It was something of a throwback to the earlier days of MMA to see a one-night eight-man tournament at World Series of Fighting 25 last night – and the utterly unpredictable nature of these tournaments was demonstrated with a moment that fans in attendance will remember forever. The tournament winner would earn a shot at WSOF lightweight champion Justin Gaethje.
The quarter finals of the tournament were entertaining affairs, with 3 out of the 4 bouts being finished inside the first round. The only opening round contest that lasted the full two rounds was the first one featuring Islam Mamedov who earned a unanimous decision victory over the 42-year old 58-fight veteran Jorge Patino, although the fight could have been finished on a couple of occasions were it not for the toughness and heart of Patino.
Mike Ricci looked impressive in his first round against Joe Condon. After attempting the head kick a number of times in the opening 2 minutes, Ricci would land a thunderous one flush to the side of Condon’s head and that was all she wrote, with the referee having to jump in and save Condon from the barrage of punches that followed from Ricci.
Next, it was the turn of Brazilian jiu-jitsu expert Joao Zeferino who was matched up against Brian Foster. A glance at “The Brazilian Samurai”‘s record would show that a submission battle is not recommended against him, but that is exactly what Foster got. After a brief leg-lock battle, Zeferino was able to sink in a heel hook, which Foster tapped out to almost immediately, preventing any possibility of an injury. Zeferino was declared the winner at 1:46 of round 1. Nobody knew at the time that that would not be the end of the night’s story between these two.
Luis Palomino, who has lost twice to Gaethje previously, rounded off the quarter finals against Rich Patishnock. After a round spent mostly against the cage and with just seconds remaining in the first round, Palomino went into berserker mode, unleashing a torrent of knees and punches culminating in a ferocious right hand that finished Patishnock. The official time of victory for Palomino was 4:55 of round 1.
However, only two of the victorious quarter finalists were able to take their place in the semi-final match-ups. First, Islam Mamedov revealed that he suffered a torn ACL, so his opponent, Jorge Patino took his semi-final spot. Mike Ricci was the other semi-finalist to suffer an injury so, as both Joe Condon and Rich Patishnock suffered knockout losses, Brian Foster was re-instated in Ricci’s place. His decision to tap quickly to Zeferino’s heel hook rather than try to escape and risk injury may well have saved his tournament.
To the semi-finals and, first, it was the turn of Joao Zeferino who drew the veteran Jorge Patino. Zeferino would again display his outstanding submission skills. Once he took the fight to the ground, he instantly began hunting for Patino’s leg, which he secured and locked in yet another heel hook. Much like Foster earlier, Patino quickly tapped to save his leg from damage. Zeferino moved on to the final with two heel hook wins in under two minutes. A third fight between himself and Gaethje seemed odds on at this stage.
That left Luis Palomino and Brian Foster to battle it out for the remaining place in the final. The first round was a back and forward affair, with Palomino getting the better of the exchanges on the feet and Foster dominating when the fight hit the ground. The second round was more one-sided however, much of it taking place with Foster on top. Sensing he had his opponent on the ropes, Foster landed shot after shot to a bloodied Palomino leading to the ref stopping the fight at 4:19 of round number two. Foster had set up a rematch with Joao Zeferino in the final, the man who submitted him earlier in the night.
Zeferino went into the final as the heavy favourite, and when he took Foster down early in the fight and again went for the heel hook, it seemed that it was only a matter of time before he secured his third submission win. But Foster had other ideas. He escaped and got back to his feet, which is where Zeferino did not want to be, but struggled to get the fight back into his world. There was another brief moment at the end of the round when Zeferino did get Foster down and again went for the leg, but Foster escaped again.
Both men showed some signs of fatigue in the second round, which is unsurprising given that it was their third fights of the night. The round was more competitive both on the ground and on the feet. Zeferino managed to hurt Foster, but Foster refused to give up and ended up on top of the Brazilian. With just 20 seconds remaining, and with Foster standing over Zeferino who was threatening with up-kicks, Foster threw his opponents legs to one side and dropped a huge bomb which rocked Zeferino. Foster followed up with punches to the sprawled Brazilian and stood up with his hands in the air, believing his opponent to be out. When the referee failed to stop the fight, he quickly landed two more hard shots before the referee eventually jumped in. In an incredible conclusion to the tournament, at 4:51 of the second round, Foster had avenged his first round loss to Zeferino and set up a lightweight title shot against Justin Gaethje.
The lightweight tournament was not the only action of the night at WSOF 25. Jason High made his return to MMA following a year long suspension for shoving a referee after a TKO loss to Rafael dos Anjos at UFC Fight Night 42. While the UFC severed ties with High following that action, WSOF gave him a second chance against Estevan Payan – and he certainly took advantage of it.
