World Series of Fighting 5: ‘Arlovski vs Kyle’ Complete Main Card Preview

WSOF-5-Poster1Sharing Saturday, September 14th with Mayweather vs. Canelo is World Series of Fighting 5, which is actually WSOF 6, but that’s okay. The main card is actually pretty damn solid, and there are some good fighters featured on this card which will be broadcast on the NBC Sports Network. In the main event, Andrei Arvloski (19-10-1) returns to the WSOF cage after having his jaw broken in two places by Anthony Johnson, to fight Strikeforce vet Mike Kyle (20-9-1-2). Plenty of smack talk has been thrown around, especially with Mike Kyle saying that Arvloski has a weak chin, but Arvloski has pointed out that he’s only been knocked out three times more than Kyle (7 times) and has been knocked out less than Overeem, and as many times as Randy Couture and many others. Justification aside, Arlovski doesn’t have the chin he used to have, but he has looked better in his last few fights post his nasty four-fight skid in which he was knocked out by Fedor, Kharitonov, Brett Rogers and decisioned by Bigfoot Silva. Kyle has been around a long time, and was knocked out himself by Bigfoot Silva, and has spent quite a bit of time at light heavyweight. Both men are evenly matched on the feet, and Mike Kyle is a long-time member of AKA, while Arvloski has his sambo background to fall back on in the clinch. Arvloski is coming into this fight on short notice, filling in for Anthony Johnson, but he’s experienced enough so that shouldn’t be a factor. Both men have good conditioning, with Kyle likely the quicker of the two men, but not nearly as ring savvy as Arvloski. The rest of WSOF 5 revolves around a tournament to crown the first WSOF middleweight champion, and the co-main sees former UFC fighters Dave Branch (12-3) and Danillo Villefort (14-4) looking to get out of the semifinals. Dave Branch has put together a nice record outside the UFC, going 2-0 in WSOF with wins over a spacey Paulo Fihlo and Dustin Jacoby, with his sole loss outside the UFC coming at the hands of other UFC castoff Anthony Johnson in Titan Fighting. Like most Renzo Gracie fighters, Branch has a great ground game with underrated stand up. Stylistically, this hsould make for an interesting fight against Villefort, who is a BJJ ace and judo black belt. Being well-versed on the ground won’t stop Villefort from throwing down on the feet when need be, and that means this fight could be fireworks wherever it ends up. Villefort has 5 knockouts and 5 submission wins with 4 decisions under his belt, and Branch has 4 knockouts, 3 submissions and 5 decisions, although his last two wins were rather dominant. Elvis Mutapcic (13-2) is currently on a five fight winning streak, where he’s been able to capture and defend the Maximum Fighting middleweight title, but he left for greener pastures and now makes his WSOF debut against Team Quest’s Jesse Taylor (26-9). Taylor has been around forever, going deep into TUF 7 but then was let go for disciplinary reasons. The UFC let him back in for one fight, against TUF 7 alum CB Dolloway, but he lost in the first round by peruvian necktie. Since that fight five years ago, Taylor has kept extremely busy, fighting 26 times. He’s done well for himself, defeating current UFC fighters Chris Camozzi and Tom Watson, as well as Murillo Bustamante, before dropping fights to Hector Lombard and Mamed Khalidov. Taylor has extremely solid wrestling to fall back on, and has decent to great cardio at times, while elvis has awesome standup, brandishing 5 KOs and 6 subs, most of which were set up by his hands. Taylor is on a six-fight winning streak, and is very experienced, but he does have issues defeating top to mid-tier talent. In a heavyweight showcase bout, Rolles Gracie (8-1) is is fighting Derrick Mehmen (15-5) and is riding a five fight winning streak since losing to Joey Beltran at UFC 109 in his only UFC bout. Gracie has since defeated Bob Sapp (for what that’s worth) and his been spending time in ONE FC and other Asian promotions. Mehmen is a light heavyweight by trade, and the 28-year-old Iowa native has gone 1-1 in Strikeforce and 0-1 in Bellator with a loss to David Branch (who is in the middleweight tournament). Mehmen prefers to wrestle, but he can stand and bang with some ferocity. He has 10 knockouts and two submissions, so it will be interesting to see how he deals with the BJJ master in Gracie. At featherweight, Georgi Karakhanyan (21-3-1) will face Waylon Lowe (14-4) in what could be a very fun fight in the WSOF cage. You may remember Lowe from his 2-2 stint in the Octagon, where he lost to Melvin Guillard and Nik Lentz before being let go by the promotion. Since then, he’s been on a tear, winning four in a row by stoppage, including a brutal knockout over Cameron Dollar at WSOF 2. This is fine matchmaking, because Karakhanyan will look to keep the fight on the feet where he is most comfortable. Karakhanyan has a very diverse stand up attack, and he throws elbows, knees and punches from all angles. This could be a hell of a scrap, but one that may not be the best for Lowe to get in. Lowe has the advantage on the ground, but he may not take it.

Written by Jason Nawara

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