The latest event for World Series of Fighting (WSOF) took place earlier tonight (Sat., Mar. 12, 2016) inside Bank of Colorado Arena in Greeley, Colo., airing live on NBC Sports Network.
The main event of WSOF 29 saw the undefeated Justin Gaethje seeking another successful Lightweight title defense. Standing in his way was WSOF 25 "Lightweight Tournament" winner Brian Foster.
Justin Gaethje was facing an experienced, veteran, capable fighter in Foster -- and still managed to make it look easy. Foster took it to him right away but instead of spending the whole fight trading hands he chose to target Foster's left leg until he crumbled from a series of brutal kicks. The TKO came at 1:43 of round one.
Justin Gaethje vs Brian Foster #WSOF29 pic.twitter.com/fOLjDpwSGG— ZombieProphet (@ZProphet_MMA) March 13, 2016
Gaethje spoke to Chael Sonnen about his performance after the fight.
"I don't specifically work on kicks. My coaches don't work on kicks. It just comes natural so I don't want to change anything. I've learned a lot of hard lessons right here and its made me the person I am today. He hit me in the lip I got a busted lip but it's how I fight I'm not going to change. The worst thing you can do is try to push me backwards because I'll meet you in the center and beat you. I want Jason High next. He's got a smart mouth. He's next."
Gaethje said as much in his pre-fight interview.
Second from the top were two Heavyweights seeking to literally punch their ticket to a WSOF title shot -- "Cuddly Bear" Josh Copeland and Mike "300" Hayes.
The incredibly durable Hayes was a tree that refused to fall, even though Copeland chopped him down for three straight rounds. Copeland's hands didn't seem to be in the proper position defensively, but it didn't matter when he would tag Hayes with the left jab and follow up with a hard right hand -- over and over and over again.
All three judges awarded a 30-27 decision to "Cuddly Bear" Copeland at the conclusion.
Josh Copeland vs Mike Hayes goes to the judges #WSOF29 pic.twitter.com/Y0OTxRpOps— ZombieProphet (@ZProphet_MMA) March 13, 2016
WSOF 29 also featured the long-awaited promotional debut of "The One" Cory Devela and fellow former Strikeforce fighter Louis Taylor at Middleweight.
This one was over almost before it began. Devela shot for a takedown, Taylor grabbed his head and squeezed, and Devela went out in the guillotine before he could even tap. It only took 29 seconds.
Cory Devela vs Louis Taylor #WSOF29 pic.twitter.com/QQ9XSXQoEZ— ZombieProphet (@ZProphet_MMA) March 13, 2016
Joey Varner spoke to Taylor about his impressive WSOF debut.
"That's why people don't want to fight me. I'm not here for decisions. Either you beat me, or I'm gon' beat you. No judges -- I hate them three. I've been sittin' on the bench for two years. I've been waitin'. My family hungry. I'm hungry. I need to eat. I want that gold. World Series is where it's at. I appreciate being here. Honestly I feel bad about (Devela going out) because I knew he was out but I couldn't let it go. I didn't want the fight to continue. I had to make sure the ref saw that he was out so I had to do what I had to do, bottom line."
Rounding out the evening's main action on NBC Sports was a Welterweight bout between two more debuting fighters - Josh Cavan and Kris Hocum.
The first round was close enough to go either way. Hocum hurt Cavan badly with a knee to the face in R2, and Cavan failed multiple times to get a takedown. In the third round his takedowns finally got through and he had Hocum's back a couple of times, but got the hooks in too late to find a rear naked choke.
Hocum's effective left hand won him the day with two 29-28's from the judges and one seeing it 29-28 for Cavan.
Josh Cavan vs Kris Hocum #WSOF29 Goes to the Judges pic.twitter.com/6URFdSsjHP— ZombieProphet (@ZProphet_MMA) March 13, 2016
One prelim fight had a highlight worth sharing -- Brandon Royval destroying Danny Mainus with a knee to the head as he was looking to drop levels for a takedown. That resulted in a win by KO at 2:48 of the first round for Royval.
Brandon Royval VS Danny Mainus #WSOF29 pic.twitter.com/OysasFkRhc— ZombieProphet (@ZProphet_MMA) March 13, 2016
Complete WSOF 29 Results:
Justin Gaethje (c) vs. Brian Foster -- Gaethje TKO (kicks) 1:43 of R1.
Josh Copeland vs. Mike Hayes -- Copeland UD 30-27 X3.
Cory Devela vs. Louis Taylor -- Taylor via sub (guillotine) 0:29 R1.
Josh Cavan vs. Kris Hocum -- Hocum SD 29-28 X2, 28-29.
Ian Heinisch vs. Tyler Vogel -- Heinisch UD 30-26 X2, 29-27.
Josh Huber vs. Clay Wimer -- Huber UD 30-27 X3.
Danny Mainus vs. Brandon Royval -- Royval via TKO 2:48 R1.
Check out our live streaming results RIGHT HERE to see who else made a name for themselves inside the cage at WSOF 29 in Greeley tonight.