At World Series of Fighting 5 Saturday night, former heavyweight champ Andrei Arlovski squeaked past Mike Kyle by unanimous decision.
WSOF 5's evenly matched main event was just one salient moment in an event containing a legitimate knockout of the year candidate and the supremely odd last-minute cancellation of a middleweight fight between Elvis Mutapcic and Jesse Taylor.
In the marquee matchup, hard-hitting Kyle dropped Arlovski twice with punches, though Arlovski scored early and more often with jabs and his own big right hand. It was a needed win for Arlovski, 34, who is now 20-10 as a pro. With the loss, Kyle, 33, falls to 20-10-1.
Also on the main card, veteran middleweight David Branch ran his pro record to 13-3 by stifling Danillo Villefort and taking the unanimous decision. The jiu-jitsu black belt used takedowns and clinch work to head off the violent Villefort for most of the bout.
Relatively unheralded heavyweight Derrick Mehmen made quite an impression in his WSOF debut. About halfway through the second round, Mehmen found the point of Rolles Gracie's chin with a right hook.
Gracie turned to walk away but instead pitched face-first to the canvas, the victim of a knockout that, from a visual standpoint if nothing else, instantly entered the conversation for the year's most memorable knockout. The fight also was Gracie's WSOF debut, and the defeat drops him to 8-2.
The knockout was memorable, but an even bigger memory came from a fight that didn't even take place.
Top middleweight prospect Mutapcic was set to face UFC vet Taylor until a member of the New Jersey State Athletic Control Board apparently saw a member of the Mutapcic team take an unidentified medication. The fight was canceled as a result, just minutes before it was scheduled to take place.
In an interview that aired during the broadcast minutes after the cancellation, a visibly upset Mutapcic theorized that there may have been a case of mistaken identity.
"I'm not sure if [the official] mistook me for my manager, who has a heart condition," Mutapcic said. "He was the one who had [the prescription]...I'll take a blood test. I'll give a hair sample if they need it. I've got nothing in my system. I'm completely clean."
According to WSOF president Ray Sefo, both fighters received their show money, and the fight may soon be rescheduled.
Other top prospects had better luck. Featherweight Georgi Karakhanyan moved to 22-3 with a submission of Waylon Lowe, 24-year-old Russian welterweight Ozzy Dugulubgov took a second-round submission win over Andrew Osborne, and 24-year-old Roufusport featherweight Rick Glenn prevailed after three frenetic rounds with Arthur Roti to run his pro record to 14-2.
Full Main Card Results
- Andrei Arlovski def. Mike Kyle by Unanimous decision
- Dave Branch def. Danillo Villefort by Unanimous decision
- Derrick Mehmen def. Rolles Gracie by KO (Punch), 2:40 of Rd. 2
- Georgi Karakhanyan def. Waylon Lowe by Submission (Guillotine choke), 3:37 of Rd. 1
Full Undercard Results
- Rick Glenn def. Artur Rofi by Unanimous decision
- Jimmie Rivera def. Sidemar Honorio by Unanimous decision
- Richard Patishnock def. Gregor Gracie by Unanimous decision
- Ozzy Dugulubgov def. Andrew Osborne by Submission (Achilles lock), 1:12 of Rd. 2
- Neiman Gracie def. Darren Costa by Submission (Armbar), 3:57 of Rd. 1