On Saturday, Aug. 9, World Series of Fighting held its 12th event from the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.

In the night’s main event, lightweight veteran Luis Palomino faced off with unbeaten Lewis Gonzalez. Peru’s Palomino impressed in his WSOF debut in January, stopping Brazilian Jorge Patino via second-round knockout. The win marked the 33-year-old’s 12th career win via strikes. His opponent Gonzalez also turned heads in his promotional debut in the fall of last year, besting longtime veteran Antonio McKee. Seven of Gonzalez’s nine wins have come inside the distance.

The co-main event of the evening featured UFC veteran Ronny Markes against fellow promotional newcomer Cully Butterfield. The Brazilian Markes returned to the 205-pound division after missing weight for his last outing, which also marked his second straight knockout loss as a middleweight. Butterfield was also moving up in weight to challenge Markes on short notice. Ten of his 13 wins have come before the final bell.

Also on the main card, Elvis Mutapcic took on Kevin Tiller in a 195-pound catchweight, Bellator veteran Alexis Vila battled Brandon Hempleman at bantamweight, and Bryson Hansen clashed with Matt Sayles, also at 135-pounds.

The nine-fight event kicked off at 8 p.m. ET with four fights streaming live on NBCSports.com. The five-fight main card aired live at 10 p.m. ET on the NBC Sports Network.

Main Card Summary

Luis Palomino put all World Series of Fighting lightweights on notice with his second stoppage win in as many appearances in the organization. This time he knocked out the undefeated Lewis Gonzalez in the very first round. Palomino’s nickname might be the “baboon” but he was much more like a shark in this matchup. He stalked Gonzalez from the beginning and once he smelled blood in the water he went in for the kill. Palomino kicked it off with a leg kick that staggered Gonzalez and then followed it up with a left hook. Gonzalez stayed alive for a while; then came a Palomino head kick. Palomino’s knee is ultimately what connected with the noggin of Gonzalez. “Baboon” followed that up with two punches on the ground and Gonzalez was out cold.

Ronny Markes controlled Cully Butterfield to win his WSOF debut. The Brazilian took the fight to the ground early and often. He rode the back of Butterfield for nearly half of the fifteen minutes, but only really came close to finishing the fight once. That time came late in the second round. Markes was on Butterfield’s back, but instead of going for a submission he started unloading with strikes. Butterfield looked like he was in some serious trouble, but he was saved by the bell. Butterfield had his best showing in the third and even bloodied up the UFC veteran, but he was already down two rounds and the scorecards showed just that.

Elvis Mutapcic just outmatched Kevin Tiller to give “The Mamma’s Boy” his first career loss. Before the fight the commentators were calling for Mutapcic to keep the fight standing if he wanted to win the fight, Mutapcic clearly couldn’t hear that commentary. Tiller took the fight into the submission realm in the first round, but it was Mutapcic who held the ground control in the second and third rounds. Mutapcic was on top for nearly the entire five minutes in the second round and towards the end of that round he began to open up with the ground-and-pound. Tiller’s corner told him that he needed the third round to win the fight, but he just couldn’t pull it off. Mutapcic got the fight to the ground early in the third and that was the deciding factor in the fight.

Brandon Hempleman and Alexis Vila were the second bout on the main card and were the second straight  technical slugfest. Both men had solid wrestling pedigrees that ended up canceling each other out. Vila was the fighter who attempted to take the fight to the ground. Once Hempleman was able to defend the takedowns of the Cuban he seemed to be content to strike. Hempleman clearly worked on his striking in his year long layoff since his loss to Marlon Moraes. The judges awarded Hempleman for the multitude of his strikes over the power of Vila’s stikes. In the end Hempleman threw about one hundred more strikes than Vila and connected on more as well. The judges saw those strikes and awarded the American the fight.

Bryson Hansen and Matt Sayles engaged in a technical slugfest to kick off the televised portion of WSOF 12. Sayles survived nearly being finished in the first round to comeback and win the fight on the judges’ scorecards. In that first round, Sayles was dropped by a straight left hand from Hansen. Hansen followed up with a blitz of punches and it looked like the fight was going to be stopped, but somehow Sayles survived. Surviving that barrage gave Sayles the confidence he needed for the rest of the fight. He threw strikes with more volume over the final ten minutes and consistently tagged Hansen with a right hand. The twenty year old Sayles remained unbeaten when the scores were announced at the end of the fight.

Preliminary Card Summary

Lucas Montoya took out Jimmy Spicuzza in the first round of the final preliminary bout of the night. From the start of the contest you know this fight would not go the distance. Both fighters came out setting an extremely high pace, especially Montoya. Montoya had his rhythm early on, but Spicuzza came back and had Montoya on his heels a bit. The beginning of the end started when Montoya landed a flush left hook. Spicuzza tried to stay alive and landed some big bombs in a great exchange against the cage, but Montoya’s chin was the one that held up and he earned the TKO finish late in the first round.

Danny Davis continued his winning ways with his fourth straight victory over Jorge Lopez. Lopez was once a highly touted protege under Wanderlei Silva, but now has suffered four straight losses since entering the UFC in 2011. Davis was the more aggressive fighter and had more success on the feet throughout the bout. Lopez was able to score early takedowns in both of the first two rounds, but Davis adjusted each time. Lopez probably took the first round with ground control, but Davis got up quicker in the second and was able to keep the fight standing for the entire third round to secure the victory.

Adam Aquaviva rebounded from his debut loss in World Series of Fighting with a split decision win over Cody Maltais. There were two answers as to why Aquaviva earned the nod in a razor thin fight. The fight was contested primarily on the feet, but Aquaviva was able to complete three takedowns over fifteen minutes. The other answer for Aquaviva was leg kicks. They were his weapon of choice and he ended every combination with one en route to the victory.

Bryson Gutches impressed in his WSOF debut by submitting Soslan Abanokov in the second round. Gutches’ grappling was the difference in the bout. Early in the second round Abanokov went for a head kick, but was ultimately taken down. Gutches advanced to the mount rather quickly and when Abanokov gave up his back he sunk in the rear-naked choke for the submission.

Luis Palomino def. Lewis Gonzalez by TKO (strikes). Round 1, 4:42
Ronny Markes def. Cully Butterfield by unanimous decision (29-28 x3)
Elvis Mutapcic def. Kelvin Tiller by unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
Brandon Hempleman def. Alexis Vila by unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27)
Matt Sayles def. Bryson Hansen by unanimous decision (29-28 x3)
Lucas Montoya def. Jimmy Spicuzza by TKO (strikes). Round 1, 4:11
Danny Davis def. Jorge Lopez by unanimous decision (29-28 x3)
Adam Acquaviva def. Cody Maltais by split decision (29-28, 29-28, 28-29)
Bryson Gutches def. Soslan Abanokov by submission (rear-naked choke). Round 2, 1:07

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.