On Saturday, March 23, World Series of Fighting held its second event from the Revel Resort and Casino in Atlantic City, N.J.

The main event featured former UFC heavyweight champion Andrei Arlovski facing another UFC veteran, Anthony “Rumble” Johnson, who was  making the move up to heavyweight. Just 18 months ago, Johnson was a welterweight.

The rest of the main card was stocked full of recognizable names. In the co-main event, Tyson Nam faced former Brazilian Muay Thai champion Marlon Moraes. Nam knocked out reigning Bellator champ Eduardo Dantas his last time out, and Moraes earned his spot in the fight by edging former WEC great Miguel Torres in his last fight. The two dynamic strikers went toe-to-toe.

The rest of the card featured known commodities, including former UFC fighters Aaron Simpson facing Josh Burkman and UFC veteran David Branch squaring off with Pride and WEC star Paulo Filho.

NBC Sports Network broadcast the night’s main card beginning at 9:30 p.m. ET, with the undercard streaming live at 6 p.m. ET.

Johnson Edges Arlovski

Former UFC welterweight Anthony “Rumble” Johnson moved up in weight to challenge former UFC heavyweight champion Andrei Arlovski. Johnson edged Arlovski on the scorecards in a sluggish bout.

There was no feeling out process between the two veterans as they quickly traded leather. Each landed clean shots on one another’s jaws early, but each absorbed it. Johnson shot for a single leg takedown midway through the round, but Arlovski stuffed it easily. A body kick from Arlovski was caught by Johnson, who again looked for a takedown. In the waning seconds of the frame Johnson delivered a pair of heavy right hands that sent Arlovski to the canvas, but the bell saved him.

Arlovski recovered between rounds and the pair traded on the feet to start round two. Johnson continued to search for his right hand, but Arlovski countered well with his left hook. Johnson had more failed takedown attempts along the cage. The output from Johnson slowed as Arlovski delivered combinations. With a minute left in the stanza, Johnson used an ankle pick to bring the fight to the ground, but Arlovski quickly returned to his feet before the round ended.

Johnson opened the final round with a barrage that included multiple head kicks. Arlovski defended, but Johnson pinned him against the fence until the referee separated the fighters. After a few exchanges on the feet, Johnson again looked for a takedown and the two jostled for position along the cage. Both fighters were exhausted and the pace slowed considerably in final minutes.

The judges gave two of the three rounds to Johnson, who picked up his second straight win for the promotion.

Moraes stops Nam

Bantamweight Marlon Moraes again showcased his striking prowess in the WSOF cage, finishing Tyson Nam in the first round.

The two fighters took their time establishing their rhythm and timing, but it became evident that the Brazilian Moraes was the technical striker. Nam searched for a home for his overhand right, but Moraes frequently slipped it and landed counter shots. Moraes mixed up his strikes as the round progressed, allowing him to deliver a left head kick that clipped Nam and sent him to the canvas. Moraes smelled blood and rained left hands near the cage, forcing the referee to halt the contest.

Branch embarrasses Filho

UFC veteran David Branch completely outclassed former WEC middleweight champion Paulo Filho on his way to a lopsided decision win.

Round one saw Branch put Filho on his back in the opening minute and go to work from the top. Staying inside the half guard, Branch peppered the Brazilian short shots for the entire round. Filho’s head was pinned against the cage and he ate elbow after elbow until the end of the frame.

Branch backed Filho up against the cage with heavy shots to kick off round two before scoring with another takedown. After a brief stalemate, the referee stood the fighters up, but Branch again brought the fight to the mat. This time, however, he secured the mounted crucifix and rained undefended right hands for a solid two minutes. In the final minute of the round, Branch looked for an arm-triangle and then a north-south choke, but Filho was able to survive.

Filho threw wildly in round three, falling to the mat on his own. Branch pounced and looked for the finish, but relented and resorted to more short shots from the top. The slow, methodical onslaught prompted another standup from the referee, but Branch again put Filho on his back and delivered more shots until the final.

There was no doubt on the scorecards as Branch cruised to victory.

Burkman knocks out Simpson

In a match-up of UFC veterans, welterweight Josh Burkman stopped Aaron Simpson with a brutal first-round knockout.

Simpson pushed the pace from the opening bell, but Burkman landed numerous counter shots that bloodied the mouth of the 38-year-old. A stiff right hand from Burkman stopped Simpson in his tracks midway through the frame, spelling the beginning of the end. Burkman smelled blood and rushed forward throwing combinations. A right hand buckled Simpson and knee put him out for good.

Gaethje batters Cavalcante, forces doctor’s stoppage

Lightweight Justin Gaethje moved his unblemished record to 8-0 with a dominant performance against veteran Gesias “JZ” Cavalcante.

The Grudge Training Center fighter showed no respect for his Brazilian opponent, barreling forward and forcing JZ against the cage with multiple right hands. Cavalcante tried to fire back, but Gaethje was relentless with his attack. The onslaught opened a huge cut on the forehead of the Brazilian, just about his left eye. As the blood continued to pour, referee Keith Peterson called in the doctors and the bout was waived off.

FULL RESULTS
Anthony Johnson def. Andrei Arlovski by unanimous decision (29-28 x3)
Marlon Moraes def. Tyson Nam by knockout (head kick and punches). Round 1, 2:55
David Branch def. Paulo Filho by unanimous decision (30-26, 30-27, 30-27)
Josh Burkman def. Aaron Simpson by knockout (punches and knee). Round 1, 3:04
Justin Gaethje def. Gesias “JZ” Cavalcante by TKO (doctor’s stoppage). Round 1, 2:27
Danillo Villefort def. Kris McCray by split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
Rick Glenn def. Alexandre Pimental by knockout (punches). Round 3, 1:51
Waylon Lowe def. Cameron Dollar by knockout (punch). Round 1, 2:58
Richard Patishnock def. Igor Gracie by TKO (shoulder injury). Round 1, 5:00
Ozzy Dugulubgov def. Chris Wade by unanimous decision (30-27 x3)
Brenson Hansen def. Tom Marcellino by knockout (flying knee). Round 2, 3:24
Bill Algeo def. Frank Buenafuente by submission (rear-naked choke). Round 2, 4:36

Photo: Anthony Johnson (Dave Mandel/Sherdog)