(Anthony Johnson, back in his “How in the actual f*ck does that guy make 170??” days.)
After going 3-0 as light-heavyweight last year — with no weigh-in mishaps whatsoever — ever-expanding slugger Anthony Johnson is making his next jump up the scale. As first reported by MMA Junkie, the former UFC welterweight contender is slated to face former UFC champ Andrei Arlovski at heavyweight in the main event of World Series of Fighting 2, which goes down Saturday, March 23rd, at Revel Resorts & Casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey.
Both men scored easy first-round knockouts at WSOF’s debut event in November, so hell, why not make ‘em fight each other? Though “Rumble” won’t have a size-advantage to rely on this time, his powerful fists could spell doom for Arlovski’s fuzzy chin.
But that’s not even the biggest WSOF-related news we have to share. According to a press release distributed today, WSOF 2 will mark the first live event in a new three-year broadcast partnership with NBC Sports Network, which previously aired the promotion’s first card. Here’s the important stuff:
The agreement calls for a minimum of six live events annually on the national television platform that reaches over 80 million homes. Additionally, later this year, NBCSports.com will live stream World Series of Fighting events via TV Everywhere.
“We are thrilled to call NBC Sports Network the home of World Series of Fighting,” said World Series of Fighting President and six-time world kickboxing champion, Ray Sefo. “This partnership will allow us to build the World Series of Fighting brand of world-class MMA competition before a dedicated national audience of passionate sports fans and place our athletes on the big stage that they deserve.”
Six events a year on cable TV? Just like that, World Series of Fighting has already become the #3 MMA promotion in the U.S. Their primary challenge now is to build up their roster so that not every main event is a moneyweight freak-show. (Not that we’re complaining.) To that end, WSOF has been busy behind the scenes in recent months, signing guys like Paulo Filho and Dany Lauzon. Can they make a dent in an already crowded market?