World Series of Fighting (WSOF.com) announced today that it will crown its first flyweight (125 pounds) champion in history – the winner of a matchup between undefeated, surging stars Magomed “Gladiator” Bibulatov and Donavon Frelow – at Foxwoods Resort Casino in Mashantucket, Conn. on Saturday, Oct. 17, live on NBCSN at 8:30 p.m. ET/5:30 p.m. PT.
The bout represents one of two world championship matchups that will unfold at “WSOF 24: Fitch vs. Okami,” the second being a previously announced heavyweight championship contest between reigning kingpin Blagoy Ivanov (12-1) of Sofia, Bulgaria and challenger Derek “Caveman” Mehman (19-6) of Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
“We are looking forward to crowning the first champion ever in our fast-growing and highly-competitive flyweight division, on October 17,”
said World Series of Fighting President Ray Sefo.
“As two of the weight class’ most dynamic stars who have yet to be beaten, Magomed and Donavon have earned their respective places in this historic championship fight, and we are confident that the winner will personify what being a champion in World Series of Fighting is about.”
The fight marks the U.S. debut of the 27-year-old Bibulatov (9-0) of Grozny, Chechnya Russia, following a perfect, two-year run competing against opponents in his homeland as well as in France and Portugal, eventually earning the coveted, number one ranking in his weight class in Europe.
Bibulatov, a practitioner of martial arts, including sambo and wrestling, since his early youth, remains the only fighter to have beaten UFC star Taylor Lapilus, over whom Bibulatov earned a unanimous decision on October 12, 2013 in the main event of a fight card held in Lapilus’ home country of France.
In his last start on March 14, Bibulatov scored a first round (1:30) KO (punch) on Eduardo Felipe in co-main event action in Bibulatov’s hometown of Grozny.
A member of MMA legend Wanderlei Silva’s vaunted, Las-Vegas based fight team, the 30-year-old Frelow (5-0) has notched four of his five professional career victories, thus far, by way of submission.
Following a near-perfect amateur career that saw him amass an overall record of 5-1 between April 2011 and October 2013, Frelow accepted his first pro fight on just four days’ notice and at the flyweight limit of 125 pounds, 10 pounds lower than that he had previously been competing at.
Frelow persevered in his first pro start, though, defeating George Garcia by way of submission (guillotine choke) in the second round (:30) of their bout on March 6, 2014.
In his third pro outing on December 20, 2014, Frelow needed only 25 seconds to submit Donald Belcher with an armbar. Frelow has since recorded two straight wins in the World Series of Fighting decagon cage.
The entire preliminary fight card will stream live on an embeddable video player on WSOF.com.
The card is subject to change.
MAIN CARD (Live on NBCSN)
Welterweight Main Event: Jon Fitch vs. Yushin Okami
World Series of Fighting Heavyweight Championship Co-Main Event:
Blagoy Ivanov vs. Derek Mehman
Lightweight: Nick Newell vs. Tom Marcellino
Light Heavyweight: Vinny Magalhaes vs. Matt Hamill
World Series of Fighting Flyweight Championship
Magomed Bibulatov vs. Donavon Frelow
PRELIMINARY CARD (Live on WSOF.com)
Featherweight: Rick Glenn vs. Adam Ward
Featherweight: Alexandre Almeida vs. Saul Almeida
Heavyweight: Juliano Coutinho vs. TBA
Featherweight: Rodrigo Almeida vs. Bruce Boyington
Welterweight: Washington Nunes Da Silva vs. Colton Smith
Middleweight: Justin Torrey vs. Rex Harris
Middleweight: Louis Taylor vs. Nicolai Salchov
Heavyweight: Pat Walsh vs. Tyler King
UFC Announces Liverpool Event, Darren Till Main Event
Scousers are drowning in celebration this evening. Earlier today, UFC officials announced the addition of a Liverpool show to their 2018 event calendar. Liverpool’s, Echo Arena, plays host for the event, which takes place on May 27th.
Liverpool’s own, Darren Till made the announcement this afternoon with Dan Hardy at the UFC Fight Night: Werdum vs. Volkov, ceremonial weigh-in. When asked by Hardy what it means to have the UFC in Liverpool, he had this to day, “Words can’t describe it. It doesn’t do it justice, words. So, it’s coming and I’m going to be the first Scousers to ever have done it. In 200 years they’re going to remember my name in combat sports in Liverpool. I’m gonna take someones chin off in Liverpool, that’s what’s happening”.
He was also quoted in an release from the promotion saying, “I can’t believe UFC is finally coming to Liverpool and I’m going to be headlining Echo Arena. My name is going to be remembered in 200 years time for being part of this historical event and I can’t even describe how much that means to me”. Till will headline the card, his opponent is yet to be announced.
