The World Series of Fighting's light heavyweight tournament took central stage on Friday night as middleweight champion Dave Branch moved up a division to fight Jess McElligott, a late replacement for the ill Ronny Markes. Also featured on the card was the return of Nick Newell to the World Series of Fighting after suffering his first defeat at the hands of Justin Gaethje.
David Branch defeats Jess McElligott via technical submission (choke) RD 2 1:28
Dave Branch has been on a tear since leaving the UFC. Coming into this fight he had won 5 straight, including wins over Paulo Filho, Jesse Taylor and former UFC title contender Yushin Okami. Branch's WSOF tenure has seen him become the promotion's middleweight champion and if his performance last night is anything to go by, he could become their light heavyweight champion in no time.
Jess McElligott was given a massive step up in competition when he was matched with David Branch and from the get go it was clear to see he was outclassed, Branch tagged him on the feet before choking him unconscious in the 2nd round.
Check out Zombie Prophet's vine of the finish
Nick Newell defeats Joe Condell via unanimous decision (29-28 X 3)
When Nick Newell first appeared in the cage the first point of conversation amongst the fight community was his disability, but after a few quick impressive finishes the conversation changed from one of disability to one of ability, fans wanted to see how Newell could do against the upper echelon of mixed martial arts fighters and in July we got the answer, when he fought Justin Gaethje for the belt, getting tko'ed in the process.
Last night Newell looked to rebound and he did so in impressive fashion against Condell, using his striking to great effect against a hesitant Condell, who throughout 3 round couldn't muster any tangible offence. While Newell dominated the first two rounds in the 3rd he began to show signs of exhaustion and Condell had some minor success but all in all Newell put on a good performance and deserved the victory.
Emmanuel Walo defeats Ben Fodor via unanimous decision
Phoenix Jones' first World Series of Fighting appearance didn't quite go to plan. Emmanuel Walo proved to be a terrible matchup for the Seattle based crime fighter. Walo's victory was in no small part due to his significant wrestling advantage, which he used to neutralise Jones throughout the first and second round. Fodor had a little more success in the 3rd and final stanza against a then clearly fatigued Walo, landing some decent strikes before again succumbing to a takedown attempt off some ill-timed strikes. Fodor's performance was anything but super, expect him to take some time off to tighten his clear defensive holes before returning to the cage.
Steve Mocco defeats Juilano Coutinho via TKO (Punches) RD 1 4:02
Coming in to Friday night's main-card match up, it had been over a year since Olympic wrestling star Steve Mocco was shockingly defeated against Smealinho Rama. Many expected Mocco's return to the cage to be dominant and fast paced, they were right. Juliano Coutinho was no match for ATT product Mocco, getting soundly outstruck on the feet before being finished off with some nasty ground and pound.
Here's a Vine of the finish from ZP
This one was pretty nasty. Dugulubgov looked great landing a nice kick early that completely shattered Montoya's arm, forcing the fight to be called within the first few minutes. Ozzy was due to face Melvin Guillard in the co-main event last night and really deserved the step up in fighter, but nevertheless he will be happy to pull off the win in impressive fashion against Montoya.
Islam Mamedov def. Leon Davis via TKO (strikes) RD 1 (4:41)
Saul Almeida def. Chris Foster via split decision (28-29, 29-28, 30-27)
Matt Secor def. Chip Moraza-Pollard via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-29, 30-27)
Darren Mima def. Johnny Campbell via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-26)