The Word Series of Fighting has parlayed a time-buy on NBC Sports Network into a multi-year deal, according to a press release from the organization:
LAS VEGAS, Nev. (Feb. 4, 2013) – World Series of Fighting (WSOF) and NBC Sports Network have entered into a three-year partnership to deliver live, world championship Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) fight programming, beginning with the promotion’s second event, “WSOF 2,” live Saturday, March 23 at 10 p.m. ET at Revel Resorts & Casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey.
The agreement calls for a minimum of six live events annually on the national television platform that reaches over 80 million homes. Additionally, later this year, NBCSports.com will live stream World Series of Fighting events via TV Everywhere.
“We are thrilled to call NBC Sports Network the home of World Series of Fighting,” said World Series of Fighting President and six-time world kickboxing champion, Ray Sefo. “This partnership will allow us to build the World Series of Fighting brand of world-class MMA competition before a dedicated national audience of passionate sports fans and place our athletes on the big stage that they deserve.”
The inaugural World Series of Fighting 1 aired live on NBC Sports Network on Nov. 3, 2012.
As you can see in the press release, the next event from the organization will take place on March 23 in Atlantic City, which has been home to a massive amount of big-time MMA in recent months.
Headlining that event will be none other than former UFC heavyweight champion Andrei Arlovski and former UFC welterweight Anthony Johnson.
After knocking out Devin Cole at WSOF 1 in November, Arlovski then earned a unanimous decision over Mike Hayes in Russia in December. He is unbeaten in his last five fights, also including wins over Travis Fulton and Ray Lopez.
After missing weight twice and being cut from the UFC, Anthony Johnson thought he finally found a home in the light heavyweight division. But now he’ll make yet another step up, as he’ll compete at heavyweight against Arlovski. Unbeaten in four bouts since being released from the UFC, Johnson made waves with a headkick knockout over DJ Linderman at WSOF 1.
Also added to the WSOF 2 card is a bantamweight co-headliner between Marlin Moraes and Tyson Nam, a middleweight bout between Paulo Filho and David Branch, and a welterweight matchup between Josh Burkman and Ryan LaFlare.
Moraes and Nam have made their names off of respective upset wins – Moraes over Miguel Torres at WSOF 1 and Nam over Eduardo Dantas in Brazil.
The former WEC champion, Filho is now a much-traveled fighter and he seems to more often not show up for fights than he does. He’ll take on UFC veteran Branch in an intriguing middleweight matchup.
Proving that they’re not just a home for UFC castoffs, WSOF 2 will also feature unbeaten top prospect Ryan LaFlare, a New York native who will take on TUF 2 and UFC veteran Josh Burkman in his toughest test to date.
By David McKinney (@MMAMcKinney)