The World Series of Fighting returns to Atlantic City, and with it a middleweight tournament capped off by a heavyweight main event.
The Preliminary bouts begin at 6 p.m. ET/3 p.m. PT and the Main card begins at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT
BJPENN.com will be providing live Play-by-Play for the entire main card as shown below.
Georgi Karakhanyan (21-3) vs. Waylon Lowe (14-4)
Round 1: The first bout of the main card showcased two of the premiere featherweights outside of the UFC. The fight started with both men trading a hard shot each, earning respect from one another. Lowe often lunged in, head tucked, in an effort to start a combo. Karakhanyan was patient and struck with leg kicks on an advancing Lowe to stifle movement. Karakhanyan began to come forward and throw his strikes first. Late in the first round, Lowe shot in for the fight’s first takedown attempt. Karakhanyan countered not only with a sprawl, but by securing his arm under Lowe’s neck. Upon a brief scramble, Karakhanyan turned the position in to a full on guillotine and wrapped his legs around Lowe, both men dropping to the mat. Lowe was forced to tap to finish off the first fight of the main card.
Official Decision: Georgi Karakhanyan defeats Waylon Lowe via submission (guillotine choke) at 3:37 of Round 1.
Rolles Gracie Jr. (8-1) vs. Derrick Mehmen (15-5)
Round 1: Both heavyweights started slow and measured, not wanting to get hit with a fight-changing shot early. Gracie Jr. landed the better shots early on but Mehmen continued to walk forward, often in to more punches. Neither man fully committed to strikes with Gracie countering Mehmen without real effect. After a stagnant period, both men landed on one another. Gracie Jr. kept his strategy up, backing up and waiting to plant his feet after Mehmen had committed to a punch. Mehmen came forward, with little time left in the round, and charged Gracie Jr. in a failed attempt to place a guise of victory for himself on the first round.
Round 2: Gracie Jr. used a height advantage to avoid short combos by Mehmen. Mehmen would charge in flashing a jab while setting up a telegraphed right hand that hadn’t landed yet. Mehmen was able to rock Gracie Jr. in this round. Gracie Jr. never fully recovered, being hurt a little more with each landed shot by Mehmen. Mehmen came back from a tough round 1 to set up a one-sided round 2. Mehmen kept coming forward and finally landed a big overhand shot that rocked Gracie Jr. badly. Gracie Jr. stood straight up, spun to turn away from Mehmen, and collapsed all seemingly in slow-motion. One of the oddest ends, at least aesthetically to any fight across any promotion.
Official Decision: Derrick Mehman defeats Rolles Gracie Jr. via Knockout (punch) at 2:40 of Round 2
Dave Branch (12-3) vs. Danillo Villefort (13-4)
Round 1: The remaining middleweight tournament bout saw an anticipated start as the often seen grinding style of Branch showed its face. Villefort avoided hitting the mat and was able to force a referee breakage. Branch was forced to stand early but showed he had some power, landing on Villefort and moving him off his step. An unseen eye-poke caused an uproar in the crowd as Branch took advantage of an accidental situation. Branch pushed Villefort against the cage and sapped his strength while peppering with shots to the body that served more as an annoyance than significant strike.
Branch held on to Villefort for several minutes with no real activity until a takedown with less than ten seconds remaining in the first round.
Round 2: After a disappointing round 1, Villefort threw every chance he had. He looked good in the beginning of the second round but was tackled by Branch who now had plenty of time to work his guard on the mat and steal two rounds in a row. Branch kept a rock steady base and never faltered in his control of Villefort. Villefort was getting more tired with every second. Villefort threatened with a heel hook that looked like it had potential, if not to end the fight, then at least to get it back to its feet. Unfortunately for Villefort, Branch defended with ease and finished round 2 on top, in full control.
Round 3: Villefort expected an early takedown from Branch and did a good job at stuffing the first few, while landing some punches. Branch was just too skilled, however, shooting in for his third attempt in the first minute and finally securing a solid takedown. Branch showed some ground diversity for the first time, locking in hooks on the Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt’s back and working for a choke. Villefort defended well and was about to turn in to Branch’s guard until Branch overpowered him once more and flipped Villefort to his back to carry on with his one-sided beating.
Official Decision: Dave Branch defeats Danillo Villefort via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Andrei Arlovski (19-10, 1 NC) vs. Mike Kyle (20-9-1, 2 NC)
Round 1: The main event was a heavyweight clash of strikers. Both men threw everything in to every shot. Arlovski was rocked early on and survived although he looked to be close to done. He came back and fought Kyle in the center of the cage. Kyle was also tagged several times and was rocked, but not as bad as Arlovski. Arlovski found his timing and pressed forward while Kyle countered and circled. Kyle tripped after a short series and regained his footing without any serious trouble. Arlovski was moving forward for the rest of the round and put Kyle on his heels. The round ended with Arlovski again advancing in a round that could conceivably be split.
Round 2: Came forward to start this round. He worked a solid counter while Kyle lunged forward. Both men found their target and even engaged in a back and forth exchange to the delight of the crowd. Kyle’s back was routinely against the fence, although Arlovski did little to take advantage. Arlovski seemed to land more in this round with a quick two-punch combination that found him frequent success. Arlovski was the busier of the two while Kyle seemed to wait to throw until the two were in the pocket. Arlovski finished this round throwing his successful counter from the instruction of his corner.
Round 3: Arlovski seemed to very comfortable in the third. He pushed on Kyle and threatened with hard shots. Kyle remained calm and was able to drop Arlovski for the second time in the fight, but let the Belorussian back to his feet, perhaps to attempt to land a solid standing knockout on a hurt Arlovski. Arlovski looked recovered and countered Kyle who now pushed his own pace. This was the most successful round for Kyle’s striking as a whole, landing consistent shots and pushing Arlovski back. A razor thin fight moved its way to the judges scorecards.
Official Decision: Andrei Arlovski defeats Mike Kyle via Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Andrei Arlovski defeats Mike Kyle via Unanimou Decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Dave Branch defeats Danillo Villefort via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Derrick Mehmen defeats Rolles Gracie Jr. via Knockout (punch) at 2:40 of Round 2
Georgi Karakhanyan defeats Waylon Lowe via submission (guillotine choke) at 3:37 of Round 1.
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