Jake Shields (blue trunks) (Dave Mandel/Sherdog)WSOF 22: Preview and Predictions Dale De Souza July 31, 2015 Events, Previews, WSOF World Series of Fighting returns on Aug. 1 for an incredible night of action as part of WSOF 22, live from Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino in Las Vegas, NV. The night will see two WSOF world titles on the line as part of the lineup, with welterweight champion Rousimar Palhares and bantamweight kingpin Marlon Moraes taking center stage. Palhares makes the second defense of his welterweight gold at the top of the bill against top challenger Jake Shields, who owns back-to-back wins over Ryan Ford and Brian Foster under the WSOF banner. Bantamweight titleholder Moraes will take co-headlining status against undefeated Team Nogueira product Sheymon Moraes, who defeated Gabrield Solario in his WSOF debut to secure his title crack. Also, Islam Mamodev rides a wave of ten consecutive wins to combat Jimmy Spicuzza in lightweight action, undefeated prospect Jorge Moreno takes on Abubakar Nurmagomedov in welterweight competition, and despite losing two opponents for this event, Mike Kyle will see a light-heavyweight contest on this card when he stands across the decagon from one Clifford Starks. The event will take place live at 11PM ET on NBC Sports Network, with preliminary bouts airing on NBCSports.com. WSOF Welterweight Title: Rousimar Palhares vs. Jake Shields As if Palhares vs. Shields wasn’t already surreal enough to see on an MMA fight card, and for a welterweight title, no less, we must also recall that Palhares and Shields both come off of back-to-back submission wins, which isn’t shocking until a fan realizes that before submitting Ryan Ford in his WSOF debut, Shields had not finished a fight on his terms since submitting Robbie Lawler back in Strikeforce. Though both men excel in the submission realm, Shields differs from Palhares stylistically because he knows his way around submissions, both offensively and defensively, as evidenced by the fact that in 40 professional bouts, Shields has not been forced to tap. For Palhares, who has not secured a submission win by anything other than a leg-lock since UFC 84, this may mean that a five-round battle is in order, and unless he can twist an arm or wrench Shields’ neck inside the distance, the smart money may be on expectng a new champion after the smoke clears in what should be a fun bout for fans of the ground game. Shields def. Palhares by unanimous decision. WSOF Bantamweight Title: Marlon Moraes vs. Sheymon Moraes Marlon has looked nothng short of phenomenal in his WSOF career thus far, but the test for him comes in the form of undefeated Sheymon, who scored three of his last five wins inside the distance, and has shown a willingness to take fights to the scorecards when necessary. Sheymon is no stranger to fights with opponents that push him all the way to the end of the final round, meaning that he should have no trouble with the champion, but while the bout can be expected to turn in a close tilt, Marlon will overcome the reach deficit, get inside on Sheymon successfully, and walk out with his title streak intact. M. Moraes def. S. Moraes by split decision. Lightweight: Jimmy Spicuzza vs. Islam Mamedov Spicuzza comes in with a 3-1 run inside the WSOF decagon, while Mamedov owns a ten-fight winning streak including his WSOF debut win over Leon Davis. Amazingly, Mamedov owns finishes in eight of those ten wins, mostly by submission. Up to this point, Spicuzza has never submitted in a pro bout, but Mamodev’s power is not to be ignored, and Mamodev will keep it handy to stifle Spicuzza before bringing Spicuzza into his world, where Spicuzza will defend well from a barrage of strikes, but leave his neck out, which Mamodev will secure to force the tap. Mamodev def. Spicuzza by submission (rear naked choke). Round 1. Welterweight: Abubakar Nurmagomedov vs. Jorge Moreno He might be known as the younger brother of Khabib Nurmagomedov, but Abubakar brings a style and skill set all his own to the welterweight division. He’ll need everything he can muster up for this fight, because Moreno is a young, unheralded fighter with a desire to make his name as somebody to watch at the 25 year-old’s expense. Moreno will put up a valiant effort in the first frame, but once the second frame comes about, Abubakar will light up Moreno and finish him, thus helping him to show that he is more than just “Khabib’s brother”. Nurmagomedov def. Moreno by TKO (strikes). Round 2. Light-heavyweight: Mike Kyle vs. Clifford Starks When Thiago Silva was denied a license to fight Kyle and got linked to Tyrone Spong, which then fell through when Spong tore his ACL, Starks stepped up and now faces a potential slugfest with “MAK”. Naturally, a promoter can’t book a fight like this and not anticipate a violent finish, so fans can also expect that someone is going to sleep here. Kyle is no stranger to short-notice fights, but Starks represents a more diverse threat in the standup game than Silva did and will look every bit as such as he drops Kyle quickly and lowers the boom in short order for a knockout win. Starks def. Kyle by knockout. Round 1.