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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.

Whittaker Faces Romero as Betting Favorite on UFC 225 Odds

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Robert Whittaker was not 100 percent physically when he defeated Yoel Romero in their first fight 11 months ago, which is something to keep in mind when sizing up the rematch on Saturday.

With the UFC middleweight championship at stake, Whittaker is a -220 favorite on the UFC 225 odds with Romero coming back at +190 in the headlining fight on the main card, according to sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.

The card, which is one of the most stacked the promotion has had in some time if all goes off according to plan (that is, everyone makes weight) takes place at United Center in Chicago.

Whittaker, despite being encumbered by a leg injury, won by unanimous decision when the two squared off in the Octagon at UFC 213 in July 2017. The Australian fighter has not fought since then. At his peak, Whittaker is a well-rounded fighter, combining high-volume striking – especially to opponents’ heads – with a strong takedown defense.

The main question with the 41-year-old Romero is his cardio, especially since the UFC’s recently adopted changes to weigh-ins have created extra challenges for older fighters to make weight. In their first fight he attempted half as many strikes as Whittaker but landed them at a higher rate. However, in a close fight, volume has a favorable effect on the judges’ scorecards.

Whittaker has landed at least one knockdown in six of his 12 career UFC fights, while Romero has had at least one in six of his 11 starts in UFC and Strikeforce. That suggests there is potential for a stoppage.

In the co-main event, Colby Covington (-130) is a narrow, nominal favorite against Rafael dos Anjos (+110) as they vie for the interim welterweight title. Covington is a on five-fight win streak, but the past three were by unanimous decision as he bases his strategy around takedowns and grinding opponents.

However, if Dos Anjos can tap into his Muay Thai and Jiu-Jitsu background and keep Covington at bay with powerful kicks, he will stand a great chance at winning and giving backers a payoff. There’s a strong likelihood the matchup goes the duration.

Holly Holm (-210) is favored against UFC debutante Megan Anderson (+180) in what amounts to a women’s featherweight title eliminator. Holm, the former bantamweight champion, is 0-2 as a featherweight. The powerful but inexperienced-with-grappling Anderson, at 6-foot tall to Holm’s 5-foot-8, will come in with a significant reach advantage and that might help her with wearing down Holm.

The generation gap is hard to ignore in the heavyweight matchup between Tai Tuivasa (-250) and Andrei Arlovski (+210). Tuivasa, age 25, has won all seven of his pro fights by knockout or TKO, but the 39-year-old Arlovski will be his toughest opponent yet. Tuivasa believers should probably expect another quick knockout, while skeptics might look at a safe play on Arlovski dragging out the fight and testing the younger artist’s staying power.

In the opener on the main card, welterweight Mike Jackson (-200) is favored against CM Punk (+170) in a matchup that is as blank a slate as it gets, due to each man’s inexperience in UFC. CM Punk comes in with a deeper grappling background than Jackson and that could set him up for the upset in a fight that is highly likely to have an early stoppage.

For more odds information, betting picks and a breakdown of this week’s top sports betting news check out the OddsShark podcast with Jon Campbell and Andrew Avery. Subscribe on iTunes or listen to it at OddsShark.libsyn.com.

Nunes, Pennington carry conflicting betting trends into UFC 224

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All of Amanda Nunes’ wins in her homeland have ended early, but challenger Raquel Pennington has a history of going the distance.

Women’s bantamweight champion Nunes is a -900 favorite on the UFC 224 odds with Pennington coming back at +550, according to sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.  The card is set for Jeunesse Arena in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on Saturday.

Nunes is 7-1 when she fights in Brazil, while Pennington is fighting in the country for the first time. Although Pennington has only been stopped once in 22 pro and amateur fights, Nunes’ home-soil advantage could be crucial. Nunes did require a decision during her most recent title defense against Valentina Shevchenko at UFC 215 in September 2017.

Bettors looking for value in method-of-victory props will have to decide whether they believe Pennington can duplicate and improve on the techniques Shevchenko employed, or whether Nunes learned some lessons from that fight about being the aggressor with her powerful striking game. If the latter theory pans out, there’s a good chance of a Nunes knockout.

In the co-main event, Ronaldo (Jacaré) Souza (-135) has a three-inch reach advantage over Kevin Gastelum (+130) in a matchup of Top 5 middleweights, as well as home-soil advantage. Souza rates the edge in power and versatility, which might make him too much for Gastelum to handle, setting the table for a submission.

That said, Gastelum’s speed and accurate striking does make it tempting to back him for the win, knowing full well that it’s not the percentage play.

Up-and-coming Mackenzie Dern (-265) takes on Amanda Cooper (+225) in a grappler vs. striker matchup between two women’s strawweight competitors who are each somewhat experienced. Dern has had three of her six wins via submission, which is coincidentally how Cooper has sustained all three of her losses.

Those trends should carry over, presuming that Dern has continued to upgrade her technique in order to get the match to the ground.

John Lineker (-250) is favored against Brian Kelleher (+195) in a bantamweight bout between high-volume strikers. Six of Lineker’s last nine fights have gone to a decision and that trend could continue if he focuses on using his punching power to wear Kelleher down early and get a lead on the judges’ cards. For Kelleher, the matchup might be too big of a step up in caliber.

And Lyoto Machida (-260) is favored against Vitor Belfort (+200) in a middleweight bout between two aging Brazilian fighters, the latter of whom has said this will be his last fight. Stylistically, Machida likely has the edge due to his abilities as a counter-striker, which should enable him to weather the anticipated early onslaught from Belfort, who is 0-4 in his last four fights as the underdog. Machida’s most likely path to victory is through a decision.

For more odds information, betting picks and a breakdown of this week’s top sports betting news check out the OddsShark podcast with Jon Campbell and Andrew Avery. Subscribe on iTunes or listen to it at OddsShark.libsyn.com.