MMA Odds and Ends for Wednesday: Four WSOF Titles Up For Grabs

Rousimar-Palhares-2 Four World Series of Title belts will be up for grabs within in the next three months, and for today’s MMA Odds and Ends I’ll give my quick thoughts on what I think of all four of these title fights. David Branch vs. Yushin Okami, WSOF 15 The main event of WSOF 15 is five-round title fight between WSOF middleweight champion David Branch and Yushin Okami. The event takes place November 15 at USF Sun Dome Arena in Tampa, Florida, and will go head-to-head against UFC 180 and Bellator 131, which is the reason why they are stacking the card with three title fights. Of all the title fights on the card, I think this is the toughest one to call. While Okami is still one of the best middleweights in the world after all these years, Branch has looked superb in his WSOF tenure and great in general since leaving the UFC a few years back. That being said, Okami looks like a bad matchup for him as Branch won’t just be able to take this fight down to the mat and grind his way to a win. This is a close fight to call, and I expect a competitive betting line, but it wouldn’t surprise me at all if Okami, the challenger, was actually the favorite heading into this due to his name value and the fact that Branch always gets less respect than he deserves from the bettors. Justin Gaethje vs. Melvin Guillard, WSOF 15 The co-main event of the evening — in my opinion, it should be the main event — is a lightweight title bout between WSOF lightweight champion Justin Gaethje and top contender Melvin Guillard. This is a fun fight and it should provide the fans with a lot of excitement, but as far as who I’m picking, anyone who follows my work knows how high I am on Gaethje. I really do believe this fighter is going to be one of the top title contenders in the UFC within the next two years and I think Guillard is the perfect test for him at this point of time. While Guillard is a solid fighter himself, he’s had so many fights in his career and although he has looked good in the WSOF thus far, I do believe he’s on a career decline, while on the other hand I think Gaethje is on the up-and-up. Guillard should get some respect from bettors here, but look for Gaethje to enter the fight as a sizeable favorite as he looks to once again defend his belt and take one step closer to making it to the UFC. Jessica Aguilar vs. Kalindra Faria, WSOF 15 Also on the WSOF 15 card is a third title fight, this one for the WSOF women’s strawweight title, as champion Jessica Aguilar takes on Kalindra Faria. Aguilar is one of the best in the world at 115lbs and clearly deserves to be in the UFC, and I think she will make it there once her contract expires. As for Faria, I don’t know much about her but her record reveals she’s fought some tough women such as Carina Damm, Vanessa Porto and Jennifer Maia. Regardless, most will believe Aguilar should smash her way to victory here and after seeing the way she’s performed in WSOF so far, it’s hard to deny that. Look for Aguilar to enter this bout as a huge favorite as she looks to continue her winning ways and make a strong case she deserves to fight in the UFC. Rousimar Palhares vs. Jon Fitch, WSOF 16 With three title fights set for WSOF 15, WSOF 16 was left with slim picks but the promotion did manage to put together an excellent title fight for the main event, as WSOF welterweight champion Rousimar Palhares will defend his belt against Jon Fitch. The event takes place December 13 (the same night as UFC on FOX 13), although a venue for the event has yet to be confirmed. This is a fantastic fight, one of the best welterweight matchups a non-UFC promotion could put together, and I’m looking forward to it very much. Since dropping down to 170lbs, Palhares has looked beastly, tapping out Mike Pierce and Steve Carl with heel hooks in the first round and looking like the destroyer everyone thought he was when he first came into the big leagues. As for Fitch, he is coming off of two-straight decision wins over Dennis Hallman and Marcelo Alfaya, and with his signature nearly-flawless submission defence, he makes for a very intriguing matchup for Palhares. This is a tough fight to call, in my opinion, and I expect a fairly competitive betting line with a slight lean towards the champion, Palhares, as most are still down on Fitch after his submission loss to Josh Burkman last year.

Written by Adam Martin.

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