Arlovski weathered a pair of knockdowns to eke out a unanimous decision over the American Kickboxing Academy’s Mike Kyle in the World Series of Fighting 5 main event on Saturday at the Revel Resort and Casino in Atlantic City, N.J. All three judges sided with Arlovski (20-10, 2-1 WSOF), awarding the Belarusian 29-28 scores.
Kyle’s power and hand speed proved problematic for Arlovski, as the 33-year-old Boise, Idaho, native put “The Pit Bull” on his rear end with a thudding right hand to the side of the head in the first round. A violent volley of hammerfists followed, but Arlovski survived by clinging to his opponent’s leg until the cobwebs cleared. Kyle floored the Jackson’s Mixed Martial Arts representative again early in round three, though Arlovski sprang back to his feet almost immediately.
In between the two knockdowns, the two heavyweight headliners traded with ill intent. Arlovski featured a rolling right hook, landing it often while mixing in the occasional jab and leg kick. He got the best of a wild of exchange in the second round, where he forced a briefly rattled Kyle to shoot for a takedown.
Branch Grinds Down Villefort
Branch (13-3, 3-0 WSOF) struck for takedowns in all three rounds, as the Renzo Gracie protégé short-circuited his Brazilian counterpart. He did his best work in the third round, where he delivered a takedown, scrambled to Villefort’s back and fished for the rear-naked
Though the submission did not materialize, Branch had effectively punctuated his latest victory. The 31-year-old Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt has compiled a 5-1 mark since being released by the UFC.
Villefort (14-5, 1-1 WSOF) has lost two of his last three fights.
‘Caveman’ Mehmen KOs Gracie
Up until the knockout, Gracie (8-2, 0-1 WSOF) controlled the match with a stiff jab. Over and over again he stuck his left hand in Mehmen’s mug. However, he was fighting on borrowed time.
In the second round, Mehman cracked the Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt with a clubbing right hand and watched Gracie turn and take a Ric Flair-esque nosedive to the mat. No follow-up strikes were required.
Karakhanyan Guillotine Submits Lowe
Karakhanyan (22-3-1, 1-0 WSOF) ripped into the Jefferson City, Tenn., native with kicks to the head, body and legs, utilizing a noticeable height and reach advantage. Unable to establish a foothold in the standup, Lowe turned to his wrestling. However, Karakhanyan ensnared him with an arm-in guillotine choke after an ill-advised takedown attempt, trapped him
inside his guard and elicited the tapout.
A Tachi Palace Fights champion, Karakhanyan has won his last eight bouts.
NJSACB Scraps Mutapcic-Taylor Semifinal
A planned middleweight tournament semifinal between Elvis Mutapcic and Jesse Taylor was canceled at the last minute after Mutapcic was allegedly seen taking medication backstage by a commission official. Shortly after the New Jersey State Athletic Control Board ruled that Mutapcic would not be allowed to compete, the 27-year-old former Maximum Fighting Championship titleholder denied the allegation in an interview.
“I don’t know what [the official] saw,” Mutapcic said. “I’ll take a blood test or give you a hair sample. I’ve got nothing in my system. I guarantee it was not me taking anything.”
Prelims: Glenn, Rivera Notch Unanimous Decisions
and Neiman Gracie submitted Darren Costa with an
armbar 3:57 in the first round of their middleweight scrap.