On Saturday, Oct. 17, the World Series of Fighting will bring a pair of title fights to Foxwoods Resort Casino in Mashantucket, Conn. The card is headlined by a non-title fight between a pair of former UFC title contenders: Jon Fitch (26-7-1 MMA, 2-2 WSOF) and Yushin Okami (30-9 MMA, 1-1 WSOF).

In the main event, both Fitch and Okami will be looking to rebound from losses in their previous bouts, which were both title fights. Fitch’s title shot was against former WSOF welterweight champion, Rousimar Palhares, at WSOF 16, in which the leg-lock expert submitted Fitch in the first round. Okami’s chance came against the current middleweight and light heavyweight champion David Branch at WSOF 15. Branch won the fight via TKO in the fourth round. A big factor in this fight is the extensive layoffs of each fighter. Fitch has been out of action for ten months, while Okami has been sidelined for eleven. Lastly, this will be Okami’s welterweight debut.

The heavyweight belt will be on the line in the co-main event, as Blagoy Ivanov (12-1 MMA, 1-0 WSOF) will attempt to defend his title for the first time against Derrick Mehmen (19-6 MMA, 3-1 WSOF). Ivanov is coming off of an impressive third-round submission victory to snatch the title from Smealinho Rama. Mehmen is making his return to WSOF after defeating Brett Rogers at Abu Dhabi Warriors 2 back in March. This is also The MMA Corner’s pick for Fight of the Week.

Also on the card is the inaugural WSOF Flyweight Title fight between Donavon Frelow and Magomed Bibulatov, and a battle between former UFC fighters Matt Hamill and Vinny Magalhães.


Jon Fitch vs. Yushin Okami

The fight started with a leg kick from Okami. Fitch shot for a takedown but Okami was able to stay standing and the fighters began to clinch against the cage. The fighters began to rotate with over/under hooks. The rotations continued until the ref decided to separate them. Okami shot for a clinch and the fighters were against the cage again. Okami tried to get a double leg takedown but was unsuccessful leading to more clinching. Okami dove for a single and was unsuccessful yet again.

Jon Fitch opened up round two with a double leg effort and was successful. Okami was able to stand up around thirty seconds after. Okami shot for a takedown and Fitch successfully sprawled. Fitch shot for a takedown of his own and got it. Fitch passed to half guard. Okami tried to use the cage to reverse but was unsuccessful. Fitch began to cradle Okami, and eventually was sitting on the back of the neck of Okami. The odd position ended round two.

The fighters exchanged long punches to start round three, and Fitch landed a takedown ending up in side control. Fitch decided to take half guard instead, but Okami scrambled up from bottom position. Fitch shot for another takedown and got it against the cage. Fitch was able to pull him off the cage, with Okami’s legs wrapped up. Okami was able to break free and stand up, but Fitch hung onto him like a backpack until Okami reversed position and dove for a guillotine. Fitch popped out, ending up in top position. Okami pushed Fitch off but Fitch dove right back on top. The fight ended with Fitch in the cradle again. Jon Fitch def. Yushin Okami by Unanimous Decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27)

Blagoy Ivanov (c) vs. Derrick Mehmen – For WSOF Heavyweight Title

Ivanov cracked Mehmen with a left to start the fight and unloaded on his opponent but Mehmen survived. Mehmen landed a combination and Ivanov responded by cracking Mehmen with another left hand. Mehmen kept getting caught with a counter right as he charged in. Ivanov cracked Mehmen yet again and Mehmen was able to clinch his way to safety. Ivanov landed a huge left straight but Mehmen stayed steady. Another counter right landed for Ivanov on the charging Mehmen. Mehmen taunted Ivanov oddly. A bloodied-up Mehmen survived the first round.

Mehmen landed a right hand early in round two. Mehmen charged in and landed a knee followed by a right hand. Ivanov then landed a counter left hand.  There were missed strikes from each fighter for a bit of time until Ivanov landed a 1-2, then a right hook. Mehmen landed a reaching right hand to answer. A big left straight landed again for Ivanov but Mehmen is unfazed. Mehmen landed a combination then Ivanov answered with an uppercut. Ivanov landed a huge left hook that sent Mehmen reeling covering his face. The referee stepped in to prevent any further damage. Blagoy Ivanov def. Derrick Mehmen by TKO (Punches) in Round 2 (4:33)  – For WSOF Heavyweight Title

Nick Newell vs. Tom Marcellino

Marcellino started the fight with several leg kicks. A couple of missed strikes from both fighters and they clinched. Newell broke free and threw a combination to clinch up again. Newell dropped for a double leg takedown and got it. Newell passed guard and Marcellino is still holding on to the guillotine with Newell in side control. Newell mounted Marcellino and dove for a guillotine. Marcellino escaped and Newell responded with an armbar effort. Marcellino stepped over and escaped. The round ended with Newell pressing Marcellino up against the fence.

Low kicks from each fighter started the second round, then Newell dove for a takedown. Marcellino responded with a weak guillotine attempt, and Newell was able to pass guard. Marcellino almost stood up but decided to dive for another unsuccessful guillotine. Newell was able to take half guard then the back Marcellino. Marcellino rolled to safety though and found himself sitting up against the fence. Newell passed guard again but was not using much ground and pound, and forced the ref to stand them up. There was an odd clock malfunction at the end of the round that stopped Marcellino from following Newell to the ground after Newell slipped.

