It’s not uncommon for a new MMA promotion to spring up every now and again considering the popularity of the sport and potential for making money. However, few if any have entered the game with the steam of World Series of Fighting. The organization is backed by NBC Sports and will debut tonight with a card featuring a number of notable competitors including Miguel Torres, Anthony Johnson, and Andrei Arlovski.
Arlovski is set to serve as a headliner alongside Strikeforce veteran Devin Cole. Both men are entering the bout with the momentum of a two-fight winning streak with each likely looking for a knockout considering their respective reputations for scoring strike-based stoppages.
Meanwhile, Johnson will face D.J. Linderman in hopes of racking up another successful showing at light heavyweight, and Torres is making his first appearance outside of a Zuffa-owned company for the first time in more than five years.
As usual, Five Ounces of Pain will be watching from start to finish while providing live results to our readers including play-by-play for the main card clashes. Preliminary action starts at 7:30 PM EST with NBC Sports taking over three hours later.
A rundown of in-ring action can be found below:
David Branch def. Dustin Jacoby via Unanimous Decision
Gesias Cavalcante def. T.J. O’Brien via Submission Round 1 (Heel Hook)
Josh Burkman def. Gerald Harris via Unanimous Decision
Steve Carl def. Ramico Blackmon via Submission Round 1 (Rear-Naked Choke)
Brian Cobb def. Ronys Torres via Split Decision
Tyson Steele def. Gregor Gracie via TKO Round 1 (Strikes)
Tyrone Spong vs. Travis Bartlett
Steve Mazzagatti reffing. Spong looking to stand already and is staying long with jabs. Spong is landing body kicks and head kicks at will, and he drops Bartlett with a head kick. Bartlett lost on his feet and has no answer for Spong’s pressure. Spong is picking Bartlett apart and landing almost everything he throws. Spong walks down Bartlett with his hands down and lands a straight right that crumples him. Bartlett goes out cold.
Tyrone Spong def. Travis Bartlett via knockout, Round 1 (3:15, Punches)
Miguel Torres vs. Marlon Moraes
Ref Kim Winslow
Moraes looking to land leg kicks early. Moraes swarms Torres and lands a nice combination that stunned Torres. He threw him down and a scramble ensued. Moraes is walking down Torres, and Torres isn’t pulling the trigger. Torres is going for desperate punches and Moraes is landing low kicks and straights. Round ends with a flurry from Moraes.
Torres is looking to brawl with Moraes and they exchange early. Moraes lands a solid leg kick that slows down Torres. Moraes is slipping Torres’ punches well and is outlanding him when they are in close. Torres goes for take down but shoots from way outside. Crowd booing because of slow action as Moraes lands a solid body kick. Torres opening up more but Moraes lands a straight left that drops Torres for a quick second. Round ends 20 seconds later with more feeling out.
Moraes’s leg kicks stating to add up on Torres, and his ability to keep Miguel on the outside the whole time is almost masterful. Moraes is landing more consistently on Torres and is the one coming forward so far in the round. Both throwing punches and Moraes throws a switch kick to the head that came close to ending Torres’ night. Torres starting to land his jab more consistently but its almost too late in the fight for that. Final minute of the fight and Moraes shoots in for the takedown and gets it and he lands body shots as Torres throws strikes from his back.
Marlon Moraes def. Miguel Torres via split decision (30-27, 28-29, 29-28)
Promotion announces fight with Tyson Nam in 2013
Anthony Johnson vs. D.J. Linderman
Linderman showing the jab early, but Johnson is landing leg kicks. One leg kick went high and Johnson kicks Linderman square in the pills. Herb Dean warns Johnson. Couple minutes go by and Linderman is ready. Johnson is walking down Linderman and landing the cleaner punches. Johnson goes back to the leg kicks and one of them drops Linderman. Johnson shoots on Linderman and starts working the body. Linderman tries to use the cage to stand up and Jonhson begins working the body with knees. Linderman gets up and starts to close the distance on Johnson and Johnson lands a clean right that knocks Linderman out cold. Linderman topples face first into the canvas.
Anthony Johnson def. D.J. Linderman via knockout Round 1 (3:58, punches)
Andrei Arlovski vs. Devin Cole
Ref Steve Mazzagatti
Cole landing jabs early on Arlovski. Arlovski throws some jabs but his head is awfully high. Arlovski is looking for the counter shots on Cole with good accuracy. Cole shoots in for the takedown but Arlovski fights it off and Cole begins to land knees to the thighs of Arlovski against the fence. Arlovski reverses and pushes off. Cole comes in and Arlovski lands an overhand right right that crumples Cole. Arlovski swarms with hammer fist and Mazzagatti saves Cole.
Andrei Arlovski def. Devin Cole via technical knockout round 1 (2:37, punches)