World Series of Fighting (WSOF) 27: "Future Champs" airs live on NBC Sports Network TONIGHT (Sat., Jan. 23, 2016) from FedEx Forum in Memphis, Tennessee.
Mixed martial arts (MMA) fans can look forward to a hard-hitting, NBC Sports-televised fight between former Light Heavyweight tournament semifinalist Teddy Holder (9-2) and undefeated Russian prospect Shamil Gamzatov (9-0).
A late change because of injury scratched Mike Ricci from this card, so in the main event "The Future" Caros Fodor will take on late replacement and WSOF veteran Luiz "Buscape" Firmino (18-6).
All of the action-packed WSOF 27 televised bouts air this evening on NBC Sports starting at 10 p.m. ET! MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE results and real-time play-by-play coverage of WSOF 27: "Future Champs" below, including "Prelims" undercard action that starts online at 7:00 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 27) about the bouts before you leave and chat with all the other Maniacs during the show -- it's always a lot of fun!
WSOF 27 QUICK RESULTS:
Teddy Holder vs. Shamil Gamzatov -- Gamzatov by TKO 2:32 R1.
Caros Fodor vs. Luiz Firmino -- Firmino by UD 29-28 X3.
Jaleel Willis vs. Chauncey Foxworth -- Willis by UD 30-27 X3.
Jorge Medina vs. Bryce Mitchell -- Mitchell by sub (RNC) 1:02 R1.
Justin Hartley vs. Wade Johnson -- Johnson by SD 29-28, 28-29, 29-28.
Zach Underwood vs. Jason Williams -- Williams by TKO 1:28 R1.
Alvin Williams vs. Wes Sharp -- Williams by KO 0:30 R1.
WSOF 27 PLAY-BY-PLAY UPDATES:
Teddy Holder vs. Shamil Gamzatov
Round 1: The undefeated 9-0 Gamzatov enters in black trunks, while 9-2 Holder high-fives fans on his way to the Decagon in white trunks. Gamzatov hails from Dagestan, Russia and Holder fights out of Memphis by way of Henderson, Tennessee. Our referee in charge is Herb Dean. Holder throws a front kick early as Gamzatov cautiously feels out his opponent. Gamzatov tries a right head kick but doesn't have the range. Gamzatov finally grazes the chin with a left hook and Holder seems unphased. Gamzatov lands an overhand right and Holder puts a left on his beard. Holder may have gotten poked in the left eye and he's still trying to clear his vision. Herb Dean reminds him to keep fighting, he gets clobbered by a big right hand that drops him to his knees, and Gamzatov gets the stoppage right at the halfway point of the round.
Final result: Shamil Gamzatov wins by TKO at 2:32 of the first round.
Caros Fodor vs. Luiz Firmino
The 10-4 Fodor is the first to head to the Decagon for the main event. He's wearing white trunks for this fight and fights out of Kirkland, Washington. 'Buscape' Firmino is 18-6 in the gray trunks and fights out of Coconut Creek, Florida by way of Joao Pessoa, Paraiba, Brazil. Our referee for the main event is Herb Dean. Let's do this.
Round 1: Firmino rushes to the center and immediately starts banging on Fodor, and the two wind up clinched up against the fence with Firmino looking for a takedown. He gets it at 31 seconds but Fodor pops right back to his feet. Firmino tries to sweep out the left leg and get the fight to the ground again. Fodor hops around on one leg, Firmino switches to a double leg takedown, switches back to the single again, and finally lets go - taking a knee from Fodor as he does. Now it's Fodor who goes forward aggressively. Firmino gets a takedown at 2:09. Fodor throws his legs around the neck hoping for an armbar or triangle but can't cinch up the position. Firmino inches his way toward a full mount but Fodor successfully recovers guard and throws a few strikes off his back. Firmino tries to posture up and drop bombs, comes back down into guard, and eats some elbows from Fodor. Fodor slyly trips Firmino when he tries to posture up again and jumps on top in half guard. Fodor tries to get Firmino's right arm and take it home as a trophy but there's not enough time left in R1 to secure a submission. 10-9 Firmino.
Round 2: Firmino pushes Fodor into the fence to open R2 and holds him there as they battle for a dominant position. Fodor gets an arm around his neck as Firmino gets the takedown at 1:27 but it wasn't tight enough to do anything. Firmino inches his way up in side control as Dean calls for work. Fodor recovers to half guard. Firmino tries to get the left knee through and take full mount, it's not there, so he goes to side control again. Side leads to full mount at 2:44. This is classic Luiz Firmino - get dominant positions on the ground and tire out his opposition. Fodor tries to sweep but Firmino rolls with him and stays on top, now in full guard. Firmino gets off a few hammers, postures up, but Fodor is defending strikes fairly well and not letting 'Buscape' land the big shots. Fodor stands up at 4:37, Firmino hangs on to the right leg for a single, and while he doesn't get the takedown he keeps it until the round ends. 10-9 again.
