World Series of Fighting 9 Fight Breakdown: Rousimar Palhares (-210) vs. Steve Carl (+190)

Rousimar Palhares The main event of World Series of Fighting 9 is a five-round title fight between WSOF welterweight champion Steve Carl and Rousimar “Toquino” Palhares. The current betting line for the fight at Several Bookmakers lists Palhares as a -210 favorite (bet $210 to win $100) and Carl as a +190 dog (bet $100 to win $190). MMA oddsmaker Nick Kalikas originally opened up Carl at +170 and Palhares at -230, meaning so far the public has been split on the matchup as the line has tightened. I am actually surprised the line on Palhares hasn’t increased more, and I’m picking “Toquino” to win the fight. Here’s why. Palhares (15-5) is making his WSOF debut and is the challenger in this fight yet is the favorite over Carl. And it’s for good reason, as the 34 year old is a beast. Coming off of an impressive heel hook submission victory over Mike Pierce in his last outing, Palhares was cut by the UFC because he held on to the submission too long. Otherwise, you better believe he’d be fighting someone in the top 10 of the UFC welterweight division right now. A leg lock specialist, Palhares is one of the strongest welterweights out there and he make a great career decision to go to 170 after an up-and-down run as a 185er, as he was too small for that division and his chin couldn’t handle the strikes of the middleweight elite. Although Palhares has been labeled as a flake at times due to his inconsistent performances, overall he’s a monster and a very, very dangerous man at 170 pounds. And even though he’s not the man holding the belt at the moment, it makes sense that he’s the favorite. Carl (21-3) is the WSOF welterweight champion, having won the belt last with his fourth-round submission victory over Josh Burkman in a huge upset. The 29 year old Carl is currently riding a seven fight win streak, including of those wins coming way of stoppage. Since leaving Bellator in 2011, Carl has looked absolutely fantastic and has proven himself to be one of the best welterweight fighters not in the UFC at the moment. A terrific ground fighter, Carl has very good cardio and should he be able to stay away from Palhares’ mighty heel hooks early on, he’ll have the advantage late in the fight and could very well pull off the upset if this fight hits the later rounds. But that’s easier said then done considering how dangerous Palhares is likely to be early on, and that’s exactly why Carl is the underdog here. In the first round Palhares could possibly be the most dangerous welterweight on the planet, and in this fight I believe he’ll be able to muscle Carl to the ground and snatch his patented heel hook submission in quick fashion to earn the WSOF welterweight title. Palhares is a difficult fighter to back at times, but I do see value in him at only -210 as I expected him to be a bigger favorite coming into this fight. So I think it’s a favorite or pass situation overall. Although Carl is a solid fighter for sure, his level of competition isn’t anywhere close to Palhares’ and I believe the betting public may be giving him too much credit for beating Burkman, which is why the line on Palhares has surprisingly dropped since the opener. The total for the fight has been set at 1.5 rounds. I do lean the UNDER there, but I don’t recommend laying juice on that total so I’d pass unless it gets to plus money.

Written by Adam Martin.

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