After completely dominating the first round and coming close to finishing the fight, High came out aggressively in the second round, landing a huge left head kick which dropped Payan to the canvas. High pounced and a landed a hammerfist followed by two further powerful left hands which knocked Payan out and the referee was there to call the fight. After such a performance, it will be interesting to see how far up the WSOF lightweight ladder High can climb.
There were three other fights on the event’s preliminary portion. Joseph Barajas earned a third round TKO victory over Erik Villalobos in the bantamweight division, Roberto Yong TKO’d Jimmy Scully after just over a minute in a catchweight contest and Ramil Mustapayev opened the event with a decision triumph over LaRue Burley.
The full results for WSOF 25 are as follows:
- Jason High def. Estevan Payan via KO (head kick and punches) at 0:47 of round 2
- Brian Foster def. Joao Zeferino via KO (punches) at 4:51 of round 2 – WSOF Lightweight Tournament Final
- Brian Foster def. Luis Palomino via TKO (punches) at 4:19 of round 2 – WSOF Lightweight Tournament Semi-Final
- Joao Zeferino def. Jorge Patino via submission (heel hook) at 1:24 of round 1 – WSOF Lightweight Tournament Semi-Final
- Luis Palomino def. Rich Patishnock via KO (punch) at 4:55 of round 1 – WSOF Lightweight Tournament Quarter-Final
- Joao Zeferino def. Brian Foster via submission (heel hook) at 1:46 of round 1 – WSOF Lightweight Tournament Quarter-Final
- Mike Ricci def. Joe Condon via KO (head kick) at 2:41 of round 1 – WSOF Lightweight Tournament Quarter-Final
- Islam Mamedov def. Jorge Patino via decision (unanimous) at 5:00 of round 2 – WSOF Lightweight Tournament Quarter-Final
- Joseph Barajas def. Erik Villalobos via TKO (punches) at 4:06 of round 3
- Roberto Yong def. Jimmy Scully via TKO (punches) at 1:11 of round 1
- Ramil Mustapayev def. LaRue Burley via decision (unanimous) at 5:00 of round 3
*Live Updates* UFC Winnipeg Official Results
The UFC returns to Canada for the final Fight Night card of 2017. In the cold of Winnipeg, Manitoba, the UFC will host eleven of the originally twelve scheduled fights. Unfortunately, Tim Elliot will not fight in the north country. His scheduled opponent, Pietro Menga, a newcomer to the promotions roster, failed to make weight after taking the bout with just over a weeks notice.
An exciting main card will be capped off with a potential contender eliminator bout featuring, Robbie Lawler and Rafael Dos Anjos. The former champions (Lawler at welterweight, Dos Anjos at lightweight) both put together impressive win streaks which dispatched top contenders in their respective divisions. Elsewhere on the main card, Santiago Ponzinibbio takes on the outspoken Mike Perry.
The card begins on UFC Fight Pass at 4:30/1:30 ETPT.
UFC Winnipeg Official Results:
MAIN CARD – FOX – 8PM/5PM ETPT
- #2 Robbie Lawler (28-11) vs. #4 Rafael Dos Anjos (27-9) – Welterweight bout
- Result: Rafael Dos Anjos def. Robbie Lawler via unanimous decision (50-45, 50-45, 50-45)
- #3 Ricardo Lamas (18-5) vs. Josh Emmett (12-1) – Catchweight bout (148.5 lbs)
- Result: Josh Emmett def. Ricardo Lamas via KO (punch) 4:33 round 1
- #10 Santiago Ponzinibbio (25-3) vs. Mike Perry (11-1) – Welterweight bout
- Result: Santiago Ponzinibbio def. Mike Perry via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
- #3 Glover Teixeira (26-6) vs. #7 Misha Cirkunov (13-3) – Light Heavyweight bout
- Result: Glover Teixeira def. Misha Cirkunov via TKO (punches) 2:45 round 1
PRELIMINARY CARD – FS1 – 5PM/2PM ETPT
- #14 Jared Cannonier (10-2) vs #15 Jan Blachowicz (20-7) – Light Heavyweight bout
- Result: Jan Blachowicz def. Jared Cannonier via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
- Julian Marquez (6-1) vs. Darren Stewart (7-2) – Middleweight bout
- Result: Julian Marquez def. Darren Stewart via submission (standing guillotine) 2:42 round 2
- Chad Laprise (13-2) vs. Galore Bofando (5-2) – Welterweight bout
- Result: Chad Laprise def. Galore Bofando via TKO (punches) 4:10 round 1
- Nordine Taleb (13-4) vs Danny Roberts (14-2) – Welterweight bout
- Result: Nordine Taleb def. Danny Roberts via KO (head kick and punch) :59 round 1
- John Makdessi (14-6) vs Abel Trujillo (15-7) – Lightweight bout
- Result: John Makdessi def. Abel Trujillo via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
- Alessio Di Chirico (10-2) vs Oluwale Bamgbose (6-3) – Middleweight bout
- Result: Alessio Di Chirico def. Oluwale Bamgbose via KO (knee) 2:14 round 2
EARLY PRELIMINARY CARD – UFC FIGHT PASS – 4:30PM/1:30PM ETPT
- Jordan Mein (29-12) vs. Erick Silva (19-8) – Welterweight bout
- Result: Jordan Mein def. Erick Silva via unanimous decision (30-26, 30-27, 30-26)
Gilbert Burns vs. Olivier Aubin-Mercier Added to UFC Orlando
The UFC has now added more bouts to the front end of their 2018 schedule. Gilbert Burns (13-2, 5-2 UFC) will face Olivier Aubin-Mercier (10-2, 6-2 UFC) in Orlando, Florida on February 24th, 2018.
