Lance Palmer likes his view at the top.
The Team Alpha Male export became the first featherweight champion in World Series of Fighting history to successfully defend the title, as he submitted Bellator MMA, World Extreme Cagefighting and International Fight League veteran Chris Horodecki with a first-round rear-naked choke in the WSOF 21 main event on Friday at the Edmonton Expo Centre in Edmonton, Alberta. Horodecki (21-6-1, 1-1 WSOF) tapped 4:28 into round one.
Palmer (10-1, 3-1 UFC) forced the Canadian to fight moving backward. A four-time NCAA All-American wrestler at Ohio State University, he secured a pair of takedowns. Nothing came of the first; the second produced the finish. Palmer moved to Horodecki’s back, flattened out the Shawn Tompkins protégé and softened him with punches before sliding the choke into place across the face.
The 27-year-old Palmer has rattled off three straight wins, all via rear-naked choke.
Ivanov Guillotine Submits Rama
Xtreme Couture Mixed Martial Arts’s Blagoi Ivanov captured the WSOF heavyweight crown in the co-main event, as he dethroned Smealinho Rama with a third-round standing guillotine choke. Rama (9-2, 2-1 WSOF) conceded defeat 1:17 into round three, his brief title reign over.
Ivanov (12-1, 1-0 WSOF) caught a body kick from the Canadian and countered with a takedown in the first round, opened a gash beneath Rama’s left eye with a clubbing right hand in the second and made his move in the third. There, the 2008 World Sambo Championships gold medalist let his heavy hands go, and they produced the desired results. He dropped Rama to his knees with a clean left hook and grabbed the guillotine when he attempted to return to his feet. With the choke in place, Ivanov cranked and briefly lifted “The Prince” off his feet. The tapout was immediate.
Unbeaten Dawodu Shreds Willis
Champions Creed MMA prospect Hakeem Dawodu kept his perfect professional record intact, as he put away Chuka Willis with second-round strikes their featherweight showcase. Dawodu (5-0, 5-0 WSOF) brought it to a close 2:55 into round two.
Willis (4-1, 0-1 WSOF) enjoyed some early success, as he landed a takedown, transitioned to the Canadian’s back and set his hooks. However, his pursuit of a rear-naked choke proved fruitless, and soon, the two men were back on their feet. Dawodu mounted a crippling assault on his counterpart’s body, tearing into him with close-quarters knee strikes; standing elbows to the head were also part of his attack.
By the start of the second round, Willis looked like a beaten man. Dawodu sprawled out of takedowns, trapped him in the clinch and fired away. He mixed knees to the body and legs with short elbows to the head, as he seemed to sense the end was near. Pinned hopelessly against the cage, Willis motioned to the referee that he had endured enough.
Prelims-Postlims: Hill Outduels Drummond
In other action, “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 16 graduate Michael Hill (8-3, 3-0 WSOF) eked out a split decision -- 29-28, 28-29, 29-28 -- over Mark Drummond (7-3, 1-2 WSOF) in a three-round welterweight tilt; King of the Cage veteran Matt Baker (12-8, 1-4 WSOF) retired in between the second and third rounds of his middleweight encounter with Pitbull Brothers training partner Thiago Jambo Goncalves (18-4, 1-0 WSOF), the stoppage the result of an apparent hand injury; Justin Sander (1-0, 1-0 WSOF) tapped Dan Lariviere (4-4, 1-1 WSOF) with an arm-triangle choke 2:52 into round two of their lightweight scrap; Michael Hay (2-1, 1-0 WSOF) submitted Louie Grover (1-3, 0-1 WSOF) with an armbar 2:17 into the first round of their clash at 135 pounds; Roger Alves (3-1, 3-0 WSOF) submitted Danny Doig (2-3, 0-1 WSOF) with an arm-triangle choke 2:49 into the first round of their lightweight contest; Garret Nybakken (8-7, 1-1 WSOF) knocked out Nick Hrabec (3-2, 0-1 WSOF) with punches 3:36 into round one of their tussle at 155 pounds; Spencer Rohovie (12-8, 1-0 WSOF) tapped Tim Smith (14-9, 0-1 WSOF) with a rear-naked choke 3:09 into the first round of their lightweight pairing; and Stephen Beaumont (8-2, 1-0 WSOF) took a unanimous decision from Jose Rodriguez (7-4, 0-1 WSOF) in their three-round matchup at 155 pounds, drawing 30-26 marks from all three judges.