Posted 11/26/2013 by Jesse Scheckner in WSOF

WSOF 7 – A Rundown of the Main Card

wsof7-posterThe World Series of Fighting – which made its last stop right down here in South Florida – will be closing out their year with WSOF 7: Karakhanyan vs. Palmer, a card that, though it may have lost its original headlining fight between Mike Kyle and Anthony “Rumble” Johnson, remains quite interesting nonetheless with some intriguing matchups that include former UFC, Bellator, XFC, Cage Warriors and Strikeforce veterans as well as several up-and-comers worth keeping your eyes on.

The promotion’s first excursion into the great white north of Canada, the event will be held at the Pine Agrodome in Vancouver, British Columbia on Saturday, December 7th. The main card will air live on NBCSN at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT., with the prelims being shown before the national broadcast on the WSOF website.

The fighters, like the promotion behind them, are looking to stake their claim as being among the best outside of the UFC. The WSOF will be awarding its second belt in the main event, a featherweight headlining matchup between undefeated rising star Lance Palmer and gritty, crafty veteran Georgi Karakhanyan. Jesse Taylor and Kalib Starnes, two former TUF competitors, are hoping resurge their careers with big wins. Nick Newell, a fighter often recognized more for his assumed handicap in association with combat sports as opposed to his immaculate record and murderous finishing rate, is looking to once again silence the doubters with a decisive victory over a game Sabah Fadai.



Featherweight (145) Title Fight – 5 Rounds

“Insane” Georgi Karakhanyan [22-3-1]
Lance “The Party” Palmer [7-0]

Former RFA featherweight champion Lance Palmer may appear, record-wise, to be relatively new to the game (he made his pro debut in May 2011), however he’s already acquired a number of accolades, including the aforementioned title, four state wrestling championships and four All-American honors. Vacating the belt and diving directly into title contention for the WSOF’s strap, the Team Alpha Male and bear wrestler (seriously, the dude, in his free time, sometimes wrestles bears – in cages, even) is fighting for the third time this year and hopes to keep his unbeaten streak going. He’s won three fights by submission and four by decision (two of them split), so he’s yet to record a striking-related stoppage. We’ll see if his time with head coach Duane Ludwig will make that happen come fight night.

Facing him will be fellow California resident and former Tachi Palace Fights champ Georgi Karakhanyan. Fighting since late 2006 (he defeated Brent Wooten in a King of the Cage event headlined by fellow FW Cub Swanson), he’s competed in several notable organizations (such as Legacy, Gladiator Challenge, Dream and Bellator) and has faced some stiff competition as well, with wins over Micah Miller, Din Thomas and, in his most recent outing, Waylon Lowe (at WSOF 5). The last time he lost (a third-round TKO by Patricio Pitbull at Bellator 37), Palmer hadn’t even begun fighting. He appears to favor submissions, acquiring 12 of his wins that way, though he does have four (T)KO stoppages and six decision victories. He’s only been finished once, and in 25 fights he’s never been forced to tap.

Both men are looking to make it eight in a row come fight night, and, though it doesn’t have the name power that the event’s scrapped headliner did, it’s a perfectly suitable substitute.

 Middleweight (185 lbs.) Fight – 3 Rounds

Jesse “JT Money” Taylor [26-9]
Elvis “The King” Mutapcic [13-2]

In the co-main event of the night, Jesse Taylor, who is riding a six-fight win streak that wove through four different promotions over the course of the last two years, will meet a truly tough customer in Elvis Mutapcic. They were originally scheduled to meet in a MW title eliminator back at WSOF 5 but the bout was scrapped when an official witnessed Mutapcic’s corner giving him unspecified and unapproved medication backstage before their fight.

The Bosnian-American former MFC middleweight champion Mutapcic has never been finished in his six-year pro career and has notable wins that include a KO victory over the UFC’s Cezar “Mutante”  Ferreira, and UDs over  Zach Cummins and MFC champ “Smiling’” Sam Alvey.

