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Tag: World Series of Fighting

Rousimar Palhares Is World Series of Fighting’s Problem Now


(Palhares would later describe this moment as “the first time I’ve ever been on an airplane.” / Props: @ToquinhoMMA)

When it comes to picking up the UFC’s leftovers, World Series of Fighting and Bellator have displayed two very different approaches. While Bellator tends to sign the most washed-up UFC castoffs in order to make their home-grown fighters look impressive when they beat the UFC guys (or to create negative buzz around a surely-doomed PPV), World Series of Fighting tries to pick up the best UFC castoffs available, in the hopes that fighters like Anthony Johnson, Miguel Torres, Jon Fitch, and Yushin Okami are famous enough to draw fans on their own. Bellator would rather avoid having champions who weren’t good enough to keep their jobs with Zuffa. For World Series of Fighting, having a UFC veteran win a belt is the kind of promotional hook they’ve been working towards all along.

I mention all of that to help explain why World Series of Fighting has just signed Rousimar Palhares to a multi-fight contract. Yes, he’s been bounced out of the UFC for causing undue injury to his opponents, and any organization that signs him isn’t doing the sport any favors. On the other hand, Palhares is incredibly talented, a ferocious fight-finisher, a consistent generator of controversy and awesome GIFs — the kind of athlete that any B-level MMA league (besides Bellator) would kill to get their hands on.

Palhares is expected to make his WSOF debut in March, against an opponent to be named later. Jon Fitch has already pre-emptively turned down the fight, but matching Toquinho up against another American wrestler is a possibility. As MMAJunkie reports:

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Anthony “Rumble” Johnson vs. Mike Kyle Is Simply Never Going to Happen


(Ian McCall’s broken hand is laughing at you right now, Mike.)

In the very brief history of The World Series of Fighting, Anthony Johnson vs. Mike Kyle has been booked on two separate occasions yet has never come to fruition. It probably never will.

The pair was first scheduled to collide in the main event of WSOF 5 last September, until “Rumble” was forced to pull out from the bout with an injury and replaced by Andrei Arlovski (who eventually defeated Kyle via unanimous decision). The pair was then rescheduled to throw down in the main event of WSOF 7 on December 7th. A press release sent out earlier this morning, however, informs us that the fight has once again been scrapped. Did I mention that it will likely never happen ever?

“I’m as disappointed as anyone that we’re forced to cancel this fight, but Mike just could not compete with his broken toe, and we simply could not find a suitable opponent for Anthony on such short notice,” World Series of Fighting President Ray Sefo said.

“That said, we are fortunate that we still have a fantastic championship matchup between Georgi Karakhanyan and Lance Palmer that will now serve as our main event, and I think fans are still going to enjoy an incredible fight card.”

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WSOF 6 Recap: Almost All of the Guys You’ve Heard of Lost


(Jon Fitch grimaces at his first taste of New York weather / Via Getty)

Bellator is where the bad UFC castoffs go and, from what we’ve seen so far, World Series of Fighting is where the good UFC castoffs go—the ones who shouldn’t have been fired because they were legitimately talented or were in the UFC’s own top-10 rankings when they were let go.

But at WSOF 6, the tried and true formula of putting ex-UFC fighters with name value against fighters without Wikipedia pages failed. Nearly all the fighters that you’re reading this recap for lost.

Jacob Volkmann? He lost a unanimous decision to Pride vet Luiz Firmino. Maybe Volkmann’s head wasn’t in the game because Obamacare passed or something.

Miguel Torres lost too, sadly. The unheralded Pablo Alfonso dispatched the former WEC champ in the first round. He rocked Torres with punches which ultimately set up a guillotine choke finish at 3:05. Torres was once 37-1. Now he’s 40-7 and just lost decisively to a no-name (who’s record was 7-5 heading into the fight) on the prelims of a minor league show. Can it get much worse? Torres doesn’t have a comeback in him. And at age 32, the problem is both the years and the mileage. If Torres doesn’t retire, he might be in for a rough, Jens Pulver-like future.

Remember Joe Lauzon‘s younger brother Dan who was in the UFC back in 2006 at the young age of 18, losing to Spencer Fisher? Remember when he returned in 2010 and lost to both Cole Miller and Efrain Escudero. After the two failed stints in the UFC, Lauzon won five fights in a row on the regional scene. His luck didn’t continue at WSOF 6. The man with the hardest to pronounce last name in MMA, Justin Gaethje, cut Lauzon’s legs out from under him throughout the first round. In the second round, Lauzon was slow and immobile enough for Gaethje to capitalize on it with a right hook and an uppercut which put Lauzon’s lights out.

Find out what happened to Jon Fitch and Josh Burkman, as well as the complete results of the card after the jump.

