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Tag: World Series of Fighting

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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Jacob Volkmann Opens Fire at the UFC’s Low Pay, Crappy Health Insurance, and Preferential Treatment of Stand-and-Bangers


(*crickets* / Photo via US Presswire)

Looks like getting picked up right away by the World Series of Fighting after recently being fired by the UFC did not take away any bitterness from our favorite President-threatening lightweight, Jacob Volkmann. This past February, Volkmann lost by submission for the second time in his last three fights and was subsequently released by the UFC.

The elfin warrior tells AboveAndBeyondMMA.com that he didn’t deserve to be cut and is now on a mission to expose what he sees as the UFC’s unfair treatment of fighters.

“Well, I didn’t realize there was that much politics in martial arts, especially in the UFC. That was kind of frustrating. It’s not who is the best; it’s more of a political kind of BS,” he said.

“I was released after a loss against Bobby Green, which I should’ve never lost. It was kind of a fluke loss, going into the fight sick. I lost and then after that, they cut me. I was 6-2 at lightweight and they still cut me.

“You’ve got to know the right person, have the right manager in there. And your style determines if you stay in, too. The guys that stand and bang are the ones who are still fighting for the UFC. The ones that take the fights to the ground and focus more on the technique on the ground, they’re not in there because apparently the fans don’t like that.”

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Tyrone Spong Pulled From ‘World Series of Fighting III’ Over Alleged Visa Issues


(Quite possibly the strangest reaction to Pig Destroyer’s “Gravedancer” that we have ever seen.) 

Bad news, Potato Nation, as it has been recently announced that the upcoming World Series of Fighting 3 card has taken a major hit in the form of Tyrone Spong, who has allegedly been pulled from the event due to visa issues. The kickboxing powerhouse was expected to face 11-2 Angel DeAnda in the co-main event of the June 14th-scheduled card, which features Josh Burkman vs. Jon Fitch II to determine the promotion’s inaugural welterweight championship.

On the heels of a successful MMA debut beatdown of Travis Bartlett at WSOF’s first event (as well as a second round KO over Remy Bojansky in his latest kickboxing exhibition), Spong was heavily favored to make short work of DeAnda as well. Fortunately for DeAnda, he will live to fight another day. Unfortunately for DeAnda, no replacement opponent has been named as of this write-up, and even if one is, it is very likely that the fight will now be buried on the prelims. The sorrowful life of a stepping stone, you guys.

Based purely off name value, this setback would presumably make Rolles Gracie vs. Dave Huckaba the co-main event of WSOF 3. In other words…

-J. Jones

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Former UFC Contender Tyson Griffin Signs With World Series of Fighting


(Griffin pops Nik Lentz a good one at UFC 123. / Photo via Getty Images)

From Anthony Johnson and Jon Fitch to Josh Burkman and Miguel Torres, World Series of Fighting seems to have no problem with raiding the UFC’s leftovers for usable scrap. Their latest acquisition is Tyson Griffin, the tenacious lightweight/featherweight contender who spent five years in the UFC — and collected five Fight of the Night bonuses along the way — before being cut in October 2011 following a 1-4 stretch that ended in a blown weight-cut and knockout loss to Bart Palaszewski.

Griffin announced the news of his World Series of Fighting signing this morning via twitter, saying that he hopes to compete on WSOF’s August card (date/venue TBA); Griffin’s opponent hasn’t been confirmed yet. Currently training at American Kickboxing Academy, the 29-year-old last competed in November 2012, scoring a unanimous decision over fellow UFC castoff Efrain Escudero in the headliner of Resurrection Fighting Alliance 4 in Las Vegas.

Semi-related: Light-heavyweight kickboxing ace Tyrone Spong has been forced out of his WSOF 3 co-headlining matchup against Angel DeAnda due to visa issues. His return will likely be postponed to the promotion’s August card. Wait a minute…are you thinking what I’m thinking? WSOF 4: Spong vs. Griffin. It’s not like they’re above a good freak show.

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World Series of Fighting Announces Four-Fight Lineup, Ticket Dates for WSOF 3 in Las Vegas


(Knocks out a former UFC star, still can’t get his friends backstage passes. No respect, I tells ya. Photo via Dave Mandel of Sherdog.) 

On the heels of a successful second event in March, upstart promotion World Series of Fighting has officially announced the date, location, ticket dates, and TV lineup for WSOF 3 earlier today. Featuring a main event rematch between Josh Burkman and Jon Fitch for the promotion’s inaugural welterweight title (a ballsy decision considering Fitch’s somewhat…ahem…polarizing style of fighting), WSOF 3 is set to transpire Friday, June 14th from the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada. Tickets for the event are set go on sale April 19th and start at just $29.00.

At this point, you’re probably thinking, “Thirty bucks for a rematch between to mid-tier UFC castaways? My mom will never float me the money for such nonsense!” Well, tell those shyster parents of yours that WSOF 3 will also feature the likes of Tyrone Spong, Rolles Gracie, and Justin Gaethje as well.

