WSOF 20: Branch vs. Markes Predictions
Kamikaze Overdrive MMA Predictions continues to expand it’s prediction coverage of the MMA world with the newest addition to our writing team. Brent Pearce will be analysing and providing predictions for the World Series of Fighting along with joining Daniel Baker by adding his own Bellator predictions for future events. Kamikaze Overdrive is now your #1 destination for World Series of Fighting Predictions, make sure to check back for coverage for each WSOF event.
|Brent W. Pearce||WSOF 21: June 5|
WORLD SEREIS of FIGHTING 20
FRIDAY APRIL 10, 2015
FOXWOODS RESORT AND CASINO
LEDYARD, CONNECTICUT, UNITED STATES
The World Series of Fighting 20 goes down this Friday night with a card that promises some highly entertaining bouts. The main card presents Ben Fodor aka “Phoenix Jones”, a real life crime fighter made famous on youtube fighting in his WSOF debut. Dangerous 155ers, Ozzy Dugulubgov and Lucas Montoya square off in a high level 155lb match up along with fellow 155er Nick Newell who returns from his first loss at the hands of WSOF Lightweight Champ Justin Gaethje. The main event is a scintillating scrap featuring two elite level and explosive middleweights in Ronny Markes versus David Branch.
205LBS – RONNY MARKES (15 – 3 – 0) VS DAVID BRANCH (15-3-0)
At WSOF 19, Teddy Holder impressed and won his trip to the tournament finals by knocking out Thiago Silva in the first round. Holder will find out who he faces for the vacant title when current WSOF middleweight champion David Brach and Ronny Markes battle in the main event of WSOF 20.
Branch is very experienced and had a stint in the UFC. He lost to Anthony “Rumble” Johnson in 2012 but since has gone unbeaten. He entered the WSOF and claimed decision wins in his first three outings, including a middleweight tournament semi-final victory over Danillo Villefort. Branch then fought Jesse Taylor who he submitted in the first round to claim the title. He successfully and impressively defended the belt with a fourth-round TKO of Yushin Okami back in November. Branch is a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt, who carries striking prowess with five wins by knockout and four via submission. Branch has proven his elite level status which was cemented with his victory over heavily favoured Yushin Okami. He now moves up to the 205lb Light heavyweight division to join the 4 man tournament that will decide a 205lb champ.
Ronny Markes sports an identical fight record as Branch with 15 wins and only 3 losses. Markes has wins in the UFC and like Branch, fights at the elite level of the MMA. Markes record was 11-1 before signing with the UFC, and the Brazilian had strong showings in both the middleweight and light heavyweight division. Undefeated through three Octagon appearances Markes was finished with strikes by Yoel Romero and Thiago Santos. Markes signed with the WSOF and defeated Cully Butterfield in his debut. The Nova Uniao Kimura fighter is a BJJ black belt who has 5 TKO finishes and four wins by submission.
This fight is an elite matchup with the added intrigue of David Branch, the WSOF Middleweight Champ stepping up to fight in a 4 man Light heavyweight tournament.
Ronny Markes is a high level fighter but David Branch is elite level. David Branch wins this fight. Decision or KO.
155LBS – NICK NEWELL (11-1-0) VS JOE CONDON (12-7-0)
Nick Newell’s loss at the hands of Justin Gaethje is nothing to be ashamed of and there was the questionable knee that impacted that fight. Newell signed an extension to his WSOF contract and looks to climb the ladder back to title contender. In his way is Joe Condon.
Condon is a Cobra Kai fighter who has gone 6-7 in his last 13 fights. He has six decision victories and five submissions finishes.
Newell has repeatedly shown that he is a dangerous fighter in the lightweight division. In his loss to Gaethje, Newell showed he belongs with the elites in this division. Newell is aggressive and has high fight IQ. He also has that special something that allows him to rise to the occasion and to overcome adversity.
Nick Newell gained valuable experience in his fight with the current Lightweight Champ. Newell wins the fight by submission or dominating decision victory.
155LBS – OZZY DUGULUBGOV (6-2-0) VS LUCAS MONTOYA (8-3-0)
In the lightweight division, WSOF veteran Ozzy Dugulubgov fights late replacement Lucas Montoya who replaces Melvin Guillard.
Dugulubgov is a Renzo Gracie fighter with a 3-1record in the WSOF. He has WSOF wins over Chris Wade, Andrew Osborne and Keon Caldwell. Dugulubgov has a good wrestling and grappling base along with dangerous striking with three wins by some form of knockout.