— UFC Canada (@UFC_CA) December 14, 2017
Alongside a few other high-profile fight announcements, is the addition to the UFC Orlando, Florida card. The two lightweights will join Jake Collier and Marcin Prachnio, as the second fight set for the event.
It has been a while since the UFC hosted an event in the state of Florida. Last seen by the Floridians was UFC on Fox: Texeira vs. Evans, on April 16, 2016 in Tampa Bay. The card was a success, despite the cancellation of its planned main event between Tony Ferguson and Khabib Nurmagomedov. Drawing a gate of $1.05 million and 2.13 million viewers.
Gilbert Burns signed with the UFC after accumulating an undefeated record of 8-0. His first loss came in his home country of Brazil, as Rashid Magomedov defeated him via unanimous decision at UFC Fight Night: Belfort vs. Henderson 3, in November of 2015.
In his most recent bout, Burns defeated Jason Saggo by KO with five seconds remaining in the second round at UFC Fight Night: Rockhold vs. Branch.
Aubin-Mercier will come into the contest as a winner in his last three bouts. The Canadian fighter trains out of the Tristar gym, alongside legends such as Georges St. Pierre and head coach, Firas Zahabi.
In 2011, Aubin-Mercier was chosen to compete on The Ultimate Fighter: Nations. Competing in the welterweight bracket, he became a finalist by defeating both, Jake Mathews (unanimous decision) and Richard Walsh (rear naked choke). In the finale, Aubin-Mercier lost to Chad Laprise by split decision.
UFC Orlando will take place at the Amway Center in Orlando, Florida on February 24th, 2018.
Eryk Anders vs. Lyoto Machida Officially Headlines UFC Belem
Eryk Anders vs. Lyoto Machida is officially booked to headline UFC Belem in Brazil.
Following his unanimous decision victory over Markus Perez on last weekends, UFC Fight Night: Ortega vs. Swanson, undefeated middleweight, Eryk Anders, called for the match-up with former UFC light heavyweight champion, Lyoto Machida. The UFC heard, and obliged.
First reported by The MMA Kings (@mma_kings.)
EXCLUSIVE: My sources tell me that Eryk Anders (@erykanders) has gotten his wish. He'll headline UFC Fight Night: Belem against Lyoto Machida (@lyotomachidafw) in Brazil. Ask and you shall receive. #UFC pic.twitter.com/qX62A9qH6k
— The MMA Kings (Nolan King) (@mma_kings) December 14, 2017
Anders holds a 2-0 undefeated record in the UFC. The Alabama native made his promotional debut against Rafael Nata in July of this year. A bout he took on short notice, replacing Alessio di Chirico whom withdrew from the fight due to a neck injury. Anders defeated Natal by knockout in the first round that night at UFC Long Island.
Prior to his indoctrination to MMA, the undefeated middleweight played for the University of Alabama football team, between 2006-2009.
Machida recently returned to the UFC roster after an 18-month suspension handed down by USADA, stemming from a failed out-of-competition test leading up to his April 2016 contest against Dan Henderson.
In his return to the octagon, Machida faced Derek Brunson in the main-event of the UFC Fight Night: Brunson vs. Machida, in Sao Paulo, Brazil. “The Dragon” lost the bout via first round KO.
UFC Belem, Brazil is scheduled for February 3rd, 2018, at the Mangueirinho Arena. The card will also feature the flyweight debut for Valentina Shevchenko as she faces Priscila Cachoeira.
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