It was decision city at WSOF 30.
WSOF middleweight and light heavyweight champion David Branch successfully defended his 185-pound belt against Clifford Starks in the main event on Saturday night live from the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. Branch vs. Starks was quite slow in the early going as both fighters appeared to be worried about committing to something and engaging. In the early rounds, the bout was close, as well, with the damage being fairly even.
Branch was able to pull away in the championship rounds, however, despite a point deduction due to an illegal knee landed in round two.
He was the more active fighter in the later rounds on the feet and was able to score takedowns and get into dominant position. Starks toughed it out though, and did not allow himself to get finished by Branch, who was riding a stoppage streak of four in-a-row.
In the co-feature, UFC veteran Jon Fitch captured WSOF welterweight gold with a unanimous decision victory over late replacement Joao Zeferino. Fitch was initially scheduled to square off with Jake Shields for the vacant championship but Shields was pulled from the matchup and Zeferino, who competed in the lightweight tournament last year and made it to the finals, stepped in on short notice.
It was a typical Fitch fight, to say the least. For most of the fight, Fitch was able to eliminate any offense Zeferino had to offer with his grinding style. Fitch showed off his dominant wrestling throughout the fight -- it wasn't pretty, but he got the job done and picked up his first major MMA title in his 14-year veteran career.
Here are the full WSOF 30 results:
MAIN CARD -- NBC Sports (11:30pm ET/8:30pm PT)
- David Branch def. Clifford Starks via Unanimous Decision (49-44, 49-44, 49-44)
- Jon Fitch def. Joao Zeferino via Unanimous Decision (50-45, 50-45, 50-45)
- Vinny Magalhaes def. Jake Heun via Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
- Abu Azaitar def. Danny Davis Jr. via Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
PRELIMINARY CARD -- WSOF.com (8pm ET/5pm PT)
- Abubakar Nurmagomedov def. Matt Frincu via TKO at 3:05 of Round 2
- Rex Harris def. Clinton Williams via Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)
- Steve Kozola def. Matt Church via TKO at 1:57 of Round 1
- Adam Acquaviva def. Andres Ponce via Submission (Rear-Naked Choke) at 2:10 of Round 1
- Zach Bunnell def. Jeff Roman via Split Decision (29-28, 28-29, 30-27)