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Tag: World Series of Fighting

“Rumble” Out, Arlovski in Against Mike Kyle at WSOF 5 Main Event


(We know we’ve beaten this horse to death, but the guy on the left USED TO FIGHT AT F*CKING WELTERWEIGHT.)

Some mixed news out of the World Series of Fighting, as news broke yesterday that Anthony “Rumble” Johnson, who was slated to brutally KO the recently un-retired Mike Kyle at WSOF 5 in September, has been forced to pull out from the headlining fight. Although Johnson’s camp is citing a “training injury” as the reason for his withdrawal, our inside sources tell us that Rumble actually suffered an “empathy implosion” of his ACL while watching the Korean Zombie/Jose Aldo fight car wreck last weekend. Just when you thought you’ve heard it all.

Thankfully, the man stepping up on short notice to take Rumble’s place will be none other than the last man to be defeated by him, former UFC heavyweight champion Andrei Arlovski. “The Pit Bull” has not fought since his aforementioned loss at WSOF 2, where he dropped a unanimous decision to Johnson in an entertaining slugfest.

While we imagine that Kyle is probably elated to learn that he is now fighting a guy he stands a decent chance of actually knocking out, expect him to be a huge underdog heading into this one nonetheless. Minus his setback at the hands of Johnson, Arlovski has gone 4-0 with 1 NC since exiting Strikeforce back in 2011 (well, 5-0 if you also happen to think that ONE FC’s stance on soccer kicks is f*cking ridiculous). Kyle, on the other hand, recently scored a quick KO over Travis Wiuff in his comeback bout last May.

Anybody liking “MAK” for the upset here?

-J. Jones

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WSOF Check-In: Lightweight Tournament Announced, Newell & Spong Prepare for Fights This Saturday


(Learn more about lightweight rising star Nick Newell and the challenges he’s overcome | Video via MMA World Series Youtube page)

We’ve been following lightweight prospect Nick Newell’s unlikely and inspiring career for some time now here at CagePotato, and this Saturday he makes his next big move at the World Series of Fighting 4 event in Ontario, California. Newell will face TUF veteran Keon Caldwell.

Even though Newell hasn’t yet won his WSOF debut, the promotion announced that a win over Caldwell would earn Newell a spot in its upcoming lightweight tournament, which will crown the promotion’s inaugural 155-pound champion. If Newell does indeed enter that tournament, he’ll have a chance to prove once and for all that he’s truly a UFC-caliber fighter.

Why, you ask? Well, simply because the tournament is stacked with top international lightweights including a number of UFC veterans. Dan Lauzon will be in the tournament, as will the winner of an excellent WSOF 4 match up between Tyson Griffin and Gesias Calvacante.

Of course, all this doesn’t sit so well with Keon Caldwell’s camp, who tell MMA Junkie that they are worried of unfair treatment from the WSOF. While Newell has been publicly guaranteed a spot in the lightweight tournament if he’s victorious this weekend, Caldwell has been given no such offer. (“I just think they’re on the Nick Newell hype train,” said Caldwell’s trainer Richard Cox.)

Also fighting this Saturday will be kickboxing star Tyrone Spong, who will be headlining WSOF 4 against California-bred knockout artist Angel DeAnda. It will be Spong’s second World Series of Fighting appearance following his beat-down of Travis Bartlett in November. You can check out a lil’ video of Spong hitting people and acting cocky after the jump. Above, you can enjoy a mini documentary show on Newell’s life that takes you inside his camp, family, and home.

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WSOF’s Next Main Event Dares Ask: “Hey, Anyone Wanna See Rumble Johnson KO Another Guy?”


(Our answer? HELL TO THE YES.) 

Look, we know the idea of paying to see Ricardo Mayorga get in a sanctioned Nicaraguan street fight might be asking a little much, even for such seasoned freak show aficionados as yourselves. Thankfully, World Series of Fighting recently announced a slightly less freakish but equally confuddling headliner for their next event, and you don’t even have to pay for this one!

