A new mixed martial arts promotion joined the growing circuit on Saturday, as World Series of Fighting made its debut on NBC Sports Network in front of fans at the Planet Hollywood Casino and Resort in Las Vegas.

Under the control of president “Sugar” Ray Sefo, World Series of Fighting compiled a stacked card full of many well-known names, including former UFC heavyweight champion Andrei Arlovski taking on Devin Cole in the main event.

Other names on the card were former UFC middleweight contender Anthony Johnson taking on D.J. Linderman, former WEC bantamweight champion Miguel Torres battling Marlon Moraes, and a highly-anticipated MMA debut for kickboxing veteran Tyrone Spong as he went toe-to-toe with Travis Bartlett.

The NBC Sports Network main card broadcast kicked off at 10:30 p.m. ET, with another six bouts taking place on the undercard.

Arlovski stops Cole

The main event featured two veteran heavyweights battling it out, with Andrei Arlovski topping Devin Cole by first-round knockout.

After a feeling out process, Cole looked to land a takedown, but was defended by Arlovski. The two heavyweights clinched up, and then broke away to the center of the cage. From there, Arlovski dropped Cole with a punch, and finished his opponent off with hammerfists on the mat.

The official stoppage time was 2:37, as Arlovski walked out of the cage with his hand raised to end the first WSOF event.

Johnson knocks out Linderman

Once a serious contender in the UFC, Anthony Johnson made his debut with WSOF in spectacular fashion by knocking out D.J. Linderman in the first round.

The light heavyweights went to work, but a break in the action occurred as Johnson kicked Linderman below the belt. After a few minutes, Linderman was back up and swinging, but Johnson was just too much to handle. After a clinch, Linderman came forward, but ran right into Johnson’s right hand that put him out cold.

Johnson looked like his old self on Saturday with a devastating knockout that will go down in the World Series of Fighting history books forever.

Moraes upsets Torres

Former WEC champion and UFC competitor Miguel Torres hoped to impress in the first WSOF event, but instead was defeated by Brazilian Marlon Moraes by split decision.

One minute into the fight, Moraes let his hands go on Torres, but the former champion escaped and looked for a leg lock. Torres was unsuccessful however, as Moraes went back to work striking. The striking of Moraes caused problems for Torres in the first round, cutting Torres, as the fighters went to round two.

Torres looked to take control of the fight in the second, but Moraes had a counter for every strike Torres had. The two bantamweights stood in the center and traded the entire duration, with Moraes still causing problems for the veteran.

The final round was a mirror image to the second round as both men worked their striking once more. With under a minute remaining, Moraes landed a takedown, but Torres worked from the bottom. The horn sounded with Moraes on top.

The verdict was a split decision, with one judge scoring it 29-28 for Torres, while the other two had it 30-27 and 29-28 respectively, giving Marlon Moraes the win.

After the fight, it was announced that the next opponent for Moraes will be Tyson Nam.

Spong knocks out Bartlett in MMA debut

One of the best kickboxing fighters in the world made his MMA debut on the first main card bout, as Tyrone Spong put on a dominant performance by knocking out Travis Bartlett.

Spong went head hunting right off the bat, and rocked Bartlett several times early on with head and leg kicks. The kickboxer then let his hands go, and dropped Bartlett midway through the first round. There was no need for further damage, as Spong walked away with Bartlett laying on the mat.

An impressive debut for Spong, who takes home his first MMA win in just 3:15 of the first round.

Preliminary Card Summary

Tyson Steele defeated Gregor Gracie in the last fight before the main card broadcast, as he escaped an armbar attempt by Gracie, and stopped the Brazilian by TKO in the first round.

After an apparent tap from Rony Torres, Brian Cobb looked to have racked up a submission win. But instead, the fight continued and went the three-round distance. A split decision was ruled in favor of Cobb, getting him back on track after a loss in January.

Steve Carl found himself on his back as Ramico Blackmon was in control, but Carl transitioned, took the back of Blackmon, and submitted his opponent in the opening round by rear-naked choke.

Two former UFC welterweights went to battle, with both Josh Burkman and Gerald Harris doing their fare of damage as the third round came upon them. In the end, it was Burkman who edged out Harris by unanimous decision, making it his third-straight victory.

Former Dream and Strikeforce standout Gesias “JZ” Cavalcante made quick work of his opponent of Saturday by defeating former UFC fighter TJ O’Brien by a heel hook in just over a minute.

In the first fight in World Series of Fighting history, two former UFC competitors faced off, as Dave Branch earned a unanimous decision win over Dustin Jacoby.

FULL RESULTS

Andrei Arlovski def. Devin Cole by TKO (punches). Round 1, 2:37
Anthony Johnson def. D.J. Linderman by knockout (punch). Round 1, 3:58
Marlon Moraes def. Miguel Torres by split decision (30-27, 28-29, 29-28)
Tyrone Spong def. Travis Bartlett by knockout (punch). Round 1, 3:15
Tyson Steele def. Gregor Gracie by TKO (strikes). Round 1, 4:52
Brian Cobb def. Rony Torres by split decision (29-28, 29-28, 28-29)
Steve Carl def. Ramico Blackmon by submission (rear-naked choke). Round 1, 2:11
Josh Burkman def. Gerald Harris by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)
Gesias “JZ” Cavalcante def. TJ O’Brien by submission (heel hook). Round 1, 1:03
Dave Branch def. Dustin Jacoby by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

Photo: Andrei Arlovski (top) finishes Devin Cole (Lucas Noonan/World Series of Fighting)

About The Author

Corey Adams
Staff Writer

Corey Adams didn't grow up watching mixed martial arts, considering the UFC was just getting started the year he was born, but in his teenage years, witnessed the action and has fallen in love with the sport. Corey was the first to join The MMA Corner staff -- other than founder Josh Davis -- and has been writing for the site ever since. Corey attends Austin Peay State University, where he majors in Communications with a focus on journalism. When he's not covering MMA, Corey is still writing on many sports with both local and campus newspapers. His favorite sports teams are the Atlanta Braves and Denver Broncos. Follow him on Twitter at the link below.

  • Cam

    What an awesome debut! Spong’s debut was easily my highlight, but AJ hitting a falling tree KO was pretty damn sweet to. Great work by the WSOF, can’t wait to see their next card