Montoya is a Blackout MMA fighter who is dangerous on the mat and sports five submission wins. Montoya was getting hit against Danny August but came out with a first round submission win. Porous striking defense is a liability that will cost him against Dugulubgov.
Ozzy Dugulubgov takes this one via knockout or decision.
170LBS – BEN FODOR (5-0-1) VS MANNY WALO (7-2-0)
Ben Fodor brings some intrigue and notoriety into the cage with his Super Hero street crime fighting that has gone viral on youtube. Fodor dresses as the masked “Phoenix Jones” and can be seen breaking up fights and knocking out drunk and hostile assailants in the name of street justice. Ben Fodor is unbeaten in his martial arts career and puts his record on the line against Manny Walo who hopes to shatter the hype behind Fodor’s superhero fame.
Manny Emmanuel Walo is a veteran fighter with wins in the WSOF, Cage Fury Fighting Championships and CES MMA. Walo was 7-0-1before being knocked out by Chuck O’Neil in his most recent contest. Walo’s chin is a bit suspect in this one but Walo is a competitor who believes he has the experience necessary to defeat the street sideshow Ben Fodor.
Ben Fodor may have a tougher time than he does against inebriated opponents but still comes out victorious in this one.
World Series of Fighting 19
Saturday March 28
NBCSN, 9 p.m. ET
Phoenix, Arizona, Comerica Theatre
Exciting battles await us this Saturday, March 28 as WSOF 19 launches an explosive card at the Comerica Theatre, in Phoenix, Arizona.
The main card airs on NBCSN, 9 p.m. ET, and promises to capture the attention of MMA fans with intriguing and violent clashes. The always exciting lightweight division’s WSOF Championship belt is on the line in a clash that features vicious strikers Justin Gaethje and Luis Palomino. The main event fights are rounded off by two attention-grabbing light heavyweight matchups that include a fight between the always memorable Thiago Silva and the inspirational Matt Hamill. This fight pits two highly experienced warriors in a fantastic rematch fight.
155LBS – Justin Gaethje (13-0-0) VS Luis Palomino (23-9-0)
This main event fight sees lightweight champion Justin Gaethje (13-0) put his title and undefeated record on the line against fellow knockout artist Luis Palomino (23-9). Palomino has 2 WSOF wins both by impressive knockout.
With knockout wins over Gesias “JZ” Cavalcante, Brian Cobb and Dan Lauzon, Gaethje was matched up with Richard Patishnock for the WSOF lightweight belt. He needed just 69 seconds to finish Patishnock via TKO. Justin Gaethje is coming off of a November split decision victory over the extremely tough Melvin Guillard. Prior to that fight, Justin had knocked out seven of seven opponents. Training out of the Grudge training centre with the likes of Neil Magny, Justin brings a well-rounded, aggressive striking based game that overwhelms opponents.
This fight promises explosive action as Luis Palomino is also a violent finishing striker who has impressive knockouts including a 2011 knockout of tough out Daron Cruickshank, an August knockout of formerly unbeaten Lewis Gonzalez, and a Jan, 2014 knockout of Jorge Patino. This clash of elite finishing strikers will be a thrilling encounter to witness. Palomino is from Lima, Peru, training out of a good camp in MMA Masters.
Luis Palomino is very tough and will be hungry to get his hands on the WSOF Lightweight belt. Justin Gaethje struggled somewhat with Melvin Guillard and this fight could be similar in nature as these two combatants are evenly matched in many respects. Palomino is an elite level challenger who has deep experience and fight finishing abilities, making this matchup no easy task for the title holder.
This fight is an incredible matchup that will be a treat to watch. Both these fighters are special and dangerous athletes. Justin Gaethje wins this one.
205 LBS – Thiago Silva (16-3-0) VS Matt Hamill (11-5-0)
Opening Round WSOF Light Heavyweight Tournament
In this opening round of the WSOF Light Heavyweight tournament, Matt Hamill (11-5) battles former fellow UFC fighter Thiago Silva (16-3). Neither has fought since their October 2013 bout where Silva thoroughly beat Hamill by unanimous decision.
This fight becomes highly relevant especially if Thiago can dispatch of Hamill and show that at 32 he has the elite skill level skills and killer instinct to capture a Championship belt. It is well worth repeating that Thiago Silva sports an extremely impressive 16-3 record and has fought the likes of Alexander Gustafson, Rashad Evans, Houston Alexander, Lyoto Machida and more of the world’s best 205 pounders.
