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World Series of Fighting 1: Impressions from the First Event

By CagePotato contributer Andreas Hale

The World Series of Fighting held their first event at the Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas, NV. Although the main card appeared to be stuffed with squash matches, it was a pretty good night of fights and I was there to get a good gauge on the atmosphere and if WSoF could become a player in the MMA world that Dana White rules with an iron fist.

First things first, it wasn’t the sellout they promised as word is that they only sold 1500 tickets and comped double that to ensure a nice fight atmosphere. Nevertheless, it was a good evening of fights that the crowd was receptive to. Oh yeah, ring girls. Lots of ring girls. They were like a platoon that switched in and out. I didn’t know ring girls needed breaks but whatever. It’s enough variety to keep fans engaged between rounds. I mean, Brittany Palmer and Arianny Celeste are great but six beats two every single gotdamn time. Right? But I digress…

Media sat on a stage that put us eye level with the cage and we could damn near touch it (or slap a cameraman) if we tried hard enough. We could actually feel some of the punches landed. Pretty good stuff. Oh yeah, and there were fights.

Andrei Arlovski def. Devin Cole via 1st round TKO (2:37)

In the main event, Arlovski walked out to some rap song where the chorus barked “Andrei Arlovski.” Cool or corny, I’m not sure. I’ll probably roll with corny. At any rate, all I was thinking about was “if he gets knocked out this great rap song will all be a waste.” Devin Cole’s biggest victory was against Mike Kyle back in 2006 so the chances he would beat Arlovski were slim to none.

Trying to rival Bruce Buffer, the announcer’s catch phrase heading into the main event was “Can you feel it!?!?” Nope, sure can’t. Not with that.

Anyways, Arlovski did exactly what was expected as he smashed an overhand right into Cole’s temple and sent him to the canvas. Arlovski followed him there and hammerfists met Cole’s face.

The end.

Anthony Johnson def. DJ Linderman via 1st round KO (3:58)

Yeah, we all knew that Anthony Johnson could separate your body from your spirit in one punch, but this was ri-goddamn-diculous. Johnson continued his crusade to destroy foes in the 205 division as he wrecked DJ Linderman with a right hook that sent him face first into the canvas. Here’s how it went…

Johnson and Linderman danced around a bit. Johnson kicked Linderman in the nuts real, real hard. Linderman got himself together and Johnson went after him. A poke in the eye had Johnson in trouble. Herb Dean didn’t see the eye poke and urged the blinking Johnsno to continue. Instead of Linderman being cordial, he decided to rush him. Hey, all is fair in war, right? Unfortunately, that just pissed Johnson off and he uncorked a right hook that landed with the impact of Thor’s Hammer and sent Linderman face planting to the canvas. Even referee Herb Dean looked down like “Damn!” before checking to see if Linderman was dead. Fortunately, he wasn’t.

Marlon Moraes def. Miguel Torres via split decision (30-27 & 29-28 for Moraes, 29-28 Torres)

Once upon a time, Miguel Torres was considered to be unbeatable. A punch by Brian Bowles in 2009 shattered his unbreakable image and it hasn’t been the same for him ever since (3-5 in his last 8 fights after going 37-1). A stint in the UFC was chopped down by Michael McDonald and a rape van tweet that he couldn’t shake. His debut in WSoF was thought to be a rebirth but it was a rather rude awakening that perhaps the game has passed him by. Torres looked out of sync and lost against Brazilian Marlon Moraes as his stalking style was disintegrated in the first minute of the fight when Moraes clocked him with a combination and blood trickled from his scalp. From there — with a bizarre mixture of boos and Ric Flair “woos” echoing through the crowd — Torres was out struck by Moraes as he proved to be the faster and stronger fighter. It wasn’t the most exciting fight but Moraes was so comfortable that he attempted a jumping roundhouse in the third round. You wouldn’t have done that to Torres five years ago. But today, it’s a different story. A late takedown during a relatively competitive third sealed his fate. Well, almost. Somehow, one judge inexplicably scored the fight 29-28 for Torres but the other two judges managed to get it right with scores of 30-27 and 29-28 for Moraes.

Tyrone Spong def. Travis Bartlett via 1st round TKO (3:15)

101-5-1 is Tyrone Spong’s kickboxing record before deciding to head to the world of MMA. Obviously, his debut was hyped. Poor Travis Bartlett stood in the way of Spong becoming 1-0. That didn’t last long. The kickboxing beast handed out a savage beating to Bartlett that will likely have light heavyweights crapping their pants. After nearly kicking Bartlett’s head into the audience on several occasions, Spong settled for a straight right hand that dropped his foe to the canvas in a “no mas” manner eerily reminiscent of how Forrest Griffin collapsed to the canvas against Anderson Silva. It was ugly, it was brutal, it was beautiful.

