The latest event for World Series of Fighting (WSOF) took place earlier tonight (Sat., Jan. 23, 2016) inside the FedEx Forum in Memphis, Tennessee, airing live on NBC Sports Network. They called this edition WSOF 27 'Future Champs'.
The main event was a crucial Lightweight showdown. 'The Future' Caros Fodor brought a 10-4 record into his Decagon debut, but late replacement opponent Luiz 'Buscape' Firmino was a seasoned WSOF veteran at 18-6, undefeated inside the Decagon against tough fighters like Jacob Volkmann and Tyson Griffin.
Firmino executed the strategy we've seen him use successfully in so many fights - get takedowns, get some more takedowns, and do just enough on top to not get stood up. Fodor tried to sweep a few times, even getting a late leg trip in one round to finish it on top, but for the most part 'Buscape' was able to roll and keep control.
In the third round the takedowns finally failed him, but Fodor couldn't get any offense going either, and Firmino simply ground it out against the fence until the time expired.
Firmino spoke to Joey Varner after the fight, who was his own translator from English to Portuguese.
"I feel great you know. I train every day you know? I work with the best - Blackzilians you know? I want to fight to the belt. I won three fights, three tough guys, and I'm ready for the belt."
Russian prospect Shamil Gamzatov certainly wants to put himself in consideration for a championship, but first the Light Heavyweight had to put his undefeated streak on the line, coming into the main event 9-0 as a pro. His opponent Teddy Holder was once a semi-finalist to crown a WSOF Light Heavyweight champion. Who prevailed in Memphis?
Holder and Gamzatov spent the first minute testing each other's range with front kicks and hooks, and once Gamzatov settled into his Decagon debut, he put a strike on Holder that made him blink and seem to complain to Herb Dean that he was poked in the eye. Dean told him to keep going and defend himself, but Gamzatov dropped him to his knees seconds later with a right and pounded out the TKO at 2:32.
World Series of Fighting also scheduled a couple of bouts with up-and-coming prospects for the main card on NBC Sports. One such fight was a Welterweight contest between two undefeated men -- the five fight experience of Jaleel Willis against the almost-newborn-to-MMA Chauncey Foxworth.
Willis made it a one-sided affair using superior strength and wrestling technique, and he also made it a BLOODY affair as an elbow to his nose in the second round caused him to spray blood everywhere around the Decagon.
Referee Herb Dean stopped the fight a couple of times after takedowns in R3 to make sure that blood was not impeding Willis' vision, and to his credit would restart Willis in the dominant position on the ground each time. After a miserable third round for Foxworth, he went down to defeat 30-27 from all three judges.
WSOF 27 had one other Lightweight fight on tap, and that was four fight veteran Bryce Mitchell going up against the slightly more experienced six fight veteran Jorge Medina. This didn't last long as an errant hip toss attempt by Medina gave 'Thug Nasty' Mitchell the superior position on the ground, where he took the back and got a rear naked choke after just 63 seconds.
Mitchell was interviewed after the win by Joey Varner.
"I want to get in and get out as quick as I can. I enjoyed it and it was worth every second of it. I just take whatever they give me brother. I ain't picky and choosy brother - I'll take whatever I can get. On the streets I'm straight thug."
In preliminary action Alvin Williams only needed 30 seconds to put away Wes Sharp with a well timed headkick and some minimal follow up on the ground.
Complete WSOF 27 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 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.