The co-main event is a bout several months in the making. A middleweight tournament semi-final bout between Elvis Mutapcic and Jesse Taylor was scheduled for the September WSOF 5 event but was scrapped just moments before the bout as a state athletic commission official stated that she saw Mutapcic taking a substance backstage.
Mutapcic passed a self-administered drug test after the fight.
The winner will take on David Branch who sits in the semi-final round awaiting an opponent. The tournament is to crown the promotion’s first middleweight champion.
Round 1: Taylor shot in for an early takedown on Mutapcic, which he gained. He quickly scrambled to full mount and began to score points on Mutapcic. Taylor then was able to grab the back of Mutapcic and softened him with shots while looking for a choke. Taylor held on to Mutapcic on the mat and battered him early. Mutapcic was able to move Taylor down to full guard but couldn’t get him off of him. Taylor sunk in a tight guillotine on Mutapcic but was unable to secure it and in the process, gave up top control to Mutapcic who quickly took Taylor’s back. Taylor wasn’t going to let himself give up the round though and spun around in to the guard of Mutapcic.
Round 2: Taylor again tried to choke Mutapcic out but failed to do so. However, Taylor used the choke to flip Mutapcic over and get on top of him. Taylor appeared to be the stronger of the two men and held Mutapcic in place underneath him. The round was dictated by Taylor throughout with ease.
Round 3: Taylor didn’t get the immediate takedown in the third but got it soon enough, about 20-seconds in. Taylor again held Mutapcic down as he was the fresher fighter on top of already establishing his superior strength. Mutapcic attacked with a heel-hook and was able to get Taylor off of him but only for a few seconds. Taylor got free, spun and rolled Mutapcic over again to continue the beating.
“The Belt’s gonna [sic] be mine. I’m not gonna be stopped, I don’t care if it’s boring I’m not gonna stop.” Taylor told Bas Rutten after the fight.
Official Result: Taylor defeats Mutapcic via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27). Advances to middleweight tournament finals to face David Branch for the inaugural title.
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