Former UFC heavyweight champion Andrei Arlovski continued his resurgence Saturday night in Las Vegas with an impressive showing and first round TKO stoppage over Strikeforce veteran Devin Cole in the World Series of Fighting (WSOF) main event.
The inaugural event for the professional mixed martial arts promotion was broadcast LIVE on NBC Sports Network. You can read ProMMAnow.com’s play-by-play commentary of each televised bout, and also stay close as we have several post-fight video interviews with the night’s winners coming down the pike for your viewing pleasure.
It was less than two years ago after a series of defeats and knockout losses people were calling for “The Pit Bull’s” retirement. Even one of his own coaches made a public statement saying he felt it was time for Arlovski to hang it up.
However, under the tutelage of Albuquerque MMA jedi, Coach Greg Jackson, who disagreed with the sentiment, Arlovski has slowly but surely been turning things around. With Saturday’s win Arlovski improved his record to 18-9 (1 NC), with three straight wins coming by way of knockout.
Arlovski probably would have won his last four fights all by knockout if he hadn’t inadvertently soccer kicked an already battered Tim Sylvia causing the fight to end in a No Contest at ONE FC in August.
In the WSOF co-main event, Team Blackzilian light heavyweight Anthony “Rumble” Johnson continued his post-UFC career with his fourth straight victory and his third straight knockout by sending Bellator veteran DJ Linderman face first into the canvas with one big right hand that shut his lights out.
In his first fight since being released by the UFC earlier this eyar, former WEC bantamweight champion Miguel Torres lost a split decision to XFC veteran Marlon Moraes. And rounding out the televised main card, 27-year-old kickboxing phenom Tyrone Spong made a successful pro MMA debut with a first round knockout win over Travis Bartlett.
World Series of Fighting has eight-to-12 shows planned for 2013 and they intend to bring their show on the road to various states across the country. For an upstart promotion making their debut on national TV with their very first event, I don’t think anyone could ask for much better.
The full WSOF results are as follows:
- Andrei Arlovski def. Devin Cole via TKO (punches) – Round 1, 2:37
- Anthony Johnson def. D.J. Linderman via KO (punch) – Round 1, 3:58
- Marlon Moraes def. Miguel Torres via split decision (30-27, 28-29, 29-28)
- Tyrone Spong def. Travis Bartlett via KO (punch) – Round 1, 3:15
- Tyson Steele def. Gregor Gracie via TKO (strikes) – Round 1, 4:52
- Brian Cobb def. Ronys Torres via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
- Steve Carl def. Ramico Blackmon via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 1, 2:11
- Josh Burkman def. Gerald Harris via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
- J.Z. Cavalcante def. T.J. O’Brien via submission (heel hook) – Round 1, 1:03
- David Branch def. Dustin Jacoby via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
All photos by Lucas Noonan courtesy of World Series of Fighting: