The World Series of Fighting returns tonight with a stacked card from Las Vegas, Nevada. WSOF 9 features two world title fights in the Welterweight and Bantamweight divisions respectively.
In the main event of the evening, Steve Carl puts his Welterweight title on the line against former UFC contender, Rousimar Palhares. In the co-main event, Marlon Moraes takes on Josh Rettinghouse for the inaugural WSOF Bantamweight title.
The card also features the WSOF debut of former UFC title challenger, Yushin Okami. He takes on Svetlozar Savov on the main card.
Today, I give you my predictions for how the main card fights will go down.
Steve Carl vs. Rousimar Palhares
This fight has all the makings to be the fight of the night. Both men are very submission savvy, so we may be treated to some high-level jiu-jitsu. During Carl’s seven fight winning streak he has submitted every single opponent put in front of him. Five of Palhares’ last six victories have come by way of submission. In the end, Palhares is the most dangerous leg lock specialist in MMA, and for that reason alone he is my pick tonight.
Prediction: Rousimar Palhares defeats Steve Carl by Submission Round 2
Marlon Moraes vs. Josh Rettinghouse
While Rettinghouse impressed in his victory over Alexis Vila back at WSOF 6, Moraes has simply accomplished more in his MMA career. Impressive wins over Tyson Nam and Miguel Torres have brought Moraes to this point, and he is ready to seize his opportunity tonight. Moraes also trains with Frankie Edgar at Ricardo Almeida’s gym and seems poised to break into the top 10 Bantamweight rankings in the world.
Prediction: Marlon Moraes defeats Josh Rettinghouse by TKO Round 1
Yushin Okami vs. Svetlozar Savov
Anything can happen in MMA, but this is an obvious pick.
Prediction: Yushin Okami defeats Svetlozar Savov by Unanimous Decision
Josh Burkman vs. Tyler Stinson
Stinson is one of the most unheralded and unappreciated fighters in the sport of MMA. In 27 career victories, Stinson has 25 finishes to his name. Of those 25 finishes, 18 of them have come in the first round. Stinson has had difficulty against top flight competition (losses to Tarec Saffiedine, Steve Carl, Jordan Mein), but it seems that he is finally putting his entire game together. Burkman has the veteran savvy, but I am picking the upset here.
Prediction: Tyler Stinson defeats Josh Burkman by TKO Round 1
Ozzy Dugulubgov vs. Johnny Nunez
This is going to be a grappling war between two skilled practitioners. Both men are getting to prove their worth on the biggest stage of their respective careers, so it will be interesting to see how they perform. I am going with the more technical grappler, Dugulubgov.
Prediction: Ozzy Dugulubgov defeats Johnny Nunez by Unanimous Decision