Category Archives: World Series of Fighting

WORLD SERIES OF FIGHTING KICKS OFF “WHO’S THE TOUGHEST?” WITH FOUR MILITARY VETERANS DOING BATTLE IN LOVELAND, COLORADO ON SATURDAY, NOV. 12

 

Plus: Kevin Sears replaces injured Josh Copeland against Smealinho Rama in heavyweight action

Tickets for WSOF34 on sale now

 

LAS VEGAS (October 10, 2016) – World Series of Fighting (www.WSOF.com) announced that it has tabbed four military veterans for action in three different bouts, including one that will air on its live NBCSN telecast (10:30 p.m. ET/7:30 p.m. PT), to kick off it’s “Who’s The Toughest?” program at WSOF34: Foster vs. Shields, at the Budweiser Events Center in Loveland, Colo. on Saturday, Nov. 12.

The league also announced that Josh “Cuddly Bear” Copeland (13-4) has been forced to withdraw from his scheduled heavyweight matchup with former world champion Smealinho “The Prince” Rama (9-2) due to a knee injury.  Rama will now face Kevin Sears (4-2).

“We are extremely excited to launch the ‘Who’s The Toughest?’ program with a group of four professional fighters that have served our country valiantly, and who have since been looking for a potentially career-changing opportunity to compete on a major stage,” said World Series of Fighting President Ray Sefo.

World Series of Fighting announced in May that it would be launching “Who’s The Toughest?” in order to provide military veterans who are active or aspiring MMA fighters, with the opportunity to compete under its promotion.

Leading off the live NBCSN telecast of WSOF34, Shane Kruchten (11-4) and Jeremy Mahon (5-4) – both U.S. Marine Corps veterans – will do battle in a 150-pound catchweight contest.

In a light heavyweight (205 pounds) matchup that will headline the WSOF34 preliminary bout card, U.S. Marine Corps veteran Brandon Collins (3-2) will collide with Chris Morgan (0-0), who will make his professional debut.

The fourth veteran, former U.S. Army ranger Nicoli Navarro (3-1), will square off with unbeaten upstart Alan Gutierrez (2-0) at lightweight (155 pounds).

Shane Kruchten vs. Jeremy Mahon

The 6-foot-1, 32-year-old Kruchten of San Diego, Calif. saw action in the Iraq War in 2003 and 2004, and was subsequently awarded a Presidential Unit Citation and a Combat Action Ribbon for his efforts in battle before retiring from the military with the rank of Lance Corporal.

Since turning professional in 2007, Kruchten has donated a portion of each of his fight purses to the Mighty Oaks Warrior Foundation, a California-based retreat for veterans run by fellow U.S. Marine Corps veteran and former World Series of Fighting competitor Chad Robichaux.

Kruchten’s start will bring an end to a two-and-a-half-year hiatus that he took following a loss to Mike Corey by way of second round (2:59) submission (rear-naked choke) in what was Kruchten’s World Series of Fighting debut.  Prior to the defeat, Kruchten had reeled off 11 consecutive victories, 6 via submission and 3 via (T)KO.

The 5-foot-10, 37-year-old Mahon of Houston, Texas was deployed to Iraq during the initial invasion of the country in 2003, and later served as a security contractor in Fallujah, working to procure the safety of civilians there.

Before retiring as a Sergeant, Mahon earned a Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal as well as a Presidential Unit Citation.  He runs a non-profit organization, DAWG Foundation, which trains dogs and offers them to veterans in need of everyday assistance.

Mahon is looking to notch his third straight victory following a second round (4:22) TKO (punches) of Davis Sylvester at Bellator 149 on February 19.

Brandon Collins vs. Chris Morgan

The 6-foot-1, 32-year-old Collins of Houston, Texas was also a recipient of a Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal during his eight-year stint (2004-2012) with the Marine Corps that saw him tour Afghanistan where he was a special operations officer and his unit’s martial arts instructor.

Collins was a member of his North Carolina base’s boxing team and, after relocating to California, he quickly transitioned to MMA.

Morgan, a 6-foot-3, 28-year-old resident of Denver, Colo. will make his first professional start after a three-year amateur career that saw him compile an overall record of 5-2.  All 5 of his victories came inside the first round of action via (T)KO or submission.

Nicholi Navarro vs. Alan Gutierrez

The 6-foot, 30-year-old Navarro of Denver served in the Army’s 75th Ranger Regimen, a special operations unit, between 2004 and 2008, eventually reaching the rank of Corporal.

During his four-year tenure in the military, Navarro earned a Combat Infantry Badge, an Expert Infantry Badge and a Parachutist Badge.

Navarro is a student of retired, former Muay Thai world champion and UFC star Duane “Bang” Ludwig.  All three of Navarro’s professional victories to date have come by way of (T)KO or submission.

While not a veteran, the 5-foot-11, 23-year-old Gutierrez of Skagit Valley, Wash. was born into and raised by a family of Marines, with his father, mother and brother all having served.  Gutierrez dedicates each of his fights to his recently deceased brother.

