World Series of Fighting is heading down to Brazil.
WSOF already has five events planned for the first half of 2014, and the promotion had added Brazil to the list of future shows. WSOF’s executive vice president Ali Abdel-Aziz told MMAFighting.com they are in negotiations to promote their first fight card in South America next year. Combate first reported the news.
"We plan on coming to Brazil next year," Abdel-Aziz told MMAFighting.com on Friday. "We’re putting on an event there.
"We don’t have a date scheduled yet, but right now we’re talking to some people, trying to find out the right partners in Brazil. We have enough Brazilian fighters to put on a great fight card."
The list of Brazilian fighters under contract with WSOF includes Rousimar Palhares, Marlon Moraes, Danillo Villefort, Paulo Filho, Gesias Cavalcante, Jorge Santiago and four members of the Gracie family.
The details on WSOF’s first trip to Brazil aren’t done yet, but it could include a partnership with a Brazilian promotion, like the deals with Aggression Fighting Championship, in Canada, and Pancrase in Japan.
"The UFC did a great job putting a blueprint on how to run a business internationally," Abdel-Aziz said. "We’re in the middle of a negotiation with some people. We’re gonna go from there to see what’s going to happen. I can’t talk too much about it because the deal is not done yet."
The first fight of the card is already signed: Jorge Patino "Macaco" (35-14-2, 1 no-contest) vs. Jose "Pele" Landi-Jons (28-15).
Patino and Landi-Jons fought twice back in the vale-tudo days in Brazil, with "Pele" scoring two stoppage wins in 1996 and 1997. "Pele" has wins over the likes of Matt Hughes, Alexander Shlemenko, Pat Miletich on his record, and "Macaco" has defeated Efrain Escudero, Ronaldo Souza and Pete Spratt since his MMA debut in 1995.
"I talked to both of them and they both agreed (to fight)," he said. "I talked to Renzo (Gracie) and he said that would be a great fight to put on in Brazil. At eh same time, Pele was tweeting me asking for a fight. I talked to Macaco and he said ‘yes, I’ll fight this guy now.’"
It’s also not a done deal yet, but UFC veteran Pedro Rizzo could also be a part of WSOF’s first card in Brazil.
"I know (Rizzo) wants one more fight before he ends his career," he said. "I’m a big fan of Pedro. If I go to Brazil, I’m going to put all these old veterans on the card.
"I got JZ Cavalcante, Marlon Moraes, Danillo Villefort. I have a lot of Brazilian fighters. I have, of course, Rolles Gracie, Igor Gracie, Gregor Gracie and Neiman Gracie. I have a lot of Brazilian fighters I can put on the card and give a very good card for the Brazilian fans."