On a night that saw World Series of Fighting crown two new champions, it was a reigning titlist who gave arguably the evening’s most impressive performance.
Blagoy Ivanov made short work of Shawn Jordan in the WSOF 35 headliner at the Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona, N.Y. on Saturday, as he finished the UFC veteran via first-round technical knockout to retain his heavyweight strap. A flurry of unanswered punches on the ground brought a halt to the contest 1:43 into the opening stanza.
Jordan, a 10-time UFC competitor, tried to walk Ivanov down in the early going but was caught by a left hook from his Bulgarian opponent. As “The Savage” staggered backward, Ivanov followed up with a two-punch combinations that sent his adversary tumbling to the canvas. From there, Ivanov attacked with punches and hammerfists for the finish. Referee Dan Miragliotta gave Jordan every opportunity to recover as Ivanov unloaded, but eventually the former Louisiana State football player was unable to defend himself. Ivanov improves his career mark to 15-1 while Jordan falls to 19-8.
In the co-main event, Andre Harrison added some more championship hardware to his trophy case with unanimous verdict over Lance Palmer. Cageside judges scored the bout 49-46, 48-47 and 48-47, allowing “The Bull” to claim the promotion’s featherweight strap. Harrison (16-0) was previously the Titan Fighting Championship 145-pound titlist before joining WSOF.
Harrison authored virtually all of the fight’s definitive moments. As a first stanza that was largely closely contested drew to a close, Harrison sat Palmer (11-3) down with a straight right hand just before the conclusion of the frame. In round two, he stunned the Team Alpha Male product with a head kick, landed a takedown and spent the second half of the round landing ground-and-pound from top position. The action slowed a bit from there until the fifth round, when Harrison dropped Palmer with a left hand that opened up a cut near the bridge of his opponent’s nose.
Palmer, a former NCAA All-American wrestler at Ohio State University, was never able to get in gear. “The Party” failed to land a single takedown during the 25-minute affair and often appeared reluctant to pull the trigger offensively.
Earlier, Bekbulat Magomedov embraced the grind, and Donavon Frelow didn’t have any answers.
Magomedov claimed the WSOF bantamweight crown vacated by Marlon Moraes with a unanimous decision victory over Donavon Frelow in the evening’s first main card bout. All three cageside judges scored the contest 50-45 in favor of Magomedov, who has been victorious in 18 of his 19 professional bouts. Frelow falls to 6-2 in defeat.
Frelow, who replaced Timur Valiev on short notice, had only a couple fleeting moments of hope in the bout. He landed an overhand right that dropped Magomedov to a knee in round one and ensnared his Dagestani foe in a guillotine in the second. Neither had a lasting effect on Magomedov, however, and the 26-year-old Sparta Moscow representative controlled most of the contest with his wrestling and grappling.
Magomedov sealed his victory by securing back control at the end of rounds four and five. Frelow, meanwhile, offered virtually no offense in the championship frames.
In preliminary action: Abubakar Nurmagomedov outpointed (29-28, 30-27, 30-27) Matt Secor at welterweight; Tom Marcellino took a three-round verdict (29-28, 30-27, 30-27) over Bill Jones at lightweight; Hakeem Dawodu earned a dominant unanimous decision (30-26, 29-28, 30-27) over Steven Siler at featherweight; Islam Mamedov submitted Natan Schulte with an armbar at the 4:56 mark of round two in a lightweight duel; Steven Rodriguez garnered a split verdict (28-29, 29-28, 30-27) against former featherweight king Alexandre Almeida and Emmanuel Walo took a split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28) over Andrews Nakahara at welterweight.