Gutierrez made quick work of each of his first two professional opponents, to date, submitting Ryan Schecterson with a brabo choke in the first round (2:00) of action in Gutierrez’s professional debut on May 9, 2015, and scoring a first round (1:11) KO (punches) on Taylor Roberts on February 27.

Priced from $20, tickets for “WSOF34: Fitch vs. Shields” are on sale at the Budweiser Events Center box office, BudweiserEventsCenter.com, and by phone at 1-877-544-TIXX.

In the main event of WSOF34, reigning world welterweight (170 pounds) champion Jon Fitch (28-7-1, 1 NC) will collide with number one contender and fellow decorated superstar Jake Shields (31-8-1).

In the welterweight co-main event, Paul Bradley (23-6), will make his promotional debut for World Series of Fighting and take on former top 10 world-ranked Yushin “Thunder” Okami (32-10).

Additional matchups for “WSOF34: Fitch vs. Shields” will be announced soon.

Fight Network Presents ONE: State of Warriors, WSOF 33 & UFC 204 Weigh-ins Live this Friday, Oct. 7

Toronto – Fight Network, the world’s premier 24/7 multi-platform channel dedicated to complete coverage of combat sports, presents a stacked day of live mixed martial arts coverage this Friday, Oct. 7, beginning at 9:30 a.m. ET with ONE Championship: State of Warriors from Yangon, Myanmar. Shortly after the event concludes, Fight Network presents the live UFC 204: Bisping vs. Henderson 2 weigh-ins at 1 p.m. ET from Manchester, England. To cap off the day, World Series of Fighting invades Kansas City for WSOF 33: Gaethje vs. Dugulubgov, which begins at 11 p.m. ET.

In the main event of ONE Championship: State of Warriors, the best male strawweight fighter on the planet will be determined when ONE 115-pound kingpin Yoshitaka Naito (11-0) defends his crown against undefeated Filipino challenger Joshua Pacio (12-0). In other featured bouts, “The Burmese Python” Aung La N Sang (18-9) faces once-beaten Poland Top Team product Michal Pasternak (11-1), Filipino bantamweight sensation Kevin Belingon (13-5) collides with Tajikistan native Muin Gafurov (10-1), plus Australian bantamweight prospect Jordan Lucas (8-1) looks to return to the win column when he battles hardened Russian veteran Yusup Saadulaev (15-4-1, 1NC).

Meanwhile, the official weigh-ins for UFC 204: Bisping vs. Henderson 2 will feature all of Saturday’s competitors tipping the scales at 1 p.m. ET, including UFC middleweight champion and hometown favorite Michael Bisping, challenger Dan Henderson, co-main event stars Vitor Belfort and Gegard Mousasi, plus Jimi Manuwa, Ovince Saint Preux, Stefan Struve and Daniel Omielanczuk. The weigh-ins will include live analysis from Fight Network’s Toronto studios and will replay on Saturday, Oct. 8 at 7 p.m. ET leading into the live prelims on TSN2.

Also on Saturday, Oct. 8, Fight Netwok presents a three-hour special entitled Michael Bisping: Road to Redemption at 12 p.m. ET, which profiles Bisping’s key fights that have led to his eventual rematch with Dan Henderson for the UFC middleweight championship. The special will be followed by UFC 199: Rockhold vs. Bisping 2 at 3 p.m. ET, which takes you back to Bisping’s thrilling championship upset.

The stacked, six-fight main card for the unprecedented three-hour broadcast of WSOF 33: Gaethje vs. Dugulubgov includes a lightweight championship main event between reigning, undefeated champion Justin “The Highlight” Gaethje (16-0) and No. 1 contender Ozzy Dugulubgov (8-2), plus David Branch (16-3) defends his light heavyweight title against Vinny Magalhaes (15-7) in the co-main event. Other confirmed bouts include a lightweight tilt between WSOF 25 eight-man tournament winner Brian Foster (25-9) and Brazilian veteran Luiz “Buscape” Firmino (19-6), a featured lightweight contest pitting Jason “The Kansas City Bandit” High (19-5) against Joao “The Brazilian Samurai” Zeferino (20-8), a welterweight matchup between John “Doomsday” Howard (24-12) and Abubakar Nurmagomedov (12-1-1) and kicking off the main card will be a heavyweight showdown between two WSOF newcomers and knockout artists – Shawn “The Savage” Jordan (18-7) and Ashley “Gio” Gooch (10-4).

In addition to all the live events, Fight Network is the destination for UFC library content, specials and series, including The Ultimate Fighter, UFC Unleashed, UFC Now, UFC Ultimate Insider and classic UFC PPV, WEC and PRIDE events.

For a full listing of Fight Network’s broadcast schedule, please visit www.fightnetwork.com, follow us on Twitter @fightnet, become a fan on Facebook and visit us on Instagram @fightnet. 

