Anthony Johnson appeared to injure Andrei Arlovski's jaw. | Photo: Dave Mandel/Sherdog.com
Anthony Johnson dipped his toes in heavyweight waters for the first time and found them favorable.
Johnson punched, kicked and clinched his way to a unanimous decision over former Ultimate Fighting Championship titleholder Andrei Arlovski in the World Series of Fighting 2 headliner on Saturday at the Revel Resort and Casino in Atlantic City, N.J. All three judges arrived at the same verdict: 29-28 for Johnson (15-4, 2-0 WSOF).
“The man hit like a ton of bricks,” Johnson said. “I have so much respect for him. He is one of my idols. I watched him when he first got on the scene and had the title. He’s a great fighter and a great technician.”
“Rumble” nearly finished Arlovski (19-10, 1-1 WSOF) near the end of the first round when he found the mark with a pair of short, devastating right hooks. Only the bell saved the Belarusian. Johnson’s pace slowed noticeably in the second and third frames, as fatigue set in and forced him to pursue clinches and takedowns.
“I hurt my right hand at the end of the third round, and I hurt my right shin kicking him,” Johnson said. “He’s a wall. He’s a train, you know what I mean? I was just doing what I had to do.”
Arlovski had his moments but not enough of them to stave off his first defeat in more than two years. Despite the success he enjoyed against “The Pit Bull,” Johnson claimed he had no immediate plans to compete at heavyweight again.
“These guys like Andrei Arlovski are too big for Anthony Johnson,” he said, “but if the World Series of Fighting asked me to do it, I would [fight as a heavyweight] again.”
Moraes Head Kick, Punches Finish Nam
In the bantamweight co-main event, the surging Marlon Moraes dismissed Tyson Nam with a first-round head kick and follow-up punches. Moraes (10-4-1, 2-0 WSOF) finished it 2:55 into round one.
Nam (12-5, 0-1 WSOF) never got in gear. Moraes attacked him with aggressive punches and kicks, particularly to the legs. The Florida-based Brazilian floored Nam with a grazing head kick, followed him to the canvas and put him away. Moraes has won four fights in a row.
“My game plan was to try to mix it up between boxing, takedowns and kicks,” he said. “It’s MMA. You can do everything. I was ready for the war. I was training really hard. I was thinking to fight the three rounds hard, and maybe this was the reason I knocked him out, because I was ready to fight the full 15 minutes.”
Branch Steamrolls Listless Filho
A steady diet of takedowns and ground-and-pound carried David Branch to a lopsided unanimous decision over a listless Paulo Filho in a middleweight showcase. All three judges scored it for Branch (12-3, 2-0 WSOF): 30-26, 30-27 and 30-27.
Branch struck for takedowns in all three rounds and battered the Brazilian with punches and elbows to the head and body. Filho (23-5-2, 0-1 WSOF) offered virtually no resistance, and the scene grew more and more disturbing with each passing moment.
A Renzo Gracie protégé, Branch mounted Filho in the first and third rounds and nearly finished it in the second, where he trapped the former World Extreme Cagefighting champion in a topside crucifix and unleashed a series of unanswered blows.
Burkman Knee Waylays Simpson
“The Ultimate Fighter” Season 2 alum Josh Burkman knocked out Aaron Simpson with a brutal first-round knee strike in a featured welterweight encounter. Simpson (12-5, 0-1 WSOF) met his demise 3:04 into round one, as he suffered his second consecutive defeat.
Burkman (25-9, 2-0 WSOF) dropped the Power MMA Team export to one knee with a short right hand midway through the first frame and bloodied his nose and mouth with a series of knees from the clinch. Later in the round, “The People’s Warrior” flurried on the Arizonan, forced him into a crouched position against the cage and delivered
the fight-ending blow.
The 32-year-old Burkman has won his last four fights.
Gaethje Stops Cavalcante on Cut
Grudge Training Center prospect Justin Gaethje stopped Gesias “JZ” Cavalcante on a first-round cut in a lightweight showcase. The cageside physician called for the stoppage 2:27 into round one after examining a deep gash on Cavalcante’s forehead.
Gaethje (8-0, 1-0 WSOF) came out firing and staggered his Brazilian counterpart more than once with right hands. He pinned Cavalcante (17-7-1, 1-1 WSOF) on the fence and went to work in the clinch, as he opened the cut that ultimately led him to victory.
Once one of the world’s premier lightweights, Cavalcante has not recorded back-to-back wins since September 2007.
