Georgi Karakhanyan snagged the WSOF 145-pound title. | Photo: Jeff Sherwood/Sherdog.com
Georgi Karakhanyan gave Team Alpha Male a taste of its own medicine.
Karakhanyan submitted the previously unbeaten Lance Palmer with a mounted guillotine choke in the third round of their World Series of Fighting 7 main event, as he became the first featherweight champion in WSOF history on Saturday at the PNE Agrodome in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Palmer (7-1, 0-1 WSOF) asked out 4:40 into round three.
A Millennia MMA export, Karakhanyan attacked the four-time NCAA All-American wrestler with kicks to the legs, body and head. He absorbed a fairly severe eye poke midway through the first round, but after a brief pause in the match, he continued to walk down Palmer with punches. Palmer got his takedown game in gear in the second round, only to be met by his experienced foe’s active guard. Karakhanyan forced him to defend multiple armbars and a heel hook before returning to his feet.
Palmer drove the Russian-born Californian to the mat off of an attempted kick in the third round, transitioned to his back and searched for the choke. Karakhanyan (23-3-1, 2-0 WSOF) calmly defended, moved to a more advantageous position and caught Palmer in a scramble, locking in the guillotine for the finish.
“Lance is a great fighter and comes from a good wrestling background,” Karakhanyan said. “My coach told me to keep it standing and pick him apart, but Lance was trying to grind me out. It was a very tough fight, but if I put that guillotine on you, I don’t care who you are, you’re going to tap.”
Taylor Overwhelms Mutapcic in Semifinals
All three cageside judges scored it the same: 30-27 for Taylor (27-9, 1-0 WSOF), who has rattled off seven consecutive victories.
Mutapcic (13-3, 0-1 WSOF) simply could not stay upright. Taylor grounded and mounted him inside the first 30 seconds and never looked back.
The Team Quest representative struck for takedowns in all three rounds and left Mutapcic visibly damaged, opening a cut on the former Maximum Fighting Championship with an elbow strike in the first frame.
Taylor will next challenge David Branch in the tournament final, with the winner becoming the first 185-pound champion in WSOF history.
“Elvis is tough,” Taylor said. “I wanted to ensure the win. The belt is going to be mine. It’s a tournament format, and I’m going to do what it takes to win. The stars started aligning a few years ago. I think experience goes a long way. I always had the talent but was kind of a slow learner. I’ve started to put it all together. I’m not going to be stopped. I’m going to prove that I’m the best in the world at middleweight.”
Newell Guillotine Taps Fadai
Newell (11-0, 2-0 WSOF) rushed into close quarters, secured a takedown and caught the choke when the MFC veteran attempted to return to his feet. Fadai struggled to free himself but soon realized his resistance was futile. Newell, 27, has submitted his last three opponents inside the first round.
“Everyone has a plan until they get hit in the face,” he said. “We just work on things, and they become second nature; they become instinct, and then I go out and do them.”
Starnes Elbow KOs Lewis
“The Ultimate Fighter” Season 3 alum Kalib Starnes knocked out Dwayne Lewis with a wicked standing elbow from the clinch in the second round of their light heavyweight showcase. Starnes (16-8-1, 1-0 WSOF) folded his fellow Canadian like an accordion 62 seconds into round two.
Lewis (13-9, 0-1 WSOF) seemed to be on the defensive from the start. Starnes absorbed a few body kicks in the first round and then swarmed him in anger, taunting him between punches. In the second, he pinned Lewis against the cage and landed a pair of standing elbows, the second of which connected on the temple and turned out the lights.
Starnes has won his last four fights, finishing three of them.