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WSOF28: Moraes vs. Barajas heads to Orange County, Claifornia

Jim Edwards

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World Series of Fighting (WSOF.com) announced today that reigning bantamweight (135 pounds) champion Marlon Moraes will make the third defense of his coveted title against fast-rising star Joseph Barajas at Next Level Sports Complex in Garden Grove, Calif. on Saturday, Feb. 20, live on NBCSN at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT.

In the bantamweight co-main event at WSOF28, Timur “Lucky” Valiev will put his 10-fight win streak on the line against fellow rising star Chris “El Guapo” Gutierrez, who is unbeaten in his last 7 starts.

Priced from $39.99, tickets for WSOF28: Moraes vs. Barajas go on sale tomorrow, Wednesday, Jan. 20, at 10 a.m. PT, at WSOF.com.

“Beginning with Marlon Moraes, the top dog in the division, the 135-pound superstars are going to be out in full force with a lot at stake at WSOF28,” said World Series of Fighting President Ray Sefo.

Marlon Moraes vs. Joseph Barajas

The prolific, 27-year-old Moraes (15-4-1) of Nova Friburgo, Brazil retained his crown for the second time on August 1, 2015, submitting Sheymon Moraes with a rear-naked choke in the third round (3:46) of their matchup.

Since the inaugural World Series of Fighting event on November 12, 2012 when he earned a split decision over decorated superstar Miguel Torres, Moraes, a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt and former Muay Thai champion, has been unstoppable defeating several seasoned adversaries along the way, including Tyson Nam, Cody Bollinger, Josh Hill and Josh Rettinghouse, whom Moraes defeated by way of unanimous decision to become the first-ever World Series of Fighting bantamweight kingpin on March 29, 2014.

Barajas (12-1) of Vista, Calif. is coming off his World Series of Fighting debut on November 20, when he scored a third round (4:06) TKO (punches) on Erik Villalobos at WSOF25.

Beginning with his professional debut on February 20, 2011 when he submitted Robert Carlos with a triangle choke in the first round (1:32) of action, Barajas was perfect for over two years, running to 10 consecutive wins, a streak that culminated with his explosive, first round (:51) TKO (punches) of Leonte King on September 21, 2013.

Timur Valiev vs. Chris Gutierrez

Fighting out of the famed Jackson-Winklejohn camp, the 26-year-old Valiev (10-1) of Makhachkala, Dagestan, Russia has remained undefeated since his second professional start on July 22, 2011, and has racked up four consecutive wins under the World Series of Fighting banner in his last four efforts.

In the first of two appearances in the decagon cage in 2015, Valiev scored a devastating, first round (1:39) TKO on Ed West with a barrage of elbow strikes and punches at WSOF19 on March 28. Valiev closed out the year with a unanimous decision victory over Tito Jones at WSOF23 on September 18.

The number one ranked bantamweight in the state of Oklahoma, Gutierrez (8-1-1) of Greenville, Texas is a ferocious, 24-year-old striker who has earned five of his eight professional career wins by way of TKO, with each of the five finishes having come with an onslaught of punches.

Gutierrez is coming off his second straight, unbeaten year as a professional, claiming two wins in 2015. In his last start, he earned a unanimous decision over Bendy Casimir on August 22.

Additional WSOF28 bouts will be announced soon.

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Fight Announcements

Stipe Miocic vs. Francis Ngannou Official for UFC 220

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UFC 220 in Boston, Massachusetts has its main event. Stipe Miocic (17-2) will put his belt on the line for the third time against rising heavyweight star, Francis Ngannou (11-1)

Rumors surrounded the match-up for UFC 220 after Ngannou’s first round knockout over Alistair Overeem, at UFC 218. The Cameroonian heavyweight called for the fight himself. In his octagon interview proceeding his most recent victory, Ngannou stated:

“I’m feeling good… I’m on my way to a title shot”.

The heavy handed Ngannou has finished all of his opponents in all of his six UFC bouts. A streak which includes a kimura submission over Anthony Hamilton and a TKO victory against former UFC heavyweight champion, Andrei Arlovski. Overall, he holds a ten fight win streak. His only defeat came by way of unanimous decision to Zoumana Cisse, in his second professional MMA fight.

