With 27 combined knockouts between them, you knew somebody was likely to be knocked out at World Series of Fighting 5's heavyweight main event between Andrei Arlovski and Mike Kyle, the drama heading in was "who?"
Turns out it was neither.
Both the hard-hitting thirty-somethings showed up in Atlantic City for a more tactical encounter, and it was Arlovski who emerged with the unanimous decision. Arlovski was able to land some hard shots via his right hand early that stunned Kyle, but each time the AKA trained fighter bounced back. Kyle knocked Arlovski down ones with a right hand, too. In the third round, Kyle who landed a heavy shot, but Arlovski's chin held up (which was made all the more impressive, given that he broke it six months ago).
It was a stand-up battle the whole time, but neither man fought as recklessly as we've seen them in the past.
"It was a great fight, and I said before the fight," Arlovski said in the cage afterwards. "He's a tough fighter, and I really appreciate the fight. Of course it's disappointing, but I guess I have to listen more to my corner and follow the game plan 100 percent. I did what I did, and I thought it was a good comeback from my fight on March 23."
That fight was against Anthony Johnson at WSOF 2, which he lost via unanimous decision. Now the former UFC heavyweight champion has gone 5-1-1 in his last seven fights. More importantly, his biggest concern -- the suspicion that his chin is gone -- was once again a non-factor. Arlovski hasn't been knocked out since February 2011, when Sergei Kharitonov dropped him to kick off its heavyweight grand prix.
To kick off the main card, Riverside, California's George Karakhanyan snapped former UFC fighter Waylon Lowe's four-fight winning streak with a first round guillotine choke. After a gauging each other on the feet, the wrestler Lowe shot for a double-leg that ended up being an opportunity for Karakhanyan, who snatched his neck and pulled him down for the finish.
With the win, Karakhanyan moved to 22-3-1, and now has eight straight victories.
In a bizarre turn, the middleweight title eliminator fight that was supposed go down between Jesse Taylor and Elvis Mutapcic was scrapped when the New Jersey Athletic Commission discovered Mutapcic's corner with prohibitive pills. There was concern that Mutapcic was ingesting this medication, thus force the New Jersey State Athletic Commission's Nick Lembo to pull the plug on it.
One of the more memorable knockouts of the second half of 2013 might have happened in the heavyweight bout between Rolles Gracie and Derrick Mehmen. In a fight that was contested on the feet through a round and a half, Mehmen -- who'd been jabbed from distance most of the bout -- finally landed a big right hand that knocked Gracie out. In the sequence, Gracie turned around and began stumbling towards the fence. He fell down after a couple of steps, literally knocked out on his feet.
With the win, Mehmen improves to 16-5.