On the heels of a unanimous decision victory over Andrei Arlovski at heavyweight in the promotion’s second event, Anthony “Rumble” Johnson will find himself back at light heavyweight when he squares off against Mike “MAK” Kyle at WSOF 5 on September 14th in New Jersey. The over-under on how long this thing lasts is currently set at 24 seconds.

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Nick Newell Draws Keon Caldwell for August 10th WSOF Debut


(From left to right: Newell, and a Google Image Search result for “Black Assassin.” See, now *that* would be a competitive fight. / Nick photo courtesy of WSOF via MMAWeekly)

Looks like the World Series of Fighting (WSOF) is serious about grooming and spotlighting recent signee Nick Newell. The lightweight prospect has been matched up with former Ultimate Fighter Season 13 competitor Keon “The Black Assassin” Caldwell at WSOF 4: Spong vs. DeAnda, August 10th at the Citizens Business Bank Arena in Ontario, California.

If you remember Keon Caldwell at all, it’s probably not in a good way. He’s the guy who voluntarily left TUF 13 shortly after arriving, a decision we thought was career suicide at the time. Caldwell has only competed once since then, scoring a TKO win over Jonathan Baldree, in July 2011. Caldwell has a 9-1 record overall, but most of his wins have come over fighters with losing records, and again, he hasn’t fought in nearly two years. Yikes. Our condolences go out to Caldwell’s family.

The undefeated Newell has yet to fight in 2013 but is coming off two straight first round finish wins, which brought his pro record to 9-0. The former XFC lightweight champion signed with the World Series of Fighting in hopes that he would get tougher fights against top lightweight free-agents, and eventually get signed by the UFC. This booking doesn’t exactly accomplish that.

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World Series of Fighting 3 Aftermath: Josh Burkman Continues His Improbable Comeback, Jon Fitch Continues His Career Implosion, And Jacob Volkmann Just Keeps Doing What He Does


(“Hey, sorry I’m late, the beer line was crazy, did I miss anyth-OH SHIT.” — Steve Mazzagatti / Photo via Sherdog)

By Andreas Hale

July 13, 2002.

What’s so significant about that date? It was the last time that Jon Fitch lost via submission. The last time, until his World Series of Fighting debut in the main event of WSOF 3 on Friday night, where Fitch was swiftly put to sleep via guillotine choke by Josh Burkman. Yup, that Josh Burkman. The Josh Burkman who was little more than average during his UFC stint, going 5-5 with one of those losses from being choked out by who? You guessed it, Jon Fitch.

Even though the World Series of Fighting announcer called the Fitch vs. Burkman rematch “years in the making,” nobody who has watched MMA believed that nonsense. It was supposed to be Jon Fitch snuffing out Burkman and then grabbing the microphone and telling the UFC to kiss his grits. You know, with Jacob Volkmann lurking over his shoulder mumbling some nonsense about a fighter’s union. But, as they always say, there’s a reason why they actually fight.

Burkman, meanwhile, continued his surprising run of upending former UFC fighters in the WSOF, as he is now 3-0 in all three World Series of Fighting events with victories over Gerald Harris, Aaron Simpson and now Jon Fitch. But who the hell expected him to beat Jon Fitch? I’ll tell you, nobody…except Josh Burkman. And of that nobody percent, who thought that Burkman would choke Fitch to sleep in 41 seconds? Nobody…not even Josh Burkman.

“Who thinks they are going to choke out Jon Fitch?,” Burkman said through a wide smile after the shocking main event that capped off a fairly ho-hum third outing for WSOF.

