Credit: sherdog.com

Two Title Fights Added To WSOF 9

 

 

Steve Carl will battle Rousimar Palhares in his first defence of the WSOF Welterweight strap, while bantamweight standout Marlon Moraes will fight for the inaugural WSOF Bantamweight belt against Josh Rettinghouse, who is coming off an impressive win over Alexis Vila. WSOF officials confirmed the bouts after speculation over Twitter last night, and the two bouts are set for WSOF 9 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

After stating in an exclusive interview with Cage Pages that he’d be disinterested in a fight with Palhares, Steve Carl has decided to accept the offer in what will be the Brazilian’s debut after his controversial release from the UFC. Palhares won his last fight, and in the process his welterweight debut, with a first round submission over Mike Pierce, but was cut from the UFC for failing to release the leg lock in a reasonable amount of time, despite the referee stopping the fight. This was the second offence by Rousimar in this manner, and WSOF president Ray Sefo has warned him that he will be cut immediately should a similar incident occur.

Steve Carl is coming into the bout off an impressive submission victory of his own, over top WSOF contender Josh Burkman in the inaugural 170lbs belt. Burkman was a heavy favourite coming into the fight after choking out fellow UFC veteran Jon Fitch, but Carl passed his biggest test to date with flying colours. With a seven fight win streak, and a 3-0 record under the WSOF banner, Carl is coming into the fight with Palhares with some significant momentum. With wins  over Tyler Stinson, Tyson Steele and the aforementioned Burkman, Carl has come up against some reasonable competition in the past, but Palhares will pose possibly his biggest challenge to date.

In the co main event of WSOF, Brazilian Marlon Moraes will hope to continue his remarkable improvements with a win over Josh Rettinghouse. Cage Pages will publish an exclusive interview with Moraes within the next few days, where he talks about training with Frankie Edgar, his views on becoming a bantamweight contender and more. Moraes has six wins in a row, four of which came inside the WSOF cage – most impressively a surprise win over Miguel Torres. He has since established himself as a top 10 standout at 135 lbs, and will look to solidify this status with WSOF gold. He will likely come into the bout as a heavy favourite, after knockout wins over Carson Beebe and Tyson Nam, as well as a decision win over Brandon Hempleman.

Rettinghouse is coming into the Moraes bout off the most impressive win in his short MMA career, defeating former Bellator contender and Olympian Alexis Vila. The Cuban came into the bout as a favourite, but Rettinghouse was able to do enough to get the judges’ nod. The Vila fight was the American’s first WSOF appearance, and he holds a 10-2 record in his professional MMA career. ‘The Finisher’ has gone the distance just twice in his career, and with Moraes’s similarly impressive finishing record, it will be surprising if this one goes the full five rounds.

WSOF 9 is set for Las Vegas, Nevada on March 29, with two titles on the line as well as the expected debut of former UFC title contender Yushin Okami.

Tags: Josh Rettinghouse Marlon Moraes Rousimar Palhares Steve Carl WSOF 9 Yushin Okami