WSOF have followed suit with UFC 205 and announced that their WSOF 34 should will feature a blockbuster three title fights on their first ever card in the state of New York.
“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 announced that it will bring its star-studded, championship fight series to Madison Square Garden along with a live broadcast of the show on NBC, on Saturday, December 31, pending the approval of the New York State Athletic Commission,” announced the WSOF website.
WSOF president Rey Sefo appeared on Monday’s edition of the MMA Hour to preview what his company has in the works for their own “Big Apple” showcase. The WSOF is also taking a “pulling out all the big guns” approach to their December 31st show that will take place at the Theater at Madison Square Garden. In order to do that, they are canceling their events on November 12th and December 3rd.
Fans in and around Colorado and Washington State planning to attend these two WSOF cards will be disappointed to find out that their states shows will now not be taking place. WSOF 34 will still feature a welterweight title bout between two of the biggest names on the roster, Jake Shields, and champion Jon Fitch. Only instead of that fight being at the Budweiser Events Center in Loveland, Colorado on Nov. 12, it will now take place on the New York City card. The title tilt will be the co-headliner.
The WSOF 35 card will move from it’s December date at the XFINITY Arena in Everett, Washington to Las Vegas, Nevada on January 20th. There has yet to be an announcement for the venue or main event of that card. The company’s president also says that the fighters from the canceled cards who did not make it onto the New Year’s Eve show will be on the new WSOF 35 card in Vegas.
“After a few weeks of discussions, we decided our main event, which is Jon Fitch and (Jake) Shields for that card, to our New Year’s Eve card in Madison Square Garden Theater” announced former fighter turned president. “And having Blagoi (Ivanov), who is our heavyweight champion, was scheduled to headline our December show, get hurt last week, it kind of fell in place and we just decided to merge the two cards together and put on a bigger card for New York City.” Sefo also added, “I think fans in New York City are gonna have nothing but the] enjoyment of two big cards coming to New York City back-to-back.”
Like UFC 205, WSOF’s NYC card will also feature three title bout. For the main event, WSOF lightweight champion Justin Gaethje will attempt his 5 title defense against Brazil’s Joao Zeferino. “The Brazilian Samurai,” who currently resides in Middletown, New York, was the runner-up in November’s one-night lightweight tournament. In that tournament, Zeferino actually defeated eventual winner Brain Foster by submission in the opening round. Due to another fighter’s injury, Foster was placed back in the tournament during the semi-finals where he disposed of former title challenger Luis Palomino via TKO. Foster then TKO’d Zeferino to become the tournament’s winner. This will be Zeferino’s second title challenge. In the first, he was on the losing end of a unanimous decision against Jon Fitch for the welterweight title in April.
The third title on the line will be that of bantamweight champion Marlon Moraes. An announcement on who his opponent is will come later this week. The WSOF and Moraes recently put “pen to paper” allowing the company to retain the bantamweight standout who has yet to record a loss under the company’s banner.
“Marlon is a great fighter, he’s a great kid, and we’d support whatever Marlon wants to do…Marlon is still a World Series of Fighting fighter,” Sefo jubilantly stated.
The main card will air on NBC and the action starts at 4:00 PM EST. The preliminary card is headlined by two other recognizable names, Yushin Okami vs. Paul Bradley. That fight, along with two others, will also be televised on NBC Sports Network starting at 3:00 PM EST.
There is also another way to watch the fights. You can stream the event live on FITE TV as WSOF’s website explains:
“You can also watch the fights on FITE TV. FTIE TY is your one stop app for All Things Fighting. Watch World Series of Fighting on the FITE TV network by simply downloading the FITE app at the Google Play or iTunes app store. After you have downloaded the app simply pick the event you want to watch and then select the wifi connected TV or mobile device that you want to watch the program on. For more information go to www.fite.tv”
UFC 222 Re-Worked with Cris Cyborg vs. Yana Kunitskaya, and Frankie Edgar vs. Brian Ortega
UFC 222 has been saved, and it didn’t take a superhero to lift the burning boulder which was Max Holloway’s injury and withdrawal. All it took was a female named Cyborg and a man with a demeanor so smooth, he could be mistaken for an alter-ego. Cris Cyborg now serves as the UFC 222 main event when she defends her featherweight belt against Yana Kunitskaya. Frankie Edgar bumped down to the co-main event to face Brian Ortega in what is likely a title eliminator. The news of the UFC 222 revival originally stemmed from a report by MMAFighting.com and confirmed later in the evening by the UFC.
— UFC (@ufc) February 8, 2018
Over the course of the week, reports surrounded the Las Vegas card and whether it would survive. Multiple options were reportedly being mulled over; cancelling the card outright, changing the pay-per-view (PPV) to a ‘Fight Night’ with an Edgar vs. Ortega main event, Dillashaw vs. Garbrandt 2 main event, among others. Ultimately, the promotion landed on Cyborg vs. Kunitskaya as the new main event, while also booking Brian Ortega.
This adjustment of the card places their women’s Featherweight champion in the second PPV main event in three months. Cris Cyborg recently put her undisputed Featherweight title on the line against Holly Holm at the year ending card, UFC 219. She successfully defended her belt by unanimous decision, in what was an amazing technical display from the Brazilian. In her octagon career, Cyborg is undefeated in her four appearances with three KO/TKO stoppages.