If victorious, Ngannou would become the first African-born champion in UFC history.

Not to be diminished, Stipe Miocic rides his a streak of his own into the beantown match-up. Five consecutive wins, five knockouts and the past four of which, ended in the first round. A victory in Boston for the champ would make him the longest reigning heavyweight champion in UFC history. Currently, Miocic is one of three heavyweights, in the promotions entirety, whom has successfully defended the belt twice.

UFC 220 will be held at the TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts on January 20th, 2018. The pay-per-view (PPV) card will also feature light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier, as he faces challenger Volkan “No Time” Oezdemir.

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Events

Ladies Fight Night 7: “Double Trouble” Preview

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Polish women’s federation Ladies Fight Night is going to celebrate their second birthday this year on the 15th to 17th of December. Two days, two events with a lot of great bouts.

LFN in Poland is being titled the new Invicta FC. The Polish owners created this federation to give European women a chance to fight on a big platform.

Hosting their first ever event in December 2015, LFN will hold two great cards next week, that will feature women who have fought under many prestigious promotions, such as the UFC, Invicta, Bellator, Glory, and Kunlun.

Two days of fantastic fights, intensified by a double dose of sports impressions. The name is not accidental, LFN 7 / LFN 8 combines two events, during which the best Polish fighters will be shown, as well as the best fighters from Europe (including France, Sweden, Italy, the Czech Republic and Romania)

The stakes are high, and we are electrified by the clashes between warriors such as Żaneta Cieśla vs Silvia La Notte and Patricia Axling vs. Cindy Silvestri. Mainly due to their vastness of their experience in the cage.

In the fight of the evening, the talented Romanian Cristina Stanciu will face Magdaléna Šormovádo. Stanciu fought twice in the UFC, but she was unfortunately cut from the promotion after suffering consecutive losses to Cortney Casey and Maryna Moroz.

Judyta Rymarzak vs Marta Waliczek is an amazing fight between two experienced kickboxers. Both making their pro MMA debuts on the night, we will witness a one-of-a-kind duel between two kickboxing perfectionists, as they look to transcend their skills into the MMA world.

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Invicta

Mackenzie Dern victorious in Invicta debut 

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Late Friday night, Mackenzie Dern (5-0, 1-0 Invicta FC) won her co-main event booking, defeating Kaline Medieros (8-6, 2-2 Invicta FC), at Invicta FC 26: Maia vs. Niedzwiedz, via submission (armbar) with only fifteen seconds remaining in the fight.

Much of the fight was controlled by Dern. The heralded prospect displayed her power, visibly damaging her opponent with multiple overhand rights. Striking is an under-developed aspect of her attack, only when compared to the twenty-four-year-olds black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Above all, she showed a progression of her striking skills. Dern looked to be bigger and physically stronger than her veteran opponent. She utilized forward pressure and found the proper timing for her overhand right throughout.

The veteran Medeiros showed her toughness throughout the fight. She defended and scrambled out of some bad positions during the grappling exchanges. Ultimately, she tapped when caught in a deeply planted armbar.  While Medeiros did earn a few hard trip takedowns, it factored minimally in the result as she refused to follow Dern to the mat. The Boston native suffered her second straight loss, Friday night. Her first was to, former Invicta strawweight champion, Angela Hill.

Dern made her professional debut in July of 2016 with Legacy Fighting Alliance (previously: Legacy Fighting Championship). In her debut, she defeated Kenia Rosas by unanimous decision. The Phoenix-born fighter won her next three bouts. Before her MMA career began, Dern won the ADCC (Abu Dhabi Combat Club) championship at 60 kg. She was the first American born female to become champion at the weight. Her grappling resume boasts many more incredible accomplishments. Justifiably, a growing spotlight now hangs over her, her skills, and potential in the sport of MMA.

Elsewhere on the Invicta 26 card, Jennifer Maia defeated Agnieszka Niedzweidz by unanimous decision. Maia retained her Invicta flyweight belt, defending it for the second time. Invicta FC 26: Maia vs. Niedzweidz, took place at the Scottish Rite Temple in Kansas City, Missouri.

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