In the official release, it quotes David Shaw, Senior Vice President International and Content, claiming, “The stars really aligned for the Octagon to touch down in Liverpool. We have seen such phenomenal demand from fans in the region for a live event. Pair that with having such a rising, local star in Darren Till it made absolute sense to bring our first live event to this historical combat sports city in 2018”.
UFC Liverpool lands on a date speculated for a different venue, in a different country. Reports swirled last month, specifically one from MMAFighting.com, which claimed the May 27th date belonged to the UFCs return to Dublin. A return to Dublin doesn’t seem to fall completely out of the realm of possibility. For now, it remains to be seen.
The UFC also announced two bouts, both in the Middleweight division, booked for the event. Elias Therodorou takes on Trevor Smith, and Daniel Kelly goes up against England’s Tom Breese.
Rhode Island Prospect John Douma Booked for CES 49 against Zach Burhans
The New England regional MMA scene has been fairly quiet this month. Such a description won’t be apt one month from now. As the days fade away from the month of March, the two most prominent organizations of this region gear up for early April events. The CES MMA promotion holds CES 49, on the first Friday of April (April 6th). CES 49 takes place in its hub venue, Twin River Casino, in Lincoln, Rhode Island.
Yesterday, CES officials announced John Douma, a highly regarded pro featherweight prospect, makes his third appearance for the MMA promotion, when he faces Zach Burhans at CES 49.
For John Douma, he looks to continue his career with an undefeated record. At 2-0, Douma owns two stoppage victories, both coming in the first round (1 KO/TKO, 1 Sub). Born and raised in Wyckoff, Rhode Island, Douma is the New England regions 18th ranked pro Featherweight (Rankings by Tapology.com). A lofty ranking for a 21-year-old with only two professional fights on his record. Especially so in the regions most prominent professional division.
Zach Burhans comes into next months match with a similar amount of experience. Burhans has four professional fights in his arsenal of experience with a record of 3-1. Twice that of his opponent, but two times a small number is still a small number. The New York fighter makes his promotional debut at next months CES 49.
Surprisingly, Burhans has not fought since his last loss, which came in March of 2011. The loss was the first of his four fight pro career. It also was the first fight for Burhans since August of 2009. At CES 49, he ends his second hiatus from professional mixed martial arts. His second and most recent break from the sport was his longest. Burhans did not compete from March 2011, until next months CES MMA card. Making the span between his most recent and upcoming, around 6 years and nine months.
CES 49 takes place at Twin River Casino in Lincoln, Rhode Island on April 6th. Other bouts featured on the card include, #1 ranked New England Lightweight, Nate Andrews takes on Chris Padilla for the promotions vacant Lightweight title. Kaline Medeiros attempts to bounce back following her 3rd round submission loss to rising star, Mackenzie Dern at Invicta 26, when she faces 11th ranked pound-for-pound New England women’s fighter, Jenna Serio. Also, Chris Curtis goes up against Jason Norwood in a main card Welterweight clash.
Report: Bellator plans Rome event for July
With the news of Bellator 200, turning a bit stale being nearly a week old, comes more international event news for the promotion. According to a report by Raphael Marinho of Combate, Bellator scheduled its third international event of 2018. In the report, it states the promotion booked July 14th as a date for a Rome, Italy event.
It will be the first event held by Bellator in the historic city of Rome, Italy. The first in Rome, but the fifth Bellator event in Italy. Previously, the promotion made stops in Torino and Florence, Italy, holding two events in each location. It also marks the 23rd international held by Bellator. 23 events across 10 cities, and 5 countries.
The previous four Italian events held a mixture of combat sports. Each of the events had a Kickboxing card, serving as the main event and an MMA card, which acted as a main card. News of an accompanying Kickboxing card, most likely, would come following a formal announcement of the event.
Also included in the report, the promotion is working to make Alessio Sakara the headliner of evening. Sakara spent nine years with the UFC (Oct. 2005 – Oct. 2013). Over that span, he earned a record of 6-8. He was cut following four consecutive loses. Before signing with Bellator, Sakara signed with Final Fight Championship, where he went 1-0, 1 NC. His final fight with FFC (Final Fight Championship) was a 1:32 KO of his opponent.
The Italian athlete, Sakara, fought on three of the four previous Italy held Bellator events. Sakara headlined Bellator 190 & 168, while begin the co-main event for Bellator 152. Interestingly, the Middleweights only Bellator competition took place in his home country of Italy. He is 2-1 with the promotion, defeating Brian Rogers and Joey Beltran, respectively, while losing to Middleweight champion, Rafael Carvalho, most recently.
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