The second half of the new main event, Yana Kunitskaya, makes her UFC debut against the scariest women on the roster. If the 145 lb. champion was not enough of a challenge, Kunitskaya also makes her first appearance in the division since defeating Cindy Dandois in December of 2010. Of Russia descent, her most recent performances came inside the Invicta FC cage. At the female-only promotion, she posted a record of 1-1, with 1 No Contest. Her loss and no contest, both came at the hands of former UFC Featherweight title challenger, Tonya Evinger.
Turning to the co-main event, both fighters have been relatively inactive but, for good reason. Brian Ortega amazingly forced perennial men’s Featherweight contender, Cub Swanson, to tap in the second round of their ‘Fight Night: Fresno’ contest. Ortega fought twice in 2017, but more-so stayed inactive following his stoppage victory over Swanson. The Californian contender announced his desire to wait in line for the next title shot following the recent victory.
For Frankie Edgar, his last fight took place at UFC 211 when he absolutely demolished young and rising star, Yair Rodriguez. A card which took place last May. While Ortega holds an undefeated record, Edgar is undefeated in his previous 9 fights, excluding people named Jose Aldo.
UFC 222 takes place at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada on March 3rd.
UFC Middleweight Champion, Robert Whittaker Announces Birth of Third Child
Times seem dull and dreary for the UFC’s Middleweight Champion, Robert Whittaker. The New Zealand born fighter withdrew from the promotions event debut in the eastern region of his residence, Australia. UFC 221, which takes place this Saturday, booked Whittaker to defend his title for the first time against former division champion, Luke Rockhold. His withdrawal was due to mistreatment of a serious staph infection inside of the Australians stomach.
It couldn’t get much worse, having to disappoint fans, and missing the first UFC event in eastern Australia. As it turns out, it could not get worse for Whittaker. Life only got better, as he had the pleasure of announcing the birth of his third child.
His new child is the champions third and first girl. Information regarding his child is limited as this moment is a tender and special time for the Whittaker family.
UFC 221 takes place in Perth, Australia at Perth Arena on February 11th. The cards main event features Whittakers short notice replacement, Yoel Romero taking on Luke Rockhold. Much to the satiety of fans, an interim belt is not in the equation in this instance.
Thank God. Excuse me, thank Dana White.
UFC 221 also features the ‘Super Samoan’ Mark Hunt vs. Curtis Blaydes, Tai Tuivasa faces Cyril Asker, Alexander Volkanovski vs. Jeremy Kennedy and more.
Dhiego Lima vs. Yushin Okami added to Glendale, Arizona card
Fights, fights, fights, the world-wide leader in MMA added another fan-friendly bout to the already exciting ‘Fight Night: Glendale’ card. Two time ‘Ultimate Fighter’ finalist, Dhiego Lima takes on veteran Yushin Okami. Lima took to Instagram earlier today to announce the news.
Glendale Arizona April 14th Very excited to announce one of the biggest fight in my career taking on a legend yushin okami I never back down from a challenge, I am making a title run this next go in the @ufc. God has been working amazing things in my life and I’m very excited for the future #phil413. @triadmechanical @fathletic.apparel @bluecovemassage
Four days after adding an important Heavyweight clash to UFC Glendale, the promotion booked another crucial bout, in the Welterweight division. While, neither fighter ranks inside the top 15 of the Welterweight division, both sit at pivotal points in their career. In the case of Lima, he comes off a second appearance on the reality series, The Ultimate Fighter. Much like his first appearance, the Welterweight made the competition finals.
Lima first appeared on the reality series during Season 19: Team Edgar vs. Team Penn. In the preliminary round, he defeated Adam Stroup via unanimous decision (2 rounds), to earn a place in the house. From there, he submitted both his quarter-final and semi-final opponents. Lima left the Ultimate Fighter house undefeated, down the line, he did a similar thing on the 25th season of the show. He defeated Hayder Hassan, Gilbert Smith, and Tom Gallicchio, all by unanimous decision leaving the house undefeated for a second time.
Unfortunately, the inverse of his performances in the ‘TUF’ house came to fruition in the finals. In two Ultimate Fighter Finale’s, his record fell to 0-2, following Ultimate Fighter Finale Season 25. What happened to be even more unfortunate, Lima’s opponent at, The Ultimate Fighter Finale Season 25, Jesse Taylor, tested positive for the anti-estrogen agent clomiphene. The sample collected for the failed drug test was in an out-of-competition setting, therefor Lima’s loss to Taylor stands. The loss puts his record with the UFC at, 1-4.
A loss shouldn’t place Lima near the chopping block but, a win would greatly improve his standing with the promotion. The other half of the newly announced bout, is in a similar position.
Yushin Okami made his first appearance for the promotion at UFC 62. Okami earned the victory in his debut. The win marked his third consecutive win in the midst of a six fight win-streak. Over the course of those six victories, Okami defeated Alan Belcher (UFC 62), Kalib Starnes (UFC 64), Rory Singer (UFC 66), and Mike Swick (UFC 69). The Japanese born mixed martial artist remained on the roster for seven more years before being cut following a first round TKO loss to Ronaldo ‘Jacare’ Souza.
Okami fought for various organizations following his release, while also dropping down to Welterweight. When, in the latter part of 2017, he was called upon as a short-notice injury replacement by the UFC. Seven days before UFC Fight Night 117: St. Preux vs. Rua, one half of the main event, Maurico Rua, withdrew due to an apparent knee injury. Okami answered the call, giving him seven days to prepare for rising Light Heavyweight contender, Ovince St. Preux. The Japanese native lost the contest by submission in the opening round.
UFC Fight Night Glendale takes place in Glendale Arizona at the Gila River Arena on April 14th. The main event features Justin Gaethje vs. Dustin Poirer.
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