Bellator 136 and World Series of Fighting 20 are officially in the books, and for the most part, nothing major changed. Will Brooks and David Branch successfully defended their respective lightweight and middleweight belts, the former via a unanimous 49-46 decision and the latter via von flue choke.
Brooks spent the first round being punished by knees to the body while trapped in Dave Jansen’s clinch and pressed against the cage wall, but he regained his composure and maintained control for most of the rest of the fight. Jansen was never able to regain the momentum he had in the first round, and Brooks eventually won the war of attrition. By the fourth and fifth rounds, both fighters were swinging but mostly missing.
World Series of Fighting’s string of bad luck continued Friday at WSOF 20. A card originally set to feature Matt Hamill vs. Vinny Magalhaes in the promotion’s light heavyweight tournament also saw its main event destroyed at the last minute. They scrambled and got their middleweight champ, David Branch, to step up and face Ronny Markes. At least there was that, right? No. Markes was hospitalized Thursday and a virtual unknown in Jesse McElligott managed to Joe Soto his way into the main event. On top of that, Melvin Guillard burned one of the last remaining bridges in the sport when he decided to no-call no-show on the day of his medicals.
Nick Newell bounced back from his first career loss with a win over Joe Condon, and Emmanuel Walo ended real-life Kick-Ass Phoenix Jones’s undefeated streak with a thoroughly grindtastic performance. Walo exploited Jones’s predictable striking throughout every round by catching numerous kicks and pushing through the leg into takedown.
Rafael Carvalho may have scored upset of the night at Bellator 136 in his split decision routing of Joe Schilling. Marcin Held and Alexander Sarnavskiy put together one of the more entertaining bouts of the night, a three round affair that saw Held win via a verbal kneebar submission.
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