At 32 and training with the venerable Blackzilians Camp, Thiago Silva is poised to begin what could be a Title run and a WSOF Championship belt. It will be interesting to see if the Blackzilian trained Silva has reached a 2.0 version of his highly effective aggressive violence that has intimidated fans and foes alike. Silva’s signature throat slashing gesture is no joke, just ask Rafael Calvacante, Keith Jardine, James Irvin and Houston Alexander to name a few of Silva’s brutal knockout victims. This fight will answer the question of whether all Silva’s highly entertaining brutal violence skillset can culminate into a Robbie Lawler- like evolution to Championship form.
Matt Hamill deserves respect for many reasons not the least of which is his toughness and durability that is a testament to his heart and warrior spirit. Hamill has inspired many fans and frustrated many of his opponents with his strength and wrestling pedigree.
Thiago Silva has only 3 losses and is poised to re-enter the elite group of fighters at 205lbs. Thiago Silva by first round knockout.
205LBS – Jake Heun (7-3-0) VS Teddy Holder (8-1-0)
Jake Heun has fought most of his fights at heavyweight, but cuts down to 205 pounds for this battle. “The Honey Bear” tried twice to make it into the TUF house without success. At 27 years –old, Heun trains out of American Top Team and has heavy hands. Entering this fight on the heels of a 20-second TKO stoppage of heavyweight Ron Fields Heun must be looking forward to what should be a stand up battle as he has had trouble with grappling in the past suffering three submission losses and two first-round submissions by arm bar at the TUF qualifying bouts.
Teddy Holder is a Team Pincer fighter with six stoppages by knockout and two via submission. Holder has made quick work of all but one of his opponents, finishing all 8 before the end of the first round. Holder packs very special fight ending power which makes this a dangerous and exciting matchup.
This fight should produce major fireworks, as both Heun and Holder have never been knocked out and both have numerous and explosive striking finishes. Both these fighters pack huge power and have left many knockout victims in their wake.
Holder is intriguing for his power and straight forward fight ending violence but has been out of action since August 2013. Heun wins this fight by knockout or hard fought decision.
135LBS Ed West (18-9-0) VS Timur Valiev (8-1-0)
Timur Valiev is one of the growing numbers of extremely tough and talented fighters hailing from Dagestan, Training out of Jackson-Wink MMA; Valiev is training at the highest level and has won both his WSOF matchups. At 25 Valiev is a hot prospect who will be hoping to carry his momentum against the veteran Ed West.
West trains out of Apex MMA and carries a world of experience into the ring although he was knocked out last September by Mike Richman. West can be dangerous on the feet as we saw in his head kick knock out of Joshua Montoya two years ago. West will be aiming to spoil the plans of the young prospect in a classic veteran versus young up and comer.
Ed West is a formidable test for Timur Valiev but Valiev has the tools to win this fight. Valiev wins by unanimous decision.
WSOF 18- Feb.12, Expo Centre, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
The World Series of Fighting hits Edmonton, Alberta, Canada with some exciting and intriguing matchups on Thursday, February 12. Card headliner and newly crowned 135lb champion Marlon Moraes will defend his WSOF Bantamweight belt against undefeated Canadian and TUF alumni Josh Hill. The Expo Centre hosts this WSOF event which airs live on NBCSN on Thursday evening.
135lbs- Marlon Moraes (C) (14-4-1) VS ‘Gentleman’ Josh Hill (10-0-0)
The well rounded and uber aggressive Moraes defends his championship belt, having won 8 fights in a row including 3 knockouts, 4 decisions and a September rear naked choke victory over tough out and Joe Stevenson protégé, Cody Bollinger. Marlon is a Brazilian fighter with world class Muay Thai. Marlon used to train part time at the famous Nova Uniao gym in Rio de Janeiro and now trains at Ricardo Almeida Jiu-Jitsu. Moraes holds a split decision win over former world champion Miguel Torres, and violent KO finishes of Tyson Nam and Carson Beebe.
“Gentleman” Josh Hill is Moraes’ title challenger and the Canadian, has defeated all ten opponents he has faced in his professional MMA career. Josh competed on TUF where he lost a decision in the quarter finals but has since won his WSOF debut by way of knockout over Mike Adams. Known for his tenacious wrestling and ground control, Hill showed some new striking power with his WSOF knockout debut but will be at a distinct disadvantage on the feet against Moraes a former Brazilian Muay Thai champion.
Moraes was highly entertaining as he methodically stalked down the formidable Cody Bollinger to capture the WSOF 135lb strap last September, attacking with an ice cold violence and intensity that captures the imagination of fight fans. Moraes mixed in liver shot body kicks with crisp powerful punches while he hunted down Bollinger who was damaged and beaten when he succumbed to Moraes’ rear naked choke out.
