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World Series of Fighting 13 predictions

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WSOF

World Series of Fighting heads to the Sands Bethlehem Event Center in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania for WSOF 13: Moraes vs. Bollinger. While the card no longer features a title bout, it's not devoid of intrigue. Simply put, 135-pound champ Marlon Moraes is one the world's top bantamweights. The promotion's home-grown star, Moraes is must-see TV no matter who he's fighting.


What: WSOF 13: Moraes vs. Bollinger

Where: Sands Bethlehem Event Center in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania

When: Saturday, the four-bout main card will air live at 9 p.m. ET on NBCSN, as well as online at NBCSports.com. The preliminary card will stream live on an embeddable video player on www.wsof.com, beginning at 6 p.m.

Marlon Moraes vs. Cody Bollinger

Replacing an injured Josh Hill, Ultimate Fighter alum Cody Bollinger steps up into a main event slot on 10 days notice. Typically in a last-minute replacement I'd assume the short notice fighter would carry some major wear from the weight cut, but seeing as Bollinger hit the scales at 147 pounds for a 140lbs catchweight I'm not so sure.

Hell, Bollinger was even ready to take on The Hulk midway through fight week.

Charming.

Moraes' title isn't on the line, but I'm not sure how much danger it was in to begin with. Bollinger is big for the weight class (no kidding), but it's going to hamper him in the championship rounds against Moraes. Bollinger won't be able to match Moraes' work rate and I expect his leg to look something like this by Monday.

Pick: Moraes

Ozzy Dugulubgov vs. Keon Caldwell

Another tough grappler matchup for Caldwell, who didn't make it out of the first round before being submitted by Nick Newell last August at WSOF 4. The TUF 13 alum hasn't fought since, but hopefully he spent much of his downtime on the mats. Dugulubgov is a product out of Renzo Gracie's New York City base, so expect him to fight for takedowns against the better striker.

Pick: Dugulubgov

Timur Valiev vs. Isaiah Chapman

It's hard to pick against a Dagestani scoring flying knee KO's. Valiev scored his seventh straight win against Adam Acquaviva back in March at WSOF 10. I like him to ride that momentum against the promotional newcomer.

Pick: Valiev

Frankie Perez vs. Tom Marcellino

It seems like an odd booking with Marcellino fighting out of a Renzo Gracie affiliate and Perez representing Ricardo Almeida, but it's a nice lightweight scrap. Marcellino returns to WSOF after going 3-0 on the regional circuit, but I'm giving the edge to Perez in his debut. Before being KO'd by Brenson Hansen at WSOF 2, Marcellino struggled on the feet and was easily countered. He repeatedly drew the ire of commentator Bas Rutten for throwing single leg kicks and wouldn't set up takedown attempts with his hands. Hansen even abandoned a mounted position at one point because of his striking advantage.

Perez might be better everywhere. Three inches taller at 5'11, Perez uses his length well and should be able to outpoint Marcellino standing. If it hits the ground, expect Perez to finish. Of his six stoppage wins, five came by submission, all chokes.

Pick: Perez


From the preliminary card:

Emmanuel Walo vs. Tenyeh Dixon - Walo

Sidney Outlaw vs. Nick Browne - Outlaw

Katlyn Chookagian vs. Brigitte Narcise - Chookagian

Brett Shoenfelt vs. Matt Secor - Secor

Matt Lozano vs. Sidemar Honorio - Honorio

Luciano Cristovam vs. Francisco Isata - Isata