NOVEMBER 20, 2015
LIVE FROM PHOENIX, ARIZONA
The World Series of Fighting returns to NBCSN tonight with WSOF 25. Tonight’s event is bringing an eight-man, one-night only lightweight tournament, with the semifinals and finals airing live on the main card broadcast. We’ll have live coverage right here tonight on the televised fights as they kick off at 11PM ET, so make sure to follow along with us throughout the event.
Before the main card aired on NBC Sports Network, the opening round of the tournament took place. Here are the results of those fights:
Islam Mamedov defeated Jorge Patino by unanimous decision
Mike Ricci defeated Joe Condon by knockout (head kick)
Joáo Zeferino defeated Brian Foster by submission (heel hook)
Luis Palomino defeated Rich Patishnock by knockout (punch)
Islam Mamedov has been removed from the tournament due to a knee injury suffered in the win over Patino. Brian Foster also advances due to Mike Ricci being unable to move forward. Imagine that; an eight man tournament fell apart before the broadcast went to air.
The semifinal fights will see Patino vs. Zeferino, and Foster vs. Palamino.
Imagine that. Foster got heel hooked by someone other than Rousimar Palhares, and is somehow able to fight less than two years later.
Todd Harris and Chael Sonnen are cageside to torture both your ears and your brains.
No elbows are allowed in the semi-final fights of this tournament. Nor were they allowed in the quarter-finals. I mean, it was probably implied by the fact that they weren’t allowed in the semi-finals that they weren’t allowed in the quarter-finals, but now you know for sure
FIGHT ONE: JORGE PATINO vs. JOAO ZEFERINO
– Patino has quite the purple mouse under his right eye. Gee, I wonder how that happened. Ryan Brueggeman is the referee. A bad sign that you can hear individual fans booing during the introductions.
Round One: After a one minute feeling out process between the two Brazilian fighters, Zeferino catches a body kick, takes Patino down, and heel hooks Patino. Fight’s over. Patino is fine, Mister Palhares.
Winner: Joao Zeferino by submission at 1:24 of round one.
Star Rating and Final Thoughts: (******************************************) Heel hooks that don’t lead to permanent damage (Rousimar) are worth 42 stars. That said, we’re very close to seeing Palamino vs. Foster 2. Twice on the same night.
– I gotta admit, I’m really cheering for Brian Foster to lose and somehow advance. That opens up the possibility of him losing three times in one night (take that, Travis Fulton), or the possibility of him losing to the same guy twice in one night. Or, twice by heel hook to the same guy in one night.
FIGHT TWO: BRIAN FOSTER VS. LUIS PALAMINO
– Chris Tognoni is in charge of the action for this semifinal fight
Round One: Palomino staying on the outside early while they feel each other out. Foster’s landed a couple of leg kicks and a stiff jab before eating a high switch kick from Palamino. Foster’s landing hard leg kicks that Palamino either won’t or can’t check. Foster’s not stringing a lot of combinations, but he’s landing what he throws. Palamino lands a hard left punch, but a stunned Foster walked forward and took Palamino down. I peed myself a little just watching that punch, but Foster came forward. Damn. This sport, man. Side control for Foster. Looking to mount. Nope, half-guard. And now he’s got the mount with fifty seconds to work. Palamino is doing a good job keeping Foster in check, and even bucked Palamino off of him. Side control. Foster is unloading on a defenseless Palamino who finally stops eating punches in bunches. The bell rings. 10-9 Foster He dominated the last minute or so. Not long enough to earn a 10-8.
Round Two: Foster followed up a leg kick (finally checked) with a failed takedown attempt. That was sloppy. He was way too far away. Turning side kick from Foster. He missed a couple of those in the first. Fast jab from Palamino. And another. Foster is doing a good job cutting off angles. Explosive takedown from Foster. Nice sequence where Foster looked for a guillotine. Palamino got out of it and landed a high kick as they both scrambled to their feet. Foster ate it well and took Palamino back down and got side control. Foster just got mount. Way too easy. Palamino got out of it, but Foster took his back. Palamino rolls to his back and gave up mount. After eating a few bombs, discretion trumped valor and he gave up his back. And now he’s on his back again, mounted. Foster jumps out of mount to side control. The transitions Foster is pulling off here are great. Foster is peppering Palamino with right hands. Tognoni has seen enough Roy Nelson on Kimbo Slice right hands and has no choice but to stop the fight.
