World Series of Fighting (WSOF) 28: "Moraes vs. Barajas" airs live on NBC Sports Network TONIGHT (Sat., Feb. 20, 2016) from Next Level Sports Complex in Garden Grove, California.
Two 135- and 170-pound fights, respectively, comprise the NBC Sports Network-televised main card, with Bantamweight champion Marlon Moraes looking to make another successful title defense at the expense of Joseph Barajas, a man with only one loss in his professional mixed martial arts (MMA) career.
The next title challenger for the winner of the main event match may be crowned in the co-featured fight of the night when "Lucky" Timur Valiev will put his 10-fight win streak up against Chris Gutierrez, winner of six straight in his own right.
All of the action-packed WSOF 28 televised bouts air this evening on NBC Sports Network, starting at 9 p.m. ET! MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE results and real-time play-by-play coverage of WSOF 28: "Moraes vs. Barajas" below, including "Prelims" undercard action that starts online 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 28) about the bouts before you leave and chat with all the other Maniacs during the show -- it's always a lot of fun!
WSOF 28 QUICK RESULTS:
Marlon Moraes (c) vs. Joseph Barajas -- Moraes via TKO 1:13 R1.
Timur Valiev vs. Chris Gutierrez -- Gutierrez via SD 27-30, 29-28 X2.
Jamie Yager vs. Daniel McWilliams -- Yager via sub 0:38 R1.
Andrew Ramm vs. Ozzie Alvarez -- Alvarez via UD 30-27 X2, 29-28.
Steve Ramirez vs. Kyle Estrada -- Ramirez via KO 1:01 R1.
Heinrich Wassmer vs. Keenan Lewis -- Wassmer via sub 3:02 R3.
Mike Kubeska vs. Fard Muhammad -- Muhammad via MD 28-28, 29-27, 28-27.
Garrick Evans vs. Isaias Alvarado -- Alvarado via TKO 3:21 R1.
Eric Steans vs. Jalin Turner -- Turner via KO 0:38 R1.
WSOF 28 PLAY-BY-PLAY UPDATES:
Marlon Moraes (c) vs. Joseph Barajas
Barajas is in black trunks for tonight's main event, sporting a record of 12-1 coming in to challenge Moraes for WSOF's Bantamweight title. The champ Moraes is in red/white/blue trunks, has won 10 straight fights, and looks to make his third successful defense tonight. He stands at 15-4-1 as we get underway. Barajas fight out of Escondido by way of Vista, California. Moraes fights out of Tom's River, NJ by way of Rio De Janeiro, Brazil. Our ref is John McCarthy.
Round 1: Moraes lands a couple of leg kicks right away. McCarthy warns the fighters to close their hands throwing strikes. Moraes lands a kick to the shoulder and a hard kick to the leg. He's trying to chop Barajas down with extremely emphatic leg kicks and it works -- Barajas crumbles on his right leg after a big shot and it's over at 1:15. Barajas is visibly in pain after the stoppage and limping to his corner as NBC Sports takes a commercial break before John McCarthy can make it official.
Final result: Marlon Moraes wins via TKO at 1:13 of the first round.
Timur Valiev vs. Chris Gutierrez
Gutierrez has red trunks for this fight. He sports a record of 8-1-1 in his WSOF debut, fighting out of Greenville, Texas. He's got a tough rough ahead against "Lucky" Timur Valiev, 10-1 and unbeaten in the Decagon, fighting out of Albuquerque by way of Dagestan, Russia. Valiev sports black trunks tonight. Our referee is Mike Beltran.
Round 1: Gutierrez has Valiev moving backward early, but that's where he's comfortable, drawing opponents into his web. Gutierrez misses with several kicks. Valiev dances from side to side and circles. Both men just miss with kicks. Gutierrez spins and hits air with another kick. Valiev eats a left to get a single leg. Gutierrez goes for a guillotine but Valiev pops free and pushes up into the cage. Gutierrez tries to drag Valiev down from behind but he pops right back up. Valiev is now the pressure fighter, looking for angles to cut Gutierrez off, missing with a spinning backfist. Gutierrez lands a flush kick and Valiev goes in for a single leg -- punishing with elbows as they tie up. Gutierrez narrowly avoids a spinning elbow. Spin kick miss by Valiev. Hard low kick by Valiev. A round with a lot of flash but not much bang.
Round 2: Valiev lands the first leg kick of R2. Gutierrez takes tiny little steps forward, while Valiev bounces on the balls of his feet at almost all times. His kicks have a loud and decisive snap. Simultaneous kicks but Gutierrez is the one who falls. He's back up quickly. Valiev rushes in and once again Gutierrez goes for a choke but Valiev pops out at 2:06 and Gutierrez stands right back up. Beltran warns them to watch the cup. He warns them again at 2:35 and Valiev gets another takedown. A few hammers land before Gutierrez ties him up. He backs up at the three minute mark to land a few big blows. Beltran calls for work at 3:25 and Valiev responds with elbows to the head. Gutierrez goes for a submission and Valiev passes to half guard in the process. Gutierrez recovers to full guard but he's still being beaten up on the ground. This round clearly goes to "Lucky" Valiev.
Round 3: As is his wont Beltran screams that it's "THE THIRD AND FINAL ROUND" just to make sure everybody in earshot or watching at home is aware. Valiev is moving quicker but Gutierrez is still able to avoid taking the biggest shots he throws. Two minutes go by as Gutierrez eludes Valiev but doesn't do much damage of his own. Valiev lands some hard leg kicks and goes up high. Gutierrez lands a hard right but doesn't follow up on it. Kick jab kick. Jab kick kick. Valiev strings together his flurries. Flying knee misses. Jab and leg kick don't miss. Valiev seems determined to empty his gas tank. He's putting 110% into everything he goes for, hit or miss. With 40 seconds to go the two square up and eye each other, then Valiev lands an overhand right. Gutierrez tries to take advantage when Valiev slips but can't. Valiev tries to get a takedown very late and can't. We go to the judges.
Final result: The judges score this contest 30-27 Valiev, 29-28 Gutierrez, 29-28 for Gutierrez by split decision.
Jamie Yager vs. Daniel McWilliams
McWilliams is in the black trunks with a record of 13-32. You read that right. Yager is 6-4. McWilliams fights out of Palmdale, California. Yager fights out of Huntington Beach by way of Pasadena, California. Our referee in charge is Mike Beltran.
Round 1: McWilliams shoots for a takedown and pushes Yager to the fence but Yager immediately turns him around, muscles him to the ground and taps him out to an armbar at 38 seconds. If Yager hadn't won quickly and decisively it would have been embarrassing. Fighting a 13-32 opponent is hard to fathom on anything other than very short notice due to injury or illness. Hopefully McWilliams got a good payoff for his participation and Yager moves on to a more credible opponent next time.
Final result: Jamie Yager taps out Daniel McWilliams at 0:38 of the first round via armbar submission.
Andrew Ramm vs. Ozzie Alvarez
Alvarez is 6-3 in the white trunks out of Huntington Beach, California by way of Miami, Florida. Ramm is 4-3 in the trunks with black trim fighting out of Las Vegas, Nevada by way of Bremerton, Washington. Our referee is John McCarthy.
Round 1: Ramm pushes forward early. Alvarez is content to circle on the outside and the comes forward with a flurry at 1:10 but the action moves to the ground when Alvarez gets a takedown. Ramm attempts to tie up a triangle off his back. McCarthy calls for work at 3:05 after a long stalemate on the ground. Ramm is holding his opponent on top of him and not doing much else. Occasionally Alvarez gets free and lands a shot on the ribs, but McCarthy has seen enough and stands them at 3:49. Ramm jabs cautiously and lands a leg kick. Alvarez gets Ramm's back but fails an attempt to throw him to the ground before R1 ends.
Round 2: Ramm moves forward with a leg kick to open R2. Right now his strategy is to charge forward, land one hard leg kick, then reset to the center. Alvarez tries to change his rhythm by charging forward with a knee. Alvarez throws a 1-2 combo but Ramm covers up. Alvarez keeps fainting trying to make Ramm take the bait on a fake takedown. He throws a leg kick and Ramm throws a jab. "Nobody wants to make a mistake" says Bas Rutten. He's right. Each man is being overly cautious. Alvarez keeps bouncing on his feet and circling on the outside. Finally he throws a good set at the three minnute mark. Ramm tries to walk him down and eats an uppercut, and almost a knee behind it. Alvarez lands some body shots and takes Ramm down at 4:04. Ramm ties him up until the round ends. 20-18 Alvarez.
Round 3: Both men touch up for the final round. Ramm charges forward and is easily taken down at the 15 second mark. "Stitch" watches on as they fight right in front of him at cageside. Alvarez is warned about fingers to the eyes. Alvarez goes to the body for the most part, to the head when he can, while Ramm tries to pull off a come from behind submission off his back. Neither fighter advances fast enough though and it's stood up at 2:55. Ramm appears to be gassed as the fight winds down. His head is drooping and his arms are barely moving. Alvarez spins away from danger. He goes for a takedown late, lets it go when Ramm thinks about a kimura, and he lands a spinning back kick right at the bell that leaves Ramm wobbled. Alvarez should easily get the decision.
