World Series of Fighting 6: Action, Thrills, Suspense and a New Welterweight Champ
By Matthew Benoliel (The Fighting News Reporter)
The World Series of Fighting came to town last night, October 26th, 2013 and they brought their A game with them. The atmosphere was electric and the MMA action was intense throughout the preliminaries and the main event. With commentary from UFC legend Bas Rutten, the WSOF hosted a world-class event in our beloved city of Miami.
Local talent included fighters Alexis Vila and Marcelo Alfaya from American Top Team, Luiz Firmino of the Blackzilians, Pablo Alfonso from MMA Masters in Miami, Fabio Mello from Imperial Athletics in Coconut Creek, and last, but certainly not least, Marlon Moraes fighting out of Palm Beach Gardens.
Highlights of the prelims included Alexis Vila, the 42-year old Olympic Wrestling Bronze medalist against the 23-year old Josh Rettinghouse from Spokane, Washington. Both fighters showed tremendous determination throughout the fight. The speed of the younger Rettinghouse proved a little too much for Alexis Vila, who remained strong throughout the three round fight and seemed determined to land a power shot. Rettinghouse scored with a takedown at the final bell to win a unanimous decision.
In an unexpected upset, local fighter Pablo Alfonso took out the veteran and former WEC Champion Miguel Torres via guillotine choke in a short but intense match that lasted just over three minutes.
The undefeated Justin Gaethje, making his third appearance with WSOF, once again showed the devastating power of his leg kicks as he landed one after another on his opponent Dan Lauzon. Limping back to his corner, Lauzon needed to change up his strategy if he had any hopes of a win. In round two, Gaethje continued to cut down the legs and landed a few crisp shots and a precise uppercut that KO’d Lauzon.
Jon Fitch vs. Marcelo Alfaya proved to be a good matchup. Although some critics expected an easier win for the more experienced Fitch, a UFC veteran and title contender who has fought the biggest names in the sport, including BJ Penn and Georges St. Pierre, Fitch spent most of the first round defending against the arguably stronger Marcelo Alfaya, who took Fitch’s back early in the fight. A body triangle secured Alfaya’s position but Alfaya was not able to get the choke he was looking for. Eventually Fitch broke the hold and scrambled to his feet, but missed a takedown attempt at the end of the round. After succumbing to an early takedown in round two, Alfaya managed to get to his feet but took a few nice shots in the process. Soon Alfaya scored with a takedown and almost took his opponent’s back again, but Fitch managed to escape and the back and forth continued. The whole time Alfaya seemed to be expending more energy, and Fitch capitalized with his hands, landing jabs, uppercuts and a nice body shot that left Alfaya dazed at the end of round two. With one round each, Fitch entered the third round with the advantage. Fitch scored early in round three with his combinations of punches and almost controlled the action throughout the round. Alfaya seemed to be in serious trouble at around 3:45, taking vicious shots to the head from a very determined Fitch, but Alfaya showed remarkable heart and managed to finish the fight on his feet. The split decision went to Fitch.
The next fight featured bantamweights Marlon Moraes vs. Carson Beebe in the shortest fight of the evening. The action from the opening bell was intense, with Beebe rushing forward to meet Moraes at the center of the octagon. Moraes managed to sidestep the attack and clipped Beebe with a few solid shots from an outside angle. With impressive speed and accuracy, the hometown favorite Moraes landed a left hook to the jaw of Beebe that spelled lights out for the grappler from Illinois.
In the main event for the Inaugural Welterweight Title, the favored Josh Burkman lost to underdog Steve Carl in round four of a matchup that saw each fighter struggling for an advantage throughout. Both fighters displayed excellent defensive skills on the ground escaping guillotine chokes, rear-naked chokes and triangle submissions. In the first round, Burkman seemed to be ahead, scoring with leg kicks and controlling the pace. The second round belonged to Carl who scored some good ground and pound but was unable to finish Burkman. The third round seemed to tire both fighters and eventually Carl submitted Burkman early in round four with a triangle choke that forced Burkman to tap.
After the fight, Carl stated that he was hospitalized two weeks ago for a back injury and expressed moments of self-doubt during the fight. This night, Carl proved himself to be a true warrior and earned a win as a 3-1 underdog to become the first WOSF Welterweight Champion.