WSOF 4 Preview

In the main event, the kickboxing demigod Tyrone Spong (1-0) makes his return to the MMA cage after winning three fights in one night at Glory: New York in June. He faces Angel DeAnda (11-2), a sprawl and brawling type who may end up just like Spong’s first MMA opponent Michael Duut and on his back if he wants to trade with the “King of the Ring.” Simply put: Spong has eons better standup than anyone in MMA. Yes, anyone. But, he’s only been training his ground game for a relatively short while, and while he trains in a triple A camp in the Blackzilians, it doesn’t necessarily mean he won’t be lost on the ground. DeAnda has ten of his wins via (T)KO, so he may just stand with Spong to try to prove something, anything, but it won’t end well for him if he goes this route. Yes, DeAnda is a step up in competition from Duut, and he’s been around the fight world for a long while, but it is Tyrone Spong he’s standing with, and he’s light years beyond the former Tachi Palace Fights champion’s former competition. Spong will also come in with a decent size advantage, as DeAnda is only 5 foot 8, which is pretty short for a light heavyweight. A lightweight battle is up for the co-main, as long-time UFC mainstay, Tyson Griffin (16-6), moves back up from featherweight, where he was having trouble making weight, to face JZ Cavalcante (17-7-1-2) in what should be a favorite for the fight of the night. Both of these fighters have gone on a down swing in the latter stages of their careers, losing nearly 75% of their respective matches over the last few years. That doesn’t mean they’ve completely lost it, both fighters are still extremely exciting, and are veterans of the sport that are recognizable, with JZ’s Dream and Strikeforce run, albeit fairly unsuccessful, and Tyson Griffin’s five Fight of the Night awards in the UFC. JZ has only finished one opponent in the last six years, TJ O’Brien at WSOF 1, while Tyson knocked out Hermes Franca at UFC 103. All of their wins since have been by split, majority or unanimous decision. These guys are working hard for wins these days. Both are decent strikers, with Griffin’s bread and butter being wrestling and JZ a well-rounded BJJ player. In something you’ve never seen in a major promotion, WSOF President Ray Sefo (2-1) will be stepping in the cage against Dave Huckaba (20-5) in a strange act of booking considering the lack of promotion about the fact that the President is fighting. Huckaba is a guy that will gladly stand with the K-1 legend in Sefo, which may not bode well for Huckaba, but if he lands a few good shots with those 4 oz gloves, at heavyweight anyone can go down. Huckaba is 9-1 in his last ten fights, with 7 knockouts, a submission and a decision, and his loss coming from Damien Grabowski in Bellator in a fight where he was smothered by Grabowski’s wrestling. Sefo last fought MMA as part of the alternate bracket in the Strikeforce heavyweight grand prix, and lost via neck crank to Valentijn Overeem. Both of these guys lack great skills on the ground, so this should be a stand up affair. Obviously Sefo has a long history with K-1 and his well-documented wars with Mark Hunt among every other name in the sport has emblazoned Ray Sefo in the annals of combat sports history, but that doesn’t make this an easy fight for him. The World Series of Fighting’s best prospect is up next in a bantamweight matchup, as Marlon Moraes hopes to follow up his impressive head-kick win over highly-touted Tyson Nam at WSOF 2 with a win over Brandon Hempleman (9-1). Hempleman’s a good wrestler out of Idaho, who is still trying to find his way around finishing fights, and he is facing by far the toughest test of his career against Moreas. Moreas is quickly rising up as a possible star in the shallow bantamweight division, and although neither of these men have fought the best of competition in their careers, they should both be laying it out on the line in order to make a name for themselves. Moreas will have to defend Hempleman’s takedowns while Hempleman must be weary of Moraes’ good Muay Thai, in a battle of striker vs. grappler. In the opening bout, former XFC lightweight champion and undefeated one-armed fighter, Nick Newell (9-0) walks into the cage with a chip on his shoulder and something to prove as he was unceremoniously stripped of his title earlier in the year when he refused to defend his belt against Scott Holtzman, claiming he only wanted to fight ex-UFC fighters. At WSOF 4, he faces Keon Caldwell (8-1) a man who is not an ex-UFC fighter, but possesses dangerous hands. It must be said that ‘for a one-armed fighter,’ Newell is incredible. He possess a good grappling game and knockout power. In general he’s a fascinating and incredibly uplifting tale about overcoming some major obstacles, and he’s beaten some decent competition like Eric Reynolds and David Mays. Caldwell has 8 knockouts and 1 submission to his name, so both of these guys will be looking for blood.

Written by Jason Nawara

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