(“Why yes, I did smell what The Rock was cooking. In fact, I went back for seconds. Why do you ask?”)
“Anthony Johnson is trying to shed the tarnish of being one of the best welterweights in the world…that couldn’t make the weight.”
In the opening moments of the extended preview for this weekend’s second World Series of Fighting event, we are informed of the above dilemma facing former UFC contender Anthony Johnson by a silky-voiced narrator — over a melancholic piano soundtrack of course, because emotions. And while this bit of info would usually serve as the precursor to an inspiring tale of Johnson’s welterweight redemption, it kind of loses its pop when you realize that Johnson is now fighting at upwards of 50 pounds heavier than he was in the UFC.
But it is Johnson’s horizontal expansion that takes center stage in the above preview, understandably yet somewhat still puzzlingly juxtaposed with Andrei Arlovski’s own tale of hopeful redemption. It’s a shame that Dana White has already publicly written off the fight as “not legit,” or the (implied) idea that we could see “The Pitbull” back in the UFC would probably hold a lot more water in the above preview. Ditto for the idea that Arlovski could do so by beating up a former welterweight who has been fighting at light heavyweight for less than a year now. Then again, if you’re like Sherdog’s Jordan Breen, who is also featured in the video, you probably think “weight classes” and “champions” of said “weight classes” are meaningless restrictions meant for little more than depriving MMA fans for the fights they truly want to see (SUPER HLUK TOURNEY NEVER DIE!).
Featuring some highlights of Johnson and Arlovski crushing their respective cans at WSoF 1, as well as the aforementioned interviews with everyone from Eddie Alvarez to renowned trainer Mike Winkeljohn, check out an extended preview of WSoF 2 after the jump, along with a full rundown of the card.
(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 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.
I have nothing witty to say here – I’m just still not over the fact that the bulkiest guy in this picture once thought he was a welterweight.
Only one month removed from his official light-heavyweight debut, Anthony Johnson returned to action in the main event of last night’s Xtreme Fight Night 9 against fellow UFC washout Jake Rosholt. It’s always a risky move to book more than one fight at a time, but in Johnson’s case, the abundant optimism wasn’t without its merits, as he shut out Rosholt’s lights with a head kick in the second round. Before you inevitably ask, no, Rumble did not miss weight, either.
The fight was reasonably close in the first round, but after an accidental eye-poke from Rosholt, Johnson went straight into beast mode. Jake Rosholt had no answers for Anthony Johnson’s aggressive striking, and was such a bloody mess by the end of the fight that the referee almost called the bout before the head kick. Perhaps the most interesting part of this fight was the fact that Johnson was able to take the three-time NCAA Division One Champion down; not exactly an easy task.
You may have heard that former UFC weigh-in specialistAnthony “Rumble” Johnson was set to make his debut at “RumbleWeight” last night at Titan Fighting Championship (TFC) 24 in Kansas City, Kansas. Well, he did. The former welterweight Johnson made the 205lb light heavyweight and battered Esteves Jones until he secured a 2nd round stoppage in the TFC main event.
But we were more interested in seeing how submission grappling and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu world champion Braulio Estima would do in his MMA debut, anyway – especially after Renzo Gracie told this writer yesterday when he visited him to tape an episode of the soon-coming podcast, The Conversation, that Estima had dropped over twenty pounds to make welterweight and then put it all back on for the fight. Renzo said that it was the first time Estima had ever made such a weight cut.
Estima is the reigning top dog in submission grappling and could conceivably stay that way for a long time. Instead, he decided to test the waters in mixed martial arts.
His first test was Chris Holland, a fighter who went into the contest with eight pro fights to Estima’s none. In the end, Estima’s lifetime of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu prevailed as he put Holland to sleep with an arm triangle choke.