Final result: The judges score this contest 30-27, 30-27, 29-28 all for Ozzie Alvarez.
Steve Ramirez vs. Kyle Estrada
Estrada is out first in the yellow trunks with a 2-1 record. Ramirez is in the black trunks and sports a 3-1 record. Estrada fights out of Van Nuys, California by way of Indianapolis, Indiana. Ramirez fights out of Buena Park, California by way of Orange, California. Our referee is John McCarthy.
Round 1: They tap gloves and the fists and kicks come quickly. Ramirez is the aggressor early but he gets caught with a low blow and McCarthy calls for time. McCarthy tells them both it was an accident but to be careful going forward as the action resumes. Estrada comes forward with a combo but he gets countered with a left that drops him and finished by a few more on the ground - not defending as they cracked him in the temple. He may have broken his nose falling down too as they are tending to it post-fight.
Final result: Steve Ramirez via knockout at 1:01 of the first round.
Heinrich Wassmer vs. Keenan Lewis
Solid black trunks for Lewis. Wassmer is in black trunks with logos and somehow has both a flat top and a mohawk at the same time. Mike Beltran is our referee again for this flyweight bout. Lewis is 3-3 out of Van Nuys, California. Wassmer is 2-0 out of Pasadena by way of Highland Park, California.
Round 1: Wassmer circles on the outside to open. Lewis circles his hands and unloads a few kicks then drops levels for a hard takedown at 47 seconds. Wassmer tries to cinch up a submission but Lewis moves to half guard. Beltran calls for work at 2:04. Lewis is trying to elbow him but Wassmer keeps tying up the arms and moving his head. Three or four more calls for "work to finish" and "improve your position" from the ever-talkative Beltran. He also warns the fighters repeatedly about shots to the back of the head and the fingers to the eyes. He issues several more calls to work before standing them up at 3:35. At 4:02 he calls for them to watch their hands. Watch them do what Mr. Beltran? Are they chopping vegetables for a salad? Are you worried they might lose a thumb? Lewis gets a takedown with short time, Wassmer tries to get an armbar late, but he never even came close. 10-9 Lewis.
Round 2: Wassmer stuffs a takedown and throws a knee to the body. Lewis gets a single leg at 42 seconds. "Watch the elbows you hear me?" Yes Mr. Beltran - we all hear you. "Watch the back of the head." We heard that too. Wassmer is trying again to get a submission but Lewis sees them coming. Multiple calls to "improve your position." He stands them up at 1:43. Bas Rutten says nobody can complain. I disagree with you sir. Lewis shoots but Wassmer spins and rolls to a triangle choke. He hits Lewis with elbows to soften him up, switches to a kimura attempt, loses it and lets Lewis on top. 80 seconds left in round two. "Improve your position" at 4:25. He warns them he'll stand them up even as the ten second clapper is heard. I'm happy to say he didn't waste our time standing them up with seconds left.
Round 3: Beltran screams "ALRIGHT GENTLEMEN THIRD AND FINAL ROUND" as if we weren't aware of it. Lewis gets another takedown and Wassmer gets a warning for grabbing the fence. Expect him to call for improved position, to work for a finish, or some combination of both. He does BOTH at the one minute mark and adds "YOU HAVE TO WORK" just to put a little extra mustard on it. "Let's go gentlemen you gotta work to finish" at 1:56. He'll find as many ways to tell two fighters to stay busy as there are words in the dictionary. They're stood up at 2:20 with stern instructions to work. Lewis shoots, Wassmer sprawls, and Wassmer gets his back looking for a rear naked choke. Lewis taps at 3:02.
Final result: Henrich Wassmer via submission (rear naked choke) at 3:02 of round three.
Mike Kubeska vs. Fard Muhammad
Round 1: Muhammad is in the black trunks sporting a 2-3 record. Kubeska is in the blue and white trunks with a 0-1 record. Our referee is Mike Beltran. Kubeska lands the first leg kick and Muhammad comes flying at him with a knee in responds. Kubeska fires a couple more kicks and Muhammad closes the distance with a combo. Muhammad pushes him into the fence, then lands a few blows backing up, but Kubeska cracks him with a right and Muhammad grabs him around the waist on the mat as he tries to recover. A knee bar attempt is escaped, Muhammad kicks Kubeska in the head as he goes for a heel hook and Muhammad gets a warning for it. Muhammad tries to strike off his back as it turns into a leg lock duel on the ground. Eventually Kubeska stands back up at 3:18 and Muhammad takes him to the ground in side control. Beltran calls for time to wash out a mouthpiece and put it back in. Muhammad spins on top in full guard as blood streams from Kubeska's forehead due to an elbow. More elbows rain down and Kubeska is getting busted up. Another time out as a fighter lost his mouthpiece, and Beltran yells at them to keep it in no matter what. Kubeska survives to round two.
