Welcome to the Decagon!
The World Series of Fighting 6 is live from the BankUnited Center in Coral Gables, Florida.
The main card starts with Dan Lauzon, who the WSOF announcers note is the younger brother of UFC fighter Joe Lauzon, against Justin Gaethje.
The fight begins with a good stand-up war. These guys aren’t playing it safe, and unlike UFC fighters, don’t look like they are worried about getting cut.
Gaethje is wrecking Lauzon with leg kicks to the point where Lauzon is falling on his back because he doesn’t want to stand up with Gaethje. Lauzon survives the round. Round 2 starts the same way. Gaethje drops him with a right uppercut and the ref stops the fight at 1:42 of Round 2.
Jon Fitch is up next. He’s already getting booed by the crowd.
Immediately Marcelo Alfaya takes Fitch down and gets his back. Not a great sign. Fitch, however, is a submission specialist, and a master of avoiding submissions. This style of fighting is one of the reasons he got cut from the UFC. He’s a pound-for-pound top welterweight, but he seems to only be happy when he’s in trouble.
Alfaya is clubbing him with elbows from the back and Fitch is taking them well. Fitch is back on his feet and the round ends.
Fitch comes out more aggressive in round two and takes Alfaya down, but he can’t hold him. Alfaya counters, but the two are both back up and Alfaya has Fitch up against the cage. Both fighters look tired now.
Color commentator Bas Rutten keeps talking about how Fitch handled Erick Silva in the UFC, when Fitch stopped the rising star Silva in his tracks.
At this point it is a typical Fitch fight. He’s is displaying some great technique and leverage, but the fight is dull. Alfaya almost gets his back again, but Fitch slips out. Alfaya now looks gassed with a minute left in round 2.
In round 3 Fitch is showing a lot more moxie than usual. His standing up and landing punches. He looks the fresher of the two fighters. Fitch probably needs a big round or a finish to win the fight.
Fitch takes him down and starts the ground-and-pound. Fitch looks like Georges St-Pierre trying to finish Alfaya off. Fitch hit him with about five right hands and then Alfaya tied him and got back to his feet.
The two scramble to end the round and the crowd is on its feet. It goes to the judges.
It’s a split decision. 29-28 Fitch, 29-28 Alfaya, 29-28 for Fitch. It’s a big win for Fitch, who’s had a rough past year.
It’s time for the co-main event. The very impressive Marlon Moraes now takes on Carson Beebe in a bantamweight division fight.
Don’t blink here. Moraes is already landing. Beebe is slugging with him, trying to turn the fight into a Hagler vs. Hearns affair. Moraes is cutting and sliding like he’s on the basketball court.
That’s it. A leg kick, a couple of uppercuts and a left hook and Beebe is out like a light. That took 32 seconds.
Beebe is still flat on his back 30 seconds letter. Moraes has now won five in a round, including victories over Tyson Nam and Miguel Torres.
Main event for the welterweight championship is up next.
But before that, the camera spotlights UFC fighters Tyron Spong and Anthony “Rumble” Johnson sitting cageside. More impressively, and surprisingly, the camera shows WWE World Heavyweight Champion Alberto Del Rio (whom the announcer called “Albert”) posing with WSOF President Ray Sefo. The announcer also promotes Sunday’s WWE “Hell in a Cell” match between Del Rio and John Cena. Strange to see them promote a WWE Pay-Per-View.
Steve Carl battles Josh “The People’s Warrior” Burkman for the welterweight championship.
Both fighters are showing a lot of respect for each other early. Some early punches, but nothing heavy. Burkman grabs him and pushes him back against the cage. He takes hime down, but Carl is back up quickly.
It’s a five-round fight so the two might be trying to pace themselves. The two spent the second half of the round on the ground. Burkman tried for an ankle lock, but Carl slipped out. Close round.
Round 2 is more of the same. Both fighters already appear tired. Carl shoots for the takedown, but Burkman stops it. Burkman is starting to throw hard punches. Carl takes him down. Burkman seems to be having trouble with Carl’s pressure and takedown attempts.
Carl is on top and is really pounding Burkman. Burkman showed very little offense throughout the round.
Carl is dominating him. He has a rear naked choke. Burkman is in deep trouble. Somehow, he pulls out. Carl’s technique was slightly off, allowing Burkman to slip out. Carl wasted a lot of energy. Now it’s Burkman with a choke. Carl is struggling, but he breaks free.
Both guys were seconds away from going out in this fight. Now they are both back up, then down again. It’s only the third round and these fighters are exhausted.
Now they go to the championship rounds.
Going into round 4, the punch stats say that Carl has landed 20 significant strikes. Burkman, only 7.
The fight is back on the mat and both guys are looking for submission holds.
In a huge upset, Carl submits Burkman with a triangle choke. Burkman appeared to tap, but the ref didn’t stop it. Burkman went out cold.