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Nick Newell (!) vs. Sabah Fadai (??) Booked for World Series of Fighting 7, Dec. 7th in Vancouver


(Newell takes the Black Assassin for a ride at WSOF 4. / Photo via Sherdog)

Undefeated lightweight and all-around good guy Nick Newell (10-0, nine wins by first-round stoppage) has booked his next assignment in World Series of Fighting, following his successful debut against Keon Caldwell in August. The promotion has confirmed that Newell will face 7-2 MFC veteran Sabah “The Persian Warrior” Fadai at WSOF 7, December 7th at the PNE Agrodome in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

Sabah Fadai is a 28-year-old B.C. native who hasn’t competed since a first-round triangle-choke victory against Cody Krahn at MFC 35 in October 2012. Fadai’s two fights before that resulted in a no-contest (after Fadai illegally kneed Diego Bautista at MFC 33) and a decision loss to Mukai Maromo at MFC 31. Though all of Fadai’s wins have come by stoppage, he’s only been victorious once in the last three years.

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Yushin Okami Signs With WSOF, Will Hopefully Have a Better Debut Than Jon Fitch


(Oh, so *this* is the “wouldn’t get up from butt scoot” guy? Photo via Esther Lin/MMAFighting.)

When looking back at the past few years of their respective careers, it’s hard not to draw a comparison between Yushin Okami and Jon Fitch. We’re guilty of it. Hell, pretty much every MMA site out there is guilty of making the somewhat obvious comparison, and it’s pretty easy to see why. Both guys were perennial UFC contenders (or so we thought) who were ranked in the top 10 of their promotion’s horribly preferential ranking system at the time of their release. Both guys also possess a style that is oft described as “grinding” or “taxing” or “like watching 2001: A Space Odyssey at half speed while on Ketamine.”

Simply put, Okami and Fitch share a lot of common ground. That their similarities is a subject that has been elaborated upon more than that one time Court McGee overdosed on heroin is as frustrating as watching the majority of their fights, but I digress. Of course, it won’t help matters that Okami decided to up and sign with World Series of Fighting over the weekend like Fitch before him. Let’s hope his promotional debut — which is set for “around March” – goes a little better than Fitch’s.

In an exclusive interview with CagePotato.com, Okami elatedly spoke on his new home in the WSOF and new beginnings in general, as well as the emotional toll his UFC release had on his physical well-being:

Yes. Hello. Yushin Okami. Thank you. Yes. World Series of Fighting. Hello. Thank You. Yushin Okami. 

Good to be back, Nation! (*hums Kazoo and hitch kicks off stage*)

-J. Jones

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Hot Potato: WSOF Ring Girl Kat Kelley Gets Intimate for ‘Me in My Place’


(Photo by Me In My Place for Playboy)

Though MeInMyPlace.com is best known for photographing the “authentic beauty of every day women*,” the site occasionally does shoots of ladies who you’ve definitely seen before. Their latest semi-famous subject is Kat Kelley, the heart-attack inducing World Series of Fighting ring girl who we’ve previously featured here.

Me In My Place shot Kat for a non-nude feature in the latest issue of Playboy, and posted the complete set of images on their subscription-only MIMP app. But because we’re so special, MIMP has given CagePotato ten photos from the Kat shoot to share with you, the red-faced and wheezing Potato Nation.

Check out more amazing Kat Kelley photos after the jump (click all images to enlarge), and subscribe to the MIMP Premium App right here. I’m just saying…it’s only a buck and change per month, and you’ll get to see girls like this completely naked. Do the right thing, okay?

* Translation: Thick white chicks.

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UFC Vet Mike Russow Signs With World Series of Fighting, Will Make Debut Next Year


(Is the WSOF ready for this jelly? / Photo via Getty)

Despite kicking off his UFC career with four consecutive wins — including a heroic comeback knockout against Todd Duffee in May 2010 — Chicago-based heavyweight Mike Russow was swiftly given his walking papers earlier this year after suffering back-to-back TKO losses against Fabricio Werdum and Shawn Jordan. The 37-year-old has kept a very low profile since then, but it looks like he’ll be re-emerging under the World Series of Fighting banner against an opponent to be named later. (Yes, World Series of Fighting, not Bellator. We’re just as surprised as you are.)

MMAJunkie reported the news over the weekend, adding that Russow will likely make his promotional debut early next year, and will join a still-developing WSOF heavyweight division that’s been dominated by ex-UFC champ Andrei Arlovski and perennial whateverweight champ Anthony Johnson, and also includes fighters like Derrick Mehmen, Devin Cole, and Dave Huckaba.

Russow’s decision to keep his job as a Chicago police officer has slowed his progress in MMA over the years — he’s only competed six times since 2009 — but occasional gigs in World Series of Fighting could be a good fit for this stage of his career. We’ll keep you posted when details of his WSOF debut are officially announced.

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Jon Fitch to Return Against Marcelo Alfaya at WSOF 6, October 26th in Coral Gables


(Photo via Dave Mandel/Sherdog)

Jon Fitch‘s World Series of Fighting debut was supposed to be a cakewalk. The welterweight veteran was more than a 3-1 favorite against UFC washout Josh Burkman, who Fitch had already submitted in 2006. But when the two fighters met up again in the WSOF 3 main event in June, the narrative quickly changed. Fitch was choked unconscious in just 41 seconds — well done, Steve — and Burkman’s career-comeback was now undeniable.