Villefort Ekes Out Split Verdict
Knockdowns in the first and third rounds carried Danillo Villefort to a split decision over “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 11 finalist Kris McCray in an undercard showdown at 185 pounds. All three cageside judges scored it 29-28, two of them siding with Villefort (14-4, 1-0 WSOF).
The Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt did some solid work on the ground but did the majority of his damage on the feet, as he left McCray battered and bloodied by the time their match was over.
McCray (8-5, 0-1 WSOF) did his best work in the second round, where he delivered a takedown, kept Villefort pinned on his back and later threatened him with a standing arm-triangle choke. Villefort answered in round three, as he racked up points with ground-and-pound, attacked McCray from the Thai plum and floored the American with a punch.
Roufusport’s Glenn Delivers Stunning Comeback
Roufusport representative Rick Glenn dispatched previously undefeated Jungle Fight veteran Alexandre Pimentel with a head kick-right hook combination and follow-up hammerfists in the third round of their featherweight matchup. Glenn (13-2-1, 1-0 WSOF), who appeared to be in a two-rounds-to-none hole at the time, finished it 1:51 into round three.
Pimentel (12-1, 0-1 WSOF) was in charge for the first 10 minutes, as he struck for takedowns and utilized some nifty grappling, including an attempted omaplata-rear-naked-choke combo in the first round.
However, Glenn did not allow himself to get discouraged and erased the Brazilian’s good work with his late volley.
Lowe Hook Wipes Out DollarWaylon Lowe knocked out “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 9 alum Cameron Dollar with a searing left hook in the first round of their preliminary featherweight duel. Dollar (11-5, 0-1 WSOF) went down 2:58 into round one, his modest two-fight winning streak a thing of the past.
Lowe (14-4, 1-0 WSOF) put his heavy hands on Dollar throughout their brief encounter. The 32-year-old American Top Team representative faked a takedown and backed it up with the left hook that finished it. Dollar collapsed, forcing referee Keith Peterson to intervene.
Lowe has won four fights in row since being released by the Ultimate Fighting Championship following his submission defeat to Nik Lentz in March 2011.
Patishnock, Injury Thwart Gracie
Richard Patishnock defeated Igor Gracie in a preliminary welterweight tilt when a shoulder injury left the decorated grappler unable to continue after the first round.
Gracie (5-4, 0-1 WSOF) controlled much of the first five minutes, as he grounded, stifled and ultimately mounted his 25-year-old adversary. With Gracie attached to his back, Patishnock (5-1, 1-0 WSOF) dived and rolled on multiple occasions in a desperate attempt to break free from the Brazilian’s clutches.
His last try proved fruitful, as he drove Grace’s face into the mat, escaped and let loose with hammerfists.
Dugulubgov Extends Winning Streak
Superior speed and a multi-pronged offensive attack carried Ozzy Dugulubgov to a unanimous verdict over Chris Wade in an undercard clash at 160 pounds. All three cageside judges arrived at the same ruling: 30-27 for Dugulubgov (4-1, 1-0 WSOF), who has rattled off three consecutive victories.
The 24-year-old Dugulubgov turned to his ground-and-pound in the first round, wobbled Wade (5-1, 0-1 WSOF) with a counter left hand in the second and defended a late arm-in guillotine choke attempt in the third.
It was Dugulubgov’s first appearance outside the Cage Fury Fighting Championships promotion.
Hansen Flying Knee KOs Marcellino
Xtreme Couture Mixed Martial Arts export Brenson Hansen knocked out Team Stryker’s Tom Marcellino with an exquisite second-round flying knee in an undercard scrap at 150 pounds. Hansen (4-1, 1-0 WSOF) landed the finishing blow 3:24 into round two.
Hansen countered effectively throughout the bout, dropping Marcellino (4-2, 0-1 WSOF) in both rounds. Late in the second frame, the Hawaiian charged, leaped and delivered the flying knee that drew the match to a decisive close. Marcellino has suffered consecutive defeats after starting his professional career 4-0.
Algeo Choke Submits Buenafuente
Bill Algeo submitted previously unbeaten Ring of Combat veteran Frank Buenafuente with a second-round rear-naked choke in a preliminary featherweight battle. Buenafuente (2-1, 0-1 WSOF) conceded defeat 4:36 into round two. Algeo (3-1, 1-0 WSOF) bloodied his 25-year-old foe with a series of knees in the first round, as he made Buenafuente pay a stiff price for his repeated takedown attempts. The Pennsylvanian scrambled into top position late in round two, transitioned to mount and eventually moved to Buenafuente’s back. A body triangle and the choke came next, followed by the tapout.