Prior to the jaw dropping main event, WSOF trudged along with a string of relatively boring fights that yielded very little excitement for those in attendance at The Joint inside of the Hard Rock Hotel in Las Vegas. After the first few matches, most fans drowned themselves in spirits and had loud (mostly drunk) conversations that could be heard throughout the venue. The first five fights of the night are barely worth mentioning. Dan Lauzon beat up on a John Gunderson who looked lifeless in the cage. Carson Beebe earned a controversial unanimous decision despite being completely outclassed on the ground by Joe Murphy. The other disgruntled former UFC employee, Jacob Volkmann, put such a snoozer of a performance in a unanimous decision victory over Lyle Beerbohm that Ben Askren tweeted “That fight had less strikes than one of my fights!” So, you know, when Ben Askren pretty much calls your fight boring, you are in trouble.

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[VIDEO] Josh Burkman Chokes Jon Fitch Out Cold in 41 Seconds

No one saw this coming. Months after being released by the UFC despite being ranked in their own top ten and having one of the roster’s best overall records, Jon Fitch debuted at World Series of Fighting (WSOF) Friday night against Josh Burkman and got choked unconscious in just forty one seconds.

The fight was was a rematch of the pair’s 2006 UFC bout, which Fitch won via rear naked choke. Burkman was released by the UFC in 2008 but since that time has been on a tear.

After a few moments of feeling one another out, Fitch pressed forward with punches but got caught, first by a short right hand and then a left hook by Burkman. Fitch stumbled and then fell to the floor.

Burkman pounced and locked up a guillotine choke on Fitch, rising back to his own feet to crank on the neck. Fitch, his neck still locked to the right side of Burkman’s torso in the choke hold, worked for a take down instead of immediately defending the submission.

Fitch got Burkman to his back but the underdog held on to the guillotine choke from his half guard. A moment later, Fitch went limp, Burkman let go of his prone body and stood over the former number one title contender with his arms raised in the air.

Check out the stunning video above. What do you say, nation? Does beating a top ten fighter like Fitch now thrust Burkman into the global welterweight top ten rankings?

Should Burkman get a call back to the UFC? Where does Fitch go from here?

Interview with Burkman about the huge win after the jump.

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World Series of Fighting 3: Fitch, Burkman, Volkmann, Beerbohm on Weight for Tonight’s Event


(Fitch vs. Burkman face-off video via YouTube.com/MMAWorldSeries. Skip to the 2:10 mark to see Burkman zip his entire body inside a jumpsuit. Wow. He is just the *master* of mind games, isn’t he.)

The 18 fighters competing at tonight’s World Series of Fighting 3: Fitch vs. Burkman event successfully weighed-in yesterday at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. The main card — which also features Jacob Volkmann‘s promotional debut against Lyle Beerbohm, and undefeated prospect Justin Gaethje facing off against Brian Cobb — will be broadcast on the NBC Sports Network starting at 11 p.m. ET. Check out the weigh-in results below (via MMAJunkie), click past the jump for a WSOF 3 “Countdown” feature on Jon Fitch, and let us know if you’ll be watching tonight.

MAIN CARD
Josh Burkman (170) vs. Jon Fitch (171)
Steve Carl (169.5) vs. Tyson Steele (170)
Lyle Beerbohm (155.5) vs. Jacob Volkmann (155.5)
Brian Cobb (155) vs. Justin Gaethje (156)

PRELIMINARY CARD
Jerrod Sanders (146) vs. Jeff Smith (146)
John Gunderson (154.5) vs. Dan Lauzon (156)
Carson Beebe (135) vs. Joe Murphy (135.5)
Kendrick Miree (185) vs. Krasimir Mladenov (185.5)
Brenson Hansen (146) vs. Josh Montalvo (145)

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Conflict of Interest Alert: Ray Sefo to Fight, Yes, Fight at WSOF 4 in August

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…

-J. Jones

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WSOF 3 Interview: Jacob Volkmann Talks Fighter Unions, ‘Fancy Pants’, And Why He’s Done Trashing Obama


(“[Beerbohm's] not even close to being able to stop my takedowns. This is going to be a ground battle and I’m hoping to finish it.” / Photo courtesy of Getty Images)

By Andreas Hale

In case you haven’t heard, Jacob Volkmann is a disgruntled former employee of the UFC who is preparing to start a new chapter in his career when he faces Lyle “Fancy Pants” Beerbohm at World Series of Fighting 3 this Friday, June 14th, in Las Vegas. Of course, being a disgruntled ex-UFC fighter doesn’t make Volkmann unique, as everyone from former champions and title contenders like Quinton “Rampage” Jackson and Jon Fitch to lower-tier fighters like John Cholish have been airing their dirty laundry recently.

