Steve Carl figures to be drilling plenty of leg-lock defense in the coming months. | Keith Mills/Sherdog.com
Rousimar Palhares’ fresh start in the World Series of Fighting will include a chance at welterweight gold.
The promotion recently announced that the leg-lock specialist will square off with reigning 170-pound king Steve Carl in the WSOF 9 headliner. Additionally, Marlon Moraes will meet Josh Rettinghouse for WSOF’s inaugural bantamweight title in the evening’s co-main event. WSOF 9 takes place at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas on March 29.
Palhares was released from the UFC for unsportsmanlike conduct for holding onto a heel hook after Mike Pierce tapped out in their Oct. 9 matchup. “Toquinho” had previously been suspended for 90 days by the New Jersey State Athletic Control Board for maintaining a heel hook for an excessive period of time following a win over Tomasz Drwal in 2010. The Brazilian, who signed an exclusive deal with the WSOF in November, posted an 8-4 record during his Octagon tenure.
Carl captured the WSOF welterweight crown with a fourth-round submission of Josh Burkman in October. The 29-year-old Hard Drive MMA representative is unbeaten in three WSOF appearances and has won seven fights in a row overall.
Moraes has established himself as one of the Las Vegas-based organization’s most promising talents, besting Miguel Torres, Tyson Nam, Brandon Hempleman and Carson Beebe in four WSOF appearances. The 25-year-old will carry a six-bout winning streak into his meeting with Rettinghouse.
Rettinghouse made his promotional debut in October, outpointing Alexis Vila at WSOF 6. The BJJ Spokane product has been victorious in 10 of his 12 professional outings, with six of those triumphs coming via submission.