Questionable decision gives Almeida WSOF featherweight title

Lance Palmer struggled to hurt Alexandre Almeida, but he thought he racked up enough style points to win the headline fight for the World Series of Fighting 26 on Friday. So did many in attendance at the Chelsea inside the Cosmopolitan hotel.

In a fight that dragged on for five rounds, there was more suspense waiting on the scorecards than there was watching what the two featherweights did in the cage. All three judges had it 48-47 in favor of Almeida to crown the Brazilian the new featherweight champion as boos rained down from the crowd.

“I didn’t feel it was my best performance, but I felt like I got the job done,” Palmer said. “It sucks to lose a decision like that where the whole crowd, and even (WSOF president) Ray (Sefo) thought I won the fight.”

Palmer (10-2) didn’t do much damage, but he was the clear aggressor for five rounds. The 5-foot-5 Palmer, who gave up six inches of height, looked flustered at times due to Almeida’s size advantage. Fatigue affected Palmer for most of the fight after coming out fast the first two rounds.

Almeida (18-5) wasn’t as active as the former champion, however, he did control the pace of the fight with his length, which could have been a big reason why the judges declared him the winner.

“Palmer was a hell of a fight,” Almeida said in the cage after the bout. “I controlled the stand up, and yes, he had the takedowns, but I won the fight. He was running too much.”

Almeida said during his interview he would give Palmer a rematch.

“I’m just happy to be able to get the immediate rematch,” Palmer said. “I felt like I dominated him. Not even my best performance and I beat him where he’s supposed to be good, which is on the ground.”

Palmer took Almeida down three times in the final round. The Team Alpha Male competitor thought the takedowns were enough to award him the victory.

“One of the judges told me I wasn’t active enough when I took him down,” Palmer said. “I thought I was.”

The Team Alpha Male leader and Ultimate Fighting Championship fighter Urijah Faber was in attendance to support Palmer.

Almeida didn’t talk to the media after the fight and went to the hospital to get checked out.

The main card started with Jake Heun defeating Clinton Williams in a light heavyweight battle by split decision in arguably the best fight of the night. UFC competitor Sean O’Connell came out to support Heun.

Sheymon Moraes knocked out Robbie Peralta in Round 2 with a vicious left hook.

Ozzy Dugulubgov opened a cut over Nic Herron-Webb’s left eye in the opening minute to cruise to a unanimous decision win.

Josh Hill beat Bekbulat Magomedov by split decision in a bantamweight match that lacked offense.

Gilbert Manzano can be reached at 702-383-0492 or Follow on Twitter: @gmanzanzo24

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