On the heels of a straight vicious performance in his MMA debut at WSOF 1, Spong will face off against Angel “The Dream” (Author’s note: Uh-oh) DeAnda, an 11-2, 5’8″ light heavyweight currently riding a four-fight win streak over a bunch of guys you’ve probably never heard of. DeAnda’s last loss dates back to 2010, where he was knocked out by one-time XARM competitor (and former UFC fighter, we’re being told) James “Why Me?” Irvin in under two minutes. Expect something similar to happen to this poor bastard here as well.

The rest of the announced lineup for WSOF 3 is after the jump. 

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Friday Link Dump: MMA Staredowns That Got Physical, Chris Weidman’s Bold Statement, WSOF’s New TV Show + More


(This “20 Staredowns That Got Physical” video conveniently cuts off before Ricardo Mayorga flash-KO’s Din Thomas with a karate chop to the neck. Props: MMADigest)

War Machine on Fallon Fox: ‘Any Show That Signs Her Is a Piece of S*** Show’ (BleacherReport)

Georges St-Pierre Says He Weighed 170.4 Pounds at UFC 158 Weigh-Ins (MMAFighting)

Nick Diaz Weigh-In Video Returns to Youtube After Copyright Claim Is Reversed (BloodyElbow)

Chris Weidman Says Anderson Silva Is the Best Fighter of all Time, But He’s Just a Little Better (MiddleEasy)

TUF 17 Finale: Top 10 Facts You Need to Know (FightDay)

TUF 17 Finale: Miesha Tate vs. Cat Zingano Video Preview (YouTube.com/UFC)

Jon Jones Looks Really Out of Place Next to Those Two Gangsters (Facebook.com/CagePotato)

World Series of Fighting: Future Champs Series Furthers WSOF and NBC Sports Partnership (MMAWeekly)

Refined Sugar: Paying for Love in 2013 (MadeMan)

10 of the Most Hilarious Conspiracy Theories (Break.com)

Her Most Secret Desires: 15 Things She Wants You to Do for Her in Bed (MensFitness)

The 20 Most Beautiful Female Celebrities Without Makeup (WorldwideInterweb)

Top 3 Weird and Awesome TV Remote Controls for Men (DoubleViking)

How to Avoid Being “That Guy” at the Party (EgoTV)

The Oral History of Freaknik (Complex)

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The Ongoing Trials and Tribulations of Paulo Filho Continue — “Ely” Released by WSOF


(Filho’s first and last appearance under the WSOF banner. We tried to find a video of just the highlights, but there are none.)

Every time it appears that Paulo Filho has hit rock bottom, someone throws him a shovel.

After starting his career with 16 straight wins (!), the former WEC middleweight champion has been sifting through the bowels of sub-mediocrity for the past five years, thanks in no small part to his on-again, off-again roofie addiction and general carelessness in regard to his own career. When Filho crawled out from under his rock to announce that he would be taking on David Branch at World Series of Fighting 2, we pretty much knew that we were in store for a shitshow. The fact that Filho appeared to be suffering another one of his mental breakdowns just days prior only furthered this notion.

And indeed, shit was shown at WSOF 2, with Filho putting on his best dying fish impression for what was probably the longest 15 minutes of Oliver Chan’s life. If you thought Filho’s performance was a joke in and of itself, just wait until you hear the details surrounding Filho that WSOF CEO Ray Sefo revealed in an interview with MMAJunkie:

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Jon Fitch vs. Josh Burkman Rematch Set for World Series of Fighting 3 Main Event


(Burkman bombs out on Aaron Simpson at WSOF 2 last weekend. Photo via Rick Albrecht for CagePotato)

World Series of Fighting’s third event is slated for June 14th in Las Vegas (venue TBA), and will be headlined by Jon Fitch‘s promotional debut against Josh BurkmanMMAFighting.com first confirmed the news with WSOF president Ray Sefo, adding that the fight will be a non-title bout.

It’ll be the second meeting for Fitch and Burkman, who previously faced off in April 2006 at UFC Fight Night 4, with Fitch scoring a second-round victory by rear-naked choke. Burkman was cut by the UFC following an 0-3 skid in 2008, and has since gone 7-1 outside of the Octagon, including impressive wins over Gerald Harris and Aaron Simpson at World Series of Fighting’s first two events.

Fitch vs. Burkman represents a very different strategy for WSOF compared to the headliner of their last event. Instead of putting on another moneyweight freak-show, the promotion is simply fielding the two best welterweights they have under contract — which makes sense in theory, though it does lack Arlovski vs. Johnson‘s novelty value. And if you were a Fitch-hater before he was released from the UFC for being too expensive, your opinion probably hasn’t changed much since.

So what do you think? Is Fitch vs. Burkman 2 a compelling main event, or should WSOF just stick to “fun” fights to draw viewers in?

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