Breaking Down The Title Fights at WSOF 33
By Edward Carbajal
There are two title fights on the line at WSOF 33. Lightweight Champion Justin Gaethje (16-0) will be facing Ozzy Dugulubgov (8-2) in the main event and Light Heavyweight Champion, David Branch (18-3) faces Vinny Magalhaes (14-7) in the co-main event. The champions in WSOF have had a busy 2016 and whether or not that will play a factor in Kansas City Friday night is yet to be determined.
Justin Gaethje vs. Ozzy Dugulubgov
You have to play devil’s advocate when Gaethje competes. Usually a fighter that has an undefeated record can hold it until around 10 or 11 fights, if they get past that number there’s something special about them. Gaethje is now 16-0; he truly owns his division at WSOF. So much so a tournament was made to find an opponent for him. Gaethje finished him in the first round with leg kicks.
However, being undefeated can be an albatross to some. Losses are humbling lessons in themselves and in the fight game anything can happen. Dugulubgov has tasted defeat in MMA and that, as weird as it sounds may be the only thing he is bringing in his bout against Gaethje. Dugulubgov has never been knocked out and that is where Gaethje has finished most of his opponents. That means he is durable and can avoid that type of fight against Gaethje or he could get submitted. Odds are likely Gaethje will still hold his belt by the end of the fight.
David Branch vs. Vinny Magalhaes
This fight is a tricky one to call. Branch is definitely the better-rounded fighter in this match-up and holding two titles in WSOF keeps him busy enough to be dangerous. Equally dangerous on the ground is Magalhaes, who holds 11 of his 14 wins by submission. That might not be a problem for Branch who trains out of Team Renzo Gracie but the risk is certainly there to get submitted.
Branch has been submitted once so he will likely be busy enough to avoid any exchanges on the ground. If the fight stays standing, it may not be the most entertaining fight but it could wind up being a decision win for Branch. But, if the fight goes to the ground early, that is where Magalhaes could become the new champion. This one is likely to go the distance; if it does it favors Branch.
WSOF 33 takes place Friday, October 7 on NBCSN at 11PM ET/8PM PT