A point deduction from an illegal knee didn't stop David Branch (18-3) from defending his WSOF middleweight title.
The 34-year-old New Yorker battled against Clifford Starks (13-3) in the main event of WSOF 30 on Saturday night. Branch, who currently holds the middleweight and light heavyweight WSOF titles, defeated Starks by unanimous decision.
It was the grappling, clinching, and takedowns of Branch that troubled Starks in every round. Branch faced some adversity early on in the fight as he was deducted a point after landing an illegal knee to the head of a downed Starks. However, Branch proved why he is the champion by remaining composed and sticking to the game plan all throughout the fight. With this win, Branch is currently enjoying an eight-fight wining streak and remains undefeated in the promotion.
During the co-main event of the card, former UFC title challenger Jon Fitch (28-7) became the new WSOF welterweight champion by defeating Joao Zeferino (20-8), who was coming off a knockout loss to Brian Foster at WSOF 25 lightweight tournament.
It was a Jon Fitch type of fight where clinching, takedowns, and top control with enough ground-and-pound to avoid a stand up, dictated the outcome of the fight. In every round, Zeferino tried to avoid the takedowns by keeping his base low and by throwing his jab in hopes to keep Fitch at a distance. Despite Zeferino's efforts to keep the fight standing, Fitch was able to impose his will, earning a unanimous decision victory. This win marks Fitch's second win in a row and improves his WSOF record to 4-2.
Magalhaes spent the majority of the first round circling around Heun, outpointing him with kicks to the legs and body. In the second round, the fight became more competitive as Heun connected several combinations on Magalhaes, but the Brazilian fighter answered back with significant leg kicks and a takedown along with top control and ground-and-pound to secure the second. In the final round, Heun pressured the tired Magalhaes with strikes, forcing the Brazilian fighter to look for a takedown. It then that Magalhaes achieved top control, landed ground-and-pound, and dropped to his back locking a kimura on Heun. Heun escaped from Magalhaes' kimura and landed heavy shots from the top in search for a stoppage, but the referee stopped Heun, signaling the end of the fight.
The 31-year-old Magalhaes earned a unanimous decision victory over Heun, scoring his fourth straight victory since his UFC release back in 2013.
Opening the main card, Abu Azaitar (12-1-1) took on Danny Davis Jr. (11-11-1) in a welterweight bout. Azaitar made a successful WSOF debut by outpointing the American Davis Jr. in a unanimous decision victory.
In the first round, Azaitar proved to have an advantage in the striking department by landing a series of hooks and leg kicks, while Davis Jr. showcased superior grappling, controlling against the cage and taking down the German fighter. However, Davis Jr. grappling only trumped Azaitar's striking in the second round, failing to seize the first and third round from the 30-year-old Azaitar. Azaitar improved his record to 12-1 and now remains undefeated since 2012.