WORLD SERIES OF FIGHTING: RETURNS TO EVERETT, WASHINGTON WITH HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP BLOCKBUSTER EVENT ON SATURDAY, DECEMBER 3, LIVE ON NBCSN

Blagoy Ivanov makes his third heavyweight title defense

Jared Rosholt faces Caio Alencar in a featured heavyweight scrap

Tickets for WSOF35 go on sale tomorrow 

LAS VEGAS (September 22, 2016) – World Series of Fighting (www.WSOF.com) announced today that it will return to Everett, Wash. with a heavyweight championship blockbuster Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) event at XFINITY Arena at Everett, on Saturday, Dec. 3, live on NBCSN at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT.

In the main-event, reigning world champion Blagoy Ivanov (14-1) will put his title on the line for the third time against the victor of the WSOF33 bout between knockout artists and contenders Shawn Jordan (18-7) and Ashley Gooch (10-4) on Friday, Oct. 7.

In addition, former UFC standout Jared Rosholt (14-3) will make his much-anticipated promotional debut against fellow World Series of Fighting newcomer and finisher Caio Alencar (9-1) in a featured heavyweight contest.

Tickets for WSOF35 go on sale tomorrow, Friday, Sept. 23 at 10 a.m. PT at the XFINITY Arena Box Office, charge by phone 866.332.8499, or online atwww.WSOF.com and www.xfinityarenaeverett.com.

“We are looking forward to bringing another action-packed night of world-class MMA action to the city of Everett, on the heels of what was one of our greatest fight cards to date, from top to bottom, and an arena packed with incredibly passionate fight fans,” said World Series of Fighting President Ray Sefo.

The 5-foot-11, 29-year-old Ivanov of Sofia, Bulgaria fended off a valiant and tenacious Josh “Cuddly Bear” Copeland for five straight, electrifying rounds of battle in the main event of WSOF31 on June 17 to retain the coveted heavyweight title.

Ivanov is a Judo black belt and was a semi-finalist at the 2008 world Sambo championships where he famously defeated all-time MMA great Fedor “The Last Emperor” Emelianenko.

The stocky, heavy-handed Ivanov went on to emerge the runner-up in the 2014 Bellator MMA season-long, heavyweight tournament.  During his seven-fight stint with the league that began in 2013, he notched six consecutive victories, all by way of (T)KO or submission.

The 6-foot-2, 30-year-old Rosholt of Sandpoint, Idaho is coming off a solid run with the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) where he amassed a record of 6-2, defeating the likes of Walt Harris and seven-foot giant Stefan Struve, along the way.

Rosholt was a 2010 NCAA Division I national wrestling championship runner-up and three-time All-American for Oklahoma State University.

Alencar of Natal, Rio Grande do Norte, Brazil is a 6-foot-4, 37-year-old import who will make his debut in the U.S. as well as his first start in the World Series of Fighting decagon cage.

After beginning his professional career just five years ago, Alencar ran to six consecutive wins and, to date, has earned all but one of his nine career victories by way of (T)KO.

Additional WSOF35 bouts will be announced soon.

Doors at XFINITY Arena at Everett will open for WSOF35 at 3:30 p.m. PT, and the first preliminary card bout will begin at 4 p.m.

WORLD SERIES OF FIGHTING: JON FITCH-JAKE SHIELDS WELTERWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP SHOWDOWN SET FOR SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 12 IN LOVELAND, COLORADO LIVE ON NBCSN

Plus:
Josh Copeland vs. Smealinho Rama in heavyweight battle 
Paul Bradley vs. Yushin Okami in welterweight collision

Tickets for WSOF34 on sale Friday, Sept. 16

LAS VEGAS (September 13, 2016) – World Series of Fighting (www.WSOF.com) officially announced today the highly-anticipated welterweight (170 pounds) title fight between reigning world champion Jon Fitch (28-7-1, 1 NC) and number one contender and fellow decorated superstar Jake Shields (31-8-1) for Saturday, Nov. 12 at the Budweiser Events Center in Loveland, Colo., live on NBCSN at 10:30 p.m. ET/7:30 p.m. PT.

Priced from $20, tickets for “WSOF34: Fitch vs. Shields” go on sale on Friday, Sept. 16 at the Budweiser Events Center box office, BudweiserEventsCenter.com, or by phone at 1-877-544-TIXX.

“This is a fight between two of the sport’s most seasoned and accomplished competitors, and a matchup that has been building for quite some time, so we are excited to see it finally come to fruition in the decagon cage, and to crown the better man that night, our world welterweight champion,” said World Series of Fighting President Ray Sefo.

In addition to the main event, World Series of Fighting announced a featured heavyweight attraction pitting Josh “Cuddly Bear” Copeland (13-4) against former champion Smealinho “The Prince” Rama (9-2), as well as the promotional debut of battle-tested Paul Bradley (23-6), who will take on former top 10 world-ranked Yushin “Thunder” Okami (32-10) in a welterweight affair.

Additional matchups for “WSOF34: Fitch vs. Shields” will be announced soon.

Jon Fitch vs. Jake Shields

The 6-foot, 38-year-old Fitch of Las Vegas, Nev. via Fort Wayne, Ind. will put his title on the line for the second time since seizing the vacant belt on October 17, 2015, when he earned a unanimous decision over Yushin Okami.

