Bloodied Marlon Moraes Withstands Josh Hill, Retains Bantamweight Title at WSOF 18

By Brian Knapp Feb 12, 2015
Marlon Moraes was a bloody mess, but he came out ahead where it mattered most: on the scorecards.

Moraes retained his World Series of Fighting bantamweight championship with a unanimous decision over the previously unbeaten Josh Hill in the WSOF 18 headliner on Thursday at the Edmonton Expo Centre in Edmonton, Alberta. All three cageside judges scored it the same: 49-46 for Moraes (14-4, 7-0 WSOF), giving him four of the five rounds.

Hill (10-1, 1-1 WSOF) looked like a legitimate threat to the champion early in their encounter. He exchanged with Moraes in the pocket, staggered him with a clean right uppercut in the first round and left him with substantial damage to his face. Blood leaked from the Brazilian’s nose for more than 20 minutes, staining his white shorts pink.

Moraes was not dissuaded. The 26-year-old Ricardo Almeida disciple maintained control of the match in rounds two through five. He cornered Hill with effective footwork and tore into the Canadian with kicks to the leg, body and head. Hill’s output dwindled noticeably after the initial five minutes, and a late fifth-round takedown put the finishing touches on Moraes’ ninth consecutive victory.

Related » WSOF 18 Play-by-Play

Campbell Sinks Boyle in Rematch

In the welterweight co-main event, Maximum Fighting Championship alum Shane Campbell took care of Derek Boyle with a third-round body kick and follow-up punches. Boyle (13-7, 0-1 WSOF) succumbed to the blows 31 seconds into round three.

After a competitive and relatively even first round, Campbell (11-2, 1-0 WSOF) seemed to turn the tide in the second. There, he slowed Boyle with punishing kicks to the inside and outside of his lead leg. He also mixed in a takedown and scored with subsequent ground-and-pound, setting the stage for what was to come. Early in round three, Campell cracked his opponent with a crushing liver kick, paused to taunt and the resumed his onslaught. Another body kick drove Boyle to the canvas, where he was met with a fight-ending run of standing-to-ground punches from the experienced kickboxer.

Campbell -- who had defeated Boyle by unanimous decision in their first encounter at a Score Fighting Series event in March 2012 -- has won seven of his last eight fights.

McKenzie Head Butt Earns Disqualification

Ultimate Fighting Championship veteran Cody McKenzie was disqualified for an intentional first-round head butt on Andrew McInnes in a welterweight showcase. McKenzie (15-7, 0-1 WSOF) delivered the illegal blow 4:57 into round one, resulting in his third consecutive defeat.

McInnes (6-1, 1-0 WSOF) operated effectively from the clinch, tagged the Alaskan with a volley of uppercuts, executed a takedown and escaped “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 12 graduate’s trademark guillotine choke. The Robert Drysdale-trained Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt achieved full mount late in the first round but surrendered position on a failed rear-naked choke and was later warned for pulling McKenzie’s hair. McKenzie assumed top position, popped McInnes with a burst of rights and lefts and then drove his head into the Canadian’s face. The blatant foul rendered McInnes incapable of continuing and led to the stoppage.

Unbeaten Dawodu Downs Johnson

Canadian prospect Hakeem Dawodu remained undefeated, as he put away Tristan Johnson with an overhand right in the third round of their featured featherweight scrap. Dawodu (4-0, 4-0 WSOF) brought it to a close 1:59 into round three.

Johnson (9-6, 0-1 WSOF) could not match his counterpart’s volume or variety. Dawodu backed up a stinging left jab with a series of overhand rights. The 23-year-old Champions Creed MMA representative did some of his best work in close quarters, as he attacked an increasingly weary Johnson with collar-tie knees and elbows; he battered the body with beautiful brutality. Dawodu turned up the heat in the third round, where he applied relentless pressure and ultimately buried Johnson with an accumulation of blows. A final right hand to the temple ended it.

Drummond Knee KOs Jebb

In pre- and post-main card action, Mark Drummond (7-2, 1-1 WSOF) knocked out Spencer Jebb (9-4, 1-1 WSOF) with a knee strike 2:43 into the third round of their duel at 170 pounds; Dan Lariviere (4-2, 1-0 WSOF) submitted Garret Nybakken (6-7, 0-1 WSOF) with a rear-naked choke 4:40 into round one of their lightweight affair; Canadian journeyman Marcus Hicks (20-24, 2-0 WSOF) submitted Graham Park (3-2, 1-1 WSOF) with a rear-naked choke 2:28 into the first round of their middleweight clash; and an inadvertent head butt from Matt Baker (11-7, 1-3 WSOF) resulted in a no-contest with Ali Mokdad (6-3, 0-0 WSOF) 13 seconds into round one of their encounter at 185 pounds.
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