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WSOF 28: Moraes vs Barajas event preview

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WSOF bantamweight champion Marlon Moraes returns to action this weekend in a card that lacks some of the organization's bigger names.

WSOF

World Series of Fighting returns to California on Saturday night to have one of their best talents putting his title on the line, as Marlon Moraes takes on Joseph Barajas for the WSOF bantamweight championship. Barajas has had most of his fights in the infamous Gladiator Challenge and Xplode promotions, compiling a nice record that is unfortunately composed of mostly fighters that are currently still at 0-1 or have sub-500 records. Moraes has won 10 straight bouts and has a good case for being one of the best bantamweights in the world regardless of promotion. The Brazilian won the WSOF title in March 2014 over Josh Rettinghouse and has successfully defended the belt against Josh Hill and Sheymon Moraes (no relation). He's listed as high as a -1100 favorite on most gambling syndicates, so a loss here would go down as one of the bigger upsets in MMA history.

Rising bantamweight prospect Timur Valiev returns to action as well, facing Texas-born fighter Chris Gutierrez in the co-main event. This particular fight appears to have been booked in hopes of a standup bout. Gutierrez is making his WSOF debut, while Valiev is 4-0 in the promotion.

Also, familiar face Jamie Yager, of TUF 11 fame, will be making an appearance on this main card as he fights Tom "The Grinder" Gloudeman, another fighter who has spent the bulk of his career at Gladiator Challenge. Gludeman is filling in for the injured Greg Parker.

Curiously enough, regional promotion BAMMA USA is featuring their welterweight championship in what is until now listed as a post-event dark match between Bellator veteran Chris Saunders and Darren Smith.

Here's tomorrow night's full event lineup:

Main Card

Marlon Moraes (15-4-1) vs Joseph Barajas (9-1) WSOF bantamweight title fight
Timur Valiev (8-1) vs Chris Gutierrez (8-0-1 draw)
Jamie Yager (6-4) vs Tom Gloudeman (8-5)
Andrew Ramm (4-2) vs Ozzie Alvarez (6-3)

Prelims

Steve Ramirez (2-1) vs Kyle Estrada (2-1)
Heinrich Wassmer (2-0) vs Keenan Lewis (2-3)
Eric Steans, Jr (4-4) vs Jalin Turner (6-2)
Mike Klubeska (pro debut) vs Fard Muhammad (2-3)

Post-lim bouts:

Chris Saunders (15-7) vs Darren Smith (7-5) - BAMMA USA WW title fight
Albert Morales (4-0) vs Anthony Paredes (2-3)

WSOF takes place this Saturday from the Next Level Sports Complex in Garden Grove, CA. The main card begins at 9:00pm EST on NBC Sports Network. Bloody Elbow will have a live discussion and results post for this event, including a live stream of the preliminary card at 7 PM ET/4 PM PT.