The World Series of Fighting will bring a pair of title fights to their WSOF 9 fight card at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. Headlining the card will be a welterweight clash between WSOF champion Steve Carl and Brazilian submission ace Rousimar Palhares. The promotion’s first bantamweight championship will also be decided that night as Marlon Moraes takes on Josh Rettinghouse.
WSOF welterweight champion Steve Carl will be looking to make his first title defense when he takes on the dangerous Palhares on March 29. Carl won the title at WSOF 6 by completely derailing Josh Burkman’s considerable momentum with a strong performance ending in a technical submission victory via arm triangle. Carl has not lost a fight since a 2011 bout with Douglas Lima at Bellator 48.
Carl will certainly have to bring his top BJJ game as he takes on one of the most violent submission fighters in MMA in Palhares. The Brazilian comes into the fight having won four of his last six fights. The UFC veteran was bounced from the Octagon after holding a heel hook past the end of the fight against Mike Pierce at UFC Fight Night 29. While multiple organizations expressed concerns over signing the veteran fighter, WSOF officials are giving him a shot at redemption after multiple incidents of unsportsmanlike conduct during his career.
The second title fight will see the promotion’s inaugural bantamweight champion crowned as fast-rising prospects Marlon Moraes and Josh Rettinghouse face off. Moraes had been expected to meet Cody Bollinger after the TUF veteran defeated Tyson Nam, but the lackluster showing and controversial decision likely led to Rettinghouse getting the nod instead. Rettinghouse comes into the bout having won three straight fights, including a win over Alexis Vila at WSOF 6.
Tickets for the March 29 card are currently on sale from $39. The card will air live via the NBC Sports Network, with the prelims likely taking place online. More bouts are expected to be announced soon.