Marlon Moraes Wins Eighth Straight Fight, Submits Cody Bollinger in WSOF 13 Headliner

The hits just keep on coming for Marlon Moraes.

The World Series of Fighting bantamweight champ methodically dissected short-notice foe Cody Bollinger, winning via second-round submission in the WSOF 13 headliner at the Sands Casino Resort in Bethlehem, Penn., on Saturday night. The Brazilian used a modified rear-naked choke to elicit a tapout from Bollinger 1:35 into the second period.

“I want to thank Cody Bollinger for the opportunity – he took this fight on eight days’ notice,” Moraes said. “You guys have got to give me the credit also…I think this proves I’m the best 135-er in the world. I can beat anybody. The belt’s mine, and I’m the best in the world.”

Moraes (14-4-1, 6-0 WSOF) has won eight straight fights, including six under the WSOF banner. The Ricardo Almedia Jiu-Jitsu standout was never in danger against Bollinger (16-3, 2-1 WSOF), who stepped in for the inured Josh Hill a little more than a week ago. The bout was contested at a 147-pound catch-weight, so Moraes’ belt was not on the line.

However, the 26-year-old muay Thai specialist competed as though a title was at stake.

Moraes tagged Bollinger repeatedly with hard kicks to the liver and swift punching combinations to the head in the opening frame. Meanwhile, Bollinger’s only hope was to dive desperately in hopes of a takedown, but his efforts were thwarted by Moraes.

Moraes quickly got back to work in round two, dropping Bollinger with a left hook behind the head. The 26-year-old followed his reeling foe to the canvas and landed a few follow-up punches before moving into position for the fight-ending choke. Although he did not secure full back control, Moraes was still able to slide his arm under his foe’s neck to score the submission.

Dugulubgov Lamps Caldwell

Ozzy Dugulubgov was looking for the kill shot throughout his co-main event encounter with Keon Caldwell. In the third frame, he found his golden opportunity.

Dugulubgov (6-2, 3-1 WSOF) deftly dodged a Caldwell (9-3, 0-2 WSOF) uppercut, then countered with a massive right hand to the chin, sending his foe crashing to the canvas, stiff as a board. Caldwell’s head bounced off the floor upon impact, and referee Bill Bookwalter quickly stepped in to bring a halt to the contest 1:38 into the third period.

Both fighters swung for the fences in the early going, but most of their offerings found nothing but air until Dugulubgov connected with the decisive blow. However, the Renzo Gracie Jiu-Jitsu product was successful with his wrestling, landing multiple takedowns in the first two frames.

Valiev Dominates Chapman

Timur Valiev continues to establish himself as a person of interest in the WSOF bantamweight division, as he cruised to a lopsided unanimous verdict (30-27, 30-27, 30-26) against Isaiah Chapman. Valiev (8-1, 2-0 WSOF), who appeared to be on the verge of a stoppage at the end of both rounds one and three, has now won eight straight fights.

The Jackson-Wink MMA-trained Dagestani kept Chapman (6-2, 0-1 WSOF) guessing throughout, attacking with kicks to the legs, head and body. That multi-faceted arsenal, coupled with the periodic spinning attack, prevented Chapman from getting within comfortable striking range.

Valiev’s best work came on the mat, however. After taking Chapman’s back in the opening stanza, Valiev drew blood from his opponent’s mouth while cranking the neck in hopes of a submission. When that failed, he hammered away with punches to the head and ribs. The later portion of round three produced a similar sequence, as Valiev again transitioned from a choke attempt to a punishing barrage of ground-and-pound as time expired.

Perez Takes Unanimous Verdict Over Marcellino

Ricardo Almedia Jiu-Jitsu prospect Frankie Perez enjoyed a successful WSOF debut, as he earned a unanimous decision victory against Tom Marcellino in a featured lightweight clash. All three cageside judges scored the bout 30-27 in favor of the Howell, N.J., native.

Perez and Marcellino entered the matchup with a combined nine submission triumphs, but this bout was primarily contested on the feet. There, Perez (9-1, 1-0 WSOF) had a clear advantage. He peppered his opponent with punching combinations to the head and body while mixing in the occasional leg kick as he controlled the center of the cage for much of the contest.

Perez ended round one with a furious barrage of punches capped off by a flying knee. Marcellino (7-3, 0-1 WSOF) could not match his foe’s output standing, and his attempts to draw the Ring of Combat veteran into a grappling battle were largely unsuccessful. Perez punctuated his victory late in third stanza, rocking the Renzo Gracie pupil with a spinning back elbow from the clinch before briefly sending him to the canvas with a spinning back kick.

Preliminary Bouts

Tenyeh Dixon (12-10, 1-0 WSOF) garnered a split-decision triumph (29-28, 28-29, 29-28) over Emmanuel Walo (6-2-1, 0-1 WSOF) at welterweight; Nick Browne (2-0, 1-0 WSOF) made short work of Sidney Outlaw (3-1, 0-1 WSOF), knocking his opponent out with punches on the ground just 25 seconds into their lightweight matchup; A vicious knee to the face gave Katlyn Chookagian (2-0, 1-0 WSOF) a knockout triumph against 44-year-old Brigitte Narcise (0-2, 0-1 WSOF) 38 seconds into the final frame of their women’s flyweight clash; Matt Secor (5-2, 1-0 WSOF) submitted Brett Shoenfelt (7-6, 0-1 WSOF) with a rear-naked choke 4:38 into the second round of a welterweight scrap; and Renzo Gracie Jiu-Jitsu product Sidemar Honorio (9-5, 1-2 WSOF) shattered Matthew Lozano’s (4-3, 0-1 WSOF) arm with a kick, ending their flyweight clash 28 seconds into round three.
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