WSOF 7 Recap: Georgi Karakhanyan Wins Featherweight Title, Nick Newell Improves To...

WSOF 7 Recap: Georgi Karakhanyan Wins Featherweight Title, Nick Newell Improves To 11-0


It was a good crowd tonight at the PNE Agrodome in Vancouver, British Columbia, for the World Series of Fighting’s first foray north of the border.

The main card presented four fights, inclusive of the promotion’s inaugural featherweight championship, its middleweight tournament semifinal and a match that featured the MMA wonder story of all time, Nick “Notorious” Newel. For fans that might not know who Newel is, he’s the MMA fighter who is minus his left arm just below the elbow.

Newell is a remarkable fighter and as he won again tonight, extending his record to a perfect 11 & O, he is a story that most fans would probably be interesting in following.

However, the story of the night was newly crowned WSOF featherweight champion, Georgi Karakhanyan. “Insane” looked very good tonight and certainly had an active guard and solid ground game working for him, as he put down “Team Alpha Male” member Lance Palmer, by way of guillotine choke. On a fortunate note, Karakhanyan survived a round one eye poke that left him bleeding and required the attending doctor to check it. Had it turned out that the eye had been damaged more than it was, Insane might not have gone home with his belt tonight.

All in all it was a good night and with the crowd seeming please with the card, the WSOF can mark this one down as a success.

Here are the night’s results:

Main Card Results:

Fight #1: Kalib Starnes vs. Dwayne Lewis

It was a fairly spirited affair, but throughout the fight former UFC alumnus Kalib Starnes looked to be the better fighter. It was a stand-up affair with both fighters giving as good as they were getting, but as the fight moved to the clinch Starnes proved to be the better man, scoring with punches, elbows and kicks; 10 – 9 Starnes. As the second round broke it was pretty much the same as the first. The fight ended up against the cage and Starnes managed to catch Lewis with two good left elbows to Lewis temple and it was over. Down the mat he went and Starnes had his victory; winner by KO at the 1:02 mark of the second round, Kalib Starnes.

Fight # 2: Nick Newell vs. Sabah Fadai

This was an exceptionally quick affair and one that again reminds MMA fans how special Nick Newell is. As fans know, Newell is the one armed fighter who hails from Springfield, Massachusetts and is a fighter that gives a lot of other fighters’ trouble. Regarding tonight’s match, it was no different. The bell rang and both fighters came out exchanging. Newel managed to score a takedown, but Fadai was able to quickly work his way back to his feet. However, in doing so, Fadai left his neck out and in Newell’s, and “Notorious” sunk in the submission; winner by guillotine choke at the 1:21 mark of the first round, Nick Newell.

Fight #3: Jesse Taylor vs. Elvis Mutapcic (middleweight tournament semi-final)

This fight was all ground war and it was Taylor that proved to be the better and more powerful general. In each round he took the fight to the ground and in each round he delivered punches, elbows and submission attempts. By the end of the first it was obvious that the cut and bleeding Mutapcic was going to be in for a long night. However, he did his best and even managed some of his own top and submission attempts, but it was never enough, as Taylor would simply power himself back into Mutapcic’s guard and begin beating on him again. As he easily won all three rounds it was no surprise when his name was announced; winner by way of unanimous decision and advancing to the middleweight tournament final, Jesse Taylor.

Fight #4: Georgi Karakhanyan vs. Lance Palmer (featherweight championship)

This was a decent match that demonstrated both stand-up and ground warfare. Both Karakhanyan and Palmer gave as well as they got on their feet and as such, the match’s real contest would be decided on the ground. Palmer proved to be the better wrestler scoring a number of takedowns, but with each one he either failed to do anything with it or would spend his time fending off Karakhanyan’s submission attempts. That said, where Karakhanyan won the first round with the work he was doing off of his back, Palmer probably won the second via takedowns and control. The third round came and in the middle of their engagement Palmer scored a takedown and with it, began looking for a rear-naked choke. However, Karakhanyan was able to avoid it and in doing so, sunk in a choke of his own; winner by way of guillotine choke at the 4:40 mark of the third round and new WSOF featherweight champion, Georgi Karakhanyan.

Preliminary Card Results:

Michael Hill vs. Richard Arsenault: Hill defeated Arsenault via doctor’s stoppage at the 1:29 mark of the second round.

David Perron vs. Matt Baker: Perron defeated Baker via submission (triangle choke) at the 1:46 mark of the first round

Gabriel Solorio vs. Shawn Albrecht: Solorio defeated Albrecht via unanimous decision.

Myles Merola vs. Dan Ring: Merola defeated Ring via unanimous decision.

