Even as the World Series of Fighting makes headway into the Canadian market this weekend with WSOF 7 in Vancouver, the promotion is already hard at work putting together its next card. That will happen on January 18, as WSOF 8 hits the Hard Rock Live in Hollywood, Florida to unveil its inaugural lightweight title.
WSOF president Ray Sefo told MMA Fighting that the main event will be a rematch between Gesias "JZ" Cavalcante and the undefeated Justin Gaethje, who first fought at WSOF 2 in Atlantic City. The first meeting ended abruptly when Cavalcante suffered a cut in the first round, giving Gaethje the victory. Since then Cavalcante scored a TKO victory over UFC vet Tyson Griffin, and Gaethje -- who is 3-0 in WSOF -- has finished both Brian Cobb and Dan Lauzon.
Another highlighted bout on the main card will be between Cavalcante's Blackzilians teammate Anthony Johnson and AKA's Mike Kyle. This marks the third time matchmaker Ali Abdel-Aziz has put the Johnson/Kyle fight together in a light heavyweight tilt. They were supposed to meet at WSOF 5 until Johnson suffered an injury, and then again at WSOF 7, which was postponed when Kyle broke his toe.
WSOF 8 will also mark the promotional debut of 22-year Cody Bollinger, who will take on bantamweight upstart Tyson Nam. Bollinger, a Bellator veteran, recently appeared as a cast member on The Ultimate Fighter 18, but was sent home for missing weight ahead of his fight with Anthony Gutierrez. Nam is coming off of a spectacular loss to Marlon Moraes WSOF 2, when he was knocked out with a head kick. He is still considered one of the more dangerous 135-pound fighters out there, having beat Eduardo Dantes at Shooto 33 in Brazil.
Tickets for WSOF 8 go on sale Friday.