The World Series Of Fighting had it’s first New York City event on New Year’s Eve. The event was called WSOF 34. The afternoon show w featured four title fights, something that UFC rarely does. If you want to make an impact in the big apple, that’s how you do it.
Justin Gaethje Retains Lightweight Championship
In the main event of the promotion’s biggest card of the year, Gaethje held on to his title via TKO after three rounds when their brutal main event was stopped by the cageside doctor.
Firmino (19-8), 34, took the fight on three weeks’ notice to replace the injured Joao Zeferino and was leading on all three scorecards when his right eye was grotesquely swollen shut.
The native of Brazil pushed the pace off the start and appeared to land the bigger shots throughout the first two rounds. The champion and the challenger were going at it full force and with violent in tensions.
Gaethje finished the first round with a cartwheel kick that upset Firmino and the referee had to come in to separate the two.
When Firmino closed in, he paid a price. Gaethje kept connecting with a right uppercut that landed unimpeded almost every time he threw it. Firmino’s left eye began to close, and his face began falling apart. Gaethje continued his torrid pace in third, and though Firmino tried matching Gaethje’s fire, he was unable to take the punishment.
John Fitch Retains Welterweight Championship
In the co main event, longtime veterans Jon Fitch and Jake Shields finally met in the cage at WSOF 34.This matchup prove to be an amazing bout. The challenger had Nate Diaz and Gilbert Melendez in his corner which is exactly where Fitch put him early in the contest.
The fight was contested in large part on the ground, with Fitch neutralizing Shields on top and fending off submission attempts. In the end Fitch defended his welterweight title via a unanimous decision. Afterwards, he said it may be the final time we see him in the cage.
“I have to talk to some doctors and some neurologists and people, but I’ve been dealing with some medical issues lately, and there’s a good chance this is my last fight.
Marlon Morales Retains Bantamweight Championship
WSOF bantamweight champion Marlon Moraes scored a quick win over Josenaldo Silva, although it wasn’t for a lack of heart from his challenger. Moraes dropped Silva early with a heavy right hand and stormed him, laying down a flurry of punches, hammerfists and elbows on the ground, but Silva somehow survived, escaping a choke to regain his feet.
Although Silva landed a knee to Moraes’ chin, Silva and Moraes crashed to the canvas, Silva looking dazed as he verbally submitted.
David Branch Retains Middleweight Championship At Home
Bronx’s native David Branch retained his middleweight championship, in front of the home city faithfuls. It took middleweight champion David Branch into the championship rounds, but he secured the defense of his belt.
Challenger Louis Taylor put on a strong performance, using a strong clinch game and some early takedowns to threaten branch with submissions on multiple occasions. Branch, however, remained composed throughout the fight, getting the better of Taylor on the feet, and using some well-time takedowns of his own to also threaten Taylor.
Two minutes into the final frame, Branch took Taylor’s back and sank the rear-naked choke that finished the fight, maintaining his championship chokehold on both the middleweight and light heavyweight divisions.
WSOF 34 Another Win For MMA In NYC
World Series Of Fighting capitalized on the success of UFC 205. New York been chopping at the bits for MMA, and we just got two back to back outstanding showings. It was risky for WSOF 34 main card running from 4-6pm, smack dab in the middle of No. 1 Alabama vs. No. 4 Washington in the college football playoffs.
UFC, Bellator, Invicta, ONE FC, Strikeforce, WEC, EliteXC, Affliction, Cage Rage, King of the Cage, nor WSOF has ever gone up against New Year’s Eve, until this Saturday. Like they always say, high risks brings high rewards. That’s the impression WSOF left in the eyes with many New Yorkers.