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WSOF 29 predictions, preview for 'Gaethje vs Foster' NBC Sports-televised main card

World Series of Fighting

World Series of Fighting (WSOF) returns to NBC Sports Network this weekend (Sat., Mar. 12, 2016) with its latest mixed martial arts (MMA) event, which will take place inside Bank of Colorado Arena in Greeley, Colo.

The WSOF 29 main event sees champion Justin Gaethje returning for another defense of his belt. "Lightweight Tournament" winner Brian Foster wants to be the first man to hand Gaethje a loss and take his title in the process.

Let's break down all of the WSOF 29 main card matches below:

155 lbs.: Justin Gaethje (15-0) vs. Brian Foster (25-8)

I defy you to find any other champion let alone an undefeated one who is not considered "notable" to a supposedly exhaustive encyclopedia. If you're building a fight wiki though Justin Gaethje's bio would be a great place to start. The pride of the Grudge Training Center gets what's arguably a "hometown fight" even though he originally hails from Safford, Arizona. He has a record most lightweight champions would envy and comes up with highlight reel performances in almost every fight, including two rock 'em sock 'em wars with Luis "Baboon" Palomino.

The trend of Gaethje facing more experienced fighters continues with veteran Brian Foster. Although he debuted in WSOF as a Welterweight, it's in the Lightweight division that he's shined. Although he was initially eliminated in a quarterfinal bout at WSOF 25, he came back as an injury replacement and knocked out the aforementioned Palomino AND the man who initially eliminated him in Joao Zeferino. Say what you want about the tournament structure but winning two out of three that way in one night is impressive enough to say he's earned the title shot.

Gaethje is a proven finisher in an astounding 80% of his fights. His zombie-like ability to absorb punishment and keep coming forward may backfire someday soon, but for now it pays dividends because he throws harder and more accurate shots than his opponents. After 33 pro fights though Foster is extremely well rounded, winning 48% of the time with strikes and 48% of the time by sub, only going the distance in victory once. If Gaethje were more of a jiu-jitsu artist he'd want to try and tap Foster out since seven of eight losses (88%) come via submission. Foster will shoot quickly, the wrestler Gaethje will stuff decisively, and even experienced fighters fall to Gaethje trading hands.

Final result: "The Highlight" Justin Gaethje wins via second round TKO

265 lbs.: Josh Copeland (11-3) vs. Mike Hayes (19-10-2)

If the World Series of Fighting is looking for Blagoi Ivanov's next challenger, this heavyweight attraction has a lot to offer. The durable but curiously nicknamed "Cuddly Bear" Josh Copeland did not fare well in UFC, but has gone two out of three since hitting the independent circuit. He goes against long time veteran Mike "300" Hayes in what feels like a set up for Copeland given Hayes only has one win and one draw in his last eight fights. He's as tough as they come in the weight class given he's never been submitted and only knocked out once, but Copeland is another Grudge Training Center standout who will benefit from an enthusiastic crowd in his WSOF debut.

Final result: Josh Copeland wins via unanimous decision

185 lbs.: Cory Devela (15-6) vs. Louis Taylor (11-3)

There's a lot riding on the line for both of these men at middleweight and not just because it's their first fight in the Decagon. At 31 and 36 respectively Devela and Taylor both know that time is ticking and that each bout gets harder with every passing year. "The One" Devela seemed like he'd be a big deal in Strikeforce after he submitted Joe "Diesel" Riggs after a throw so hard that Riggs was done -- only he was done after three straight losses in the promotion. He comes in on a four fight win streak that includes Nick "The Promise" Ring. Taylor also faced Riggs in Strikeforce only to tap to strikes in R3, but he's also on a four fight win streak.

Let's throw out their common opponent and look at their respective strengths. Devela lives and dies by his ground game, taking half of his wins AND losses by submission. Taylor is more well rounded with five knockout/TKO wins and five submissions, but has been out of action for over a year after a pulled muscle in his back scrapped what could have been his UFC debut. He was a short notice replacement, so UFC didn't take kindly to him pulling out, but for his sake he needs to come in healthy especially as the older fighter of the two. One word of warning for Devela though -- watch your head on takedowns because "Handgunz" LOVES the guillotine choke.

Final result: Cory Devela wins via submission in the third round

170 lbs.: Josh Cavan (11-6) vs. Kris Hocum (7-4)

Both men debut in the Decagon coming off a loss in their last fight. That's not a promising start. Both men are hovering right at winning 64% of their fights, which makes them better than mediocre but only by the tiniest of margins. If you needed any more reason to find this to be a coin flip fight Cavan wins 55% of the time by submission (six out of 11) and Hocum wins 71% by submission (five out of seven). Owing to nothing more than Cavan winning two of his last three and Hocum losing two of HIS last three, I've made my mind up on what is essentially a "pick 'em" fight.

Final result: Josh Cavan wins a split decision

That's a wrap!

Remember: will deliver live coverage of WSOF 29: "Gaethje vs. Foster" on Saturday night (March 12), beginning with the first televised fight taking place at 9 p.m. ET on NBC Sports Network.

See you then!

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