Justin Gaethje claimed World Series of Fighting gold at 155 pounds. | Photo: Dave Mandel/Sherdog.com
Grudge Training Center prospect Justin Gaethje went after what he wanted, and Richard Patishnock made the mistake of getting in his way.
Gaethje wiped out Patishnock with a savage volley of standing strikes to become the inaugural World Series of Fighting lightweight champion in the WSOF 8 headliner on Saturday at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood, Fla. A short-notice replacement for the injured Lewis Gonzalez, Patishnock (6-2, 2-1 WSOF) wilted 69 seconds into round one.
There was no feeling-out process. Gaethje (11-0, 4-0 WSOF) stormed out of the gate, and Patishnock met him with some heavy artillery. Gaethje walked through his punches and delivered some of his own in return, badly staggering the Team Chamber MMA representative with a right hook. From there, Patishnock was on borrowed time. A hailstorm of uppercuts, knees and standing elbows came next, forcing referee Troy Waugh to intervene.
“All the years are paying off right now,” Gaethje said. “We haven’t worked one elbow all camp, to tell you the truth. Coach is just always telling me to have fun out there and stay creative.”
‘Rumble’ Johnson KOs Kyle
Blackzilians export Anthony Johnson knocked out Mike Kyle with a counter right hook in the first round of their light heavyweight co-main event. Kyle (20-11-1, 0-2 WSOF) collapsed to the canvas facedown and unconscious 2:03 into round one.
Johnson (16-4, 3-0 WSOF) shrugged off a single-leg takedown attempt and subsequent clinch from the American Kickboxing Academy veteran, drawing him into a firefight after their skirmish against the cage. Both men let the fists fly, with Johnson connecting on the fight-ending blow.
The 29-year-old Dublin, Ga., native has rattled off six consecutive victories since being released by the Ultimate Fighting Championship after his January 2012 defeat to Vitor Belfort.
Aguilar Submits Gray, Captures Strawweight Crown
American Top Team’s Jessica Aguilar submitted Alida Gray with a first-round arm-triangle choke to become the first women’s strawweight champion in World Series of Fighting history. Gray (4-1, 0-1 WSOF) tapped out 2:45 into round one.
Aguilar (17-4, 1-0 WSOF) secured a takedown inside the first 30 seconds and went to work in half guard. The 31-year-old softened Gray with elbows, locked in the choke and cleared the judoka’s guard for the finish. Aguilar, the world’s top-ranked women’s strawweight, has won her last eight fights.
“It’s been eight years coming,” she said. “It’s a lot of hard work that I’ve done, and it all paid off right here. I want to thank American Top Team for creating me.”
‘Ultimate Fighter’ Alum Bollinger Upsets Nam
“The Ultimate Fighter” Season 18 castoff Cody Bollinger won for the third time in four appearances, as he upset Sports Lab export Tyson Nam by unanimous decision in a featured bantamweight affair. All three judges arrived at the same verdict: 29-28 for Bollinger (15-2, 1-0 WSOF).
Neither man made a serious move in a largely forgettable encounter, as they pecked away at one another for 15 minutes. Bollinger was the more aggressive and diverse fighter, scoring with knees, kicks and punches from the perimeter, his length clearly frustrating his counterpart.
Nam (12-6, 0-2 WSOF) did his best work in the second round, where he grazed the 22-year-old with a right hook, trailed Bollinger to the canvas when he lost his footing and pounced with punches. However, Bollinger escaped damage and returned to his feet without much resistance, the two bantamweights resuming their dance.
Palomino KOs Patino in Debut
Luis Palomino knocked out former two-division Legacy Fighting Championship titleholder Jorge Patino with a ringing right hand and follow-up ground strikes in the second round of their lightweight showcase. Palomino (22-9, 1-0 WSOF) drew the curtain 4:20 into round two.
While he struck for a pair of first-round takedowns, Patino (35-15-2, 0-1 WSOF) was neutralized by his adversary’s airtight guard; and he was a sitting duck on the feet. Palomino racked “Macaco” with damaging combinations, staggering him on more than one occasion.
In the second round, the MMA Masters representative zapped Patino with a wicked right cross, drove him to the mat and knocked him senseless with a series of unanswered blows at the base of the cage.
Prelims: Stinson Dispatches Araujo, Wins Fourth Straight
In preliminary action, Bellator MMA veteran Tyler Stinson (27-9, 1-0 WSOF) put away Valdir Araujo (14-5, 0-1 WSOF) with punches 2:23 into the third round of their welterweight battle; American Top Team heavyweight Derrick Mehman (17-5, 2-0 WSOF) recorded a unanimous verdict over Scott Barrett (14-4, 0-1 WSOF), sweeping the scorecards by 30-27, 29-28 and 29-28 marks; American Top Team flyweight Alexis Vila (14-4, 1-1 WSOF) captured a unanimous decision from Sidemar Honorio (8-5, 0-2 WSOF), earning 30-27, 29-28 and 29-28 nods from the judges; Ascension MMA featherweight Freddy Assuncao (8-1, 1-0 WSOF) eked out a split decision -- scores were 29-28, 29-28 and 28-29
-- over Brenson Hansen (5-2, 2-1 WSOF); and MMA Masters export Anderson Melo (11-7, 1-0 WSOF) submitted Jose Caceres (5-5, 0-1 WSOF) with a heel hook 70 seconds into the first round of their welterweight scrap.