, ending 44 percent of his bouts with knockouts and 56 percent with submissions, so we'll soon know if his record is inflated by fighting minor league competition overseas as compared to the North American circuit. Holder is known primarily as a striker, but does have two submissions in his nine wins so it can't be ruled out, although his defense wasn't adequate against David Branch. The likelihood he wouldn't have shored up his game in the interim is low, though, and he'll be highly motivated for this hometown fight.

Final result: Teddy Holder via split decision

155 lbs.: Caros Fodor (10-4) vs. Luiz Firmino (18-6)

Fodor makes his return to the North American fight scene after going three out of four in ONE FC. And to WSOF's delight, he is also the brother of caped crusader Phoenix Jones. He's tailor-made for this card given his nickname is "The Future." His opponent, "Buscape" Firmino, is a multi-time Decagon veteran who was also featured on The Ultimate Fighter (TUF), though it's no surprise he didn't move on to UFC after Dana White buried his performance.

To be fair, Firmino can be a "blanket" in many of his fights, given 10 of his 18 wins have been ground out via decision. As a Blackzilians-trained fighter, though, you'd expect him to have a formidable submission game, which accounts for seven of his wins, meaning the only thing you really can't expect from him is a knockout. Fodor does have knockout power, but he's also a submission artist himself (50 percent of his wins) so the odds of this being a chess match fight are high. On the other hand, "styles make fights" and if the two neutralize each other this could just be a brawl.

Final result: Caros Fodor via unanimous decision

170 lbs.: Jaleel Willis (5-0) vs. Chauncey Foxworth (1-0)

Two unheralded rising prospects benefit from the exposure they'll receive on the main card for NBC Sports, although if WSOF has higher hopes for either man, it's likely to be Willis. That's because 80 percent of Willis' fights end via technical knockout in the first round. And if his YouTube highlights are any indication, he's incredibly deadly if he's on top on the ground. Foxworth's one and only professional fight to date is online as well, though, and it shows him wobbling Linc Battee with a head kick and pounding it out on the ground at 3:16. If it's power vs. experience, though, Willis has the competitive edge.

Final result: Jaleel Willis via technical knockout in the second round

145 lbs.: Jorge Medina (4-2) vs. Bryce Mitchell (4-0)

In another pair of fighters with nothing to lose and a great platform to showcase themselves, these Featherweight up-and-comers come along at an ideal time given Lance Palmer just lost the title and a new crop of talent may want to vault ahead of him in line to face Alexandre de Almeida. Medina comes in with zero knockouts and three submissions, and his weapon of choice is the rear-naked choke. The undefeated Mitchell has won all of his fights via submission and "Thug Nasty" likes the rear-naked choke, too, getting it 75 percent of the time. Unlike our Welterweight fight this one is virtually a coin flip.

Final result: Bryce Mitchell via unanimous decision

That's a wrap!

Remember: will deliver live coverage of WSOF 27: "Future Champs" on Saturday night (Jan. 23, 2016), with the first televised fight taking place at 9 p.m. ET on NBC Sports Network.

See you then!

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the MMA Mania Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of all your fighting news from MMA Mania