The featured lineup for World Series of Fighting 12 (WSOF 12) kicks off tonight from the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada. The five-fight main card will are live on NBC Sports at 10:00 p.m. ET upon completion of the four-fight preliminary card, which will stream live and free on Bloody Elbow at 8:00 p.m. ET.
The main card is headlined by feisty Miami lightweight Luis Palomino (22-9) taking on the undefeated Lewis Gonzalez (9-0) while hulking Brazilian middleweight Ronny Markes meets Cully Butterfield in the penultimate bout. Also on the NBC Sports card: middleweights Elvis "The King" Mutapcic (13-3) vs. Kelvin Tiller (6-0), former Olympic wrestling medalist Alexis Vila (14-4) vs. Brandom "Hot Rod" Hempleman (9-2) and once-beaten Hawaiian Bryson Hansen (7-1) vs. Alliance MMA's Matt Sayles (2-0).
Live results and play by play will commence with the main card at 10:00 p.m. ET.
WSOF 12 Main Card
Luis Palomino vs. Lewis Gonzalez
R1: Heavy outside low kick starts things off for Palomino. Gonzalez shoots with no set up and Palomino easily sidesteps it. Telegraphed right hand from Gonzalez is slipped by Palomino. Gonzalez comes in with strikes but a lively counter-combo from Palomino backs him off. Inside leg kick for Gonzalez. Palomino loosens a combo and lands the closing left downstairs. Palomino chops out Gonzalez's leg with another scorching outside low kick.
Retreating left hook grazes for Palomino. Palomino digs hard with another low kick but goes opposite with a left-hook follow up, and it rocks Gonzalez. Gonzalez jumps on Palomino during his next kick and manages a loose head-and-arm throw but Palomino slips out and pressures with more heaters. Palomino steps back and clips Gonzalez with another left hook and blood is pouring down from his forehead. Palomino uses the right low kick to set up another devastating strike, and the left kick lands early with the knee and puts Gonzalez down and out.
Luis Palomino defeats Lewis Gonzalez by TKO (strikes) at 4:42 of Round 1
R1: Markes heaves a big right kick early. Low kick from Markes, who charges in behind a wild flurry of punches, narrowly avoiding Butterfield's counters, and hits a takedown. Markes immediately transitions to back control and dumps Butterfield with a double after he spins out and faces him. High half guard for Markes who isolates the arm and goes two-on-one, seeking a kimura.
Butterfield tries to scramble free but Markes stays on him, again securing back control in the transition but this time sinking in both hooks. Markes fishes for the mata leao and then wrenches Butterfield's head with a neck crank. Butterfield hand-fights to break the grip but can't shake Markes off his back. Butterfield finally reverses with 20 seconds left and avoids a 10-8 round by shelling off a flurry of punches from the top. 10-9 Markes.
R2: Butterfield slings a few shots and changes levels for a futile double-leg attempt. Markes stops it with an underhook and then cleverly takes Butterfield's back. Butterfield spins to face Markes and he's put on his back immediately. Markes, with both hooks in, persistently pursues the rear-naked choke until Butterfield manages a sweep at the halfway mark.
Feet on hips and wrist control for Markes, who nearly cracks Butterfield with an up-kick. Closed guard with a body lock from Markes, likely looking for a bailout stand up. Short, ineffectual punches from Butterfield on top after Markes looks for the triangle. Markes angles for an armbar and takes back control, again, during the transition. Markes puts both hooks in and then bombs away with a series of big rights and lefts after he's able to get on top of Butterfield after flattening him out. 10-9 Markes.
R3: Butterfield catches a Markes kick and converts it into a takedown. Markes gives up his back to escape and does so, but takes a few punches on his way out. Butterfield holds the rear waist cinch but Markes, who's now bleeding profusely from his left eye, changes position and gets the waist lock on Butterfield.
