The World Series of Fighting landed in Southern California for it’s second time in the promotion’s short tenure and brought a main card with quick finishes and some strange decisions. World Series of Fighting 28 was a co-promoted effort between Ray Sefo and company and local SoCal promotion BAMMA USA. The undercard and two postlim fights was compromised entirely of the local promotion’s signees made up BAMMA USA: BadBeat 18 and half the fighters on the main card were BAMMA USA veterans as well.
The main card was hit or miss in some aspects but the prelims delivered in thrills and in finishes, if the main card wasn’t much to your liking, a replay of the prelims is still available on WSOF.com, some standout moments from the prelims is Steve Ramirez’ knockout of Kyle Estrada which was also replayed after the main event’s quick ending, and the final postlim fight between Chris Saunders and Darren Smith.
BANTAMWEIGHT (135lbs.) CHAMPIONSHIP TITLE FIGHT – MARLON MORAES VS. JOSEPH BARAJAS.
Marlon Moraes was expected to defend his title against relative newcomer Joseph Barajas, he was listed as over a -1000 favorite on some sport book websites, but even with the disparity in experience and skill a sub 90 second finish for Moraes is still pretty impressive. Moraes never bothered with any other plan of attack, leg kicks were the order of the day and threw them like it was a “going out of business” sale. Within five seconds of the bout commencement, Moraes took the center of the decagon and landed a swift left leg kick that immediately got Barajas’ attention.
Seeing Barajas’ awkward southpaw almost bladed stance, Moraes went back to what brought him to the dance. Barajas never got out of range for the low kicks to not be viable for Moraes, and it only took seven kicks for Barajas to go down with a possible knee injury. With the exception of one high kick that was partially blocked and a few feinted punches, Moraes never went off path from his punishing leg kick attack and the same left leg kick that he landed in the beginning, was the same kick that chopped Barajas down for the TKO victory. Marlon Moraes keeps the WSOF bantamweight hardware, his 11 fight unbeaten streak and improves his record to 16-4-1, Joseph Barajas now stands at 12-2.
Official Result: Marlon Moraes defeats Joseph Barajas by TKO (leg kick) at 1:13 seconds of the first round.
BANTAMWEIGHT (135lbs.) – CHRIS GUTIERREZ VS. TIMUR VALIEV.
The co-main event between Timur Valiev and WSOF newcomer Chris Gutierrez was expected to bring fireworks, Valiev was also a sizeable favorite, over -500 in some sports books, but this bout didn’t play out the way some might have expected.
Gutierrez looked good in the opening round, taking the center of the decagon, keeping Valiev at range and throwing some nice kicks. Valiev looked to take Gutierrez down and almost got choked for his troubles. Gutierrez acquitted himself nicely, and possessed most of the initiative early on.
The last two rounds leaned more with Valiev, as he managed to close the distance and land harder blows, leg kicks were landing and takedowns were coming with more success. The takedowns also came with some subsequent ground and pound that took a bit of a toll on the promotional debutant. A couple of blitzing attacks and a late knockdown may have made the third round a bit closer but it was still Valiev taking the initiative, pressing the action and imposing his will throughout the closing round. The judges’ decision was read and was met with shock and some boos from the crowd. Chris Gutierrez scored the upset and improves to 9-1-1, while Timur Valiev drops to 10-2.
Official Result: Chris Gutierrez defeats Timur Valiev by split decision (29-28 2x, 27-30).
WELTERWEIGHT (170lbs.) – JAMIE YAGER VS. DANIEL McWILLIAMS.
Season 11 Ultimate Fighter contestant and one time Bellator fighter Jamie Yager came back after a three year layoff to get his first win in four years. Journeyman Daniel McWilliams took the call on days notice, after Tom Gloudeman pulled out less than a week before fight night, who was a replacement for Yager’s original opponent Greg Parker. Last minute opponent switches are never an easy thing for fighters to go through, but it turned out in Yager’s favor this time around. A few kicks were exchanged which then saw McWilliams shoot for a takedown that got reversed, leading to a quick side mount and a modified arm lock with Yager’s legs. Jamie Yager gets his first win in four years, ends a two fight losing skid and improves to 7-4, while Daniel McWilliams drops to 13-33.
Official Result: Jamie Yager defeats Daniel McWilliams by submission (armbar) at 0:38 seconds into the first round.
WELTERWEIGHT (170lbs.) – OZZIE ALVAREZ VS. ANDREW RAMM.
World Series of Fighting debuting welterweights Ozzie Alvarez and Andrew Ramm opened up the NBC Sports Network main card. This was expected to play out as a striker in Alvarez, versus a grappler in Ramm, strangely enough the roles seemed to be reversed. Ramm took the center of the cage and pressed the action throughout the duration of the bout as Alvarez was all too content to stay on the outside and potshot sparingly.
The times that Alvarez did take any kind of initiative were by bullrush takedowns were he laid in guard and offered negligible offense. Ramm never seemed intent on coming forward with his strikes and it seemed to be a deciding factor with the judge’s ballots. The third round was the most lackluster but it did see the most significant strike if the contest when Alvarez landed a spinning back kick to Ramm’s jaw a split second before the final bell. Ozzie Alvarez improved to 7-3, while Andrew Ramm’s record is officially at .500 with a 4-4 split.
Official Result: Ozzie Alvarez defeats Andrew Ramm by unanimous decision (29-28 2x, 30-27).
LIGHTWEIGHT (155lbs.) – Chris Saunders (15-7) defeats Darren Smith (8-6) by unanimous decision (29-28 2x, 30-27)
BANTAMWEIGHT (135lbs.) – Albert Morales (5-0) defeats Anthony Paredes (3-4) by unanimous decision (29-28 2x, 30-27)
FLYWEIGHT (125lbs.) – Steve Ramirez (4-1) defeats Kyle Estrada (2-2) by knockout (punches) at 1:01 seconds of the first round.
CATCHWEIGHT (190lbs.) – Isaias Alvarado (4-2) defeats Garrick Evans (2-2) by TKO (punches) at 3:21 seconds of the first round.
FLYWEIGHT (125lbs.) – Heinrich Wassmer (3-0) defeats Keenan Lewis (3-4) by submission (rear naked choke) at 3:02 of the third round.
LIGHTWEIGHT (155lbs.) – Jalin Turner (1-0) defeats Eric Steans Jr. (4-5) by knockout (punch) at 0:38 seconds of the first round.
BANTAMWEIGHT (135lbs.) – Fard Muhammad (3-3) defeats Mike Kubeska (0-2-1) by majority decision (28-28, 28-27, 29-27)