Round 2: Both men immediately wing shots at each other. Muhammad goes sliding on one of the logos on the canvas but recovers and gets a takedown on Kubeska. Muhammad goes right back to smacking Kubeska around with elbows from the full guard. Beltran calls for more work as Muhammas and Kubeska scoot toward the cage. A mouthpiece is out again at 1:20 and Beltran catches it about 15 seconds later. He's getting increasingly more stern each time. He calls for improvement at 1:47 and warns them about the mouthpiece again as he does. The ever instructive Beltran also warns Kubeska to get his toes out of the fence as he tries to push off. For no apparent reason he also warns them to watch the back of the head at 2:52. He's giving so many instructions it's almost impossible for a fighter in the middle of a fight to take it all in. Muhammad gets a warning not to lose his mouthpiece as they're stood up - a warning for a deduction if it happens again. Kubeska gets it to the ground and has full mount with 45 seconds left and he goes for an armbar. Muhammad tries to powerbomb his way out of it and winds up on top throwing heavy leather as R2 ends.
Round 3: Muhammad gets a warning about his mouthpiece before the third round even begins. Once again the EXTREMLY helpful Beltran warns them to watch fingers at 40 seconds. Muhammad reverses a takedown and ends up on top but Kubeska goes for a triangle choke. He loses it and gets a warning about his toes in the fence. Muhammad and Kubeska get another timeout at 1:40 and Muhammad gets the one point deduction he was promises. He slams Kubeska to the ground after the restart. He picks him up and slams him again at 2:20. Kubeska goes for another triangle off his back but can't cinch it up and gets pounded on. Beltran gives his ten millionth warning of the fight - this one for shots to the back of the head. He stands them up for inactivity at 3:25 with Muhammad looking plenty active to me. He gets another takedown and Beltran immediately gives a warning about the back of the head. I really wish he'd shut up. He stops the fight to cut some loose tape off a glove and gives another warning about the mouthpiece. Kenny Rice is implying he's set a record for saying the word "mouthpiece." Maybe it can be a drinking game if you're over 21 and watching the WSOF stream. Mercifully the fight ends with no more warnings.
Final result: The judges score this contest 28-28 draw, 29-27 and 28-27 for the majority winner Fard Muhammad.
Garrick Evans vs. Isaias Alvarado
This one is a catchweight of 190 pounds. Alvarado is in white trunks for this fight with a record of 3-2. Evans is in the yellow trunks with a record of 2-1. Alvarado hails from Temecula, California by way of Detroit, Michigan. Evans hails from Las Vegas, Nevada. Our referee is John McCarthy.
Round 1: Evans throws the first kick and misses. Alvarado fires off several kicks and gets a takedown at 28 seconds. Alvarado tries to improve position but lets Evans back up in the process. Alvarado tries to slip to his back standing as they jockey for position against the fence. If Mike Beltran were the referee we would have had ten calls to improve position and work for the finish by now. Alvarado takes Evans down at 2:13. Evans goes for a leg and Alvarado quickly stands back up. Alvarado takes him down again at 2:46. He lands some very heavy hands on top before Evans can tie him up. This could end soon. McCarthy waves it off at 3:21.
Final result: Isaias Alvarado via technical knockout at 3:21 of the first round.
Eric Steans vs. Jalin Turner
Turner is 6-2 as an amateur but is making his pro debut tonight. He's got white trunks with black trim. Quick turn around for John McCarthy following last night's fights in Houston as he's the one checking Turner over outside the cage at the prep point. Steans is in the black trunks tonight and has a pro record of 4-4. Mike Beltran is our referee for this fight so get your "MOUTHPIECE!!" scorecard handy. Turner fights out of San Bernardino by way of Fontana, California. Steans fights out of Los Angeles, California.
Round 1: Steans goes for a single leg takedown immediately and forces Turner into the fence. They reset, Turner drops him with a left hand, and he walks away before Beltran can wave it off. Beltran gets a close look at how dazed Steans is and agrees with him - it's over. Turner brags afterward that he's 6'3" with a 77" reach and nobody's going to stand with him at 155. If he can continue to make lightweight at that size he might be right.
Final result: Jalin Turner wins by knockout 38 seconds into round one.