Fitch, who has faced and defeated some of the best rival welterweight fighters of his era to cement his legacy in the sport, risked his World Series of Fighting title for the first time on April 2, defeating Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt Joao Zeferino by way of unanimous decision.

Fighting out of San Francisco, Calif., the 6-foot, 37-year-old Shields will seek his fourth major world championship.  The Cesar Gracie Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt held both the Shooto and EliteXC welterweight straps as well as the Strikeforce middleweight crown.

Like Fitch, Shields has provided fight fans with a host of memories, including his unforgettable, upset unanimous decision defeat of future Hall of FamerDan Henderson on April 17, 2010.  Shields also boasts a split decision win over reigning UFC champion Tyron Woodley as well as a split decision victory over UFC superstar Demian Maia.

Josh Copeland vs. Smealinho Rama

The 6-foot-1, 33-year-old Copeland is coming off what was perhaps the grittiest performance of his four-year professional career in his bid for the World Series of Fighting heavyweight title against reigning champion Blagoy Ivanov.  Copeland stood toe-to-toe and held his own against the Sambo champion, but was left on the losing end of a unanimous decision after five competitive rounds of action.

Copeland, who has notched 7 of his 12 professional victories by way of (T)KO or submission, earned his place in the world title fight by taking a unanimous decision from Mike “300” Hayes at WSOF29 on March 12.

The 6-foot-1, 24-year-old Rama of Calgary, Alberta, Canada made history on October 11, 2014, becoming the first-ever World Series of Fighting heavyweight champion by scoring a devastating, 51-second TKO (punches) on Derrick “Caveman” Mehman at WSOF14.

Rama, who also holds a unanimous decision win over Steve Mocco in the World Series of Fighting decagon cage, surrendered the heavyweight title after being submitted (guillotine choke) by Ivanov in the third round (1:17) of their bout on June 5, 2015.

Paul Bradley vs. Yushin Okami

One of World Series of Fighting’s recent, high-profile acquisitions, the 5-foot-9, 33-year-old Bradley of San Diego, Calif. signed with the league after decimating previously unbeaten Chris Honeycutt by way of TKO (punches) in just 40 seconds in the Bellator MMA cage on January 29, 2016.

A former, two-time All-American wrestling star for NCAA Division I University of Iowa, Bradley placed as high as fourth in the national championships before turning to MMA in 2006 where he has since faced off with elite competition in the UFC and Strikeforce.

Similar to his opponent, the 6-foot-2, 35-year-old Okami of Kanagawa, Japan has scrapped with top-level, world ranked competition to earn his place in the decagon cage.

Since the loss to Fitch, Okami, a veteran of the UFC as well as PRIDE, has since reeled off two consecutive victories in his home country – a second round (4:23) TKO (corner stoppage) of Ryuta Sakurai in Tokyo on February 27, and a first round (2:06) submission (rear-naked choke) of Shingo Suzukion July 24.

WORLD SERIES OF FIGHTING ANNOUNCES SEVEN-BOUT PRELIMINARY CARD FOR WSOF33: GAETHJE VS. DUGULUBGOV MEGA-EVENT IN KANSAS CITY ON FRIDAY, OCT. 7

Undercard headlined by much-anticipated rematch
 between bantamweight stars Chris Gutierrez and Timur Valiev

Live, three-hour NBCSN telecast begins at 11 p.m. ET
Preliminary bout card to stream live on WSOF.com at 8 p.m. ET

Tickets on sale tomorrow

LAS VEGAS (Sept. 1, 2016) – World Series of Fighting (www.WSOF.com) has announced a stellar and complete, seven-fight preliminary bout card, headlined by a much-anticipated rematch between rival bantamweight (135 pounds) stars Chris “El Guapo” Gutierrez (9-1-1) and Timur “Lucky” Valiev (10-2), for the star-studded, WSOF33: Gaethje vs. Dugulubgov world championship doubleheader extravaganza at Kansas City Municipal Auditorium in Kansas City, Mo. on Friday, Oct. 7, live on NBCSN at 11 p.m. ET/8 p.m. PT.

The preliminary bout card will stream live, in its entirety, on an embeddable video player on WSOF.com, beginning at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT, immediately before the unprecedented, three-hour telecast of the six-fight main card that will be headlined by a world lightweight (155 pounds) title fight between reigning, undefeated champion Justin “The Highlight” Gaethje (16-0) of Safford, Ariz. and number one contender Ozzy Dugulubgov (8-2) of New York, N.Y.

Priced from $20, tickets for WSOF33: Gaethje vs. Dugulubgov go on saletomorrow, Friday, Sept 2 at the Kansas City Municipal Auditorium box office as well as online at Ticketmaster.com and WSOF.com.

The rematch between the 5-foot-9, 25-year-old Gutierrez of Greenville, Texas and the 5-foot-6, 26-year-old Valiev of Albuquerque, N.M. via Makhachkala, Dagestan, Russia will unfold less than eight months after the two went to war in a see-saw battle for three full rounds in Garden Grove, Calif. on February 20.