Brendan Kornberger vs. Micah Brakefield: Kornberger defeated Brakefield via a corner stoppage at the 2:45 mark of the second round.


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  • chael4president1

    I'm going to be honest. Just because so many people don't like hearing the truth about these kinds of things. First of all, Nick Newell has some balls. I'll give him that. I feel like this is similar to the runner with the prosthetic legs. And the debate that he had an advantage and whether he should be in the real olympics. Yeah obviously Newell doesn't fight using a prosthetic. But the fact that he always wins with chokes, along with not being able to wear a glove on that arm, just doesn't sit right with me.

    Also, for god's sake he is not a 1 armed fighter. he is a 1 handed fighter. He very clearly has 2 arms. The fact that there is no glove on that extremity, coupled with the shape of the end of his arm. Gives him an advantage with sinking in chokes, plain and simple. It was always hard for people to get rear naked chokes on me because I was good with 2 on 1 defense. Using both my hands to control one of their arms during the attempted choke. What makes that such an effective defense is they have a hand on the end of it so they can't just slip the arm right out of both of your hands. This guy doesn't have most of his forearm already and of course there is no hand that is wider than the forearm. Kind of the cookie jar effect.

    Plus once his bad arm is up under your neck, again there is nothing to grab onto where the hand would be. Plus if you have a grip on a fighter's wrist, that extra length of arm gives you more leverage in peeling the arm away from your neck. His left arm is just long enough to wrap around a neck. And shaped perfectly to make it very difficult for an opponent to grip or manipulate once in that position.

    I know the arm does not give him advantages in other areas of fighting. But it's arguable that ground and pound works different with this guy, as he can sort of punch down with a sharp elbow. With no forearm that normally could be gripped or blocked, or telegraphs the angle the elbow is coming from.

    Most of this has probably been said before. And people tend to think your a jerk if you say it, because clearly the guy does not have an advantage in day to day life. However if he were ever in the UFC and got anywhere near title contention, I believe it would become more apparent. For now, let him make his money, and give him his props. but I'd be more impressed if he pulled off the same feats with a glove of some kind, somehow attached to the end of his arm.

    • TheXperience

      Come on man.. you write a book about the pro's and completely ignore the con's about having half an arm as a professional fighter, are you serious? So, he has an advantage sinking in chokes… big fuccin' deal!! How about all the disadvantages? That list is significantly longer…

      • Brian Cox

        I would never look at Nick and think…wow, look at the advantage that guy has. Further, if Newell's condition is an advantage, then other fighters can get the same advantage just by having an arm removed below the elbow. Oddly, no fighters have opted for that MMA enhancement.

        • chael4president1

          Come on dude. You know how stupid that is. Nobody would chop off half their arm for a career that will be over before long. When the rest of their life they are still stuck with that. I made it clear that I know he is at a disadvantage in day to day life.

      • chael4president1

        Exactly how I predicted you guys would act. I never said I hope they don't let this guy fight. All I was getting at is it's a tricky situation if he ever got anywhere near the top. And I don't think the list of disadvantages is that long. If it is then you are welcome to give examples.

  • IGMBurninPiff

    wow 1rst round sub again… this kid is for real. I haven't looked into many of his opponents but I don't care, I always say when you are in the "professional" level of MMA 11-0 with all but 1 finish you are legit. Not saying UFC champion ever in his future but the kid is for real. I still don't know if he'll make it into the UFC. I agree with him being on the offensive grappling it does have alot of advantages, but the kid has to get to being on the offensive and that seems like he's over coming a bunch of disadvantages. I've always said with the subs it seems like they can't find anything to try and pull away to break the holds, but you skipped the part about him standing and striking missing a foot of reach with 1 arm. when he shoots or clinches he can't lock his hands to scoop. He has to get their legs pinned that much closer to grab his nub area. It's a true hollywood story and if he never makes it to the big show to collect that big check he should have a movie made about him and pick his money up there.

    • Brian Cox

      Silva my man, I agree with every bit of that and you are so right about his life being a movie and if he made it into the UFC it should be a movie. No, he's not likely to be champion, but then again, the majority of fighters are destined to never be champions, so there's no cross to bear there, man.

      If he keeps winning I'd like to see the UFC sign him. I think he's a great story and I'd like to see him in the big show.

      • TheXperience

        @Brian I would like to see him in the UFC now… I don't get why they didn't sign him yet. With his win streak and finish rate he should've been in the big show! Any other fighter (minus the handicap), would've been offered a deal by the UFC at this point. They've signed plenty of fighters over the years that have nowhere near the record Newell has… don't want to jump the gun on calling discrimination but…. taking all facts in consideration, it's hard to ignore!

