World Series of Fighting announced Wednesday that it has signed two more marquee athletes – lightweights Jason High and Mike Ricci – to exclusive, multi-year fight agreements. The promotional debut of each fighter will be announced soon.
“We are pleased to welcome Jason High and Mike Ricci, two extremely talented and exciting athletes, to our roster,” said World Series of Fighting President Ray Sefo.
“Our lightweight division is expanding at an aggressive pace,” continued Sefo, “and both Jason and Mike will surely add depth to the competitive pool of athletes in this weight class, and provide us with the means to create some highly compelling matchups with potential title fight implications.”
The 33-year-old High (18-6) of Kansas City, Mo. earned the fight world’s attention for the first time six years ago during a stint at welterweight (170 pounds) with the Japan-based promotion Dream, where he notched a first round (:59) submission (rear-naked choke) victory over Yuya Shirai followed by a split decision win over Andre Galvao on April 5, 2009 and July 20, 2009, respectively.
After an impressive, unanimous decision conquest of rival star Jordan Mein on U.S. soil on Aug. 26, 2010, High returned to Japan where he edged out a split decision over all-time great Hayato Sakurai on New Year’s Eve that year.
High’s stock has continued to rise with successful performances in the now-defunct, former number two promotion in the world, Strikeforce, followed by his move to lightweight.
Ricci (10-4) of Montreal, Quebec, Canada is a 29-year-old Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu brown belt trained by famed Georges St. Pierre-mentor Firas Zahabi. Like High, he has faced and defeated stiff competition under some of the world’s top promotional banners.
When he makes his World Series of Fighting debut, Ricci will hunt for his third straight victory, following a first round (3:57) TKO (punches and elbows) of road warrior Jorge Gurgel on Feb. 28, 2014 and a unanimous decision over George Sotiropoulos on Aug. 22, 2014.