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WSOF 15: Branch vs. Okami fight card primer - Main card

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Bloody Elbow presents its fight primer coverage for World Series of Fighting 15: Branch vs. Okami in Tampa, FL. Here, we give a rundown of the entire main card.

Lucas Noonan, WSOF

On a busy night of MMA, World Series of Fighting goes up against Bellator 131 and UFC 180 with their own solid main card, which features a pair of title fights and a special catchweight fight that would've otherwise been a 3rd title bout. Middleweight champion Dave Branch makes his first title defense vs. ex-UFC contender Yushin Okami, while top women's 115 lbs champion Jessica Aguilar makes her second title defense against Brazil's Kalindra Faria.

Justin Gaethje was due to face Melvin Guillard to complete the championship trifecta, but Guillard's failure to make weight has flipped this one to a 159 lbs catchweight affair.

The main card airs live on NBC Sports at 9 PM ET/6 PM PT from Tampa, FL, and here's a rundown on this evening's action:

David Branch (14-3) vs. Yushin Okami (30-8) - WSOF Middleweight Championship

Branch never really excited anyone in his UFC stint, and that trend continued while in World Series of Fighting. But unlike his UFC career, Branch has been a consistent winner and remains undefeated in the promotion, and his best achievement to date came in June when he submitted Jesse Taylor to become the inaugural WSOF middleweight champion. This is Branch's best opponent to date and an upset win tonight would bring a significant boost to his profile.

Okami was controversially axed from the UFC after he was destroyed by "Jacare" last year, but it didn't take long for the former title challenger to jump to WSOF. In what was essentially a tune-up fight for an inevitable title shot, Okami dominated and submitted Bulgaria's Svetlozar Savov back in March to set himself up for a showdown with Branch.

Jessica Aguilar (18-4) vs. Kalindra Faria (15-3, 1 NC) - WSOF Women's Strawweight Championship

While TUF 20 is sorting out the UFC's first 115 lbs champion, the world's #1 women's strawweight could very well be under the WSOF banner. Aguilar hasn't missed a beat since her Bellator days, and she's not really been seriously challenged in her new home. She took apart the overmatched Alida Gray, and then easily beat up Emi Fujino in her first title defense.

Brazil's Faria has won 11 straight fights dating back to 2011, but if there can be a knock on her record, she's not really beaten the best that women's 115 has to offer, and one of her defeats was against current UFC SW Claudia Gadelha. This is a big step up in competition for her and she'll have to dig deep to contender with Aguilar's wrestling and overwhelming strength.

Justin Gaethje (12-0) vs. Melvin Guillard (32-13-2, 2 NC) - Lightweights (159 lbs catchweight)

Gaethje has been one of WSOF's top performers, and it is expected that he'll be in the UFC once his contract with the promotion is expired. He was last seen headlining WSOF's debut on NBC-TV, knocking out the previously unbeaten Nick Newell for a successful first title defense. This was due to be the Colorado native's 2nd, but the aforementioned troubles on the scale for Guillard have forced this into a showcase catchweight bout.

Guillard was on the cusp of title contention in 2011 before Joe Lauzon pulled off a huge upset and stopped him in 47 seconds. It's since sparked a run of just 3 wins in his last 9, and a lackluster showing vs. Michael Johnson ended his UFC tenure (likely) for good. This is the 2nd time in as many WSOF appearances that he's failed to make weight, so it appears that for all of his talent as a devastating striker, the 31-year-old's career seems to be headed down the drain.

Jorge Patino (35-15-2, 1 NC) vs. Eric Reynolds (18-8) - Lightweights

At 41 years of age, "Macaco", who once fought Pat Miletich for the UFC welterweight title, is still quite active in the sport. He was Legacy FC's lightweight champion up until late last year when he lost to Carlos Diego Ferreira by split decision. Patino's WSOF debut vs. Luis Palomino ended in a 2nd round KO loss.

Reynolds previously fought in Bellator and in XFC, facing the likes of Eddie Alvarez, Jorge Masvidal, and Nick Newell, but coming up on the losing end of all those bouts. He comes into tonight's main card opener on a two-fight losing streak, including a 1st round KO in Russia to Musa Khamanaev last October.