World Series of Fighting (WSOF.com) announced today that it will make its much-anticipated return to Las Vegas with a star-studded, world championship Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) doubleheader event at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino on Saturday, April 2, live on NBCSN (11 p.m. ET/8 p.m. PT), headlined by a middleweight (185 pounds) title bout between reigning kingpin David Branch (17-3) and Clifford Starks (13-2).
In the co-main event, superstar Jon Fitch (27-7-1, 1 NC) will collide with recent World Series of Fighting one-night, eight-man tournament runner-up Joao “The Brazilian Samurai” Zeferino (20-7) with the vacant World Series of Fighting welterweight (170 pounds) championship at stake.
In other action on the four-fight, live NBCSN telecast, submission expert Vinny “Pezao” Magalhaes (13-7) will square off with Jake “The Honey Bear” Heun (9-4) in a light heavyweight (205 pounds) contest, while World Series of Fighting newcomer and knockout artist Abu “Gladiator” Azaitar (11-1-1) will throw down with Danny “Dee1” Davis, Jr. (11-10-1) at welterweight.
The complete WSOF30 preliminary bout card will be announced soon.
David Branch vs. Clifford Starks
The 6-foot-1, 34-year-old Branch of Brooklyn, N.Y. made history in his last start at WSOF23 on September 18, 2015 when he notched a first round (2:21) submission (rear-naked choke) victory over Teddy Holder to become the first World Series of Fighting light heavyweight champion in history as well as the first-ever two-division champion in promotional history.
A protégé of MMA and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu legend Renzo Gracie, Branch will seek his eighth consecutive win.
Also 34 years of age, the 5-foot-10 Starks of Tempe, Ariz. earned a shot at Branch’s middleweight title after three consecutive victories in the World Series of Fighting decagon cage. In his last effort at WSOF23, Starks handed Krasimir Mladenov the first defeat of the Bulgarian wrestling standout’s career by way of unanimous decision.
Starks is riding a five-fight win streak that began with two consecutive wins under the promotion of Bellator.
Jon Fitch vs. Joao Zeferino
A former world top 10 ranked competitor who has faced and defeated a collection of rival icons over the course of his 14-year professional career, the 6-foot, 38-year-old Fitch of Fort Wayne, Ind. earned a unanimous decision in his last appearance, over fellow accomplished superstar Yushin Okami at WSOF24 on October 17, 2015.
Originally from Florianopolis, Santa Catarina, Brazil, the 5-foot-11, 30-year-old Zeferino who fights out of Middletown, N.Y. has notched 15 of his 20 career wins by way of submission. Zeferino demonstrated superior physical and mental toughness in his last appearance in the cage, going to battle three times in one night in the one-night, eight-man lightweight (155 pounds) tournament at WSOF25 on November 20, 2015.
After defeating both Brian Foster and Jorge Patino by way of heel hook submission in the first round of action in the quarterfinal and semifinal stages of the tournament, respectively, Zeferino again faced off with Foster, who had advanced to the championship stage as a “lucky loser,” but suffered a second round (4:51) KO (punches) at the hands of Foster in a barnburner affair.
Vinny Magalhaes vs. Jake Heun
Magalhaes of Las Vegas via Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, will make his second start under the promotion of World Series of Fighting after pulling off a stunning, first round (1:08) submission (kneebar) of wrestling stylist Matt “The Hammer” Hamill at WSOF24.
A 6-foot-3, 31-year-old world grappling champion, Magalhaes has claimed 11 of his 13 career MMA wins by way of submission and is looking for his fourth consecutive victory.
Heun of Coconut Creek, Fla. is seeking his third straight win after edging out a split decision over Clinton Williams at WSOF26 on December 18, 2015.
A member of South Florida-based American Top Team, the 6-foot-2, 28-year old Heun has claimed 6 of his 9 professional wins by way of (T)KO or submission.
Abu Azaitar vs. Danny Davis, Jr.
The number one ranked middleweight (185 pounds) in Germany and the number five ranked middleweight in Poland, the 5-foot-11, 30-year-old Azaitar of Cologne, Germany will enter the World Series of Fighting decagon cage for the first time at 170 pounds, after tearing through the ranks of competitors in Europe over the last seven years.
To date, the heavy-handed Azaitar has notched 7 of his 11 career wins by way of (T)KO. His lone defeat came in 2012, and he has since remained unbeaten in his last 8 starts.
Davis, Jr. of Las Vegas will look to rebound from two consecutive losses – a split decision defeat at the hands of Matthew Frincu at WSOF23, and a unanimous decision loss to Abubakar Nurmagomedov at WSOF26.
Prior to the matchup with Frincu, the 6-foot-2, 33-year-old Davis, Jr. had run to five straight wins, three of which were World Series of Fighting contests.
