The Fight Report: WSOF 3

| June 13, 2013 | 1:05 pm | Reply

WSOF 3It’s a busy weekend for fights, but World Series of Fighting is doing its best to stand out with Friday’s WSOF 3.  We’ve got more than a few familiar faces at the top of the card and they’re all in some intriguing matches that will define this young company; putting asses in seats or making people change the channel.

With the future in the balance, let’s dig into the action.

Jon Fitch vs. Josh Burkman:  A fight rumored to be for a title, WSOF had decided to push the idea of champions back a few events and send these two to war with nothing but pride on the line.  Fitch is no stranger to anyone who has followed the sport for the last several years, and having been unceremoniously cut from the UFC roster, is looking to land back on his feet in WSOF.  Fitch is one of the best wrestlers to ever grace the cage at 170lbs and having shown tremendous heart and skill in his career, is destined to be a big fish in any pond he calls home.

Burkman is a bit of a surprise at this point in all honesty.  A decent fighter for many years, Burkman couldn’t seem to keep afloat with the cream of the crop and went off radar for a while.  However, he never stopped working hard and came back to WSOF with a bang, dispatching Gerald Harris and Aaron Simpson with relative ease.  Now he faces a former foe and his toughest test in years with a great deal of momentum at his back.

This is a tough one to call based on mental states and Burkman’s unpredictable rate of improvement in the last couple of years.  Armed with some stellar footwork and pinpoint striking, Burkman can stun Fitch from the outside, and has always had a counter-wrestling submission game dialed in for those long shots.  Fitch has plenty of his own tricks though, and while I like Burkman’s gumption, Fitch is still one of the world’s elite, and too much to handle on the mat.  It’ll be a fun one, but Fitch avoids danger and finds his rhythm against Burkman, hitting a submission late in the fight.

Jacob Volkmann vs. Lyle Beerbohm: Two of the slickest men on the mat will collide in a grappler’s delight, as Jacob Volkmann faces well-travelled veteran Lyle Beerbohm.  Volkmann has long been associated with solid takedowns and suffocating ground work, having ground some of the world’s best for 15 rounds and walked without a scratch.  Beerbohm, in many ways, has a completely different reputation, being known as a wily scrambler in the vein of the catch wrestlers of hold, looking to hook his foe at every turn.  This is a compelling match simply because Volkmann isn’t invincible on the mat and Beerbohm has the kind of style to exploit weakness in grappling exchanges. While I do think Volkmann can shut his opponent down and perhaps find the choke halfway through the fight, Beerbohm may well kick his fancy pants into high gear and prove me wrong.

Brian Cobb vs. Justin Gaethje: One of the best prospects in some time, Justin Gaethje will look to show the world he’s a real deal fighter, taking on tough grappler Brian Cobb.  Cobb has been toiling away in the rings and cages of the world and generally coming out on top, with his last win being a hard-won decision over Rony Torres in the WSOF cage.  Gaethje’s win against Gesias Cavalcante wasn’t the kind of coming out party he’d have liked, yet Brian Cobb is clearly a feather worth having in a young fighter’s cap.

This is a pivotal fight for Gaethje, as Cobb has made his career off of defeating other wrestlers with his unique BJJ and counter-wrestling game.  Gaethje is himself a unique fighter however, using high-impact slams and punishing in-fighting tactics to destroy opponents, all of which are well-suited to beating a long foe like Cobb.  I trust in Gaethje to have this fight under control, landing shots, hitting takedowns, and staying safe on his way to a decision win.

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Category: Exclusive, MMA, World Series of Fighting

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