World Series of Fighting, the Las Vegas-based mixed martial arts promotion, returns to The Joint at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Las Vegas on March 29 with a pair of championship titles on the line, as welterweight title holder Steve Carl (21-3) defends his belt against Brazilian jiu-jitsu master Rousimar “Toquinho” Palhares (15-5) and bantamweight Marlon Moraes (12-4-1), a world-ranked top-10 contender, meets Josh “The Finisher” Rettinghouse (10-2) for the promotion’s inaugural 135-pound championship.
“We are very excited to be returning home for this incredible fight card,” World Series of Fighting President Ray Sefo said. “Steve Carl will have a real serious challenge ahead for the first defense of his welterweight title as he faces Rousimar Palhares, and Marlon Moraes vs. Josh Rettinghouse will be an incredible fight and a great way to crown our first bantamweight champion.
“We’re working on a few more fights that we should be able to announce shortly, but fans are really going to love the lineup for this event, and great fights are guaranteed.”
The 29-year-old Carl earned World Series of Fighting’s welterweight belt in October with a dramatic, fourth-round submission win over Josh Burkman. The Iowa native has already earned three victories under the World Series of Fighting banner and currently boasts a seven-fight winning streak.
For his first title defense, Carl now meets submission expert and one of the most feared men in MMA, Rousimar Palhares. A Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt and former Abu Dhabi Combat Club Submission Wrestling World Championship silver medalist, the 33-year-old Palhares is a grappling master who has earned 11 of his 15 career wins by way of submission.
Meanwhile, Moraes has quickly established himself as one of world’s best fighters at 135 pounds and has already earned four wins for the promotion after downing Carson Beebe, Brandon Hempleman, Tyson Nam and Miguel Torres. A former Muay Thai Brazilian national champion, Moraes currently trains under respected MMA legend Ricardo Almeida.
Moraes now meets Washington’s Rettinghouse. The 23-year-old made his World Series of Fighting debut in October, earning a hard-fought decision win over Olympic wrestling bronze medalist Alexis Vila. Rettinghouse has won his past eight fights, and eight of his 10 career victories have come by stoppage.
Additional fights will be announced in the coming days.