        • IGMBurninPiff

          X, I know Dana White had been asked about him and I think he responded about him not having faced anyone if my memory serves me right, which was why he had the dispute with the old company he wanted better competition. I think Dana White will have a hard time bringing him in until he beats some legit ex UFC fighters. I know Matt Hammil brought in a bunch of new support being deaf and representing the deaf community. Bringing in Newell while it would look good and possibly draw a crowd IF he got demolished his 1rst fight out in the big show he knows everyone will yell freak show and he'll take alot of flack for putting him out there to take damage. I don't agree with it, for a while I said he needed more experience (no pun) but yeah man with his record and finishing rate that would be impressive against the lowest of the low level fighters in small shows. To be at the "pro" level any part of it and do what he's done is impressive and Dana needs to make that call. No one wants him thrown in with a top 10, but he can clearly work his way up

          • TheXperience

            Yeah i always found that statement kinda wishy washy… cause if they are EX-UFC fighters… obviously they didnt belong in the UFC and they're at the exact same level as all the competition Newell has been killing over the past few years. Fact is you won't really know until you give the kid a shot and i think it's about that time and yes Hamill is a very similar story, he slipped my mind cause he's been so irrelevant as of late.. lol but he was most def. doing his thing for a while too! I honestly think Newell will beat some of the top 10 ranked fighters at featherweight right now, like Lentz, Elkins and probably Siver too… who knows what might happen! He will outwrestle the top 5-10 easy. The top 5 is where it'll get interesting, he should get a chance to work his way up and scrap!

          • chael4president1

            Hamil is not a similar story. There is nothing physically different about him on the outside. He can not hear his corner and that's it. I used to think in a way being deaf might help him focus. No auditory distractions, the way they say when you lose one sense, your other senses become heightened.

            I'm sure all you fools will weak me for saying that too. You should try understanding that I'm not against the guy. I'm being objective and commenting on the irony of how something that is normally a disadvantage, can sometimes be an advantage in fighting of all things.

          • Brian Cox

            Silva, if Askren has to beat legitimate x-UFC fighters to get signed, then how is it that a bunch of fighters with lesser records, wins and accomplishments make it in?

            Ben has done more than he needs to do to get signed.

            As to Newell, if he gets smashed he gets smashed, the same way as whole bodied fighters get smashed. A guy losing one fight or getting smashed once, doesn't prove anything. To prove the point, Silva got smashed twice (Sonnen & Weidman) and all anyone did was make excuses about his ribs or that he didn't take a fight seriously.

            Fighters lose. If Nick loses a fight I'd make no more of it that that, a loss. If he lost three or four in a row, like many big name fighters have, then yeah, maybe he should be questioned or cut, but until then, I think he's earned the shot. And the fact that he beats whole bodied fighters…to me…that's the freaks show, my man.

            PS: Your boy is going down on the 28th. :-)

        • Brian Cox

          XP, you raise a very interesting question and one that might even get the UFC sued and I think the same argument (pretty much) could be made by Ben Askren; restraint of trade.

          Between those two fighters, they're 23 & 0 and I don't know why they're not in the UFC, other than the fact that one is missing part of his arm, and the other, White simply seems to not like. I mean heck, Ben's last two wins were by KO. So, White would be hard pressed to call him boring.

          If the biggest company in the world won't hire you and their criteria is ring merit (wins) only, then to deny Newell and Askren access to it due to personal reason, would seem, at least to me, actionable.

          I hate to say it, but it p***es me off. Both should be signed and given whatever un-ranked fighter and let's see what happens. I thought this sport was supposed to be about who was the best, could be other people, earned accomplishments and all that stuff.

          When fighters like Newell and Askren are not even given a chance, then it has to be questioned and when the UFC cuts ranked fighters like Okami, boring or not, can we really say the UFC has "all" the best int the world?

          Again, I believe these two have more than earned their way into the "house". Gives us a break Dana, what's the problem?
          Oh, I know…he doesn't care what people's / fan's opinions are.

    • TheXperience

      @Silva 100%

    • chael4president1

      I figured everyone already realized he couldn't throw strikes the same way with that arm. But I apologize if people think I should have mentioned it. Obviously you wouldn't have the same reach for throwing a jab or whatever. But it seems he tries to spend as little time standing up as possible.

      The point is it is something worth thinking about since usually anything that gives someone an advantage, even if it's just in one area, is an issue. I haven't seen what takedowns he likes to use. But this guy is very accustomed to having his arm like that. Other fighters can't train for this unless they find other skilled fighters with a left arm just like his.

      It's also an advantage that you can not armbar him on that side. You can't kimura him on that side. Omaplattas, Americanas, and anything else I may be forgetting, are all things that he does not have to worry about except on the other side.