The World Series of Fighting featherweight championship has a new owner.
Marcos Alexandre Campos de Almeida used his height, reach and steady aggression to oust Lance Palmer and capture the 145-pound title in the WSOF 26 headliner on Friday at The Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas. Almeida (18-5) swept the scorecards with identical 48-47 marks, his winning streak now at five fights.
Palmer (10-2) had issues navigating the Brazilian’s length. Almeida stuffed many of his takedown attempts and made him pay for others, as he fought effectively from his back. A four-time NCAA All-American wrestler at Ohio State University, the Team Alpha Male-trained Palmer executed takedowns in all five rounds but failed to consolidate the vast majority of them with damage. On the feet, Almeida was the clear aggressor. He circled and stalked the champion, split his defenses with probing right hands and generally made life difficult for him.
In a final push to sway the judges, Palmer climbed to full mount in the fourth round and delivered three takedowns in the fifth. Nevertheless, the title slipped from his grasp.
Related » WSOF 26 Round-by-Round Scoring
Surging Dugulubgov Sinks Herron-Webb
In the lightweight co-main event, Ozzy Dugulubgov recorded his seventh victory in eight appearances, as he cruised to a unanimous decision over Nic Herron-Webb. All three cageside judges arrived at the same verdict: 30-27 for Dugulubgov (8-2).
Herron-Webb (18-7) had a rough night. Dugulubgov got his attention with various kicks, secured repeated takedowns and leaned on a grinding top game across the 15-minute affair. The 26-year-old opened a cut on Herron-Webb’s left eyebrow in the first round and landed a spinning back kick to the face in the third. In between, Dugulubgov spent the majority of his time operating in top position, feeding his counterpart occasional punches and elbows from guard and half guard.
The loss snapped Herron-Webb’s four-fight winning streak.
Prospect Moraes Stops Peralta
Team Nogueira prospect Sheymon da Silva Moraes put away Ultimate Fighting Championship washout Robbie Peralta with punches in the second round of their bantamweight attraction. Peralta (18-7) met his end 3:21 into round two.
It took Moraes (8-1) time to find his rhythm, as he had issues with output through much of the first five minutes. Peralta could not capitalize. In the second round, Moraes upped his aggression and zeroed in on the Californian’s legs, body and head. The 25-year-old backed Peralta into the fence, let his hands go and cut him down with a ripping left hook on the chin. After Moraes landed a follow-up right hand, referee Kim Winslow had seen enough.
Peralta, 29, has lost three in a row.
Hill Hands Magomedov First Loss
“The Ultimate Fighter” Season 18 alum Josh Hill won for the third time in as many appearances, as he eked out a split verdict against the previously unbeaten Bekbulat Magomedov in a featured showdown at 135 pounds. Scores were 29-28 for Magomedov, 30-27 and 30-27 for Hill.
Not much separated the two bantamweights. Magomedov (16-1) moved forward behind a stinging jab but struggled to string together meaningful offense. Hill (13-1) fired rolling overhand rights and scored effectively in the clinch, sneaking in knees upstairs when the opportunities were there. Late in the third round, the Canadian made his final pitch, as he executed a takedown, advanced to Magomedov’s back and spent the waning moments fishing for a potential choke.
Heun Edges Replacement Williams
Crisp two- and three-punch combinations paired with a few takedowns and some ground-and-pound carried American Top Team’s Jake Heun to a split decision over Clinton Williams in a light heavyweight showcase. Scores were 29-28 and 29-28 for Heun, 29-28 for Williams.
A replacement for the injured Tyrone Spong, Williams (7-3) connected with some power punches and executed a running third-round takedown, but the sporadic nature of his offense was not conducive for success. Heun put together a strong first round and enjoyed even more of an advantage in the second, where he achieved full mount and piled up points with punches and hammerfists.
Heun (9-4) has won four of his last five fights.
Prelims: Once-Beaten Nurmagomedov Outpoints Davis
In preliminary action, Abubakar Nurmagomedov (11-1) claimed a unanimous decision against Danny Davis Jr. (11-10-1) in their 15-minute clash at 170 pounds, prompting 30-27, 30-27 and 29-28 nods from the judges; Syndicate MMA rep Jonathan Nunez (6-1) captured a unanimous verdict from David Jordan (3-4) in their three-round lightweight battle, drawing 30-26, 30-27 and 30-27 scores; Marat Magomedov (7-0-1) and Hakeem Dawodu (5-0-1) fought to a majority draw -- 28-28, 28-28, 29-28 -- in a 15-minute encounter at 145 pounds; and Xtreme Couture’s Gil Guardado (5-1) took a unanimous decision from Giga Chikadze (0-1) in their three-round lightweight tilt, earning 30-27, 30-27 and 29-28 marks from the judges.