Rousimar Palhares (Dave Mandel/Sherdog)WSOF 16: Breakdown and Predictions Dale De Souza December 12, 2014 Events, Previews World Series of Fighting returns this Saturday with another solid card that happens to fall on a notably crazy MMA weekend. At the top of the bill, two title fights await the MMA world, as WSOF featherweight champion Rick Glenn defends against Lance Palmer, and WSOF welterweight champion Rousimar Palhares faces Jon Fitch. Like most WSOF cards, the bill is stacked with a few familiar names and a bevy of hungry prospects. Highly touted Sheymon MOraes comes into the WSOF cage to face Gabriel Solorio in bantamweight action, while Josh Brekovic and Brenson Hansen do battle in a clash of featherweights. Additionally, an MMA veteran returns to televised action against a WSOF prospect just jonesing for his moment in the sun, as former Showdown Fights lightweight standout Justin Buchholz meets Lewis Gonzalez. From top to bottom, this main card promises plenty of fun before MMA fans get their fix of UFC action later this weekend, but how does Saturday’s WSOF 16 card take things to brass tacks? What follows is a breakdown of Saturday’s main card, which emanates live from McClellan Conference Center in beautiful Sacramento, Calif. and airs live on NBC Sports Network. WSOF welterweight title: Rousimar Palhares vs. Jon Fitch When Rousimar Palhares made his welterweight debut a few years back, they saw two things coming. Firstly, they knew some poor soul was getting heel-hooked to death against their own will, whether they had a counter to it or not. Secondly, they instantly realized that Palhares inevitably would see Jon Fitch. Stylistically speaking, both men love to take their fights to the same general realm, the ground game, but that is where the similarities end between the now-reigning WSOF welterweight champion Palhares and the challenger Fitch. Palhares will always take the edge in the submission game, while Fitch always will have an edge in the wrestling aspect. Neither man will come in with anything special in the striking department, though Fitch will come in with a three-inch reach advantage. Against anyone else, Palhares retains easily, but even with a crushing defeat to Josh Burkman last year, Fitch is still not just any other opponent. If he gets the opportunity to complete a takedown, he will work to force Palhares to think outside of his box, which currently appears limited to finding various ways of securing heel-hooks. Fitch won’t finish Palhares, but he will do enough to secure a victory and walk home with the title. Prediction: Fitch wins via unanimous decision. WSOF featherweight title: Rick Glenn vs. Lance Palmer On a night loaded with stylistic clashes, it seems fitting that Rick Glenn, a nasty finisher with a penchant for striking, would make the first defense of his newly-won WSOF featherweight crown against someone like former four-time NCAA All-American and Ohio State alum Lance Palmer. After all, with Palmer being a proficient wrestler and Glenn having one loss by submission on his record, this bout should promise a new champion without argument, correct? It seems that way, but not everything is cut and dry when it comes to this bout. Palmer may own half of his wins by submission, but he must expect that Glenn has been working hard on takedown defense for this fight. Hence, Palmer benefits from striking with a “stick and move” strategy of sorts to get inside on Glenn and take him down with success. Meanwhile, Glenn knows he will enjoy a seven-inch reach advantage over Palmer and he must use that all throughout the bout. Say what you wish about Roufusport these days, but Duke Roufus knows a white-hot prospect on the rise when he meets one, and as far as WSOF goes, they don’t get any hotter than Glenn. If there was a doubt before, there no longer is one, and unless Palmer can use Glenn’s reach against him, the champion seems likely to retain the belt by any means of his choosing. Prediction: Glenn wins via TKO (strikes). Round 4. Bantamweight: Sheymon Moraes vs. Gabriel Solorio When you talk about some of the most dangerous names in the sport, you eventually must bring up Sheymon Moraes. Arguably one of the more vicious bantamweights in the sport, the undefeated Moraes owns three TKOs and one knockout in his already promising career, and he looks to keep those winning ways going against Gabriel Solorio. Solorio, a former Tachi Palace Fights veteran, definitely packs his share of experience, with the majority of his wins coming by decision. Add in the fact that Solorio is a replacement for Moraes’ original foe, Josh Hill, and it becomes clear that Moraes might be in for an uphill battle, unless he can keep Solorio in the clinch and brutalize him. If not, Saturday could be a long night got Moraes, though we certainly cannot count out Moraes, who does own two wins by decision. If he has to, Moraes will respond well within the course of three rounds, which he may have to do to Solorio, who owns one loss by a form of knockout and has never lost on the scorecards. Still, Moraes’s reputation is what it is for a reason, and once he can get Solorio where he wants him, Moraes will pull the trigger and end up victorious on Saturday, regardless of the round. Prediction: Moraes wins via knockout (knee and punches). Round 3. Featherweight: Josh Berkovic vs. Brenson Hansen The battle of featherweight prospects Josh Berkovic and Brenson Hansen intrigues many because both are unknown, but both are running a race with each other to see who can make their name known under the WSOF banner.Berkovic is undefeated professionally, while Hansen scored a recent unanimous decision win at WSOF 9 in March. With Hansen, the main story is his ability to last for long amounts of time. This has shown in his career, as five of his six pro wins all came via a unanimous decision, with the more recent of his two pro losses coming by a split decision. Meanwhile, Brekovic does not do decisions all that often—he won his pro debut by unanimous decision, and then went on to finish his most recent four fights. This particular bout feels like a pick ‘em fight because both guys are still relatively young in the game, as far as their pro records go. Still, as tough as both men are, this bout promises some action for the long haul. If it comes down to the long haul, the advantage undoubtedly goes the way of Hansen, who has outworked foes in the past and will certainly find a way to do it again come Saturday. Prediction: Hansen wins via unanimous decision. Lightweight: Justin Buchholz vs. Lewis Gonzalez It feels like a long time since we have seen Justin Buchholz in action on a major stage, but after a run in Showdown Fights, the Team Alpha Male product will now find himself as part of Saturday’s main card. The opposition for Buchholz, who fights for the first time in over a year, comes in the form of formerly-undefeated Lewis Gonzalez. Here, we have a case of two men who can do just about anything when fight time comes, but both men especially do well in the submission game. In fact, both men own six wins by submission in their respective careers, but Buchholz’s longevity in the sport means that he also enjoys the strength of seven career knockout-style finishes, while the relatively young Gonzalez only holds two finishes by a form of knockout. Both men want to get back to a winning streak, starting with this fight on Saturday, and while Gonzalez may be a promising young man with a great future in front of him, he faces a stiff test in Buchholz, who will aim to best him on the feet and on the ground. This one ultimately stays on the feet, where Buchholz will test Gonzalez before mounting serious pressure on “Lethal Lewis”. The end result will see Gonzalez succumb to the pressure while the veteran Buchholz emerges victorious once again. Prediction: Buchholz wins via TKO (Strikes). Round 2.