After the closing bell, Gutierrez, walked away with a controversial, split decision, leaving unfinished business between the two prolific athletes.

Leading off the undercard, undefeated submission ace Bryce “Thug Nasty” Mitchell (6-0) will face off with fellow rising star and knockout artist Brandon Phillips (6-1) in a featherweight (145 pounds) matchup.

One of MMA’s hottest prospects, the ferocious, 5-foot-9, 21-year-old Mitchell of Searcy, Ark. has notched all six of his professional wins to date via submission in the first round of action.  He made his promotional debut at WSOF27 in Memphis, Tenn. on January 23, finishing Jorge Medina with a rear-naked choke at the 1:02 mark of the opening round.

Phillips of Oklahoma City, Okla. is a hard-hitting striker who has earned four of his six professional career wins, thus far, by way of (T)KO.  The 5-foot-6, 26-year-old is coming off a unanimous decision victory over Chuka Willis at Bellator 159 on July 22.

Elsewhere on the WSOF33 preliminary card, world-ranked Jesse Brock (22-8) will make his World Series of Fighting debut opposite dangerous finisher Bekbulat Magomedov (16-1) in a bantamweight (135 pounds) scrap.

In his last start, the 5-foot-4, 34-year-old Brock of Boise, Idaho notched his sixth consecutive victory, forcing Olly Bradstreet to tap out from a rear-naked choke in the third round (3:57) of their bout at Bellator 155 on May 20.

The 5-foot-8, 25-year-old Magomedov of Makhachkala, Dagestan will look to rebound from his sole loss to date, a split decision to Josh Hill, at WSOF26 on December 18.  Prior to the fight, Magomedov had gone unbeaten since his professional debut in 2011.

Abu “Gladiator” Azaitar (12-1-1, 1 NC) of Cologne, Germany will square off with “Mad” Mike Arrant (15-11) of Las Vegas in a welterweight (170 pounds) tilt.

In a second welterweight matchup, Magomed Magomedkerimov (17-5) of Makhachkala, Dagestan will lock horns with Bobby “Super Duper” Cooper(12-6) of Knob Noster, Mo.

Streaking finisher Islam Mamedov (13-1) of Jersey City, N.J. via Derbent, Dagestan will face battle-tested veteran Alonzo “Zo Diddy” Martinez (40-19) of Papillion, Neb. at lightweight.

In middleweight (185 pounds) action, three-time UFC veteran Bruno “Carioca” Santos (14-2) of Macae, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil will make his World Series of Fighting debut against Xtreme Couture team member Clinton Williams (11-4) of Las Vegas.

WSOF33: GAETHJE VS. DUGULUBGOV

MAIN CARD (Live on NBCSN)

World Series of Fighting Lightweight Championship Main Event:
Justin Gaethje (Champion) vs. Ozzy Dugulubgov (Challenger)

World Series of Fighting Light Heavyweight Championship Co-Main Event:
David Branch (Champion) vs. Vinny Magalhaes (Challenger)

Lightweight:  Jason High vs. Joao Zeferino
Lightweight:  Brian Foster vs. Luiz Firmino
Welterweight:  Abubakar Nurmagomedov vs. John Howard
Heavyweight:  Shawn Jordan vs. Ashley Gooch

PRELIMINARY CARD (Live on WSOF.com)

Bantamweight: Chris Gutierrez vs. Timur Valiev
Bantamweight: Jesse Brock vs. Bekbulat Magomedov
Welterweight: Abu Azaitar vs. Mike Arrant
Lightweight: Islam Mamedov vs. Alonzo Martinez
Welterweight:  Magomed Magomedkerimov vs. Bobby Cooper
Featherweight:  Bryce Mitchell vs. Brandon Phillips
Middleweight:  Bruno Santos vs. Clinton Williams

WORLD SERIES OF FIGHTING ANNOUNCES COMPLETE, SIX-FIGHT MAIN CARD FOR UNPRECEDENTED, THREE-HOUR LIVE NBCSN TELECAST OF WSOF33: GAETHJE VS. DUGULUBGOV

Star-studded, world championship doubleheader
airs live from Kansas City, Mo. on Friday, Oct. 7

Tickets on sale Friday, Sept. 2

 

LAS VEGAS (August 30, 2016) – World Series of Fighting (www.WSOF.com) today announced the completion of a stacked, six-fight main card for the unprecedented, three-hour, live NBCSN (11 p.m. ET/8 p.m. PT) telecast of the WSOF33: Gaethje vs. Dugulubgov world championship doubleheader extravaganza at Kansas City Municipal Auditorium in Kansas City, Mo. onFriday, Oct. 7.

Priced from $20, tickets for WSOF33: Gaethje vs. Dugulubgov go on sale onFriday, Sept 2 at the Kansas City Municipal Auditorium box office as well as online at Ticketmaster.com and WSOF.com.