Butterfield looks for the Sakuraba kimura counter but Markes doggedly persists and drags him back down and into back control. Markes tries to bait Butterfield into a side choke during the transition but can't get it and sacrifices position. Butterfield in full guard but Markes creates space by kicking his hips away. Butterfield backs off and climbs back into the guard of Markes. 10-9 Markes for a 30-27 on my card.
- Rony Markes defeats Cully Butterfield by unanimous decision (29-28 x 3)
R1: Tiller dings Mutapcic with a right and then catches him with a double-leg as he's planting to throw. Half guard for Mutapcic. He spins out and Tiller nearly catches a guillotine from the front headlock but Mutapcic slips free. Front kick to the balls from Tiller and we pause while Mutapcic recovers. Mutapcic comes out firing on the restart. Tiller clinches up and puts Mutapcic on the cage though he takes a few knees to the body in the process.
Mutapcic scores a takedown, falls into half guard and immediately passes to side mount. Mutapcic steps over the arm into the crucifix and slams down some unhindered elbows before Tiller gets his trapped arm free. Mutapcic allows Tiller to sweep to set up a triangle but Tiller is wise to it and uses his knee to block it during the transition. Spinning roundhouse kick from Tiller misses and he falls onto his back, allowing Mutapcic to close the frame in top control. 10-9 Mutapcic.
R2: Mutapcic drives Tiller back with both hands whirring but Tiller holds his ground and stabilizes with straight punches. Mutapcic snares up a single leg and falls into Tiller's closed guard. Right elbow from Mutapcic, then a left forearm. Another right elbow. Tiller tries to time an escape as Mutapcic throws his next but remains in place.
A smattering of left elbows from Mutapcic in half guard with Tiller's head on the cage. Now right elbows and lefts to the body as Tiller is content to cling to a closed guard with no hip activity. Left hooks now complement Mutapcic's topside assault. 10-8 Mutapcic.
R3: Hard right/left combos from Mutapcic after Tiller finds only air with a spinning roundhouse kick. Jab lands for Tiller. They connect and Mutapcic catches Tiller's stooped stance in the front headlock and snaps him down for a takedown into full guard. Tiller closes it and defends Mutapcic's attempt to sweep. Explosive triangle attempt from Tiller; Mutapcic defends but gets cracked with an elbow on his way back down into Tiller's guard. Tiller pushes on the hips but can't create enough space slip free.
Mutapcic passes to side mount, looking for the crucifix again. Tiller explodes out but is still stuck in an inactive half guard. Tiller regains full guard to the tune of two elbows to the noggin. Tiller lands a short right from his back, then swivels for an armbar but Mutapcic isn't having it. 10-9 Mutapcic for a 30-26 his way on my card.
- Elvis Mutapcic defeats Kelvin Tiller by unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28 x 2)
R1: Hempleman staves off an early takedown attempt from Vila. Lunging overhand left lands for Vila, who can't get anywhere with the takedown from the clinch either. Wide, sweeping clubs being thrown by Vila, which may have at least grazed Hempleman. Left hook is there for Vila. Twice. Left body kick from Vila and Hempleman circles and snaps off two jabs.
Vila whiffs with a right-handed meatball. Vila scores with two wide lefts after missing with his wild overhand right. Hempleman lands a kick and a right hand but we pause briefly as the kick may have landed below the belt. Hempleman jabs twice and bobs under Vila's sweeping left hand. No set up on Vila's shot and Hempleman stuffs the former Olympian. Hempleman lands tight inside roundhouse kick before the bell sounds. 10-10 for neither clearly out-performing the other.
R2: Short left from Vila but it's answered with a pair of left kicks to the body. Make it a trio. Hempleman riskily countering Vila's wide punches with kicks but he gets away with it. Vila sneaks in a right hand. Inside low kick from Vila. Hard outside low kick from Hempleman, then one inside. Hempleman scores with two punches that he tacks on to his next low kick attempt.