Elsewhere on the card…

Tyson “The Man Of” Steele stopped Gregor Gracie in the first round with a hulk smash TKO. Time of stoppage was 2:11

Brian Cobb ended Rony Torres two-year, 11-fight win streak with a split decision victory.

Steve Carl pulled a nifty transition from crucifix to rear naked choke to elicit the tapout at the 2:11 mark.

Josh Burkman was impressive as he earned a unanimous decision victory over Gerald Harris.

JZ Cavalcante bent TJ O Brien’s leg like a pretzel as he scored a first round submission in 63 seconds.

David Branch’s workman like performance earned him a unanimous decision victory over Dustin Jacoby.

Spotted In The Crowd: Jake Shields, Urijah Faber, Rashad Evans, Travis Browne, Pat Militich, Vitor Belfort, Martin Kampmann, Ian McCall, Jay Heiron, TJ Lavin, Josh Barnett, Rampage Jackson, Chael Sonnen, Joseph Benevidez & Frank Trigg

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Canseco_MMA- November 5, 2012 at 8:43 pm
The kind of people who don't think this card was great probably think cyborg should work for brazzers, and that Chris condo didn't have a funny looking fupa....garbage ass.....
ArmFarmer- November 5, 2012 at 12:45 pm
Burkman Harris was an incredibly boring fight. The "highlights" of each round were embarrassing. The 3 minute long guillotine attempt was especially unbearable.. I mean really Gerald? Gonna spend the majority of a round clinging onto a submission while Burkman is defending with one hand and making "yeah right" gestures with the other?
mtnthc- November 5, 2012 at 8:10 am
Night of the can crushers
As Good As Anyone- November 5, 2012 at 7:34 am
You know what killed my buddies and I most? The blatant hype for the ex-ufc fighters that were clearly supposed to win and the virtually non-existent opposing fighters hype story. Clearly WSOF didn't watch Elite XC. The show was filled with so much bias, I almost started rooting for the underdogs. Another few key notes: Todd Harris is an awesome announcer, Bas was kind of flat with his commentating but did very well in technical commentating, I recommend bringing Frank Mir back to commentate with Todd Harris, they worked very well together. Also, the American crowd was as obnoxious as ever, WSOF should go to Japan or somewhere respect exists.
Pen Fifteen- November 5, 2012 at 6:19 am
The kind of people who think this card was great probably also think that Arby's is a great restaurant or that Jessica Alba is a great actress.
WampaStompa- November 5, 2012 at 7:46 am
Arby's is awful, Jessica Alba is hot, and this was a great first card for the promotion.

We got solid action from top to bottom, and got to see the debut of one of MMA's brightest prospects. If you're complaining about squash matches, at least you aren't seeing a middleweight fight for the LHW title here.

I'm a fan, I can't wait for their next show.
Chri534.- November 4, 2012 at 10:34 pm
Tommy Toe Hold sucks.

This sucked worse.

I hope a connection can be made.
Canseco_MMA- November 4, 2012 at 4:12 pm
I thought it was a great first show. That card was much better than most of the garbage ass the UFC has put out lately
Mr_Misanthropy- November 4, 2012 at 3:38 pm
Miguel Torres, I respeck the mullet, but your killin' me bro. Seriously.
Mr_Misanthropy- November 4, 2012 at 3:37 pm
"OK honey, I'm off to fight a World Champion kickboxer with a 101-5 record to get a pay check so we can make a mortgage payment..."

"OK sweetie here's your lunch and don't forget to sit on the outside right in kicking range and offer little to no offense..."
LesnarsIntestine- November 4, 2012 at 1:20 pm
Holy shit. This sounds like a great organisation. Was this televised? Are they coming to south florida? Need to see this isht at the hard rock.
Chiggs- November 4, 2012 at 11:23 am
Have a feeling Rampage was scouting 4 a new home..he might have nd thoughts after what Spong and Johnson did tonite lololol. Hopefulky WSOF grows an can become a Playa. Good nite of fights an no complaints here..
Alan K- November 4, 2012 at 9:51 am
I was hoping to see a bunch of dudes get wrecked and that was what I got. Excellent debut show. I can't wait for the next one.
MMA Mafia- November 4, 2012 at 7:51 am
It definitely wasn't the UFC but anytime you get to watch another MMA organization, free on TV, when no other fights are happening, that's a good Saturday night. It took me a minute to find the channel tho...I didn't know it was the old Versus Channel. Once I saw Todd Harris I knew I found it. Good start by Ray Sefo.
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