Unprecedented three MMA shows on U.S. TV on Feb. 28

Matthew Stockman

In what may be unprecedented for mixed martial arts in the United States, there will be a three-way head-to-head television confrontation coming on Feb. 28.

The World Series of Fighting on Thursday announced that its Feb. 21 show from Edmonton, Alberta, would be airing on the NBC Sports Network on a one-week tape delay, starting at 9 p.m. Eastern time. That meant it be airing at the same time as Bellator's season opener on Spike, and a Titan Fighting Championships show on the CBS Sports Network.

There's little doubt Spike will "win" the confrontation, as it has the most exposure and star power, headlined by a light heavyweight tournament that features both Quinton "Rampage" Jackson and "King" Mo Lawal. It is conceivable the show will be the most-watched MMA event for the month on cable, in a month where FS 1 will broadcast a live UFC event from Jaragua do Sul, Santa Catarina, Brazil, with a Lyoto Machida vs. Gegard Mousasi main event on Feb. 15, and prelims of two pay-per-view events.

WSOF Canada was the third show in the fray, announcing a show that takes place from the Expo Centre in Edmonton, headlined by Edmonton's Ryan "The Real Deal" Ford (21-4) facing Joel Powell (7-3) of Hamilton, Ontario, in a match billed as crowning the company's first Canadian welterweight champion.

Also announced on the show will be former wrestling standout Steve Mocco (4-0) facing Smealinho Rama (6-1), a Maximum Fighting Championships regular out of Calgary, Alberta.

Mocco, 32, who represented the U.S. at the 2008 Olympics in freestyle wrestling, was one of the country's best heavyweight wrestlers of the past 15 years. He won junior national titles in both wrestling and judo, NCAA Division I titles in 2003 and 2005, and captured both the Junior Hodge Trophy (best high school wrestler in the nation in any weight) in 2001 and the Hodge Trophy (best collegiate wrestler regardless of weight) in 2005. Wrestling at Oklahoma State, he once won 85 matches in a row. He had five wins in wrestling over UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez, who at the time was also one of the country's top collegiate wrestlers, wrestling at Arizona State.
Other main card matches announced were Michael Hill (6-2) vs. Ryan Dickson (6-1) in a welterweight battle, Josh Machan (11-4) vs. Adam Lorenz (7-3) in a featherweight match, and Brandt Dewsberry (10-3-1) vs. Mark Drummond (5-1) in a welterweight match.

WSOF: Canada will air at 9 p.m. Eastern, the same start time as the Bellator show from the Mohegan Sun Casino in Uncasville, Conn., featuring the first round of both light heavyweight and featherweight tournaments. The key fights are Jackson vs. former Bellator light heavyweight champion Christian M'Pumbu and Lawal vs. Mikhail Zayats.
The Titan Fighting Championships will air live from Memorial Hall in Kansas City, Kan., headlined by two battles of former UFC fighters with Jorge Gurgel vs. Mike Ricci and Michael Kuiper vs. Matthew Riddle.

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