Round 3: Fodor pops off a few strikes to open our final round. Both men look sweaty and exhausted at this point, but Fodor is still able to find the fortitude to connect with strikes. Firmino seems willing to go toe to toe for a little bit, but at 1:15 he's going for the takedown again. Firmino never gives up on his takedowns -- he may switch from a double to a single to a leg trip and back again but he just keeps grinding away at it. Dean gets tired of it though and restarts them at the center at 2:30. Firmino also got a warning for putting his fingers in the cage as Dean brought them to the center. 'Buscape' puts Fodor right back against the cage trying to single the left leg. The crowd is getting impatient and a few scattered boos echo through the FedEx Forum. Dean warns them to work at 4:08. Several more warnings follow to no avail. Firmino is running out the clock and exciting or not you can't blame him for the winning strategy.
Final result: The judges score it 29-28 X3 for Luiz 'Buscape' Firmino by unanimous decision.
Jaleel Willis vs. Chauncey Foxworth
Round 1: Foxworth fights out of Hot Springs, Arkansas in the white trunks. Willis wears the red, white and blue trunks and fights out of Memphis, Tennessee. Our referee in charge is Herb Dean. Willis goes for a takedown immediately and lands on top 13 seconds in after a mighty back and forth struggle. He's quickly in side control and tries to jump to full mount but that allows Foxworth to get back up. Foxworth throws a couple of good knees until Willis can get it back to the ground in half guard. He tries to post up to do damage but Foxworth is keeping his arms tied up fairly well. A few good right hands do get through to the head. Things open up a little more as we pass the three minute mark, Willis gets up after landing a few hammers and goes for side control again. Foxworth gets up and Willis trips him right back down. Willis takes the back at 4:28 with both hooks in and he's going hard for the rear naked choke before the bell. Foxworth survives but I'd put that down as a 10-8 dominant round for Willis.
Round 2: Willis and Foxworth rush to the center to start R2 and Willis pops him with a left. Foxworth's corner is yelling at him to "let the hands go." He pushes forward and Willis lands some leg kicks then goes up with the hands for some more bombs. Leg kicks clash. Willis bounces back and forth on his feet. Foxworth slips as Willis throws a good leg kick. Decent left hook from Foxworth. Hard leg kick by Willis in response. Foxworth fends off a first takedown attempt but Willis stays on it and muscles him to the ground with a leg trip assisting him the effort at 2:49. Willis is going to the body and the head on top and it's like watching him chip away at Foxworth's resolve, one piece at a time. Foxworth tries to stand and is thrown right back down at 4:36. A less brutal round but still 10-9 in Willis' favor.
Round 3: Willis wastes no time throwing Foxworth to the ground eight seconds into the third round, and the partisan Memphis crowd roars with approval. Unfortunately Herb Dean calls time because Willis has a cut on his nose, and Dean wanted the doctor to look at it, because it was spraying blood all over Foxworth. To Dean's credit he restarts them with Willis on top in half guard, which too many referees forget to do after a medical check - putting the fighters in the same position they were before. This has to be doubly miserable for the overmatched Foxworth now - he's getting beat up and he's being SOAKED in his opponent's blood. I'm not exaggerating - blood is gushing out of that one little cut and spraying everywhere.
Foxworth is able to stand back up but eats a HARD slam to the ground, and ten seconds later Dean calls time again to check the cut. Once they clean it up and check him over Dean once again restarts them in the correct position. There's little Foxworth can do but lay there and take it as he gets smothered then covered in a spray of blood. The Decagon canvas has become a painter's canvas, Willis' face is the ink, and Foxworth's body is the brush. Willis stands again with a little over 90 seconds left. Willis is taken down again at 3:48 and that one should seal the deal for what was a one-sided affair and in the end a bloody one as well. Willis gets up and is taken back down two more times before the final horn.
Final result: All three judges score it 30-27 for Jaleel Willis by unanimous decision.
Jorge Medina vs. Bryce Mitchell
Round 1: Mitchell is 4-0 in the brown camou trunks trunks and fights out of Searcy, Arkansas. Medina is 4-2 in the white trunks and fights out of Nashville, Tennessee. Our referee in charge is Herb Dean. Medina goes for a hip toss but it's Mitchell who gets the dominant position when it goes to the ground, quickly taking the back and going for the rear naked choke. Medina taps out just past the one minute mark.
Final result: 'Thug Nasty' Bryce Mitchell via submission (RNC) at 1:02 of the first round.
