(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.
“I thought about that fight too, I’d take it if they offered it to me. I was actually thinking about it today. I was thinking about it today whenever I watched the fights, I watched the whole card today, and I was like it would be crazy if I got to fight Andrei Arlovski…If it happened, I would accept it. Andrei’s a great athlete. I remember when he won the title, I remember when he lost the title, I’ve followed his career. He’s a great fighter, a real athlete, a real fighter too, so it would be an honor to fight him. If it happens it happens, if it doesn’t it doesn’t. That’s just something that popped in my head this morning, what if it did happen? That would be crazy.”
That would indeed be crazy — especially considering that AJ was competing successfully at 170 pounds as recently as October 2011. Then again, their size difference isn’t much of a difference at all. Arlovski was also victorious in his World Series of Fighting appearance, TKO’ing Devin Cole in the first round of the show’s main event. Arlovski has now gone four fights without suffering a scaryconcussion, which is as impressive an accomplishment as anything else that happened this weekend. Check out the Arlovski vs. Cole fight after the jump, and tell us who you think would win the hypothetical moneyweight matchup between Rumble and the Pitbull.
“My management paid HOW MANY Pitbull bucks for this song?! Paulo Filho won’t be impressed.”
The Nevada State Athletic Commission has released fighter salaries for the inaugural World Series of Fighting event, held last Saturday night in Las Vegas. Former UFC heavyweight champion Andrei Arlovski made the most money that evening, bringing home $60,000 for crushing Devin Cole in the main event. While we’re all glad to see Arlovski get paid, hopefully he spends some money on better entrance music; having some rapper bark your name is something that an amateur on the undercard of a local show would do to get people to notice him (assuming none of his friends knew how to shave stars into his hair, of course), not something a former UFC champion should do to keep people interested in his career. Just saying, it was pretty cheesy.
Taking home the second-largest purse of the evening was Anthony “Rumble” Johnson, who earned $55,000 for his highlight reel knockout against D.J. Linderman. Since moving up to a weight class that he should reasonably be fighting at, Anthony Johnson has looked pretty impressive. It’s a shame that he sacrificed so much of his career – not to even mention his health – cutting to welterweight, but at twenty-eight years old it’s by no means over for the UFC veteran.
Keep in mind that none of these salaries include any undisclosed bonuses or end of the night bonuses that World Series of Fighting may have given out. Also, even though this promotion is riding a lot of hype and had recognizable talent throughout the card, keep in mind that WSoF is a brand new promotion that just put on its first event. Basically, no one made Anderson Silva money, is what I’m trying to say:
The World Series of Fighting held their first event at the Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas, NV. Although the main card appeared to be stuffed with squash matches, it was a pretty good night of fights and I was there to get a good gauge on the atmosphere and if WSoF could become a player in the MMA world that Dana White rules with an iron fist.
First things first, it wasn’t the sellout they promised as word is that they only sold 1500 tickets and comped double that to ensure a nice fight atmosphere. Nevertheless, it was a good evening of fights that the crowd was receptive to. Oh yeah, ring girls. Lots of ring girls. They were like a platoon that switched in and out. I didn’t know ring girls needed breaks but whatever. It’s enough variety to keep fans engaged between rounds. I mean, Brittany Palmer and Arianny Celeste are great but six beats two every single gotdamn time. Right? But I digress…
Media sat on a stage that put us eye level with the cage and we could damn near touch it (or slap a cameraman) if we tried hard enough. We could actually feel some of the punches landed. Pretty good stuff. Oh yeah, and there were fights.
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?
And to give viewers a reason to tune in, the WSOF has been hard at work snatching up as many big name ex-UFC fighters as possible, and putting them in surprisingly competitive fights. Here’s a little taste of what the matchmakers have planned for World Series of Fighting 1…
- Anthony Johnson, now 2-0 as a light-heavyweight, will look to make it three in a row against 14-3 moneyweight DJ Linderman, who holds the Cage Warriors heavyweight title and was a semi-finalist in Bellator’s season 4 light-heavyweight tournament last year.
Kevin James has been one of the UFC’s most visible celebrity fans, and he clearly called in a few favors for his upcoming MMA comedy, Here Comes the Boom. The movie centers on a 40-something science teacher who turns to cage-fighting to raise money for his school, and features our hero Bas Rutten in a supporting role, as well as cameos from Jason Miller, Krzysztof Soszynski, Joe Rogan, and Bruce Buffer. With Boom slated to hit theaters on October 12th, we decided to round up a bunch of our favorite MMA fighter movie cameos. And as you’ll see, they’re usually not hired for their acting ability…
You know, it’s nice to see women entering the world of underground illegal fighting rings. Before she was Mallory Kane, Gina Carano got her feet wet in the movie business as a badass female street-fighter. Later, she asks Michael Jai White to call her, maybe.
Last Friday we (and the rest of the known cyber MMA world) complained about Singapore MMA promotion One FC botching an otherwise solid event in the Philippines with convoluted rules relating to kicks to the heads of downed opponents. Referees somehow had to give fighters “permission” in the moment to throw kicks to the heads of their fallen opponents.
Hmm…do we count Tim Sylvia’s weight as a high or a low?
If you didn’t get to catch One FC’s fifth event yesterday, you more than likely are under the impression that it was an event crushed by its completely preposterous stance on soccer kicks. While the soccer kick fiasco brought the sort-of anticipated fourth bout between Tim Sylvia and Andrei Arlovski to new heights of freak show ridiculousness, the show gave fans plenty of reasons to cheer and a few things to jeer as well. With videos beginning to surface from yesterday’s bouts, and no other televised MMA to look forward to tonight, let’s take some time to re-watch some of the better fights.
Unfortunately, the best fight from yesterday’s card – a lightweight slugfest between Eduard Folayang and Felipe Enomoto – isn’t available as of now. We’ll keep you posted if a video surfaces, but if one doesn’t, you’ll only have to wait until October 6 to see Folayang battle Zorobabel Moreira for the promotion’s lightweight title. Videos from the rest of the card available after the jump.