World Series of Fighting 8 goes down tonight at 9 PM ET/6 PM PT on NBC Sports from the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood, Florida.
The main card features two inaugural title bouts in the men’s lightweight and women’s strawweight divisions as well as a light heavyweight showdown between respected veterans and knockout artists.
Who will walk away with a win in tonight’s featured bouts? Read our predictions below to find out.
Vacant Lightweight Title – Justin Gaethje (10-0) versus Rich Patishnock (6-1)
Breakdown: In Justin Gaethje’s last bout with UFC veteran Dan Lauzon he looked nothing short of spectacular. Gaethje bucked Lauzon with hard punches throughout the first round but his best offense of the night was his leg kicks. Gaethje dropped Lauzon multiple times in the first with leg kicks that would make Jose Aldo cringe. In the second round Gaethje finished the job hitting Lauzon with an overhand right and uppercut combo for the knockout.
Gaethje’s opponent tonight will be Rich Patishnock who will look to continue his winning ways after out-pointing Gregor Gracie. In his bout with Gracie, Patishnock was able to defend the Brazilian’s takedowns and light him up on the feet. Much like Gaethje did to Lauzon, Patishnock was able to severely limit Gracie’s mobility with hard leg kicks. If Patishnock can keep the hard hitting Gaethje at bay with leg kicks and jabs then his chances of winning the fight are severely improved.
Prediction: Patishnock has looked good in his World Series of Fighting Career but not great. Gaethje on the other hand has been absolutely storming through his opponents and I think that continues tonight. Gaethje will throw hard leather early and it will pay off.
My prediction: Justin Gaethje will defeat Rich Patishnock by knockout.
Light-Heavyweight Featured Bout: Anthony Johnson (15-4) versus Mike Kyle (20-10)
Breakdown: In his last bout on his World Series of Fighting contract, Anthony Johnson will look to win impressively against Mike Kyle to drive up his asking price in free agency. We last saw Johnson as a heavyweight in March of 2013 where he bested Andrei Arlovski in a close decision. The bout saw Johnson floor Arlovski early nearly finishing the former UFC champion before competing in a closely contested final two rounds. Johnson was declared the winner in what some called a controversial decision.
Mike Kyle had nearly the same experience against Arlovski except he was on the losing end of the decision. Kyle floored Arlovski early like Johnson but was outboxed by the Belarusian for the next two rounds. Arlovski had a lot of success with his overhand right which is something Kyle needs to have improved if he wants to be successful against Johnson tonight. One of the weaknesses that Kyle has is his takedown defense. We saw him get taken down by middleweight kickboxer Gegard Mousasi quite easily in his last StrikeForce bout which is cause for concern. Should Johnson get Kyle down it will be a long night for the American Kickboxing Academy Product.
Prediction: Kyle can knockout a cow but that won’t matter against Johnson. Johnson brings the same amount of power that Kyle brings but he also has a much more diverse striking attack.
My Prediction: Look for Johnson to mix up punches, kicks, and takedowns en-route to a second round TKO.
Vacant Strawweight Title – Jessica Aguilar versus Alida Gray
Breakdown: Jessica Aguilar is the number one ranked strawweight in the world but has ran into some luck with the judges according to many. Aguilar’s most recent wins over Megumi Fujii and Patricia Vidonic have both been considered questionable which brings many to question if she truly deserves to be ranked number one. Whether you believe Aguilar has been getting lucky or not there is no denying that she is one helluva fighter. Aguilar is good everywhere. On the feet she has very serviceable striking and a wide array of techniques at her disposal. Her grappling is also top-knotch as she has seven wins by submission. Against Gray, Aguilar needs to fight a very technical fight to pick up the victory.
If there was one word to describe Alida Gray it would be vicious. Gray has never seen the scorecards in her MMA career as she has accumulated 3 knockouts and one submission. Gray quickly rose to fame after her knockout of Soannia Tiem went viral and made its way onto AXS TV’s Inside MMA. Gray’s most notable victory came in her professional debut when she submitted Patricia Vidonic in the second round. This is something to keep in mind come fight night as Aguilar struggled against Vidonic while Gray finished her.
Prediction: I’m tempted to go with Gray because of her finishing ability but I think Aguilar’s veteran composure will lead her to a win. This is Gray’s first fight in the spotlight and I think she will try to do too much early and gas herself out.
My prediction: is for Jessica Aguilar to defeat Alida Gray by submission.
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