Since losing in his lone appearance inside the Octagon (a first-round sub to C.B. Dollaway), Taylor has bested Drew Fickett, Chris Camozzi, Jason Day, Tom Watson, Denis Kang, Murilo Bustamante and Kendall Grove through promotions that include Total Combat, Shark Fights, Dream, Impact and Cage Warriors. The man who became infamous for being the only TUF finalist to be pulled out of his fight due to his actions outside the cage will make it seven in a row with a win in his WSOF debut.

With a WSOF middleweight champion yet to be crowned, both men could position themselves excellently going into 2014.


Lightweight (155 lbs.) Fight – 3 Rounds

“Notorious” Nick Newell [10-0]
“The Persian Warrior” Sabah Fadai [7-2]

Nick Newell, time and again, has proved wrong the doubters who deride him for his perceived disadvantage (if you’re just tuning in, he’s the fighter more famous for having his left arm end at just past his elbow than for the fact he’s 10-0 with nine stoppages). The American Top Team product has ripped through his competition since his mid-2009 debut, only ever having a fight go past the first round in his single decision victory. Winning will almost assuredly earn him a spot for future title contention in the organization.

He’ll be fighting another finisher in Sabah Fadai, a kickboxing specialist who has only been to the end of a pro fight once in his six-and-a-half year career. Training in Canada at Mamba MMA under fellow MMA fighter and kickboxing pro Kultar “Black Mamba” Gill, Fadai is making his WSOF debut. He has fought in multiple weight classes throughout his tenure in the sport, however with a win over Newell it’s pretty certain he’ll want to stay at lightweight for the foreseeable future.

Light Heavyweight (205 lbs.) Fight – 3 Rounds

Dwayne “D-Bomb” Lewis [13-8]
Kalib Starnes 15-8-1]

Competing for the first time under the WSOF lights, both Dwayne Lewis and Kalib Starnes will be fighting in front of their countrymen. Starnes, who is currently ranked as the third light heavyweight mixed martial artist in Canada, is a former AFC middleweight and Destiny MMA light heavyweight champion. Also the recipient of negative infamy while associated with the UFC, he has won his last three fights, one of which was a bout at heavyweight against former UFC and King of the Cage bruiser Tim Hague.

Lewis, who like Starnes is two years shy of 40, has gone 3-2 in his last five fights, losing consecutively by TKO before he turned it around in his last matchup against Tim Chemelli at AFC 19 this last July. Rarely fighting outside of his home country, the MFC vet will be trying to get a win streak going against his fellow Canuck.


Featherweight (145 lbs.) Fight – 3 Rounds

Shawn Albrecht [9-5]
Josh Machan [11-4]

Welterweight (170 lbs.) Fight – 3 Rounds

Mike “The Messenger” Hill [5-2]
Richard Arsenault [9=2]

Middleweight (185 lbs.) Fight – 3 Rounds

Matt “The Riotmaker” Baker [9-4]
David “Showtime” Perron [5-2]

Welterweight (170 lbs.) Fight – 3 Rounds

Ryan Dickson [6-1]
Marcus “Ossoduro” Vinicios [9-6]

Lightweight (155 lbs.) Fight – 3 Rounds

“Dirty” Dan Ring [5-1]
Myles “The Cowboy” Merola [10-7]

Middleweight (185 lbs.) Fight – 3 Rounds

Micah “Mitey” Brakefield [3-1]
Brendan Kornberger [3-0]






Jesse Scheckner

A freelance MMA, entertainment and business journo born, raised and residing in Miami, FL, Jesse Scheckner is a former semi-serious musician, cinephile and recovering ne’er-do-well committed to nonfiction storytelling. He is the 2014 Florida MMA Awards "Best MMA Media Correspondent" winner and a two-time Miami New Times "Best Of" winner. Follow him on Twitter @JesseScheckner to talk about the stuff he writes about with him.