Lance Palmer, a four-time NCAA Division I All-American wrestler at Ohio State, retained his World Series of Fighting featherweight championship by submitting Chris Horodecki in the main-event bout at WSOF 21 at Edmonton Expo Centre in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada Friday night.
Palmer won the match – and held onto the belt — with a rear-naked choke submission at 4:28 of Round 1 in a match shown live on NBCSN (NBC Sports Network). The 27-year-old former Buckeye mat star claimed the WSOF featherweight title by beating Rick Glenn last December… winning his last three bouts all by rear-naked choke, and becomes the first WSOF featherweight champ to successfully defend his title. Palmer is now 10-1, with that one loss being to Georgi Karakhanyan by guillotine choke in the third round at WSOF 7 in December 2013. With the loss, Horodecki, a ten-year veteran of professional mixed martial arts matches, falls to 21-6-1 overall, having lost two of his last three bouts.
“Lance Palmer made it look easy,” is how Marc Raimondi opened his analysis of the featherweight (145-pound) title bout for MMAFighting.com. “Palmer landed good left hands and achieved back mount on Horodecki twice. The first time he cinched in a neck crank, but Horodecki was able to slip out. Horodecki wasn’t so lucky the second time around. Palmer flattened him out and locked in the choke. Horodecki had no choice but to tap.”
“After slow action on the feet to start the fight, Palmer got the fight to the floor with a takedown,” according to MMAJunkie.com. “The Team Alpha Male fighter quickly looked to lock in an arm-triangle choke but Horodecki avoided the submission and got back to his feet. Unfortunately for Horodecki, Palmer wasn’t done looking to put him on the ground and take his neck. Palmer scored with another takedown, this time working to the back before dropping punches to the side of the head of the flattened-out Horodecki. Palmer went to finish with a rear naked choke, couldn’t get his arm under the chin so settled for attempting to crush the face and jaw of his foe. Horodecki couldn’t stand the painful hold and was forced to tap out.”
Palmer, who launched his pro MMA career almost exactly four years ago, didn’t provide a detailed analysis of his successful title defense, nor did the former Ohio State wrestler brag about his accomplishments on his Facebook page. Rather, he posted a simple message of appreciation: “Thank you all for your support. This wouldn’t be possible without my team, family, friends and fans. #ANDSTILL”
A native of Lakewood, Ohio, Palmer was a four-time Ohio state champ for St. Edward High School in suburban Cleveland. He then headed south to Ohio State, where he was only the second four-time NCAA All-American for the Buckeyes, joining two-time NCAA heavyweight champ Tommy Rowlands (2001-04). As a senior, Palmer won the 149-pound title at the 2010 Big Ten conference championships; two weeks later, he was a finalist at the 2010 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships, losing to Big Ten rival Brent Metcalf in the finals.