In just around two years, the World Series of Fighting has become one of the MMA’s most prominent promotions.
Spearheaded by fighter-turned-promoter Ray Sefo, WSOF had a banner year in 2014 by expanding the number of events it conducted and by crowning multiple champions of some of the best young talent in the sport.
Speaking to MMAWeekly.com during the holiday season, Sefo discussed the year the WSOF has had in 2014, as well as the plans he has for the promotion and his own fight career in 2015.
MMAWeely.com: Firstly Ray, look back on 2014 and tell us your thoughts on the year overall for the WSOF.
Ray Sefo: For a second year, it was a good year, but like any business, you are going to have your challenges. Fighters get injured and things get changed and stuff, but overall I’m very happy with 2014. There’s still a lot to learn, and as we move forward that’s what we’re going to do. It’s been a very positive year.
Obviously one of the things that were important to us was continue to put on good shows. Our production and shows on NBC Sports was nothing but an A+. With the help of our fighters, our partners, NBC, we wouldn’t be able to accomplish what we did this year.
Being in 90 countries around the world for only having been around two years is a fact I’m very proud of.
MMAWeekly.com: Are there any fighters you feel stand out among the best for the promotion this year?
Ray Sefo: I would have to say Lance Palmer. He just fought for the featherweight title and was able to get an upset over Rick Glenn. I would also say Rick Glenn because he was overlooked a lot and went and won the title over Georgi Karakhanyan.
(Lightweight champion) Justin Gaethje is a complete monster in the cage. He’s undefeated and continues to improve and give fans what they want to see. He goes out and makes sure he wins by knockout or submission
What can I say about (bantamweight champion) Marlon Moraes that hasn’t already been said? The guy is a complete mixed martial artist and continues to improve.
(115-pound women’s champion) Jessica Aguilar is one of the best strawweights in the world and continues to show people why she’s in that number one spot.
MMAWeekly.com: What sort of plans or goals does WSOF have for 2015?
Ray Sefo: One of the things that I said in the post-fight press conference after the last show is that we’re going to go global. We’ve already done some shows in Canada and have been very successful there.
The goal in 2015 is to go global and have a few shows all over the world like Japan, Brazil, and Mexico. I’ve gotten some contacts from Europe as well. We’d like to focus on that global market and put on great shows in the U.S. and continue to grow that outside it.
MMAWeekly.com: Turning our attention to you, Ray, do you have any plans to return to fighting in 2015?
Ray Sefo: I’ve come to a conclusion that 2015 will be the last year that I compete. Mainly because I’m so busy with so many different things. Next year we have 14 dates – up from eight shows this year – and are only going to expand.
I’d like to get in two more fights, maybe three, and then after that hang my gloves up. In saying that, if I don’t do three, and manage to do one, by the end of 2015, Ray Sefo will definitely retire.