In case you haven’t noticed, we’ve been all about the inaugural World Series of Fighting event around here lately. We’ve snagged interviews with former UFC welterweight Josh Burkman, who is taking on fellow UFC vet Gerald Harris on the undercard, and world renowned badass/WSOF President Ray Sefo. In the meantime, we’ve been doing our best to undermine the legitimacy of the UFC, in turn allowing the WSOF to rise to MMA supremacy and grant us exclusive press passes for all future events.
And regardless of whether or not our preposterous pipe dream ever becomes a reality, we will be tuning in on Saturday to catch all the action. Sherdog will be hosting a live stream of the undercard starting at 8 pm. EST and the NBC Sports Network will be picking up the main card at 10 p.m. EST, so none of you should really have any excuse to miss this. On the off chance you still do, however, here are five of our attempts to convince you otherwise.
1. Shit is Stacked
At first glance, the above event poster looks like some kind of sick joke. You’ve got three UFC veterans — two of which are former UFC/WEC champions — in Andrei Arlovski, Miguel Torres, and Anthony Johnson, taking on three completely unknowns in Cole, Moraes, and Linderman. On the other hand, squash matches are the new black, so if it’s good enough for the UFC, why not WSOF? Besides the fact that the main card pairings are all but guaranteed to end in vicious fashion because of their experience discrepancies, just look at the rest of that card. You’ve got Tyrone Spong‘s MMA debut, a Gracie in action, and more big promotion veterans than you could shake a stick at. For Christ’s sake, the WSOF undercard has more recognizable names on it than most UFC undercards these days, and the fact that not one of the fights has been cancelled or even changed due to injury should be reason enough to tune in.
2. Tyrone Spong Goes MMA
As we just mentioned, Tyrone Spong will be making his MMA debut this Saturday against the 7-2 Travis Bartlett. You should be excited about this because Tyrone Spong is one bad motherfucker. Don’t believe us? Just check this out:
Spong’s kickboxing record currently stands at 68-6 (42 KO’s), with vicories over Ray Sefo, Alistair Overeem, and Melvin Manhoef, and he retired kickboxing legend Peter Aerts in his last fight. So yeah, dude can fight. And on Saturday night, we’ll get to see just how well The Blackzilians have been able to round off the rest of his MMA game. If he has truly been able to develop his grappling and ground game, we could be looking at a future heavyweight champion here, people.
3. Anthony Johnson: LHW Wrecking Machine
Despite his past troubles with the scale, there is little denying that when “Rumble” shows up to fight, he does so with the intent of brutalizing his opponent as much as humanely possible (Dan Hardy notwithstanding). You can argue that R.A. the Rugged Man was talking about Vietnam all you want, but we stand by our belief that he was describing an Anthony Johnson fight when he wrote “Body parts flying, loss of limbs, explosions, bad intentions” on the Jedi Mind Tricks track “Uncommon Valor.” And now that Johnson has finally settled down in a weight class he can actually compete in, a big win over Bellator veteran D.J. Linderman could easily earn him another shot in the UFC, who are apparently completely absent of actual 205 lb. contenders at the moment. If not, we will get to see either a brilliant knockout or a tremendous upset at the minimum, so everybody wins.
4. Sink or Swim
Since the boom of the sport, we’ve seen hundreds of MMA promotions spring up across the country, only to fold just as quickly. The fact that World Series of Fighting has a fighter at the helm in Ray Sefo is a good indicator, but you should tune in on Saturday out of pure curiosity. Will WSOF go the way of OneFC, featuring an emphasis on local talent and quality matchups, or will it go the route of Super Fight League, wherein lavish productions and fancy entrances take precedence over the actual quality of the fights? Or even worse, will they go down the path of Affliction and literally spend themselves dry in a matter of months?
Since the UFC is dead set on absorbing any promotion that may pose a threat then leaving them to slowly decay, World Series of Fighting could provide a much needed fix for MMA fans in between UFC cards with the help of Bellator and InvictaFC, so let’s hope they’ve got a solid head on their shoulders heading into this expedition.
5. Did We Mention This Card is Stacked?
Seriously, you guys, this may be the most stacked card outside of the UFC that we have seen in years. Ronnys Torres vs. Brian Cobb has the potential for FOTN written all over it, as does the Cavalcante/O’Brien matchup. And to kick off the night, we’ve got the supremely overlooked Waylon Lowe — who, like Harris, was released after just one appearance in the UFC — taking on Fabio Mello, who has scored seven straight victories including two under the Bellator banner. Are we making the same point twice? Yes. Deal with it. This card is freaking stacked. Okay, three times.