Joining the previously announced lightweight (155 pounds) championship main event between reigning, undefeated kingpin Justin “The Highlight” Gaethje (16-0) and number one contender Ozzy Dugulubgov (8-2); the light heavyweight (205 pounds) championship co-main event between defending champion David Branch (16-3) and challenger Vinny Magalhaes (14-7); and the lightweight tilt between WSOF25 eight-man tournament winner Brian Foster (25-9) and Luiz “Buscape” Firmino (19-6), are three other, star-studded bouts, led by a featured lightweight contest between Jason ‘The Kansas City Bandit” High (19-5) and Joao “The Brazilian Samurai” Zeferino (20-8).

“This is, without a doubt, the most stacked fight card from top to bottom that we have put together, thanks in large part to NBCSN, which has given us a three-hour window for the first time since we launched on the network four years ago, to showcase our best fighters in action,” said World Series of Fighting President Ray Sefo.
                              
In other action on the six-bout telecast, John “Doomsday” Howard (24-12) will collide with Abubakar Nurmagomedov (12-1-1) in a welterweight (170 pounds) matchup.

Kicking off the main card will be a heavyweight showdown between two World Series of Fighting newcomers and knockout artists – Shawn “The Savage” Jordan (18-7) and Ashley “Gio” Gooch (10-4).

The WSOF33 preliminary bout card will be announced soon.

Jason High vs. Joao Zeferino

Entering the World Series of Fighting decagon cage for the third time, the 5-foot-9, 34-year-old High of Kansas City, Mo. has been nothing short of spectacular in his first two starts.

In his promotional debut at WSOF25 on November 20, 2015, the UFC and Strikeforce veteran and 2009 DREAM Grand Prix tournament runner-up scored a highlight reel KO on Estevan Payan with a head kick-punches combination in the second round (:47) of their matchup.

High followed up the victory with an inspiring comeback against fellow starMike Ricci.  After taking punishment for the majority of each of the first two rounds, High went on the offensive and scored a devastating TKO on Ricci with an onslaught of punches in the second round (4:08) of their WSOF31 meeting on June 17.

The 5-foot-11, 30-year-old Zeferino of Middletown, N.Y. via Florianopolis, Santa Catarina, Brazil has earned a remarkable 15 of 20 career wins by way of submission.

The Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt finished as runner-up in the first-ever World Series of Fighting one-night, eight-man tournament on November 20, 2015, suffering a second round (4:51) KO (punches) loss in the event’s championship round at the hands of Brian Foster, whom Zeferino had handily defeated earlier that night in the first stage of the tournament, by way of first round (1:46) submission (heel hook).

Following the win over Foster, Zeferino notched another first round (1:24) heel hook submission, this time on Jorge “Macaco” Patino, in the semifinal stage of the tournament.  The result marked Zeferino’s seventh consecutive victory.

John Howard vs. Abubakar Nurmagomedov

The 5-foot-7, 33-year-old Howard of Boston, Mass. is coming off a successful World Series of Fighting debut on June 17 when he earned a unanimous decision over Michael Arrant.

A 14-fight veteran of the UFC, Howard triumphed over the likes of Dennis “Superman” Hallman, Uriah Hall and Siyar Bahadurzada over the course of two different stints with the promotion, and earned “Knockout of the Night” honors for his first round (2:01) KO (punches) of Daniel Roberts at the ‘UFC Live’ event on March 21, 2010, as well as a “Fight of the Night” award following his split decision win over Chris Wilson at UFC 94 on January 31, 2009.

Nurmagomedov of Makhachkala, Dagestan, Russia is a 6-foot, 26-year-old protégé of Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov, the father and trainer of UFC superstar Khabib Nurmagomedov, and a 2014 Combat Sambo World Championships bronze medalist.

When he faces Howard, Nurmagomedov will look for his fourth consecutive win in the World Series of Fighting decagon cage, and his fifth straight win overall, following his crushing, second round (3:05) TKO (punches) ofMatthew Frincu at WSOF30 on April 2.

To date, 10 of Nurmagomedov’s 12 career wins have come by way of either (T)KO or submission.

Shawn Jordan vs. Ashley Gooch

The stocky, 6-foot, 31-year-old Jordan of Baton Rouge, La. will make his much-anticipated debut for World Series of Fighting following a 10-fight stretch with the UFC, during which the heavy-handed fighter posted a strong, 6-4 overall record, with all of his wins coming by way of (T)KO.

A veteran of Strikeforce and Bellator action as well, Jordan is an accomplished athlete who earned a football scholarship to Louisiana State University (LSU) where he was a member of both the 2003 and 2007 national championship teams.

Gooch of Glendale, Ariz. earned his shot with World Series of Fighting as a result of his recent surge that has seen the 6-foot-3, 41-year-old emerge victorious in each of his last eight bouts, with all eight of the wins having come by way of (T)KO or submission.

Gooch’s success of late has earned him the number one ranking in the heavyweight division in the New England region, as well as the number two ranking in the state of Arizona, according to Tapology.com.

