Five Reasons to Watch WSOF 21

61f9e7fc98b11beda1f7427d58379565WSOF 21 emanates from the Edmonton Expo Centre, in Edmonton, Alberta Canada this Friday night.  This event features two championship match ups in the heavyweight and featherweight division, while also showcasing some up and coming talent. Let’s take a look at the event. Future of the Heavyweight division?  Newly crowned heavyweight champion Smealinho Rama makes the first defence of his title when he meets Bellator Season 10 Tournament finalist Blagoi Ivanov. At just 23 years old, Rama has already amassed an impressive 9-1 record, with his only blemish coming to current UFC heavyweight fighter Anthony Hamilton. The Edmonton native faces his stiffest test yet, in the form of Bulgarian fighter Ivanov, who has lost just once through 12 career bouts. The 28-year old Ivanov suffered the first loss of his career last year, losing to former Bellator heavyweight champion Alexander Volkov at Bellator 120. You won’t want to miss this matchup as winner of this championship bout would arguably stake their claim as the top heavyweight fighter outside the UFC.   145 Pound Gold Up for Grabs The nights main event pits current WSOF featherweight champion Lance Palmer against Canadian Chris Horodecki. The Team Alpha Male product Palmer has looked outstanding in his career thus far, winning five of his nine career fights by stoppage. At just 27-years of age he’s one of top featherweight prospects outside of the UFC, but he’ll need to prove that by taking out WEC and Bellator veteran Horodecki. Despite being just 27-years old, Hordoecki has amassed 26 professional fights in his career and will have experience on his side ahead of this matchup. The Tristar product hasn’t had a great run as of late, going 3-2- NC since 2012, but pulling off the upset against a highly touted prospect like Palmer would certainly erase that.   Drummond looks to get over the “Hill” TUF 16 veteran Michael Hill looks to get back on the winning track as he faces fellow Canadian Mark Drummond. The B.C. native is coming off a unanimous decision loss to Bristol Marunde this past March at XFFC 6, which snapped his two fight win streak. His opponent, Edmonton native Drummond has won two straight fights, including a highlight reel walk off knockout win over Spencer Jebb at WSOF 18. Expect a sense of urgency for both fighters, as there are plenty of implications from this match up. Hill needs to win this fight if he wants a shot back in the UFC, while a win over a TUF veteran for Drummond would undoubtedly be the biggest victory of his career.   Featherweight Showcase  A pair of undefeated featherweight fighters lock horns on the evenings main card, as Calgary native Hakeem “Mean” Dawadu battles 22-year old Kansas fighter Chukua “The Lion King” Willis. Most will remember Dawadu from his last fight at WSOF 18, where he knocked out a much more experienced Tristan Johnson in the third round. The win was his fourth stoppage win in a row and subsequently pushed the Canadian’s record to 4-0  His American foe Willis fights for the first time outside of the state of Missouri, but has looked impressive in his four career bouts. With WSOF ‘s featherweight division thin on talent, the winner of this matchup could get a big step up in their next fight.   Prospect Watch  On the preliminary portion of the card, 22-year old Canadian Nick “The Savage” Hrbec looks to make some noise in a lightweight bout against Garret “Nasty” Nybakken. Hrbec trains at Complete Martial Arts and Fitness with Mark Drummond and UFC lightweight Mitch Clarke. At 6’2, he’s has a great frame for the division and will look to use that advantage in his fight with fellow Edmonton native Nybakken. Speaking of his opponent, the 34-year old has gone 4-2 in his last six fights including three of those victories by stoppage.  Expect both these fighters to go for the finish, in hopes of earning a replay on the evenings main card on NBC Sports.   Here’s the full lineup of WSOF 21 Main Card: Lance Palmer (9-1) vs. Chris Horodecki (21-5-1) (For WSOF featherweght championship) Smealinho Rama (9-1) vs. Blagoi Ivanov (11-1) (For WSOF heavyweight championship) Michael Hill (7-3) vs. Mark Drummond (7-2) Hakeem Dawodu (4-0) vs. Chuka Willis (4-0) Preliminary Card:  Matt Baker (12-7) vs. Marcus Hicks (20-24) Dan Lariviere (4-3) vs. Justin Sander (0-0) Michael Hay (1-1) vs. Louie Grover (1-2) Postliminary Card:  Stephen Beaumont (7-2) vs. Jose Rodriguez (7-3) Tim Smith (14-8) vs. Spencer Rohovie (11-8) Nick Hrabec (3-1) vs. Garret Nybakken (7-7) Roger Alves (2-1) vs. Danny Doig (2-2)

Written by James Lynch

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