Volkmann was recently cut after a loss to Bobby Green at UFC 156 back in February despite having a 6-2 record in the Octagon as a lightweight, after starting his UFC career with an 0-2 run at welterweight. The walking papers came as a shock to Volkmann who couldn’t understand how he could be sent on his merry way. However, Volkmann’s departure came secondary to the shocking announcement that Jon Fitch had also been released despite having had a crack at Georges St-Pierre’s welterweight title and holding a stellar 14-3-1 record in the UFC. If you ask Volkmann, he’ll tell you that it is because the UFC is looking to condition their fans into watching guys who stand and bang instead of crafty ground competitors.

“That was the biggest reason why I was released,” Volkmann says of his fighting strategy, which often sees him bringing fighters to the canvas rather than trading punches. With only one of his UFC victories coming by way of stoppage, Volkmann has often been labeled “boring” by the type of fans who prefer their MMA fights to look like bar brawls. And though Volkmann’s success should speak for itself, he says that the UFC prefers its fans to see mindless clubbing rather than a ground game of chess. “They are making their fans like the stand up fighters. They could put more ground fighters on the card but they are dictating who watches and what is considered [exciting]. The mainstream isn’t promoting the ground game.”

Whether Volkmann’s declaration is true depends on the viewer. But what most fans don’t understand is the disparity in pay between the UFC’s top-tier fighters and the rest of the bunch. Volkmann has fought on his fair share of main cards but says that the perception that the UFC takes care of its fighters financially is completely false.

“They don’t take care of their fighters all that well,” Volkmann says, while citing that he made $50,000 last year while going 3-0. But the money isn’t the entire issue. “I’m talking about benefits. Their health care is a joke. There is no retirement. If you get injured, you don’t get paid. I’d like to see you get paid something when you are injured.”

You may have heard about Volkmann’s idea of starting a fighters’ union as well to ensure that fighters are protected. “I’d like to see a two-year contract with two fights a year minimum, where the minimum pay is $15,000 for the fight and $15,000 to win,” Volkmann explained. “At least you get paid a minimum of $30,000 a year and I think the UFC can afford to pay their fighters that.”

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Nick Newell Signs Multi-Fight Contract With World Series of Fighting


(Newell chokes out Eric Reynolds at XFC 21 last December. Photo courtesy of Brian Siskind via facebook.com/nicknewellmma)

World Series of Fighting officials have confirmed with MMAFighting.com that they’ve signed undefeated lightweight and former XFC champion Nick Newell to an exclusive multi-fight contract. Newell’s debut date and first opponent haven’t been announced yet, although WSOF executive vice president Ali Abdel-Aziz suggested that Notorious Nick’s promotional debut will likely happen in August or September.

After leaving the XFC to seek out higher-profile opponents, Newell fielded offers from “everyone but the UFC” before coming to terms with World Series of Fighting. If Newell’s goal was to fight a higher caliber of 155-pound talent, it seems like he made the right decision; WSOF’s third event scheduled for June 14th features Jacob Volkmann, Lyle Beerbohm, Dan Lauzon, Brian Cobb, and Justin Gaethje, all of whom could be a solid test for Newell later this year.

World Series of Fighting is planning to host future events on August 10th and September TBA, featuring the semifinals of a four-man middleweight tournament.

Previously: Nick Newell Gives His Side of the Story Regarding XFC Fallout, Explains Why He Never Accepted Fight Against Scott Holtzman

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