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World Series of Fighting 23 results

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Lightweight championship fight: Justin Gaethje (C) vs. Luis Palomino

The most anticipated rematch in WSOF history did not disappoint as Justin Gaethje and Luis Palomino put on quite a show in the first round of their lightweight title fight. Gaethje was rocked early by a big right hand, but recovered by slamming Palomino to the canvas twice in the round. The lightweight champion also caught Palomino with an uppercut that dropped Palomino to the canvas.

The second round was just as exciting as the challenger came out firing with combinations, but those combos didn’t last for long as Gaethje knocked Palomino to the canvas with yet another uppercut. After a brief clinch, Gaethje clipped the challenger with a series of knees and punches. The champ then landed a stiff right hook, but missed what would have been a devastating uppercut.

Palomino threw a big hook that Gauthje partially blocked and then the champ landed a HUGE right hook that dropped Palomino to the canvas. Gauthje pounced on the opportunity to Palomino away with a series of ground strikes that forced the referee to stop the contest in the second round.

Watch Justin Gaethje defend his title and remain undefeated here:

 

Light Heavyweight Championship: David Branch vs. Teddy Holder

David Branch became the first person in WSOF history to hold two championships at the same time and the first light heavyweight champion in company history by forcing Teddy Holder to submit via rear-naked choke in the first round.

Branch was aggressive early on as he took Holder down and forced his way into side control. Holder tried to spin out, but Branch stayed ahead of him. Branch was able to gain back control when Holder tried to grab Branch’s feet. Holder was then able to get onto his knees, but Branch quickly sunk in a deep rear-naked choke for the victory.

Watch the highlights of the fight here:

 

 

Timur Valiev vs. Tito Jones

After trading blows early in the contest, Tito Jones landed the first big shot of the match as he punched Timur Valiev right in the face. Valiev stumbled back and fell to the canvas, but immediately rebounded and taunted Jones. Towards the end of the first round, Valiev landed a stiff leg kick that hurt Jones.

Valiev started quickly in the second round as he instantly closed the distance, but just like in the first round, Valiev failed to land any combinations because Jones was selective about trading punches. Towards the end of the second round, Valiev put Jones on the canvas with a takedown and then landed a flurry of punches and elbows.

Jones tries to close the distance on Valiev early on in the third round, but he failed to do so. Valiev drilled Jones to the mat with a vicious takedown and pounded away at Jones for the final two minutes of the round.

Valiev was awarded the victory by unanimous decision. Watch highlights of the fight here.

 

Phoenix Jones vs. Roberto Yong

Roberto Yong’s World Series of Fighting debut was spoiled by Phoenix Jones as Yong was forced to tap out due to a leg scissor choke in the first round of their 160 pound catchweight fight. Yong landed some strong shots to the face of his opponent, but Jones was able to gather himself together and take Yong down to the mat. After transitioning from North-South to Yong’s side, Jones was able to lock in the submission for his first WSOF victory. Watch the highlights here.

 

Larue Burley vs. Brian Foster

It didn’t take long for Brian Foster to make an impact in the opening bout of the WSOF 23 main card. Foster and Larue Burley began trading punches early on in the first round, which suited Foster as he was able to knockout Burley with a big right hand just 34 seconds into the fight. You can watch the highlights here.

Tony Ferguson betting favorite against Kevin Lee in UFC 216 main event

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A nine-fight win streak and fight fans’ preference to see strikers win out over grinders might be why Tony Ferguson is such a big favorite against Kevin Lee at UFC 216.

Ferguson is the -225 betting favorite with Lee coming back at +175 as they meet for the interim lightweight title at UFC 216 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, on Saturday, according to sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.

As noted, Ferguson has won his last nine bouts, ending six early for a nice 66.7 percent rate. For his part, Lee has won five consecutive bouts, ending four early.

Ferguson prefers to work at distance with jabs and kicks, gradually chipping away at his opponent. The 33-year-old is a more well-rounded fighter than the 25-year-old Lee, so laying chalk is justifiable since this bout could go either way.

There is a good case to take Lee and the plus money, though. Lee is far beyond the typical lightweight in how often he attempts takedowns and how often he winds up gaining control. Succeeding in that strategy would leave Ferguson unable to use his best assets.

Flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson (-1200) is a massive favorite against Ray Borg (+700). Johnson is simply too complete a fighter to lose against a boxer-wrestler type such as Borg, but Borg has a great ability to get off of his back and will make Johnson work for the win. Eleven of the last 14 UFC fights (78.6 percent) in which one fighter was a favorite of -1200 or more ended with a stoppage, and based on form Johnson should extend the trend.

The potential upset on the main card involves the heavyweight tilt between former champion Fabricio Werdum (-260) and Derrick Lewis (+200). Werdum’s weakness is his striking defense and Lewis has secured 16 of his 18 career MMA wins via knockout, which seems like a lethal combination in Lewis’ favour. Werdum’s chances of winning likely rest on him wearing Lewis down or getting a takedown that sets up a submission.

As well, Beneil Dariush (-240) is favored against Evan Dunham (+190) on the UFC 216 odds in a lightweight bout that is likely to be heavy on grappling, increasing the possibility of it going the distance. Four of Dariush’s last eight fights were decided by a decision, while Dunham’s four-fight win streak consists entirely of victories by decision.

As long as Dariush stays aggressive in the stand-up game – and he likely won’t have to worry about walking into a devastating punch against a grinder like Dunham – he should be able to get the win.

And Kalindra Faria (-200) is favored against UFC newcomer Mara Romero Borella (+160), a replacement opponent who took the fight after  Andrea Lee was pulled out for not having an up-to-date anti-doping clearance.

Faria is the more seasoned fighter and her ability to throw combinations has helped her score knockouts in more than half of her 18 career professional wins. Romero Borella is undefeated in her last six fights, but prior to that was finished by strikes in three consecutive fights, so there’s potential for an early ending.

UFC 214: Jones heavy favorite against Cormier in co-main event

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If one believes a long hiatus from the Octagon benefits a fighter’s mystique more than technique, then the price might be right on Daniel Cormier.

Ahead of the most fervently anticipated rematch in the company’s history, Jon Jones is a -260 favorite against the +200 underdog Cormier in the co-main event for UFC 214 on Saturday, according to sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.

The fight, which will top off a loaded main card at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California, has been in the offing since about 30 seconds after Jones won an unanimous decision against Cormier early in 2015, but Jones’ doping suspension has prevented it from happening.

The prices have moved in Jones’ favor since he opened at -150 with Cormier coming back at +120. Before the layoff, Jones was perhaps the best fighter to ever grace the UFC and it’s understandable why fans believe he’ll use his long reach to keep Cormier at bay and get him in the clinch.

Cormier backers, though, can take heart in the belief that his takedown defense could be sharper than it was against Jones 2 1/2 years ago. The bottom line is it’s rare to get a champion at such a high price.

In the co-main event, welterweight champion Tyron Woodley (-205) is favored against challenger Demian Maia (+165). Maia, who is plus money for the first time since 2014 (a bout that he lost to Rory MacDonald in a unanimous decision), is singleminded about getting a match to the mat in order to work toward a submission.

If Woodley can keep his focus on his takedown defense and keep the fight on their feet, his edge in athleticism and youth might prove to be the determining factor.

The prices for the women’s featherweight title fight between Cristiane (Cris Cyborg) Justino (-1100) and challenger Tonya Evinger (+650) underscore the difficulty Cyborg has finding a foe.  Cyborg has ended her last seven fights early, five in the first round. It might be better to pore over the odds on how many rounds Evinger, a solid wrestler, can hang in for during a fight that she accepted on relatively short notice.

Robbie Lawler (-160) is a slight favorite against Donald Cerrone (+130) in a twice-rescheduled welterweight matchup. It’s hard to know what to expect from Lawler, who’s been set back by injuries since his last fight against Woodley exactly 52 weeks ago. Cerrone is often vulnerable against left-handers such as Lawler, but takes an edge in stamina into what shapes up as an all-out brawl.

The main card starts off with a light heavyweight title eliminator, where Jimi Manuwa (-190) is favored against Volkan Oezdemir (+150). Manuwa, who is on a three-fight win streak, is the more developed and technically proficient of the two strikers. That might give him the edge against Oezdemir. It could be a quick resolution either way – Manuwa has 10 first-round knockouts in 17 pro fights, while Oezdemir has a powerful left hand and ample motivation to get a knockout and score a fight-of-the-night bonus.