WSOF 22: Palhares vs. Shields preview

The World Series of Fighting will host its 22nd event on Saturday night in Las Vegas, Nevada, and while it is an intriguing event…

By: Karim Zidan | 8 years ago
WSOF 22: Palhares vs. Shields preview
Bloody Elbow 2.0 | Anton Tabuena

The World Series of Fighting will host its 22nd event on Saturday night in Las Vegas, Nevada, and while it is an intriguing event with several notable prospects and a title fight in the main and co-main events, it is an event that overlaps with the Ronda Rousey show at UFC 190 that very same night. It was a surprising decision to say the least, one that has to do with the promotion’s specific TV deal. Nevertheless, it has placed them in quite a kerfuffle, as the WSOF was hoping for some interested spectators for one of their top main cards to date, yet even though they are the better event overall, few will turn their attention away from Rousey at UFC 190.

For those who do choose to watch the event, even if only on a small secondary monitor, it is headlined by a welterweight title shot between champ Rousimar Palhares and Jake Shields. Palhares is 2-0 since moving over to WSOF, including a win against Jon Fitch in his most recent outing. Shields is also 2-0 since moving over from the UFC, though his wins are not against notable competitors.

The co-main event will feature a bantamweight title fight between dominant champion Marlon Moraes and Sheymon Moraes. Marlon is one a seven-fight win streak in WSOF and most recently rallied back to win a unanimous decision against Josh Hill. He remains one of the most well rounded competitors on the entire roster. Sheymon, the Brazilian Team Nogueira standout, will challenge for the title with a 7-0 professional record that includes one win under the WSOF banner in his most recent outing. Four of his seven wins have come via knockout and it will be interesting to see if he can prove to be a challenge for the champ.

The WSOF 22 event was supposed to feature a main card bout between Mike Kyle and Thiago Silva, yet the Nevada Athletic Commission refused to license Silva based on his past offenses. Remarkably, they were not talking about his standoff with a SWAT team last year and alleged domestic abuse, but about the time he provided a post-fight doping sample that was “inconsistent with human urine.” Clifford Starks replaced Silva against Kyle.

The event will also feature the North American debut of Khabib Nurmagomedov’s younger cousin and adopted brother Abubakar Nurmagomedov. Ranked the third best welterweight prospect in the BloodyElbow Scouting Report, Abubakar compiled an 8-0 record to begin his career, and appeared to be on a similar path as his brother was before him on the Russian regional scene. He was then matched up against fellow prospect Magomed Mustafaev and suffered his first career loss following a doctor stoppage after a competitive opening round of action. He rebounded last month with a TKO victory over Vladimir Gunzu at Fight Star – Battle on Sura 3.

Main Card

Rousimar Palhares vs. Jake Shields [Welterweight title]

Marlon Moraes vs. Sheymon Moraes [Bantamweight title]

Mike Kyle vs. Clifford Starks

Abubakar Nurmagomedov vs. Jorge Moreno

Islam Mamedov vs. Jimmy Spicuzza

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About the author
Karim Zidan
Karim Zidan

Karim Zidan is a investigative reporter and feature writer focusing on the intersection of sports and politics. He has written for BloodyElbow since 2014 and has served as an associate editor since 2016. He also writes for The New York Times and The Guardian. Karim has been invited to speak about his work at numerous universities, including Princeton, and was a panelist at the South by Southwest (SXSW) film festival and the Oslo Freedom Forum. He also participated in the United Nations counter-terrorism conference in 2021. His reporting on Ramzan Kadyrov’s involvement in MMA, much of which was done for Bloody Elbow, has led to numerous award nominations, and was the basis of an award-winning HBO Real Sports documentary.

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