WSOF 9 Date: March 29, 2014 Arena: Hard Rock Hotel & Casino City: Las Vegas, NV Inaugral Bantamweight title bout: Marlon Moraes (-600) vs Josh Rettinghouse (+450) Fight Breakdown: The co-main event for World Series of Fighting 9 is for the promotion’s inaugral bantamweight (135 pounds) title, and it will be between WSOF’s top prospect in Marlos Moraes, and another rising prospect in Josh Rettinghouse. Moraes is a heavy favorite heading into this title fight at -600 ($600 to win $100), with Rettinghouse being a big underdog at +450 ($100 to win $450) at 5Dimes Sportsbooks. Marlon Moraes (12-4-1 MMA, 4-0 WSOF) made a huge splash in the WSOF with a unanimous decision victory over former WEC champion Miguel Torres, and followed it up with an impressive knockout victory over Tyson Nam. He’s since scored a dominant unanimous decision win over a very game Brandon Hempleman, and most recently a knockout victory over Carson Beebe at only 32 seconds into the very first round. The Brazilian enters this bout enjoying a six-fight winning streak and looks to make it seven while simultaneously capturing championship gold. Moraes has a very solid ground game, but he often does not display his offensive wrestling due to the high confidence he has in his striking. He loves to outstrike opponents and look for the knockout. His defensive ground game checks out; he is quick and smart with reversals and escapes. The 17-fight veteran has good takedown defense, and excellent cardio. He is well-conditioned and prepared for a five round war with Rettinghouse should the fight go the distance. The 25-year old’s game has improved drastically since he started training with Frankie Edgar and Edson Barboza in New Jersey. Moraes is a heavy hitter who possesses a mean overhand right. He likes to use his eyes with his striking; he looks high and kicks low, looks low and kicks high, and it often throws confuses opponents, allowing him to score. He moves well on the feet, has good footwork, and puts together some very effective combinations. He will enter this bout looking to attain the goal he set when signing with the World Series of Fighting; to be the first bantamweight champion in the history of the promotion. Josh Rettinghouse (10-2 MMA, 1-0 WSOF) is coming off a unanimous decision victory over the veteran Alexis Vila in his promotional debut at WSOF 6 five months ago. He enters this title bout on the heels of a three-fight winning streak, and believes he can beat the Brazilian. Rettinghouse likes to start fast, not wasting time to feel his opponents out. He will likely start this fight looking to put Moraes away, without the fear of being finished himself. The risk may be worth the reward, however I think that more often than not, the Brazilian will catch him with a counter during an exchange, and ultimately put him away. I do think that would be the best gameplan for the Washington native, because if he tries to keep it technical, he will have a greater chance of losing. On the other hand, if he is to throw caution against the wind and go for the kill, he could at least catch Moraes with something. The 24-year old started wrestling in high school, then got into Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, then karate and kickboxing to follow. After failing to qualify for high school state championships, he quit wrestling, and after slacking off for sometime, found a new love in the form of mixed martial arts. Rettinghouse won his first professional bout via armbar in the very first round of action, and went on to amass a 10-2 professional record in under three years. The Spokane native is a solid wrestler who has great takedown defense and works excellent takedowns of his own. He has decent top control on the mat, but his ground and pound is nothing to write home about; a department in which he needs to work on, as he’s had the opportunity to do damage with his elbows and has ended up not doing much at all. He does not land heavy blows on the mat, opting to instead play it safe and pepper his opponents. Another flaw worth pointing out is that Rettinghouse does not have great accuracy in his strikes, as he often throws shots without really looking at where or what he is hitting. The 12-fight veteran is well-versed in the submission game, both offensively and defensively. He is no world-beater on the feet, by any stretch of the imagination, but he can hold his own. That said, he will certainly be at a disadvantage on the feet, in speed, power, and pure technique. He generally does not like to get wild, and prefers to pick his shots, but I think he may opt to go wild against Moraes, as already mentioned it would probably be his best chance at getting his hand raised. It is worth noting that the 24-year old is good at taking direction from his coaches, and generally has a good fight IQ. Rettinghouse is a well-conditioned athlete who will be ready for a five round war against the Brazilian, should the fight go the distance. Gabe’s Prediction: I believe the main concerns for Rettinghouse entering this bout are mental. He has a history of getting nervous in big fights, thus not performing to his full potential. Sure, he’s a smart guy, and it is possible he could have learned from past fights, but he is about to have the biggest fight of his professional mixed marial arts career. Under the big lights, I think it’s a real possibility that nerves and jitters will get the best of him. I think his only real shot at winning this fight, provided Moraes is not injured, is by catching him during an exchange. The odds of that happening are very slim, and I don’t foresee it happening tonight. I expect Moraes to earn a finish tonight, but if he doesn’t, I think he will still get his hand raised via decision. Rettinghouse is tough, so I would not be surprised to see him go all 25 minutes. Gabe’s Call: Marlon Moraes by KO (strikes, 1:24 round 1) Gabe’s Recommended Play: Marlos Moraes (-600) parlayed with Yushin Okami (-800) for -338 4.75u to win 1.4u
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