WORLD SERIES OF FIGHTING CONTINUES FIGHTER SIGNING SPREE WITH ACQUISITION OF LIGHTWEIGHT STAR RAMSEY NIJEM

LAS VEGAS (August 29, 2016) – World Series of Fighting (www.WSOF.com) announced today that it has bolstered its roster of world-class athletes yet again with the signing of lightweight (155 pounds) star and former The Ultimate Fighter competition reality television series runner-up Ramsey Nijem (9-6), to an exclusive, multi-fight promotional agreement with the world championship Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) league.
 

Fighting out of Orem, Utah, the 5-foot-11, 28-year-old Nijem, a member of superstar Gilbert Melendez’s Skrap Pack fight team, will make his debut under the World Series of Fighting banner on a date to be announced soon.

 

“We have been aggressively pursuing some of the best available fight talent on the market and as a phenomenal and established competitor, Ramsey Nijem should make an exciting addition to our stacked, 155-pound division,” said World Series of Fighting President Ray Sefo.
 

Nijem defeated three straight adversaries – two by way of submission and one via TKO – to finish as runner-up on The Ultimate Fighter: Team Lesnar vs. Team dos Santos in 2011, while competing at welterweight (170 pounds) as a member of UFC superstar Junior Dos Santos’ seven-man fight team that opposed a squad captained by WWE icon and former UFC heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar.
 

Nijem began his successful run on the reality television show with a second round (3:31) submission (rear-naked choke) of Charlie Rader, and followed up the victory with a quick, 56-second submission (rear-naked choke) of Clay Harvison and a second round (1:49) TKO (punches) of Chris Cope, respectively, to reach the show’s final round of competition where he was stopped with an onslaught of punches by Tony Ferguson in the first round (3:54) of battle.
 

During his 10-fight stint with the UFC, Nijem earned both a “Performance of the Night” honor for his first round (4:20) TKO (punches) conquest of Beneil Dariush on April 11, 2014, as well a “Fight of the Night” award for his gritty effort in a second round (1:53) TKO (punches) defeat at the hands of Carlos Diego Ferreira on August 30, 2014.
 

A lifelong athlete, Nijem was a three-sport (wrestling, cross country and soccer) competitor in high school before going on to wrestle for NCAA Division I Utah Valley University.
 

Live World Series of Fighting action returns to NBCSN on Saturday, Oct. 7, with an unprecedented, three-hour telecast and world championship doubleheader, beginning at 11 p.m. ET/8 p.m., from Kansas City Municipal Auditorium in Kansas City, Mo.
 

In the main event of WSOF33: Gaethje vs. Dugulubgov, reigning, undefeated world lightweight champion Justin “The Highlight” Gaethje (16-0) of Safford, Ariz. will risk his title against number one contender Ozzy Dugulubgov (8-2) of Ridgewood, N.J.
 

In the light heavyweight (205 pounds) co-main event, reigning world champion David Branch (16-3) of New York, N.Y. will defend his title against fellow Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt and battle-tested veteran Vinny Magalhaes (14-7) of Las Vegas, Nev. via Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

WORLD SERIES OF FIGHTING SIGNS HEAVYWEIGHT SENSATION JARED ROSHOLT TO EXCLUSIVE, MULTI-FIGHT AGREEMENT

Heavyweight standout Ashley Gooch also inked to exclusive, multi-fight deal
LAS VEGAS (August 24, 2016) – World Series of Fighting (www.WSOF.com) announced today that it has signed seasoned, heavyweight Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) star and former NCAA Division I wrestling sensation Jared “The Big Show” Rosholt (14-3) to an exclusive, multi-fight promotional agreement.

The world championship MMA league also announced that it has inked streaking heavyweight standout Ashley “Gio” Gooch (10-4) to an exclusive, multi-fight deal.  Each athlete’s promotional debut will be announced soon.

“We are excited to welcome one of the sport’s top, free-agent heavyweight stars in Jared Rosholt, as well as veteran Ashley Gooch, who has been on fire of late, to the World Series of Fighting roster and look forward to seeing how each is able to contend in the decagon cage where we have a growing number of exciting and fast-rising stars vying for our coveted championship that is held by Blagoy Ivanov,” said World Series of Fighting President Ray Sefo.

A 2010 NCAA Division I national wrestling championship runner-up and three-time All-American for Oklahoma State University, the 30-year-old, 6-foot-2, 245-pound Rosholt of Arlington, Texas arrives at World Series of Fighting following an eight-fight stint with the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) where he posted a strong, overall record of 6-2.

During his stretch with the UFC, Rosholt, the younger brother of fellow MMA standout Jake Rosholt, notched a unanimous decision over the league’s tallest fighter, seven-foot giant Stefan Struve, on November 15, 2015.

The hard-hitting, 6-foot-3, 265-pound Gooch of Glendale, Ariz. will enter the decagon cage riding an eight-fight win streak that dates back to September 28, 2013 when the 41-year-old decimated Allan Sullivan with a one-punch KO in the first round (1:30) of battle.

To date, Gooch has earned 7 of his 10 career victories by way of (T)KO and 2 wins via submission.  Five of his eight consecutive victories have come inside of one round.

Gooch is coming off a third round (1:10) TKO (punches) of Greg Rebello in Lincoln, R.I. on August 12.

