Steve Carl’s reign ended swiftly and painfully. | Dave Mandel/Sherdog.com
Rousimar Palhares knows how to manipulate the human leg.
Palhares submitted Steve Carl with an inverted heel hook to win the World Series of Fighting welterweight championship in the World Series of Fighting 9 headliner on Saturday at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. Carl (21-4, 3-1 WSOF) tapped out 69 seconds into round one, his streak of seven consecutive victories snapped in decisive fashion.
Carl rushed “Toquinho” at the start, only to be met by an immediate takedown from the Brazilian powerhouse. Palhares (16-6, 1-0 WSOF) patiently went to work in full guard, isolated the Hard Drive MMA representative’s foot and secured the fight-ending maneuver. The 34-year-old Team Nogueira representative has now won nine fights via heel hook.
“I’m so happy to have won this title,” said Palhares, who was released by the Ultimate Fighting Championship in October. “I have to thank all my friends, all my training partners.”
Moraes Captures Inaugural Bantamweight Crown
Rettinghouse (10-3, 1-1 WSOF) was under fire from the start. Moraes stung him with a left hook and swarmed him with punches in the first round. Though the finish failed to materialize, the Brazilian had more punishment in store for Rettinghouse. In the second, Moraes turned to leg kicks. Over the final 20 minutes, he whipped into Rettinghouse’s lead leg with increased vigor and velocity.
The underdog repeatedly winced in pain.
Moraes cruised in the fourth and fifth rounds, content to batter his adversary’s leg with kicks while mixing in heavy punches to the body. One of the cornerstones of the WSOF organization, the 25-year-old Brazilian has won seven fights in a row.
Okami Choke Submits Savov
In his first appearance since being jettisoned by the UFC, Okami (30-8, 1-0 WSOF) brutalized the Bulgarian with a series of trip takedowns and ground-and-pound from the mount. The 32-year-old judo black belt spent more than two minutes in full mount in the second round, ultimately maneuvering into position for the fight-ending choke.
Okami had not won a fight via traditional submission in more than nine years.
Resurgent Burkman KOs Stinson
Burkman (27-10, 4-1 WSOF) picked his spot. “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 2 graduate leveled Stinson with a right hook, followed him to the canvas and closed the deal with a violent standing-to-ground uppercut on his already dazed counterpart. Burkman, 33, has rattled off six wins in his last seven appearances.
Unbeaten Nunez Edges Dugulubgov
All three rounds were closely contested. Nunez countered a takedown with an attempted brabo choke in the second and struck for a takedown of his own early in the third, tagging the Cage Fury Fighting Championships veteran with short punches from half guard.
Dugulubgov (5-2, 2-1 WSOF) made a final push at victory in the waning moments of the fight, as he transitioned to Nunez’s back and fished for a rear-naked choke. However, the 25-year-old Dagestani’s efforts proved unsuccessful, leaving his fate in the hands of the judges.
The defeat halted Dugulubgov’s four-fight winning streak.