WSOF 12 takes place Saturday, August 9th at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada. The card featured a lightweight main event between Luis Palomino and Lewis Gonzalez. A fight that likely determines the next contender to WSOF lightweight champion—between the winner of Justin Gaethje and Melvin Guillard.
Luis Palomino (23-9) fresh off a successful World Series of Fighting debut at WSOF 8—defeating the legendary Jorge Patino by knockout, made two straight in the promotion. Handing the previously undefeated Lewis Gonzalez (9-1), who defeated Antonio McKee in his WSOF debut, exactly a year ago, his first career loss in impressive fashion.
The Peruvian striker Palomino defended an early takedown attempt from Gonzalez, staying on the outside Palomino using his footwork. Both fighters tentative in the standup, a feeling out process in the first. Palomino landed a leg kick that buckled Gonzalez’s lead leg and forced him to go for the takedown attempt. Palomino defended and followed up with another leg kick, and several punches, backing up Gonzalez to the fence. Lewis was able to get a takedown, but Palomino made sure it did not last long, getting back to his feet.
Palomino had Gonzalez in all sorts of trouble in the round, cut him open and rocked on the feet with a leg kick–left hook combination. Palomino sensed the finished, pushed forward and landed another leg kick followed by a left high kick—the contact came from Palomino’s knee on the head of Gonzalez, knocking him unconscious in the first round.
Luis Palomino def. Lewis Gonzalez via TKO (strikes)–Round 1, 4:42
“It was 7 months in the making for this fight, all I knew was I had the right time. I hit him and he went down,” Palomino said.
Adding that he definitely thinks he earned himself a shot at the lightweight title with his back-to-back victories in WSOF. “I definitely think so, of course I would want WSOF’s blessing on it, but I think I earned myself a shot.”
In the co-main event, former UFC veteran, Ronny Markes (15-3) made his WSOF debut following his release from the UFC, and easily defeated Cully Butterfield (13-4) in dominant fashion, utilizing his superior grappling.
Ronny Markes used a couple of strikes to get into close range and land a takedown on Butterfield, quickly transitioning to the back of Cully, who stood right back up. Markes continued his pursuit of the takedown, taking Butterfield to the mat again. Markes’ constant threatening of the submission allowed his opponent to scramble back to his feet, but only to be put back down for a third time. Markes dragged Butterfield’s down while on his back and attempted to apply the in the rear naked choke, defended. Butterfield got on top in the final seconds of the round as Markes rolled off his back going for the choke.
Cully Butterfield attempted to take Markes down to start the 2nd, but Markes hit the switch and took him down, and right on Butterfield’s back Markes went. Ronny wound up on the bottom when he fell off Butterfield’s back, allowing Cully to gain top position. Markes reversed Butterfield at the end of the 2nd, and reigned down punches in back mount, Cully was narrowly saved by the bell.
Butterfield dropped Markes with a shot in the 3rd round and attempted to capitalize on the situation, but Markes quickly recovered and took Butterfield down. Markes taking Butterfield’s back once again, Cully remained resilient and defended the submission attempts, he would finish the fight on top and opened up a cut on the left eye of Markes.
Ronny Markes def. Cully Butterfield via Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
The 5-fight main card that features middleweight 4-man tournament participant Elvis Mutapcic; former Olympian, Alexis Vila; and prospect, Bryson Hansen; is set to air on NBC Sports Network at 10 PM ET / 7 PM PT.
Elvis Mutapcic (14-3) was apart of the 4-man WSOF middleweight tournament to crown the first champion, but would lose in the semifinals against Jesse Taylor. Mutapcic would bounce back by handing the previously undefeated former Bellator veteran, Kelvin Tiller (6-1) his first loss in his WSOF debut, at a 195lb catchweight bout.
Tiller timed Mutapcic’s strike and landed a takedown in the first minute, working from half guard Tiller created space and rolled for a guillotine choke attempt that was easily defended by Mutapcic. Back on the feet, Tiller landed an illegal front kick to the groin of Mutapcic, pausing the bout. Upon resumption, perhaps ticked off, Mutapcic came out aggressive looking to take Tiller’s head off. From the clinch, got the trip and takedown on Kelvin, and remained on top to end the first round.
Elvis Mutapcic used a single leg takedown to get the fight back to the ground in round 2, after a short exchange on the feet to begin. Mutapcic kept Tiller trapped against the fence in full guard, landing ground and pound with elbows and punches for the entire round.
Mutapcic opened round 3 by landing 1-2 combinations. While Kelvin Tiller had his hands down stalking Mutapcic, Elvis used a front a headlock to drag Tiller to the ground and into full guard. Tiller showing a sense of urgency threw up his legs for a triangle, unsuccessfully. Mutapcic remained on top and took the round and the decision.
Elvis Mutapcic def. Kelvin Tiller via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
Brandon Hempleman (10-2) returned a year to the date of his WSOF debut—in which he suffered a loss to current champion, Marlon Moraes—and defeated a former Olympian, the 43 year old Alexis Vila (14-5).
The Cuban Vila, came out very aggressive landing overhand rights and lefts on the head of Hempleman, throwing with bad intentions. Hempleman weathered the early storm, remained calm and looked to work his jab, while avoiding the power of Vila. Hempleman impressively was able to stuff two of the Olympian’s takedown attempts in the first, and continued that trend the entire fight, forcing the Olympian to go 0-for on takedown attempts.
Hempleman’s lead jab continued to frustrate Vila, who could only duck under and land a right hook, while whiffing on several attempts. Hempleman’s aggression now was forcing Alexis Vila to retreat, but still landing several leg kicks and another over hand right. Rounds 2 and 3 were controlled by Brandon Hempleman’s superior technique on the feet, landing a high volume of strikes and maintaining a high pace throughout. While Vila became very predictable as the fight went on, loading up on left and right hooks.
Brandon Hempleman def. Alexis Vila via Unanimous Decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27)
The young 20 year old, Matt Sayles (3-0) pulled off a rather huge upset in just his 3rd professional bout, defeating bantamweight prospect Bryson Hansen (7-2), remaining undefeated in his short career and handing Hansen his 2nd loss.
Hansen landed a straight left hand that dropped and rocked Sayles in round 1, Hansen swarmed on him with a barrage of follow up shots while Sayles was pinned against the fence. But Matt Sayles showing toughness would survive the early onslaught and take things to round 2.
Sayles got going in round 2, staying on the outside landing jabs and kicks, confident on his feet, was able to out-strike Hansen. With Hansen slowing down in the 3rd, Sayles began to take over the fight, landing a high volume of strikes with little answer from Hansen. Sayles’ continuous movement allowed him to stick and move, and eventually take the judges’ decision; two rounds to one.
Matt Sayles def. Bryson Hansen via Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Full WSOF 12 Results:
Main Card (10 PM EST, NBC Sports Network)
- Luis Palomino def. Lewis Gonzalez via TKO (strikes)–Round 1, 4:42
- Ronny Markes def. Cully Butterfield via Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
- 195 lb Catchweight bout: Elvis Mutapcic def. Kelvin Tiller via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
- Brandon Hempleman def. Alexis Vila via Unanimous Decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27)
- Matt Sayles def. Bryson Hansen via Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Preliminary Card (8 PM EST, WSOF.com)
- Lucas Montoya def. Jimmy Spicuzza via TKO (punches)–Round 1, 4:11
- Danny Davis vs. Jorge Lopez via Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
- Adam Acquaviva def. Cody Maltais via Split Decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
- Bryson Gutches def. Soslan Abanokov via Submission (rear naked choke) — Round 2, 1:07