Winner: (**+) Foster by TKO at 4:19 of round two.
Star Rating and Final Thoughts: Foster looked great. And for the record, while the right hands were certainly not the hardest rights he’s ever thrown, they were hurting Palamino. That was a proper stoppage.
FIGHT THREE: JASON HIGH VS. ESTEVAN PAYAN
– Todd Harris spent most of the time between fights telling us that this fight was booked just to give a couple of other guys time to rest. Harris knows how to sell a fight.
– Estevan made his way to the cage to music that Randy Orton rejected as being “just too damn nu-metal for me.”
– So did High. There’s no way in hell (TM V. McMahon) they picked their own music.
– Matt Hamill picked their music.
– This is why Jamie doesn’t let me cover UFC PPVs. Unless something something beer, something something Duluth.
Round One: Payan starts by flicking the jab repeatedly at the southpaw High. High grabs Payan and puts him down against teh cage. He’s trapped Payan’s arm between his leg. High is popping Payan’s head with a series of left hands that Payan is unable to defend. Payan can’t get to his feet because of High’s weight on his back. High gives up the arm to look for a rear naked choke. He doesn’t get it, but he’s landed two significant knees to the face of Payan. Both of them were inches away from being illegal. High drags Payan back down to all thours. Payan gets back up, but eats a hard elbow to the face before they disengage with ninety seconds remaining. Payan lands a hard shot, but doesn’t follow up. Nice left hand down the middle from High. High misses a high kick and slips, but Payan wasn’t in position to take advantage. High has landed a couple of front kicks up the middle. 10-9 High
Round Two: Jason High was getting tagged a little more in the last minute of the first than I may have reported. He’s going to have to move his head a little better. Still a 10-9 round there, though. Sonnen talks about how High might be in trouble if things don’t change. High drops Payan with a head kick and knocks him unconscious with a hard punch on the canvas. Good foreshadowing, Chael.
Winner: Jason High by TKO at 0:47 of round two.
Star Rating and Final Thoughts: (**+) High never should have been cut by the UFC.
FIGHT FOUR: BRIAN FOSTER VS. JOAO ZEFERINO
Round One: As soon as Chael tells us Zeferino is going to have a hard time getting a takedown, Zeferino catches a flying knee and gets the takedown. Zeferino looks for a heel hook yet again, but it’s not there. After a fun scramble, Zeferino winds up in side control look ing for an arm. Nothing there, so he gets the mount. Foster bucks and gives up his back. Foster powers to his feet and Zeferino falls off. Foster jumps on top now, and we’re looking at dueling leg locks here. Tognoni screams for time. Inadvertent kick to the face from Foster. Didn’t take a point. The fight is restarted on the feet. Interesting.That benefited Foster heavily. Foster shakes off a Zeferino takedown attempt. And another 40 seconds later. Foster has decided to keep this standing now, which is wise. Soft leg kick from Zeferino. Foster lands a decent one-two. Zeferino looks confused right now, timid even. Foster gets inside on Zeferino. Zeferino drops down for a leg, but Foster escaped fast. Back to the middle. 10-9 Foster Foster’s going to win, rendering the first fight totally moot. Nice that he got a mulligan, or whatever.
Round Two: Both fighters come out trading straight punches in the middle of the cage. Zeferino’s already more aggressive than he was in the first round. Foster is changing stances every few seconds, which has had Zeferino out of sorts. Zeferino catches a stupid spin kick from Foster and gets Foster down. Foster has side control, now half-guard. Foster is hits a nice sweep and gets to his feet. Can’t explain it better, as the camerawork showed nothing but the referee’s butt. Foster dives down and has side control. Zeferino grabs a leg, so foster steps out. Foster retreats and Zeferino is forced to stand. Nice left hook from Zeferino. Foster charges in wih a strong combination, but he ate a right and is on rubber legs. Foster is down and Zeerino is pounding on him. Foster somehow reversed the position. What a great switch. Now he’s on his feet and Zeferino is begging Foster to play in his guard. Zeferino eats a head kick on his way up. Foster takes Zeferino down. Hell of a round here. Foster is resting on top of Zeferino. Rest break over, he lands a huge punch and lands a barrage of punches on the ground. Tognoni stops the fight. That was awesome.
Winner: Brian Foster by KO at 4:51 of round two.
Star Rating and Final Thoughts: (***+) That was a hell of a fight. Just fantastic stuff from Foster.