By all accounts, former K1 star and current World Series of Fighting President Ray Sefo is an incredibly likable, humble, and charismatic guy — a guy who understands and tends to the needs of fighters competing in his promotion because he once was (and still is to some degree) a fighter himself. His nuanced attitude towards fighters and the sport in general has undoubtedly been one of the driving forces behind WSOF’s success, however, when he announced that he would be competing on his own promotion’s fourth card in August, it made anything but good business sense.
Yes, Sefo told The MMA Hour just moments ago that he would be setting aside his presidential duties for fifteen minutes on August 10th. If Luke Thomas’ theory holds any water, Sefo will likely compete against either Dave Huckaba or Rolles Gracie, who were scheduled to meet at the upcoming WSOF 3 before Gracie went down with an injury.
From almost every conceivable angle, this seems like a terrible idea. Setting aside the obvious conflict of interest that comes into play here, it’s just a plain bad idea from the standpoint of Ray Sefo, the fighter, who was tapped out in just over a minute by Valentijn “You hit, I fall” Overeem in his last MMA contest at Strikeforce: Fedor vs. Silva. As any magic 8-ball will tell you, challenging a Gracie after being submitted by an Overeem results in an “outlook not so good.”
Sure, Affliction VP Tom Attencio pulled a similar switcheroo back in 2009, but his fight took place under an entirely different promotion. Can you imagine what either Huckaba or Gracie (if they are in fact deemed Sefo’s next opponent) will be thinking heading into a fight with the man who signs their paychecks? If they straight up embarrass the guy, it could possibly be reflected in their future with the promotion, whether transparently or not. And if they treat the fight like Pat Barry treated his fight with Mirko Cro Cop, the results will be skewed and pretty much render the whole fight pointless to begin with.
Sure, everyone probably wants to take a swing at their boss from time to time, but turning that fantasy into a reality is…shit, I just gave Mayhem Miller his next reality show hosting gig. I’ll see myself out…