When they first locked horns back in February 2015, Marlon Moraes and Josh Hill battled it out for five grueling rounds. Moraes prevailed that night in what was the first defense of his World Series of Fighting bantamweight title. Fast-forward to Saturday and the mixed martial arts world received the same result -- a Moraes victory -- but how he achieved it was vastly different.
The two fought competitively in the opening frame of the main event of WSOF 32, which took place at Xfinity Arena in Everett, Wash. But almost as soon as the second began, the Brazilian floored the challenger with a wicked kick to the head. Hill collapsed on impact and he tried to somehow survive the incoming onslaught of punches, but it was no use: Moraes was drilling him like a Makita and forced referee Steve Newport to intervene.
The official time of the TKO came just 38 ticks into the second, allowing Moraes to hang on to his title for the fourth time. After the fight, the champ called out the UFC to sign him.
In the NBCSN-televise co-feature, Lance Palmer exacted revenge on Alexandre Almeida. Palmer lost his WSOF featherweight title to Almeida via decision last December in Las Vegas. But on Saturday, he was more explosive, more aggressive and had a better gameplan than the defending champion.
Palmer out-struck Almeida when he needed to and was the better man both on the feet and on the ground, though he didn’t dismantle his adversary. Almeida kept every round close, but in the end, two of the three judges favored Palmer by scoring the five-round affair in his favor 49-46 and 50-45. The other official saw it 48-48, allowing Palmer to wrest his title back from Almeida via majority decision, possibly setting up a rubber match in the future.
In a battle between adopted brothers, lightweight Caros Fodor dominated younger sibling Ben “Phoenix Jones” Fodor for three rounds and won a lopsided unanimous decision. Caros scored well-timed takedowns in the first two rounds and controlled his rival on the ground, completely nullifying the part-time crime-fighting superhero. After Ben scored some nice punches early in the third, older brother Caros simply scored another takedown and coasted to a shutout on the scorecards. In the end, Caros Fodor won via tallies of 30-26 on all three official scorecards.
In a somewhat shocking upset, rising prospect Phil Hawes was forced to tap out to a textbook guillotine in the second. The muscle-bound wrestler was dominant in the first against Louis Taylor, but when he was stuffed on a single-leg takedown attempt, Taylor locked his arms around his foe’s neck and wrapped up the choke. It was so tight that Hawes tapped as soon as it was sunk, ending the battle at the 2:15 mark of the second.
Middleweight contender Rex Harris used his superior wrestling and pressure to thwart the dozens of submission attempts from the slick Nick Salchow to earn a wide unanimous decision. The battle was fought mostly on the canvas as Harris scored takedowns whenever he wanted. Salchow continuously fished for heel hooks and kneebars, but never came too close to landing of them, especially when the fight wore on. In the end, Harris won via tallies of 30-27 on all three cards.
Hakeem Dawodu survived a chain of submission attempts in the first to systematically break apart Marat Magomedov en route to an impressive second-round stoppage. After plunging his shins into the Russian’s guts and his fists on his face, Dawodu eventually closed the show. The Canadian caved in his foe’s liver with a sinister left hook, forcing Magomedov to crumble in a heap. Referee John Stanton halted the bout at the point, officially ending it at the 2:03 mark.
Also on the preliminary portion of the card, welterweight Andrews Nakahar took out Travis Doerge with a knee to the body, followed by punches to head in just 55 seconds; Matt Kovacs knocked out fellow heavyweight Bill Widler with a volley of punches at 4:22 of the first; lightweight Brett Malone submitted Patrick Benson with a first-round rear-naked choke at the 4:20 mark; Matt Coble forced Colt Hausauer to tap out to a rear-naked choke at 1:52 of the second in a lightweight encounter; bantamweight Tycen Lynn submitted Justin Hugo with a triangle choke at 2:17 of the opening frame; and Joe Elzea caught Marcos Lopez in an armbar to force the tap at 4:34 of the first in a bantamweight showdown.