The World Series of Fighting rematch between reigning, undefeated lightweight champion Justin Gaethje (near) and challenger Luis Palomino (far) that took place on Friday, Sept. 18, live on NBCSN from Phoenix, Ariz., has been named “Fight of the Month” by USA Today’s MMAjunkie.com. Photo credit: Steve Bauzen/World Series of Fighting.
WORLD SERIES OF FIGHTING’S
‘GAETHJE VS. PALOMINO II’
NAMED ‘FIGHT OF THE MONTH’
BY USA TODAY’S MMAJUNKIE.COM
World championship rematch bests four other classic battles for coveted award
LAS VEGAS (October 6, 2015) –The second, epic championship battle between undefeated, reigning World Series of Fighting lightweight (155 pounds) kingpin Justin “The Highlight” Gaethje and rival challenger Luis “Baboon” Palomino that took place on Friday, Sept. 18, live on NBCSN from Phoenix, Ariz., has been named winner of the prestigious “Fight of the Month” award by USA Today’s MMAjunkie.com.
The rematch between the two gutsy and determined superstars came six months after the first memorable championship showdown that also won the “Fight of the Month” honor for March.
“We are extremely honored to receive this distinguished award for the second time in six months, and are proud of Justin and Luis for having the courage to put it all on the line again after what was an unforgettable, all-out war in March,” said World Series of Fighting President Ray Sefo.
“NBCSN is excited to have been home to two widely recognized World Series of Fighting championship bouts thus far in 2015, and we look forward to more high-level action in the cage in the upcoming months,” said Gary Quinn, Vice President, Programming, NBC Sports Group.
The second meeting topped four other, critically acclaimed fights – the bantamweight (135 pounds) matchup between John Lineker and Francisco Rivera at UFC 191, the welterweight (170 pounds) bout between Keita Nakamura and Li Jingliang at UFC Fight Night 75, the heavyweight tilt between Josh Barnett and Roy Nelson at UFC Fight Night 75 and the women’s bantamweight (135 pounds) contest between Raquel Pennington and Jessica Andrade at UFC 191 – for the award, all by steep margins.
The 26-year-old Gaethje (14-0) of Safford, Ariz. scored a second round (4:30) TKO on the 34-year-old Palomino (23-11) of Miami, Fla. last month with an onslaught of punches, after Gaethje was put on the defensive and momentarily found himself in danger, early on in the main event of WSOF 23.
In their initial meeting on March 28 that also took place in Phoenix, a wild, see-saw battle ended suddenly after Gaethje dug down deep and unloaded a combination of leg kicks and punches, to score a third round (3:57) TKO on Palomino.
Live World Series of Fighting action returns to NBCSN on Saturday, Oct. 17 at 8:30 p.m. ET/5:30 p.m. PT with a world championship doubleheader from Foxwoods Resort Casino in Mashantucket, Conn. In the welterweight main event of WSOF 24, Jon Fitch (26-7-1) of Fort Wayne, Ind. will face fellow master technician Yushin Okami (30-9) of Fujisawa, Kanagawa, Japan.
In one of two WSOF 24 world title fights, reigning heavyweight champion Blagoy Ivanov (12-1) of Sofia, Bulgaria will risk his belt for the first time against battle-tested Derrick Mehman (19-6) of Cedar Rapids, Iowa while, in the other, Magomed Bibulatov (19-0) of Grozny, Chechnya, Russia, a former number one ranked European fighter, will face off with fellow undefeated star Donavon Frelow (4-0) of Las Vegas, Nev. in the first World Series of Fighting flyweight (125 pounds) championship bout in history.
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