Newell shot for a takedown to start the final round and was unsuccessful. Newell threw a kick that was caught by Marcellino and ended up on his back. Marcellino eventually took the back of Newell but Newell was able to stand up using the fence. Marcellino caught Newell with a few knees against the fence. Newell got another takedown, Marcellino responded with a guillotine that was very deep but Newell pushed out. The ref stood them up again. Marcellino hit a double leg takedown and started throwing heavy leather from open guard.  Newell hit Marcellino with an up-kick and the final round ended with Marcellino standing over a grounded Newell. Nick Newell def. Tom Marcellino by Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

Vinny Magalhães vs. Matt Hamill

Magalhães clinched early off a jab but Hamill broke free. Vinny connected with a body kick, and Hamill responded with an uppercut that dropped Magalhães. Hamill followed him to the ground and Magalhães locked up a knee bar for the stoppage. Vinny Magalhães def. Matt Hamill by Submission (Kneebar) in Round 1 (1:08)

Donavon Frelow vs. Magomed Bibulatov – For Inaugural WSOF Flyweight Title

Frelow opened up the strikes with a body kick, then charged in with several punches. Bibulatov tried a few spinning techniques early on. Bibulatov threw a spinning back kick into a high kick that didn’t connect. Frelow charged in with heavy punches then was thrown by Bibulatov, but Frelow was able to stand quickly. Bibulatov was tripped up during a spinning back kick, Frelow charged in again and was slammed again. Frelow was able to stand up quickly though. The fighters traded leg kicks, Frelow then shot for a takedown that was stuffed. Bibulatov caught Frelow with a spinning back fist to end the round.

Bibulatov caught Frelow with a takedown to kick off the second of five rounds. But again, Frelow bounced right back up. After some clinching, the fighters exchanged on the break, including a high kick by Bibulatov. Several exchanges occurred where Frelow threw a right and Bibulatov threw a body kick. Bibulatov charged with strikes and was caught by a Frelow counter-punch. The round ended with a clinch by Bibulatov.

Bibulatov opened up round three with a leg kick and the fighters started to display footwork. Bibulatov caught Frelow with a spinning back kick, then a combination that dropped Frelow. Frelow bounced back up almost immediately. Frelow charged in and was taken down again. Frelow tried to stand up but was slammed down. Bibulatov passed guard and tried to take the back of Frelow but was bucked off and Frelow allowed his opponent to stand back up. On the feet, Frelow connect with a solid combination. After a groin kick, Bibulatov slammed Frelow to end the round.

Frelow opened up round four with some great punches, Bibulatov tried a takedown but was stuffed. Back on the feet, Bibulatov caught Frelow with a spinning back kick. Frelow charged in and was thrown to the ground into side control. Bibulatov took the back of Frelow but Donavon quickly escaped through the back door. After another spinning back kick connected for Bibulatov, Frelow charged in catching Bibulatov with a punch and was taken down against the cage. Frelow attempted a guillotine, Bibulatov escaped and took the back of Frelow. Frelow was able to stand up shortly after. Frelow was able to catch Bibulatov with an overhand right during one of his charges. The round ended after a spinning back fist from Bibulatov was deflected.

Frelow opened up round five very aggressively and was taken down. He tried to respond with a guillotine but Bibulatov passed guard to escape. Bibulatov took the back of Frelow but yet again Frelow escaped after an attempted armbar by Bibulatov. Frelow spent some time in open guard afterwards until the ref stood them up. Bibulatov caught Frelow with a spinning back fist and a cartwheel kick on the feet. The fighters clinched and Bibulatov threw a knee to the body. Bibulatov caught his opponent with a heel kick then a spinning back kick. After another spinning kick, Bibulatov took down Frelow. Frelow popped up and spent the remainder of the fight with his back against the cage. Magomed Bibulatov def. Donavon Frelow by Unanimous Decision (50-45, 50-45, 50-45) – For Inaugural WSOF Flyweight Title


Jon Fitch def. Yushin Okami by Unanimous Decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27)
Blagoy Ivanov def. Derrick Mehmen by TKO (Punches) in Round 2 (4:33)  – For WSOF Heavyweight Title
Nick Newell def. Tom Marcellino by Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Vinny Magalhães def. Matt Hamill by Submission (Kneebar) in Round 1 (1:08)
Magomed Bibulatov def. Donavon Frelow by Unanimous Decision (50-45, 50-45, 50-45) – For Inaugural WSOF Flyweight Title

Rick Glenn def. Adam Ward by KO (Punch) in Round 2 (1:27)
Alexandre Almeida def. Saul Almeida by Submission (Rear-Naked Choke) in Round 1 (1:23)
Colton Smith def. Washington Nunes da Silva by Unanimous Decision (30-26, 30-26, 30-26)
Patrick Walsh def. Tyler King by Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Rex Harris def. Justin Torrey by Split Decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
Bruce Boyington def. Rodrigo Almeida by Split Decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)

About The Author

Danny Doherty
Staff Writer

Danny is a sophomore at Ithaca College looking to acquire a Bachelor's Degree in Sport Media. He has been an avid fan of mixed martial arts since watching the UFC’s 100 Greatest Fights special on Spike TV back in 2009. Shortly following UFC 100, Danny’s Saturdays, and most of his free time, became dedicated to the Ultimate Fighting Championship. In addition to writing for The MMA Corner, Danny works as a sports broadcaster and as a DJ for Ithaca College’s FM radio station, 92 WICB.