Exclusive: Derek Brunson: “Anderson was definitely a little lubed up”
Derek Brunson fought Anderson Silva back in February of this year, at UFC 208. Brunson would go on to lose the fight by controversial unanimous decision. However, the controversies didn’t stop at the questionable decision, Brunson also claims Silva was greasing during the fight. The Wilmington, North Carolina native, posted about it on Twitter a few days ago:
Just make sure you don’t put cooking oil all over your body like Anderson did so it’ll be easy to grab ahold of you @lyotomachidafw 👌
— Derek Brunson (@DerekBrunson) October 17, 2017
Speaking with MMA Latest, Brunson explained why he believes Silva was greasing during the fight. “Anderson was definitely a little lubed up. Every time I grabbed him he was just slipping out of everything, and his takedown defense was really good that night. I was definitely curious to know why he was very slippery, which I definitely think he had some kind of substance on his body. He knows I’m a wrestler obviously, he’s an old, savvy veteran, so he was definitely trying to play all the rules and be very strategic, and make it harder for a wrestler to grab him.”
Brunson is set to face Lyoto Machida come October 28, when asked about whether he was worried about Machida greasing, considering Gegard Mousasi accused him of doing so in their fight, Brunson admitted he wasn’t too worried.
“Well I’m not too worried, but like I said, I put it out there because I know they’re friends and I know, obviously, that’s kind of what the guys do when they know they’re fighting a wrestler. They want to lube their body up really good to make it hard to grab hold, Anderson did a great job defending my takedowns. It’s because he was all greased up so he was able to stop a lot of them. When I grab guys in the clinch, it’s very tough for them to get away and I’m pretty good with my Greco takedown. He was pretty much pulling through my clinch when I had a tight grip on him and if you have some kind of substance on your body it’s easy to pull them.”
Neither Silva nor his management have commented on the greasing allegations. Anderson Silva makes his return against Kelvin Gastelum later this year, in China. While Brunson makes his return to the Octagon on October 28th, in Brazil, where he looks to add Lyoto Machida’s name to his impressive list of victories.
Ovince Saint Preux Steps in to Face Corey Anderson at UFC 217
UFC 217 just got even more interesting. Earlier this week, Patrick Cummins pulled out of his light heavyweight matchup with Corey Anderson due to a Staph infection. Corey “Overtime” Anderson was not happy with his opponents decision, even calling out his opponent on Instagram asking how Cummins could, “call it quits so far from fight night”.
The UFC left Anderson on the card, and he found an opponent through the magic of Twitter. Ovince Saint Preux tweeted out directly to Anderson stating:
— Ovince Saint Preux (@003_OSP) October 19, 2017
It didn’t take long for Anderson to respond agreeing to the fight, tagging Mick Maynard and Dana White in his response.
Only a few short hours later, the fight announcement came from the official UFC twitter account.
Fight News update!!
— UFC (@ufc) October 19, 2017
This top 10 Light Heavyweight matchup should add to an already amazing card coming in November at Madison Square Garden. Saint Preux is coming off of back to back wins both due to the very rare von flue choke, he finds himself ranked #7th in the latest edition of the 205-pound rankings. Corey “Overtime” Anderson is 4-2 in his last 6 fights, but is coming off a brutal first round knockout loss to Jimi Manuwa in March.
With such a exciting fight added to this card, what do you see happening November 4th? Will Corey Anderson bounce back and look to jump into the top 5 of the rankings, or will Ovince Saint Preux go for a third straight von flue choke? Let us know.
*Watch* Bellator 185 Weigh in: Live Stream, Results
Watch the live weigh-ins for Bellator 185 here.
Gegard Mousasi takes on Alexander Slemenko live this Friday night October 20th at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville CT. This is the first appearance for Mousasi in the Bellator cage as he looks to secure a title shot with a win over the very tough former Bellator champion Slemenko. Joining these men of the main card will be a pair of welterweights as Neiman Gracie from the famous Gracie BJJ family takes on Zak Bucia in the co-main event.
Full Weigh-in Results: (Updated in real time)
Gegard Mousasi (185) vs. Alexander Shlemenko (186)
Neiman Gracie (170.5) vs. Zak Bucia (170)
Heather Hardy (126) vs. Kristina Williams (126)
Ryan Quinn (155.5) vs. Marcus Surin (155)
Ana Julaton (125.5) vs. Lisa Blaine (122)
Jordan Young (200) vs. Alec Hooben (194)
Costello van Steenis (185) vs. Steve Skrzat (186)
Vinicius de Jesus (170) vs. Joaquin Buckley (171)
John Beneduce (154.5) vs. Dean Hancock (155)
Timothy Wheeler (144) vs. Pete Rogers (144)
Don Shainis (150) vs. Matthew Denning (149)
Frank Sforza (149) vs. Vovka Clay (150)
Kevin Carrier (156) vs. Jose Antonio Perez (153)
John Lopez (126) vs. Billy Giovanella (125)
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