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WSOF 6 Preview: Fitch & Burkman Return to the Cage

WSOF 6 Preview: Fitch & Burkman Return to the Cage

It’s a shame there’s not more of a buzz for this Saturday’s World Series of Fighting 6, on tap from Coral Gables, Florida.

Maybe it’s the victim of bad timing?

The show, to be televised on the NBC Sports Network at 9 pm EST/6 pm PST, is being overshadowed by the big names in Britain for UFC Fight Night: Machida vs Muñoz the same day. WSOF 6 also competes with a solid Bellator show Friday, which includes the promotion’s continuing lightweight tournament — featuring rising star Alexander “Tiger” Sarnavskiy.

WSOF 6 may not feature the most glamorous lineup of the weekend, but it has a lot of solid names which all seem to be matched well. Here’s hoping they find an audience. (UFC Fight Night will broadcast live in the afternoon, anyway. Give ‘em a look!)

Here’s the lineup:

Main Event: Josh Burkman vs. Steve Carl  (For the WSOF Welterweight Title)

Burkman will enter the cage Saturday enjoying possibly the most momentum of his ten-year MMA career. “The People’s Warrior” has won all three of his WSOF bouts, including a 41 second demolition of once-perennial contender Jon Fitch in June, and is now in contention for the promotion’s inaugural welterweight title. Everything seems to be falling in place for him: he’s focused, healthy, and striking and grappling with a fluidity that’s been sometimes missing in his long career.

One could make many of the same statements about his opponent Carl, who is riding a wave of quick submission finishes — including a 90 second wipe-out of Tyson Steele in his last bout. The difference is, of course, that Burkman is on a new streak after a ten fight stretch at the UFC, plus a stint on TUF2; while Carl was previously only seen in a short stint at Bellator MMA. Still, Carl seems to be moving into his prime and his ground work will present challenges. He will have a reach advantage here, but if he is to upset Burkman, it will likely be on the mat. Watch for the two to lance with jabs and leg kicks to begin but pay close attention as they scramble into mat work. The pick here is Burkman to land enough to earn a TKO there in round two.

Co-Main: Jon Fitch vs. Marcelo Alfaya (Welterweights)

Former title contender Jon Fitch is struggling mightily at this point. At one point, he was 12-1 in the UFC after giving Georges St-Pierre a bout that St-Pierre would describe as among his most difficult ever. He enters the cage Saturday having won only one of his last five fights. He remains a world-class wrestler and boasts one of the best teams in MMA, but can he regain his former stature? Alfaya isn’t the biggest name but he’s heavy-handed, comes from another great camp in American Top Team, and could present some match-up problems. Watch for the jiu-jitsu player to try and land a big shot as Fitch advances. Fitch probably has enough polish to avoid that and take the decision, but it should be interesting.
Dan Lauzon vs. Justin Gaethje (Lightweights)

Lauzon showed off a clean Muay Thai game in his bout against John Gunderson, using his reach well and hitting some clean flying knees against the old vet. He won’t have a reach advantage against undefeated Gaethje, who is coming off a punch-out KO of Gesias Cavalcanti. It’s a nice match of two developing talents: Gaethje is an All-American wrestler who likes to brawl, while Lauzon appears to have the better jiu-jitsu and Thai boxing base(s). Look for young Lauzon to continue to improve, and earn a decision victory.
Marlon Moraes vs. Carson Beebe (Bantamweights)

Beebe proved a wrestler with limited all-around skills against Jon Murphy in his last bout. Moraes showed a dynamic striking arsenal in his upset of Miguel Torres, but may find himself on his back here.

Also watch out for Miguel Torres among the preliminary bouts. We will have full coverage here at Caged Insider. As always, enjoy the fights!!!

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