Live World Series of Fighting action returns to NBCSN on Saturday, Oct. 7, with an unprecedented, three-hour telecast, beginning at 11 p.m. ET/8 p.m., from Kansas City Memorial Auditorium in Kansas City, Kan.

In the main event of WSOF33: Gaethje vs. Dugulubgov, reigning, undefeated world lightweight (155 pounds) champion Justin “The Highlight” Gaethje(16-0) of Safford, Ariz. will risk his title against number one contender Ozzy Dugulubgov (8-2) of Ridgewood, N.J.

WORLD SERIES OF FIGHTING RELEASES FALL/WINTER 2016 “SUPER SCHEDULE” ON NBC AND NBCSN

FOUR NEW LIVE EVENT DATES BEGIN WITH UNPRECEDENTED, THREE-HOUR NBCSN TELECAST
OF WSOF33 FROM KANSAS CITY, KAN. ON OCTOBER 7

EPIC YEAR CONCLUDES WITH WSOF36 MEGA-EVENT ON NBC
FROM MADISON SQUARE GARDEN ON DECEMBER 31

LAS VEGAS (August 23, 2016) – Following its highest-viewed live event of the year on July 30, World Series of Fighting (www.WSOF.com) announced today that it has pegged new dates to its four remaining 2016 events, beginning with an unprecedented, three-hour, live NBCSN telecast (11 p.m. ET/8 p.m. PT) of WSOF33: Gaethje vs. Dugulubov from Kansas City, Kan. on Friday, Oct. 7, and concluding with the recently announced WSOF36 mega-event at The Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York City on Saturday, Dec. 31, live on NBC.

WSOF34 and WSOF35, both of which will air live on NBCSN, will take place on Saturday, Nov. 12 at Budweiser Event Center from Loveland, Colo. outside of Denver, and on Saturday, Dec. 3 at XFINITY Arena in Everett, Wash.  The main event and co-main event for each of these two fight cards will also be revealed soon.

“We are excited to head into the fall season of our busiest year to date, with a full schedule of live television events that will see us bring the World Series of Fighting brand of MMA action to new, major media markets; produce a three-hour, live show for the first time ever; and return to broadcast television on NBC from Madison Square Garden’s Theater venue on New Year’s Eve,” said World Series of Fighting CEO Carlos Silva.

World Series of Fighting President Ray Sefo stated, “We have in store for MMA fans, some phenomenal, world championship bouts as well as other star-studded matchups, and I think these last four events of 2016 will firmly put an exclamation point on what has been a banner year for the league.”

In addition, the world championship fight series will air a two-hour replay of WSOF32:  Moraes vs. Hill II on Saturday, Sept. 24.  The WSOF32 world championship doubleheader event that took place at XFINITY Arena in Everett, Wash. garnered over 250,000 live viewers on NBCSN on July 30, and an immediate replay of the show drew an additional 107,000 viewers.

WSOF33 will take place at Kansas City Memorial Auditorium and will be headlined by a world lightweight (155 pounds) championship showdown between undefeated, reigning kingpin Justin “The Highlight” Gaethje (16-0) of Safford, Ariz. and hard-hitting, number one contender Ozzy Dugulubgov (8-2) of Ridgewood, N.J.

In the co-main event of WSOF33, Blackzilians star Luiz “Buscape” Firmino(19-6) of Joao Pessoa, Paraiba, Brazil will put a six-fight win streak on the line against former world championship challenger and the first-ever World Series of Fighting eight-man tournament winner, Brian Foster (25-9) of Sallisaw, Okla.

Additional WSOF33 bouts will be announced soon.

WORLD SERIES OF FIGHTING HITS MADISON SQUARE GARDEN ON NEW YEAR’S EVE, SATURDAY, DECEMBER 31 LIVE ON NBC

LAS VEGAS (July 30, 2016) – On the heels of the historic and long-awaited passage of legislation making professional Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) bouts legal in New York State, World Series of Fighting (www.WSOF.com) tonightannounced that it will bring its star-studded, championship fight series to Madison Square Garden along with a live broadcast of the show on NBC, onSaturday, December 31, pending the approval of the New York State Athletic Commission.

“We are thrilled to have the opportunity to bring our exciting, world championship live event series to The Big Apple, where fans have been anxiously waiting for years, for live, professional MMA action to be able to happen in their city,” said World Series of Fighting CEO Carlos Silva tonight, during the live NBCSN telecast of WSOF32: Moraes vs. Hill II.

“We have been working diligently,” continued Silva, “with the staff at the New York State Athletic Commission as well as the executives at Madison Square Garden to complete all of the necessary steps to make this historic and great event happen on New Year’s Eve.”

Participating fighters and featured matchups for the New Year’s Eve extravaganza at Madison Square Garden are being worked on by World Series of Fighting President Ray Sefo, and will be announced soon.

The event will mark the second live World Series of Fighting broadcast on NBC, which has also been airing one hour, taped programs featuring a collection of the league’s top fights and highlights, twice annually since 2013.  To date, the league has aired 31 live events on NBCSN.