Photos: WSOFNYC’s Justin Gaethje vs. Luiz Firmino Lightweight Title Fight

Lightweight Title Fight: Justin Gaethje def. Luiz Firmino via Stoppage, Rd. 4

The opening round saw a blistering Firmino bullrush into the lightweight champion bringing them immediately to the canvas. They grappled in an exchange that didn’t progress leading the referee to bring them back to their feet. There, Gaethje found himself in his element landing sharp jabs and catching Firmino on his forward counter attempts. The two eventually found themselves grappling against the cage with Firmino burning the final seconds of the round hanging on Gaethje’s back looking for a choke. The lightweight champion retaliated with a creative combination: a heavy body kick and a rolling back kick attempt that swung into the chin of Firmino right when the bell sounded.

The second was a mixture of Gaethje counters to Firmino’s excellent jab. The Brazilian is known for his grappling but found a lot of success standing, working on a simple combination that landed multiple times straight through Gaethje’s hands. By the end of the round Firmino’s face was inflamed and the lightweight champion’s energy faded massively from absorbing plenty of shots. The same exchange of punches continued into the third but at a labored pace. Both men had exhausted themselves by eating one anothers strikes but also swinging with any might they had left heading into the fourth. Before the interlude, Buscape’s eyes were swollen shut and Gaethje’s energy completely dipped. Unfortunately it was Firmino’s swollen eye that ultimately caused the end of the fight with the commission declaring he was no longer fit to fight.

A short break transitioned us back into the same exchange at the top of round four before the champion thrust himself atop Taylor after a takedown. The finale of the round was dominated by Branch on the ground taking us into the 5th where Branch continued to work for a rear-naked choke. The champion would get the tapout in the final round, earning yet another impressive finish to his title reign.

Official Results

Lightweight Title Fight: Justin Gaethje def. Luiz Firmino via TKO (Stoppage), Rd. 3, 5:00
Welterweight Title Fight: Jon Fitch def. Jake Shields via Unanimous Decision (49-46, 49-46, 49-46, 49-46)
Bantamweight Title Fight: Marlon Moraes def. Josenaldo Silva via TKO (Knee Injury), Rd. 1, 2:30
Middleweight Title Fight: David Branch (19-3) def. Louis Taylor via Submission (Rear Naked Choke), Rd. 5, 2:00
Welterweight (Swing Bout): Yushin “Thunder” Okami def. Paul Bradley via Split Decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
Heavyweight: Caio Alencar vs. Jared Rosholt via, KO (Strikes), Rd. 1, 1:17
Light Heavyweight: Smealinho Rama (9-2) def. Jake “The Honey Bear” Heun via TKO (Strikes), Rd. 2, 3:30

Prelim Card
“Who’s The Toughest?” Catchweight Fight: Shane Kruchten def. Jeremy Mahon, Unanimous Decision (29-28)
Middleweight: Bruno Santos def Vagab Vagabov via Split Decision (29-28, 29-28, 28-29)
Featherweight: Andre Harrison def. Bruce Boyington via Submission, (Rear Naked Choke), Rd. 1, 1:54
Welterweight: Tommy Marcellino def. Matt Denning via Submission (Guillotine), Rd.1, 3:30