And while the People’s Warrior is currently slated to fight for the inaugural World Series of Fighting 170-pound title against Steve Carl at WSOF 6 (October 26th; BankUnited Center, Coral Gables, Florida), Fitch is once again in a precarious position, fighting just to remain relevant. MMAFighting has confirmed that Fitch will also be competing on the 10/26 card, against American Top Team/Team Nogueira product Marcelo “Grilo” Alfaya (15-6, 1 NC).

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Following WSOF 5 Debacle, Elvis Mutapcic Plans to Sue NJ Athletic Commission ‘For Everything They’ve Got’


(A photo of the mini-pharmacy in question, via MMAMania)

On Saturday evening, World Series of Fighting 5 main card fighter Elvis Mutapcic was pulled from his scheduled bout against Jesse Taylor at the last minute, allegedly for taking a medication before the fight that wasn’t approved in advance. Though a pill-bottle containing several different unapproved medications was retrieved from the middleweight’s warm-up area by New Jersey State Athletic Control Board inspectors, Mutapcic denied taking any of the meds, claiming that the commission inspector who originally reported it might have mistaken him for his manager — who is on medication for a heart condition.

According to MMAJunkie, Mutapcic immediately asked the NJSACB to give him a drug test to prove that he didn’t have any unapproved PEDs, painkillers, or other drugs of abuse in his system, but the commission refused his request. And so, Mutapcic went straight to a local hospital to get a drug test taken on his own. The results came back negative. According to Mutapcic:

I was told it wouldn’t be a bad idea going to get a drug test after we left here, and even before the co-main event started we were on our way to the emergency room to get another drug test and prove I didn’t take anything. I plan on suing the New Jersey athletic commission for everything they’ve got.

Right after they told us we couldn’t fight, I said I’d take another drug test from (the commission). And they said, ‘Oh, we don’t have any drug tests, but we won’t suspend you.’ So I wanted to go out of my way to clear my name and prove I never took anything. I’m a hard-working fighter who works his ass off, and I don’t want to be discredited.”

The New Jersey athletic commission stands by their decision to pull the fight; whether or not Mutapcic took the illegal meds, their presence backstage was a violation of the rules. Mutapcic understands this, but he’s still pissed:

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Interview: Back in the Spotlight, Andrei Arlovski Won’t Stop Until He’s Champion Again


(“It’s a trap when you’re on top of the world. When I was champion, I had people who would go out with me every day of the week. After I had two, three losses, people disappeared.” / Photo via Sherdog)

By Brian J. D’Souza

This Saturday, former UFC heavyweight champion Andrei Arlovski will make his third appearance under the World Series of Fighting banner when he faces off against briefly-retired UFC/Strikeforce veteran Mike Kyle in the main event of WSOF 5. Arlovski is actually coming in as an injury replacement for Anthony Johnson — the man who broke his jaw (and his four-fight win streak) at WSOF 2 in March.

As he prepares to bounce back into the win column, the Pitbull took some time to speak with us about this weekend’s fight, as well as the highs and lows of a memorable career. Enjoy…

CagePotato.com: What do you think about Mike Kyle as an opponent?
Andrei Arlovski: He’s very quick. Has quick hands. Very quick jab, good right hand. I just have to be ready for his speed. That’s why I train a lot right now with Jon Jones — he’s my main sparring partner. We try to help each other. He’s a hard worker, he’s a good striker, so it’s good to work with him.

CP: Your last fight against Anthony Johnson was a painful one.
AA: Yes, my jaw was broken in the fight. The referee didn’t watch the time [letting the fight continue eight seconds past the five-minute first round] and Johnson broke my jaw in two places. Every punch in my face after that gave me that feeling of putting electricity in my body. Of course, I’m not happy that I lost, but I’m very happy that I shut all the fucking mouths who said I have a weak chin. I was able to fight two more rounds with a broken jaw.

CP: How big of a problem is bad officiating, bad time-keeping, and bad refereeing in MMA?
AA:
To be honest with you, I can’t make any comments right now. Maybe later. I’m sorry. I just hope this time, the referee is going to be more professional.

CP: You’ve made an impressive career comeback after losing four straight fights in 2009-2011. How tough was that losing streak for you mentally?
AA:
 It was really tough mentally, it was really tough physically. I was asking myself, “What’s wrong? Every time, I do everything right.” I train right, I was on a schedule. You know what my old trainer told me? He said “You need to retire.”

I just gave a call to Greg Jackson, I said “Listen, should I retire or not?” He said, “Absolutely not! Just come to my camp and we’ll start over again.” Greg Jackson supported me a lot, he gave me hope.

I told [Greg] face to face, “I don’t need any favors from you. Do you think I can be champion again?” He said, “Yes.” “Do you think I have potential?” he said, “Yes.” And hearing that was enough for me.

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