Justin Hartley vs. Wade Johnson
Johnson is 9-1 in the orange and white camouflage trunks. Hartley is in the plain gray black and sports a 3-2 record. 27 to 25, 6'0" to 6'2", 170.7 to 168.7 and 70" to 76" reach from Hartley to Johnson. Johnson fights out of Bradford, Arkansas in his Decagon debut. Hartley fights out of Nashville for his debut in WSOF. Our referee is Herb Dean.
Round 1: Johnson starts out aggressively, circling and feeling out the range, but that all comes to a stop 48 seconds in as Hartley has his fingers out on a right and Johnson gets poked in the eye. His vision clears and Herb Dean restarts the action with a warning to Hartley to keep his fingers in. Hartley is landing a few good kicks. He keeps Johnson alert for a possible takedown but doesn't pursue it. Both men trade in the center for a few seconds. Johnson is firing away hard leg kicks of his own and then gets a flash knockdown with a hard right. Johnson tries to swarm him on the ground, Hartley gets back up and body locks Johnson against the fence, and the action stalls there. Hartley lands a knee to the body as they jockey for position then drops down for a single. He gets the takedown at 3:34 and quickly goes to take the back, which gives Johnson the scape to his feet. Johnson is head hunting with high kicks. Johnson gets a takedown at 4:18, Hartley tries to roll and sweep, and both men wind up standing. Johnson knocks Hartley down again with a left and goes for the anaconda but Hartley gives Dean a thumbs up. 10-9 for Johnson.
Round 2: This round opens with Herb Dean calling for time to examine a hematoma under Johnson's left eye. The doctor clears him to continue. Harley charges forward swinging at 1:02. Johnson responds by tying him up against the fence looking for a leg trip, eating a few rabbit punches from Hartley, and Hartley makes Johnson defend a guillotine so he can drop levels for a takedown - he gets it at 2:06. Johnson has his back to the fence though making it difficult for Hartley to pass or get a dominant position. Hartley goes for an anaconda and Johnson calmly defends against it, while Hartley tries to push off the fence for leverage, but Johnson spins out and takes Hartley's back looking for a submission. He tries to go for an armbar and Hartley escapes, and both men stand at 4:07. Johnson cracks Hartley with a solid right in the waning seconds of R3 but Hartley gets another takedown. 10-9 Hartley.
Round 3: Johnson backs Hartley up toward the fence throwing rights to open the third round, and he wobbles Hartley with a shot as the two exchange, forcing Hartley to go defensively for another takedown. He's trying hard to get the single leg and gets his takedown at 1:35. The left elbow grinds Johnson's face, then Hartley spins around to side control, while Johnson tries to push off the fence with his long legs. Hartley goes to take the back as Johnson gets free and can't secure it. They are standing with two minutes left and Johnson is swinging for the fences. He hits an uppercut that almost made Hartley spit out his mouthpiece. Hartley gets another takedown at 3:31. Johnson gets back to his knees at 4:18 but Hartley jumps on his back in the process. Both men flail away at each other with punches as the clock ticks down. They each stand up and throw bombs with seconds left. The judges will decide it now.
Final result: The judges score this fight 29-28 Johnson, 29-28 Hartley, 29-28 for Johnson by split decision.
Zach Underwood vs. Jason Williams
Blue trunks for Williams. Black trunks for Underwood. Williams is 4-7 and fights out of Columbus, Mississippi in his Decagon debut. Strikeforce and Bellator veteran Underwood also makes his Decagon debut, 13-6, fighting out of Memphis by way of Union City. Our referee in charge is Herb Dean. Let's go!
Round 1: Williams lands a few kicks in the first fifteen seconds and drops levels against the fence for a takedown, and Underwood responds by going for a guillotine from the front headlock, forcing Williams to stand back up to get out of danger. Now it's Underwood applying the takedown pressure lokoing for a single leg, but Williams sprawls and pounds out Underwood as Herb Dean rushes in. The injury is unclear but Underwood is curled up on the canvas in pain. Clearly a good stoppage by Dean as Underwood was unable to fight back or continue. Underwood is helped to the back by multiple WSOF officials with his right knee wrapped up after the verdict is announced.
Final result: Jason Williams by TKO (strikes) at 1:28 in the first round.
Alvin Williams vs. Wes Sharp
Wes Sharp is in the black trunks and Alvin Williams is in black trunks with blue trim. These two have previously met before in the amateurs and Williams won by TKO. Both men make their Decagon debut tonight. 44 to 25, 5'10" to 5'7", 154.5 to 155.2 pounds and 73.5" to 71" from Sharp to Williams on the Tale of the Tape. Our referee for this first prelim bout is Herb Dean. Let's go!
Round 1: Williams knocks Sharp silly with a left kick to the head less than 30 seconds into the fight and then pounds it out until Dean quickly rushes in to wave it off. Williams clearly has Sharp's number whether amateur or pro.
Final result: Alvin Williams wins by knockout at 0:30 of the first round.