Mixed Martial Arts fans can add another promotion to the many major and amateur organizations that are already in operation around the world.
World Series of Fighting (WSOF) is a new mixed martial arts organization that has been making headlines with its recent one-year deal with NBC Sports Network as well as its acquiring of well-known fighters like former WEC champion Miguel Torres and former Strikeforce and WWE superstar Bobby Lashley.
According to WSOF President and former kickboxer “Sugar” Ray Sefo, the NBC Sports Network, formerly known as Versus, will broadcast between eight to 10 events over the year. The WEC had broadcasted many of their events on Versus and even the UFC enjoyed some success when they broadcasted fight cards on the network.
I admire Sefo’s stance on “fighters first” and making sure they are being paid well and not holding anyone to their contracts if they don’t want to fight for the promotion. However, not all fighters are exactly saints and this kind of practice could come back to bite the company.
Still, WSOF will be a good experience for newer fighters as it gives them more exposure to a wider audience.
The promotion plans to have its first event headlined by Torres and an unnamed opponent on Nov.3 at Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas. The card will also include Lashley, UFC veterans Gerald Harris and Josh Burkman.
This is also the same day as the Strikeforce card featuring the UFC-Strikeforce crossover fight between Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix winner Daniel Cormier and former UFC Heavyweight champion Frank Mir and the middleweight title match between Luke Rockhold and Lorzen Larkin.
If NBC aggressively promotes the WSOF on their cable and network stations, they could easily capture fans who may not have access to Showtime, which could result in a successful first event for the promotion.
While a having television deal and experienced fighters are a good start to a new promotion, only time will tell if WSOF will have a long and successful run.