Shalorus starts WEC 53 main card with decision win

Kamal Shalorus kicked off the main card of the last-ever WEC event with a split decision win over Bart Palaszewski. The judges saw it 30-27, 28-29 and 29-28 for Shalorus, who is 7-0-2. Palaszewski falls to 35-14.

Shalorus used his wrestling right away, taking Palaszewski down in the first round. He followed up with punishing body shots. He landed shots from standing and from the ground. Palaszewski returned to his feet in final minute, but Shalorus took advantage of the standing position and battered Palaszewski's legs.

The second round featured plenty of stand-up action. Shalorus, an international-level wrestler, preferred to stay on his feet and strike with Palaszewski. Shalorus did take the fight to the ground near the end of the round, but when Palaszewski got back to his feet, he gestured for Shalorus to bring it on.

Palaszewski used knees to try to hold off a Shalorus takedown in the final round, but Shalorus finally was able to bring the fight to the ground about halfway through the round. Palaszewski got back to his feet in the final minute and finished strong with myriad strikes. He landed a knee that appeared to rock a tired Shalorus, but he couldn't finish him off.

"I put all my strength to finish him. I made a mistake and slowed down in the first round," Shalorus said after the fight.

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