World Series of Fighting’s first-ever four-man tournament kicks off Sept. 14 with a pair of middleweight match-ups, as David Branch (12-3) meets Danillo “Indio” Villefort (14-4) and Elvis “The King” Mutapcic (13-2) faces Jesse “JT Money” Taylor (26-9) at World Series of Fighting 5: Johnson vs. Kyle.
Both bouts are scheduled for the NBC Sports Network-televised main card of World Series of Fighting 5, which takes place at Revel Casino Hotel’s Ovation Hall in Atlantic City. The winners will meet on a future World Series of Fighting card to claim the tournament crown and establish themselves as the company’s No. 1 contender at 185 pounds.
A light heavyweight slugfest between knockout artist Anthony “Rumble” Johnson (15-4) and slugger Mike “MAK” Kyle (20-9-1) serves as the evening’s main event.
Branch, of Brooklyn, N.Y., fights for the third time under the World Series of Fighting banner. The Renzo Gracie protégé, a Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt, defeated former World Extreme Cagefighting champion Paulo Filho and kickboxing specialist Dustin Jacoby in his first two appearances.
Villefort, of Coconut Creek, Fla., made his World Series of Fighting debut in March, when he earned a decision win over three-time UFC veteran Kris McCray. A 29-year-old Brazilian native and member of Florida’s famed Blackzilians team, Villefort is 5-1 in his past six fights and owns black belts in both Brazilian jiu-jitsu and judo.
Mutapcic, who was born is Bosnia and now resides in Des Moines, Iowa, makes his World Series of Fighting debut. The 26-year-old currently boasts a five-fight win streak and is an incredible 10-1 in his past 11 fights. During that run, he claimed the middleweight title of Canada’s Maximum Fighting Championship promotion but relinquished that belt to chase the World Series of Fighting crown.
Taylor, of San Diego, Calif., brings a six-fight win streak to his World Series of Fighting debut. A seven-year veteran of the sport, the 29-year-old Taylor holds championship titles on two continents after recent outings in Europe and Australia. Taylor has long been featured on the sport’s biggest stages with past appearances for noted promotions such as the UFC, Strikeforce and DREAM.
World Series of Fighting 5 features a five-fight main card in addition to a full lineup of preliminary contests. Additional bouts will be announced in the coming weeks.