Josh Hill was criticized by Dana on the Ultimate Fighter reality fighting series for his wrestle heavy approach but Josh has been successful with his wrestling base and used improved striking in his WSOF knockout win.
Hill and Moraes are 28 and 26 respectively, and as we have seen, the younger new breed fighters have an accelerating skillset that is part of the remarkable evolution we see taking place in the sport of MMA.
Undefeated Hill is strong, very durable, has competed at a high level and will attempt to wrestle and control Moraes. Moraes on the other hand will want to demonstrate his nightmarishly effective world class Muay Thai striking to hunt down Hill and punish him to the body and head. Hill will be focused and tireless in his quest for ground control and the Championship belt but Moraes has high level Jiu-Jitsu along with his expert striking to help him if the fight hits the ground. Moraes will either hurt Hill and finish him by KO/TKO or submit Hill after hurting him with strikes.
170lbs- Spencer Jebb (9-3-0) VS Mark ‘Sweet Dreams’ Drummond (6-2-0)
25 year old welterweight Spencer Jebb (9-3) has won his last 7 fights, 4 by KO. Jebb takes on Mark ‘Sweet dreams” Drummond (6-2). The surging Jebb was slept by ‘Sweet Dreams’ 3 years ago, making this a revenge fight for Jebb against the 6’3” Drummond who will be hoping to again test the chin of Jebb.
Spencer Jebb has been on a seven fight tear, finishing five of those wins, 4 by KO and 1 submission. Spencer was 22 years old when he lost by KO to Drummond, and now at 25 looks to be improving into an impressive young prospect. Jebb has 6 wins by KO and will be looking to even the score with Drummond who’s lone KO victory was over Jebb.
Drummond has never been knocked out and will hold a height and reach advantage over his foe. Drummond will hope to replicate his 2012 victory over Jebb to keep his career momentum moving forward but Spencer Jebb has grown as fighter since their last meeting.
This is a very intriguing fight, with two well-rounded and improving fighters facing off for the second time. It’s been three years since they last met and Spencer Jebb will be highly motivated to erase his knockout loss. Drummond has fought at middleweight and is a huge welterweight. Both fighters are highly motivated and are ever improving but look for Jebb to wear down over the course of the fight and lose a decision to Drummond.
155lbs- Shane ‘Shaolin’ Campbell (10-2) VS Derek Boyle (13-6)
Shane ‘Shaolin’ Campbell takes on Derek Boyle in an elite and exciting lightweight bout between two rising stars. Derek Boyle’s only two losses are to surging 170lb UFC fighter Chad Leprise, the other to ‘Shaolin’ Campbell three years ago, making this an important rematch. They have won 10 fights between them since then and make no mistake; both these fighters are elite level ‘new breed’ mixed martial artists who can compete with the best 155ers on the planet. In Shane’s last 4 wins he’s racked up 2 KOs and 2 submissions. Derek Boyle has 3 knockouts in his last 4 fights and like Campbell, has never been knocked out.
Derek Boyle is as tough and aggressive as they come and looks to avenge his March 2012 decision loss to Campbell. Feeling confident with 6 wins in his last seven fights Boyle strikes with ill intent and holds KO wins via punches, elbows and a flying knee. Boyle will attempt to use his arsenal of strikes to hurt ‘Shaolin’ Campbell which could lead to a vicious firefight on the feet in this one.
Shane ‘Shaolin’ Campbell’s only loss in his last 7 fights was a decision loss to the extremely tough and talented Jesse Ronson. Other than that loss, Shane has been proving to be an ever improving and well-rounded 155er to keep an eye on.
Both fighters are 6’ tall and big for the lightweight division. This is a thrilling matchup that could be filled with explosive offensive striking from both combatants. Neither fighter has been knocked out, creating the set-up for an electrifying firefight. Watch for Shane ‘Shaolin’ Campbell to match Derek Boyle’s aggression and pull out a win via hard fought decision or a late submission victory.
Former UFC fighter Cody McKenzie comes out of a short six week retirement to face Andrew McInnes in an interesting fight which will stream live on WSOF.com. McKenzie was finished from a knee to the body in his last outing and has lost 6 of his last nine fights. He faces Andrew ‘Andrewconda’ McInnes who lost his professional debut to current UFC fighter Chad Laprise, but has since reeled off five straight wins via submission. Mackenzie, an Alaskan fisherman known for his crazy partying lifestyle will hope to get a win to kick-start his career.