UFC 175 obviously deserved the spotlight yesterday, but prior to last night's big PPV was World Series of Fighting 11 on NBC. Lightweight champion Justin Gaethje and Nick Newell took part in the main event of what turned out to be an entertaining main card, which featured UFC vets Jon Fitch, Dennis Hallman, and Melvin Guillard.
Here's a look back at all of the main card fights, with GIFs supplied by Zombie Prophet:
Justin Gaethje def. Nick Newell via TKO (strikes) at 3:09 of round 2
There's a reason why Justin Gaethje was so highly touted, and fights like this show why. Newell was tough as nails and competitive for a short period of time, but Gaethje's body shots and overall vastly superior striking, particularly his boxing, slowly broke down a bloodied Newell on his way to the TKO win. Newell drops to 11-1 while Gaethje improves to 12-0 and continues to make the case for being one of the best lightweights outside of the UFC.
Post-fight Quote (Gaethje):
"There was a lot of blood," Gaethje said. "I think it was satisfying to hear him say he was going to take me down, and he wasn't able to. Because I knew that where he needed to get it and he knew that."
Jon Fitch def. Dennis Hallman via unanimous decision (30-27 x3)
Jon Fitch did his Jon Fitch thing against Dennis Hallman in what was effectively a middleweight bout. Perhaps to no one's surprise, he was the only fighter not to win via finish on the main card, but he did clearly dominate Hallman for the decision win. As much as it's easy to pick on him for failing to get a stoppage, he needed a performance like this to show he can still easily beat fighters he's supposed to beat.
Post-fight Quote (Fitch):
"During the first exchange I got a deep thumb in the eye so I was a little unsteady and didn't know which way it was going to go."
"That's changed the face of the fight because I could only see half of him."
"What's next for me? I'm going to Hawaii for a week."
Melvin Guillard def. Gesias Cavalcante via TKO (strikes) at 2:36 of round 2
Early stoppage? A fight spent mostly on the feet ended with Guillard getting the rare standing TKO win over "JZ" Cavalcante. Whatever you think of the decision by the referee to call it off, Melvin needed to at least offset the negative of missing weight with a victory, and he got exactly that.
Post-fight Quote (Guillard):
"I went out there and had a hell of a debut. He even got me on the ground and I got back up and handled business. I've got a black belt in knocking people out. I'm excited to be here with WSOF and this is only the beginning. My only miscue was missing weight by a pound, and as a professional I take full responsibility for that, but at the same time, we had a super early weigh in, and if I had that last bit of extra time it would have been a non issue. I'm gonna take that strap, and become the face of this organization, watch! I'm here to make noise."
Bollinger made quick work of Pablo Alfonso in the opening round of their catchweight fight (Bollinger had missed weight). He moves to 2-0 in WSOF and gets his first finish. If you're expecting him to fight Marlon Moraes any time soon, you can squash that. In the post-fight, he confirmed his return to featherweight.
Post-fight Quote (Bollinger):
"I felt like I had to come out and put on a show. After my last fight, I think Ray (Sefo) and Ali (Abdelaziz) were looking for a little more action. I came in here with a lot of hype and tonight I knew I had to put on a show."
"I'd love to fight Marlon (Moraes) but I'm done fighting at 135. My body just can't take it. I'm going to go up to 145 and fight there."
World Series of Fighting 12 airs on NBC Sports Network on August 9th. No word on any fights aside from the return of Yushin Okami, which is likely to be for the middleweight title vs. champion Dave Branch.
(All quotes provided by Danny Brener/WSOF)