clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

WSOF ‘confident’ going head-to-head with UFC and Bellator


World Series of Fighting moved its 15th edition from Oct. 24 to Nov. 15, going head-to-head with a pair of stacked cards in UFC 180 and Bellator 131, but WSOF officials aren’t afraid of some competition.

"I think competition is really good between Bellator and UFC and WSOF," WSOF executive vice president Ali Abdel-Aziz told "I like the UFC and I like Scott Coker, they're great guys, but I think WSOF always put on exciting fights."

The UFC 180 pay-per-view card will be headlined by heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez against Fabricio Werdum in Mexico, while Bellator 131 takes to Spike a light heavyweight showdown between Tito Ortiz and Stephan Bonnar, plus Will Brooks vs. Michael Chandler for the lightweight title.

WSOF 15 will feature three championship fights. In the main event, David Branch puts his middleweight title on the line against Yushin Okami. Lightweight titleholder Justin Gaethje meets Melvin Guillard in the co-main event, while Kalindra Faria challenges women’s strawweight champ Jessica Aguilar.

"Very intriguing match-ups, especially Melvin Guillard and Justin Gaethje," Abdel-Aziz said. "I’m very, very looking forward to it. And I’m looking forward to see the new David Branch. David Branch has killer instinct, and he’s fighting a guy, Okami, who is a future legend."

However, Abdel-Aziz guarantees they didn’t move the card to compete with the UFC and Bellator.

"The UFC has a show every week. It’s very difficult to go around. We can’t switch dates back and forth," he said. "NBC is a great partner and they trust us. They changed TV schedule for us. I think we have put enough cards to compete with Bellator and the UFC. I really believe that. I think we have an amazing card, and I’m looking forward to it."

On Dec. 13, World Series of Fighting will go head-to-head with the UFC once again.

WSOF 16, headlined by Rousimar Palhares vs. Jon Fitch for the welterweight title, happens on the same night that UFC goes to FOX with Junior dos Santos vs. Stipe Miocic and Rafael dos Anjos vs. Nate Diaz.

"December 13, we have Palhares and Fitch, and Sheymon Moraes vs. Josh Hill for the number one contender. In November, we have three title fights. If I’m a MMA fan, I would DVR the UFC and Bellator, and I would watch WSOF," he said.

"I feel very confident. Dos Santos, a Brazilian, against Stipe Miocic. But if you talk about Palhares… He’s been in the UFC, he’s very big, and he’s fighting Jon Fitch. I think that is a very big fight for Brazilian fans and American fans.

"I think Fitch vs. Palhares is just as big as any fight you can put out there. There will be other cards that night, but I feel very confident that people will watch Fitch and Palhares, 100-percent."

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the MMA Fighting Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of all your fighting news from MMA Fighting