Jon Fitch Wins at WSOF 24, Eyes Jake Shields Vacant Title Bout
By Robert Brizel, Real Combat Media MMA Correspondent-Ringside
*Photo Credit: Robert Brizel, Real Combat Media
Mashantucket, CT (October 19, 2015)– World Series of Fighting welterweight contender Jon Fitch moved a step closer to a vacant world title bout with Jake Shields by scoring a three round unanimous decision win over Yushin Okami in the main event of the World Series of Fighting 24 at Foxwoods Resort casino at Mashantucket, Connecticut on Saturday evening, October 17, 2015, broadcast on the NBC Sports Network. Former world middleweight, super middleweight and light heavyweight boxing champion Iran’ The Blade’ Barkley was a VIP guest at ringside, making his first career appearance at an MMA event, and was interviewed by World Series of Fighting commentator David Branch after the show. Barkley spoke of the need for advancing the boxing technique of MMA fighters. Barkley currently trains MMA fighters at NYC Gym in Manhattan, and trains boxers at Gleason’s Gym in Brooklyn.
Fitch, 27-7-1 with one No-Contest, American Kickboxing Academy, Fort Wayne, Indiana, expected a strong show from a stronger Okami, 30-10, Wajutsu Keishukai Tokyo, Kawasaki, Japan, who dropped from middleweight to welterweight for this contest and did well in the first round, with strong grappling along the cage. Okami grappled hard for position and battled Fitch up close to surprisingly win the first round. Fitch responded with multiple takedowns in the second and third round to overpower his game opponent, and maintained good control over the ever changing floor maneuvers and grappling for superior position.
Scoring: 29-28, 30-27, 30-27 for Fitch. Referee: Dan Miragliotta
In the co-main event immediately preceding, 2008 Combat Sambo World champion Blagoy Ivanov retained the World Series of Fighting World Heavyweight championship with a second round knockout of challenger Derrick Mehmen.
Ivanov stands shorter and had shorter reach than Mehmen, but clearly understood his game plan of getting inside with power and making his opponent pay in every possible way. Ivanov, 13-1, SK Absolute Bulgaria, Sofia, Bulgaria, had a field day when the limited Mehmen, 19-7, American Top Team, Grand Rapids, Iowa, tried to outbox him. Heads collided, but numerous power left hands from Ivanov made Mehmen’s chances of survival almost none from the beginning. Bleeding from the nose and a left eye cut, Mehmen kept trying to outbox and run from Ivanov, who would stand for none of it. After nine minutes of torture, Ivanov landed a crashing left hook which put away Mehmen on his back. Ivanov followed up with some head punches but the bout was clearly over as Mehmen was covering his face before he went down from the hook, down and out. In reflection, Mehmen knew he could outmaneuver Ivanov on the canvas. He tried a different approach. It failed.
Result: Blagov Ivanov KO 2 Derrick Mehmen, Heavyweights
Blagov retains World Series of Fighting World Heavyweight Championship
Time: 4:33 of Round Two. Referee; Bryan Miner.
In the fight of the night, and beyond a doubt the best World Series of Fighting bout this reporter has seen to date, 10-0 Magomed Bibulatov of the MMA Factory, Grozny, Chechnya, outpointed game but less experienced 5-0 Donavon Frelow of the Wand Fight Team, Las Vegas, Nevada, to become the first World Series of Fighting World Flyweight championship.
Bibulatov used spinning back kicks and takedowns in every round to win this bout, though he did miss with some of his cartwheel kicks. Frelow had great head and foot movement, and a great defense, as did Bibulatov. The different was Frelow’s offense was limited to single punches and kicks when he did catch Bibulatov, while Bibulatov’s offensive output had many jabs, jab counters, and back fists to the head which scored. Frelow, to his credit, fought for the win to the final belt and was never in trouble, he just lacked Bibulatov’s experience.
Result: Magomed Bibulatov Win 5 Donovan Frelow, Flyweights
Bibulatov Wins World Series of Fighting Vacant World Flyweight Championship
Scoring: 50-45, 50-45, 50-45 for Bibulatov. Referee: Dan Miragliotta
Vinny Magalhaes submits 1 Matt Hamill, Light Heavyweights (1:08)
Kneebar Submission. Referee: Bryan Miner.
Nick Newell Win 3 Tom Marcellino, Lightweights
Scoring: 29-28, 29-28, 29-28 Newell. Referee: Dan Miragliotta.
One-handed area fan favorite fighter Newell announced retirement after the bout.
Newell, far from former self, ran out of gas in third round, got trapped in a full-guard guillotine, took a barrage of punches, but survived to win the unanimous decision.
NBCSPORTS.com Untelevised Undercard Bouts
Rick Glenn KO 2 Adam Ward, Featherweights (1:27)
Clean knockout, as Glenn, former WSOF World Featherweight champ, nailed Ward with solid power shots to the head, and finished him. Ward on his back, down and out.
Marcos Alexandre de Almeida TKO 1 Saul Almeida (1:23)
Rear Naked Choke ended battle. Marcos Almeida out of Syndicate MMA / Orion Camp.
Bruce Boyington Win Split Decision 3 Rodrigo Almeida, Featherweights (29-28, 29-28, 28-29) First World Series of Fighting Win for 11-8 Boyington, Young’s MMA, Bangor, Maine.
Colton Smith Win 3 Washington Nunes Da Silva, Welterweights (30-26, 30-26, 30-26)
Da Silva scored early takedown. Smith dominated grappling along the side of the cage on top. Smith had good head and foot movement. Da Silva incurred unintentional eye gouge.
Pat Walsh Win 3 Tyler King, Heavyweights (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
First World Series of Fighting Win for Wai Kru MMA’s Pat Walsh of Massachusetts.
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