NBC Sports held their first MMA event Saturday night, and it was good debut for the World Series of Fighting as the card was very entertaining. It was an event full of Florida fighters and the warriors from the Sunshine state had a very good night.
The main event featured American Top Team Heavyweight Devin Cole, who represented the lone loss for the Sunshine state on this card. Cole was unable to take former UFC Heavyweight Champion Andre Arlovski down, and on the feet Arlovski was clearly the better fighter. Cole got dropped with a crisp counter right hand and the fight was over very quickly after that strike.
Florida native Anthony Johnson looked fantastic in his fight, beating up D.J. Linderman on the feet seemingly anyway he wanted. Early in the fight Johnson landed an accidental low blow that stopped the action for a few moments, but that did not interrupt Johnson's rhythm at all as he continued to dominate after the fight resumed. Johnson's strikes were crisp, fast and powerful. Johnson mixed in a takedown and worked a strong top game in the middle of the first. Then late in the first round Linderman appeared to accidentally poke Johnson in the eye. Johnson has been on the receiving end of sever eye pokes in the past and seemed visibility upset when the ref didn't grant him a break. Linderman saw an opening as Johnson spoke the ref and rushed in to attack Johnson, but walked right into a punch and was knocked out cold. This now makes four straight wins for Johnson since his release from the UFC earlier this year.
Jupiter, Florida based fighter Marlon Moraes was able to out strike former #1 Bantamweight in the world Miguel Torres and won a decision victory. Moraes is primarily a Muay Thai kickboxer and he employed an intelligently aggressive style to counter Torres' brawling striking style. Moraes mixed in flashily, spinning kicks with more traditional strikes to constantly keep Torres off balance. In the end it was Moraes' ability to land combinations and heavy punches that sealed the deal and won him the fight. This is a huge win for an up-and-coming fighter as Torres is still one of the toughest and most skilled Bantamweights in the world. At just 24-years-old the sky could be the limit for Moraes.
Blackzilian fighter and celebrated kickboxer Tyrone Spong made quick work of boxer turned MMA fighter Travis Bartlett. Spong peppered Bartlett with kicks, landing them to the legs and head early. Spong dropped Bartlett early with a head kick but showed no interest in going to the ground, and allowed Bartlett to stand back up. Spong the landed a clean straight right hand that ended fight as Bartlett clearly was out for a moment. It is an excellent first step for an MMA new comer and showed that Spong's kickboxing prowess is transferring nicely to MMA, but questions will remain until fans see his ground game tested.
Another Blackzilians fighter Gesias Cavalcante got a much needed win over midwestern fighter T.J. O'Brien. JZ Cavalcante scored an early takedown and locked in a heel hook submission from an interesting position in just over a minute. Cavalcante was in a two loss slump and badly needed this win and came up big in a pressure filled spot.
Thanks for Bloody Elbow's gif master Zombie Prophet for the media