Inside and outside low kick from Hempleman, who's establishing himself now. Vila lands a right to the body but Hempleman comes over the top with a left counter. Triple jab from Hempleman followed by a sharp low kick. Vila has a high kick blocked but connects with his follow-up punch, which incites a solid combo from Hempleman. They both give and take a little in the next few exchanges. 10-9 Hempleman for his sustained volume and kicking onslaught.
R3: Hempleman looks to land cleaner with punches while cutting angles and covering on Vila's counter-fire. Sloppy takedown attempt from Vila and Hempleman stuffs it and rips off four consecutive jabs. We pause for an accidental low blow by way of a misfired Hempleman kick. Vila lands a club of a right hand but Hempleman turns inside to answer with a right shovel punch.
Stiff jab lands for Vila, then an outside low kick. Hempleman closes his combo with a left hand that sneaks through. Right and left combo lands for Vila. Jabs aplenty from Hempleman but Vila straightens out his left and lands it, following up with a grazing right. Heavy right from Vila in the pocket. Hempleman stays busy but Vila's shots start to add up, and his momentum is amplified by adding in more kicks. Close round but I have it 10-9 Vila for a 29-29 draw on my score card.
- Brandon Hempleman defeats Alexis Vila by unanimous decision (30-27 x 2, 29-28)
R1: Sayles flings a high kick and caches Hansen's counter kick but can't convert the takedown. They clinch with Sayles slashing short lefts with Hansen's back on the cage. Sayles lands a left on the clinch break. Hansen bores a straight left through the guard of Sayles and drops him, then pounces with more lefts, looking to finish. Sayles recovers after Hansen's heated attack, holding Hansen on the cage and then separating.
Sayles puts Hansen on the fence again, looking for a single leg. Hansen evades it and they restart in the center, where Hansen's quick, tight and straight left finds the mark again. Hansen in the rear waist cinch and Sayles throws a few backward heel strikes to the shin. Sayles spins out and cracks Hansen with a low kick. Then another. Hansen answers in kind with one inside and reminds Sayles of his straight left. 10-9 Hansen.
R2: Sayles comes out aggressive with punches and kicks to the low and mid-range. Hansen can't get the half-hearted single leg attempt but stays busy with his left-hand counters. Sayles using more lateral movement and angles to stay out of Hansen's wheelhouse. Wild right from Sayles whiffs.Hansen with a pair of straight lefts and a single leg attempt that he can't secure.
Double outside low kicks and a jumping switch kick for Sayles; though mostly defended, it's still a pretty medley. They clinch and Hansen dings Sayles with a short uppercut but he's lacking effective offense in this round. Hansen follows behind an overhand left and shoots a single, managing to tie up with Sayles, albeit briefly. Hansen's left glances and Sayles unbolts a quick one-two that lands. 10-9 Sayles.
R3: Hansen times a duck-under double and ends up in the rear waist lock, but Sayles spins out and lands a right hand and an elbow with the single collar tie. There's not much on Sayles' kicks but he's throwing them often and Hansen can't find the counter. Clean right hand scores for Sayles. A knee to the body for Sayles, who dodges Hansen's counter left. Sayles pivots on a right hand, cracks a low kick and then snaps Hansen's head back with a rear-leg teep.
Hansen lands a short left amidst the ongoing kicking barrage of Sayles. Short left hook by Sayles on the clinch break, then he flings consecutive right roundhouse kicks. Hansen with a left downstairs. Snapping right hand is there for Sayles, followed by more front kicks. Alternating-leg front kicks for Hansen in triplicate, then a lunging right hand and a short-range flying knee. Hansen takes him down as the ten-second clapper sounds but Sayles is right back up. 10-9 Sayles for a 29-28 his way on my card.
- Matt Sayles defeats Bryson Hansen by unanimous decision (29-28 x 3)
Preliminary Card Results
Lucas Montoya defeats Jimmy Spicuzza by TKO (punches), Round 1
Danny Davis defeats Jorge Lopez by unanimous decision
Adam Acquaviva defeats Cody Maltais by split decision
Bryson Gutches defeats Soslan Abanokov