Featherweight bout: Georgi Karakhanyan (-175) vs Waylon Lowe (+135) Fight Breakdown: Kicking things off for the World Series of Fighting 5 main card is a highly anticipated match-up between two featherweights who have been on a tear, as the Armenian striker Georgi Karakhanyan meets NCAA Division II wrestler and UFC vet Waylon Lowe. Karakhanyan is currently the favorite in this bout at -175 ($175 to win $100), while Lowe is the underdog at +135 ($100 to win $135) at Several Bookmakerss. GEORGI KARAKHANYAN (21-3-1 MMA, 0-0 WSOF) will be making his WSOF debut riding a seven fight win streak which includes four finishes. Karakhanyan began his streak after suffering a third round knockout loss to one of the best featherweights on the planet in Patricio “Pitbull” Freire at Bellator 37 two-and-a-half years ago. The loss to Pitbull is the only knockout loss on his resume with the other two coming by way of decision. Karakhanyan is a very talented mixed martial artist who is constantly improving. He is excellent on the feet, both in technical and brawling styles. He has great boxing skills, solid Muay Thai, and is generally a threat on the feet. He can knock opponents out or technically out-point them en route to unanimous decision victories. Karakhanyan is phenomenal on the ground, as well. He has tremendous grappling skills, owning a brown belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and has won a Grappler’s Quest tournament. He possesses some judo skills, too, though he does not usually implement it in his fights, as he prefers to do damage with his limbs. Eleven of his 21 victories have come by way of submission (and 6 different types of submissions!), so he is a legitimate threat when the fight hits the mat, both from top and bottom positions. Karakhanyan’s conditioning is in top shape and he is capable of putting on a grueling fifteen minutes of action without breathing hard. He will have the cardio advantage going into this bout. WAYLON LOWE (14-4 MMA, 1-0 WSOF) is making his second WSOF appearance on the heels on a four-fight win streak that includes four TKO finishes. Lowe’s first time inside a WSOF cage saw him put away TUF alumni Cameron Dollar within the first round in what was also his featherweight debut. Nearly four months later, he looks to add another W to his column in his newfound home. Waylon Lowe’s current four-fight win streak came after he was released from the UFC, where he went on a 2-2 stint. He felt he was cut due to his lay and pray style of fighting, so he made it a goal to focus on his striking, thus making it a part of his game and giving opponents another thing to worry about. Lowe has since really polished his stand-up; now showcasing good footwork and throwing crisp punches. Lowe is also an NCAA Division II wrestler who has a strong top game and I think his takedowns and top control will play a bigger factor now that he’s made the drop to featherweight. With newfound confidence in his hands, Lowe likes to pretend he’s shooting for a takedown, and then comes in with a punch. Lowe has a good chin and is a well-conditioned fighter but he has yet to go past the first round in his new weight class of 145lbs, so his conditioning is questionable should the fight go past the second frame of action, which it likely could, as Georgi Karakhanyan recently stated that he’s happy to put on Unanimous Decision victories and feels that beating opponents for an entire 15 or 25 minutes is an art in it’s own right. Fight Prediction: Lowe might try to test his newfound power against Karakhanyan’s chin, but I don’t think he will find much success, as Karakhanyan has good striking defense and a solid chin to go with it. Karakhanyan will get the better of Lowe on the feet; he will outstrike him, if not put him away. Should Lowe decide to take the fight to the ground, I see it being competitive there. Karakhanyan has improved his takedown defense and wrestling since his loss to Joe Warren at Bellator 18 three years ago, so I think he could find success in keeping the fight on the feet, should Lowe try to go for takedowns. I wouldn’t even be surprised to see Karakhanyan attempt takedowns of his own, as he’s been working on his offensive as well as defensive wrestling. Ultimately, I see Karakhanyan getting the better of Lowe, regardless of where this fight goes. But if I had to say — Gabe’s Pick: Georgi Karakhanyan by TKO (strikes, 2:05 round 3) Gabe’s Recommended Play: Georgi Karakhanyan -175. I loved him at -130, -145, and -160, but even at -175, I like him enough to recommend a big play.