On Saturday, November 15th World Series of Fighting will host WSOF 15: Branch vs. Okami from the USF Sun Dome in Tampa, FL.

The WSOF middleweight title will be on the line in the main event of the evening. David Branch will be making the first defense of his title against Yushin Okami. Both of these men are UFC veterans that were released somewhat controversially. Branch was released after losing one bout following a two-fight winning streak. Since being released from the UFC, Branch has only lost once and is unbeaten in four bouts for WSOF. Okami suffered the same fate as Branch, being released after just one loss. Okami is still considered by many as a top ten middleweight and earned a submission victory in his WSOF debut.

The co-main event was also scheduled to be a title fight, but it was changed to a non-title bout when Melvin Guillard missed weight for his title shot against Justin Gaethje. Guillard missed weight in his WSOF debut, but he was so impressive in his fight against Gesais Cavalcante that he earned the shot against Gaethje. This is the biggest test of Gaethje’s career. Gaethje is touted by many as the biggest lightweight prospect in MMA and has five stoppage victories in as many bouts in WSOF.

Jessica Aguilar will also defend her women’s strawweight title against Kalindra Faria. The triple main event will be preceded by one more bout on the main card. The main card airs live on NBC Sports Network at 9 p.m. ET with seven prelims airing on NBCSports.com starting at 6 p.m. ET.

Below is a full recap and results from the event.

Main Card Summary

Dave Branch continued to prove the doubters wrong by stopping Yushin Okami to retain his middleweight title. The fight was really just a case of the champion frustrating Okami. Okami only got Branch to the ground once and that was midway through the first round. Branch stuffed numerous takedowns throughout the next two rounds and found a home for a nice jab and kept the distance with solid body kicks. Okami’s corner pleaded with him to be more aggressive heading into the championship rounds, but it was Branch who took that advice. Branch dropped his challenger and swarmed when he saw blood in the water, unloading with ground-and-pound until the ref called the fight.

In an outstanding co-main event Justin Gaethje defeated Melvin Guillard in a fight that would have been nice to see go the extra two rounds. Gaethje came out with his signature aggressive style throwing leg kicks at Guillard. Gaethje kept Guillard’s back against the cage and was the man moving forward  for the entire fight. Guillard had plenty of moments of success tagging the champion with uppercuts as he ducked and threw wild punches. It was a battle of attrition, but the leg kicks from Gaethje finally showed their worth in the final round. The leg kick was the champion’s weapon of choice in the final frame and Guillard was dropped by one of the kicks. The fighters ended the war swinging and even though one judge scored the fight for  Guillard, Gaethje was the clear victor.

Jessica Aguilar definitely had her toughest bout inside the WSOF cage, but she still retained her title with a unanimous decision victory. Kalindria Faria was game from the beginning coming out swinging at the champ. Aguilar who is known more for her ground game stayed composed and even got the better of the majority of the exchanges in the first round. In the second Aguilar went to her bread and butter with the takedown and she stifled any offense from the Brazlian. The fourth round was where the champion really began to seperate herself from the challenger. She got Faria to the ground and unloaded with a barrage of punches near the fence, but Faria still survived to the final round. Faria went for broke early in the final round, but Aguilar halted her momentum with a big takedown that cemented her case as one of the best women’s strawweights in the world.

Jorge Patino got the main card started by bloodying Eric Reynolds up and winning a unanimous decision victory. Just like the prelims this fight had its share of controversial moments. In the first round Patino was trying to lock up a leg lock and Reynolds blatantly kicked him in the face. The referee halted the action, but did not even take a point. In the second round after the fighters were stood up because of inactivity on the ground Reynolds surpassed a touch of gloves to sucker punch Patino. In the end Reynolds’ underhanded tactics would not get him the victory. He was bloodied up late in the second and Patino had him mounted for a good portion of the third round to leave no doubt who should win the decision.

 

Preliminary Card Summary

Maurice Salmon ended the prelims with a victory over Javier Torres in controversial fashion. In actuality the fight only went one round, but it felt much longer as the action was stopped three times due to Torres being poked in the eye. Torres still has what it seemed like the crisper striking until the end of the round. That was when Salmon exploded. He rocked Torres with a combination then continued to fire punches on the ground after the bell before the referee could pull him off. In between rounds Torres’ eye swelled shut and even though he protested the doctor called off the fight.

