Originally written on hov-mma  |  Last updated 3/24/13

Photo Credit: Sherdog.com The World Series of Fighting held their sophomore effort Saturday night in Atlantic City, NJ.  It was a spirited second event, led by a heavyweight main event clash between Andrei Arlovski and once upon a time Welterweight, Anthony “Rumble” Johnson.  That fight was more or less what you’d expect, two heavy handed throwing bombs, until one of them took a nap. Outside of that fight however, there were some definite shining moments and lowlights.  The Good. Josh Burkman and Aaron Simpson came out knowing the winner would face WSOF newcomer Jon Fitch in June in Las Vegas.  Josh Burkman looked incredible in this fight, peppering Simpson with shots, and showing pin-point accuracy in a showcase fight for the former UFC fighter.  Simpson was really unable to get started, and he was battered and bloodied before finally being stopped by a picture perfect knee to the face at 3:04 of Round 1.  It was a great fight for Burkman who now has a date with Fitch in June.  Also on the good side of things, Marlon Morales battled Tyson Nam in a clash of Bantamweights and took care of business early.  In what was a highly anticipated fight, turned into a highlight reel performance by Morales, as he caught Nam with some decent right hands, but it was a high kick that sent Nam down for good, as he fell dazed, Marlon Morales closed in and landed a few shots and the referee halted the action.  Big win for Marlon Morales and done so in spectacular fashion.  The Bad. The heavyweight main event between Andrei Arlovski and Rumble Johnson delivered the anticipated sloppy haymakers but not any kind of sudden and dramatic ending paying customers were hoping for.  The first round saw both men throwing shots, but Johnson landed the bigger punches and dropped Arlovski twice and looked to finish him as the bell rang.  The bell saved Andrei without question, and he lived to see another round. A lot of questions about Arlovski’s chin were answered as he took a ton of punishment and was able to stave of unconsciousness for two rounds while taking heavy damage.  Rumble Johnson’s biggest issues were Arlovski’s short right hand, and the extra weight he carries around his midsection.  We can all agree Johnson has long since outgrown the 170 pound division he once called home, but he’s fifty pounds north of that now, and it’s about 30 too much.  The third round of this pugilistic pummeling was a battle of attrition.  Johnson landed a couple of big hooks, and a partially blocked head kick, but due to his conditioning, he kept trying to take the fight down.  The last two and a half minutes, Johnson looked like a fish out of water, gasping for air.  Arlovski was unable to take advantage however; he did little to push the pace.  In the end the judges awarded Johnson the 29-28 victory and Arlovski broke his jaw, much the same way Struve did against Mark Hunt.  Arlovski is double tough to suffer that in the first round, and continue eating shots for two additional rounds.  Also, if you had Rumble Johnson in your MMA Blackzillian office pool, congrats on earning the improbable victory. The anticipated clash between JZ Cavalcante and Justin Gaethje was stopped too soon when a deep cut on JZ’s forehead caused the ringside officials to halt the action, much to JZ and the crowds disappointment.  For his part, Justin Gaethje looked tremendous in the early going, dealing Cavalcante a series of knees, punches and kicks and dominating the first frame.  However, the cut did not seem sufficiently dangerous to warrant the stoppage, so it was a big disappointment for all.    The Filho (Ugly) I was very much looking forward to seeing Paulo Filho return to action stateside and see if his problems were behind him. As a longtime fan of his, I hoped in vein that he would return as at least a moderately close facsimile to his old self.  I was wrong.  He made Dave Branch look like GSP as he was beaten to the punch or the windmill punch as it were, and was taken down and controlled at will.  He offered virtually no offense, certainly nothing efficient or resembling cohesive and in the end, seemed out of shape, and disengaged.  It almost seemed like he didn’t care about what was going on.  It’s a disappointment to the fans who were hoping he’d be back but I guess in the end, it is what it is.

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