Anderson Hutchinson topped Troy Gerhart in an intensely competitive lightweight bout. Hutchinson seemed like the best man for the majority of every round, but Gerhart’s closing ability really made the rounds close. In the first Hutchinson dropped Gerhart early when he was rushing in, but in the closing seconds Gerhart landed a headkick and scored a takedown. Gerhart had a better early part of round two, but Hutchinson closed strong in this one. The third was very competitive as well, but Hutchinson was just a step quicker on the feet and landed some shots that bloodied Gerhart. In the end Hutchinson stayed undefeated with the judges giving him two out of the three rounds.

Ryan Keenan used a home crowd advantage to pull through and submit a tough Jose Cortes in the third round. The first round was all Keenan. He was the better man on the feet and nailed Cortes with numerous short hooks before delivering knees to his opponent’s face. He then took Cortes to the ground and pounded on him for the remainder of the round, coming close to a stoppage at one point. Cortes turned the tables in the second round as he was the one to take Keenan down and do most of the damage. Cortes’ success didn’t last though. Keenan came out aggressively in the third. He hurt Cortes on the feet before taking the fight to the ground and securing a fight ending rear-naked choke.

Tony Way and Fred Moncaio put on a great show for the fans, but Way was able to put away Moncaio in the third round. The first round began with a fun scramble on the ground when Moncaio took Way down, but was then swept, and then ended up on top again. Once the fight got back to the feet Way began to do some work. Way landed a punch that was audible throughout the arena and dropped Moncaio to the mat, but Moncaio was able to recover from that right hand. Moncaio survived that round, but it seemed to take a lot out of him and he seemed gun shy throughout the entire second round and into the third. Way took advantage of the tired Moncaio in the third and locked up a guillotine choke for his fifth career victory.

Hector Ochoa stifled a tentative Robert Reed to win a split decision. Reed was tentative with his striking from the beginning. He through out numerous leg kicks, but his punches just fell short. Ochoa took advantage of the tentativeness and took the fight to the ground. He stayed on top and smothered Reed for most of the first and third round. Reed was never close to being finished, but he just couldn’t get off of his back to mount any offense.

Reggie Pena was fighting for the first time in over a year and it sure looked like the lay off did him well. He just outclassed Joe Johnson on the feet for much of the first round. Pena rocked his much older opponent and went to the ground. Pena used a triangle choke attempt to advance to the mount. Pena then took Johnson’s back and ended the fight with a rear-naked choke.

Matt Frevola didn’t waste any time getting out of the cage in his WSOF debut. He was taken down early by Josh Zuckerman, but instantly went to work from his back. It looked like he had a tight arm triangle choke locked in, but Zuckerman was able to escape. The fighters returned to their feet where Frevola rocked Zuckerman. The fight went to the ground and this time Frevola was successful with an armbar.

 

FULL RESULTS
Dave Branch def. Yushin Okami by TKO (punches). Round 4, 3:39-For middleweight title
Justin Gaethje def. Melvin Guillard by split decision (28-29, 29-28, 30-27)
Jessica Aguilar def. Kalindra Faria by unanimous decision (49-45 x3)- for women’s strawweight title
Jorge Patino def. Eric Reynolds by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
Maurice Salmon def. Javier Torres by TKO (doctor’s stoppage). Round 1, 5:00
Anderson Hutchinson def. Troy Gerhart by unanimous decision (29-28 x3)
Ryan Keenan def. Jose Andres Cortes by submission (rear-naked choke). Round 3, 2:16
Tony Way def. Fred Moncaio by submission (guillotine choke). Round 3, 2:03
Hector Ochoa def. Robert Reed by split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
Reggie Pena def. Joe Johnson by submission (rear-naked choke). Round 1, 4:15
Matt Frevola def. Josh Zuckerman via submission (armbar). Round 1, 2:50

About The Author

Trey Downey
Staff Writer

A Central Florida native, Trey Downey's interest in MMA came after a trip to Blockbuster and the rental of UFC 47 on VHS. He has been blogging about the sport since 2011 and hosted a podcast called The TD Experience focusing on football and MMA (touchdowns and takedowns). Trey studied radio and television at the University of Central Florida and will soon be attending the Connecticut School of Broadcasting. Trey enjoys watching sports, pro wrestling and is an avid runner.