NBC Sports Group and World Series of Fighting (WSOF) have reached a multi-year agreement extending and broadening NBCSG’s exclusive rights to televise the Las Vegas-based mixed martial arts promotion’s events through 2017, it was announced Tuesday.
The multi-year renewal extends the partnership, which began with World Series of Fighting’s debut in November 2012, and includes multiplatform rights to the organization’s events, which will be televised on NBCSN and NBC, and featured on NBC’s digital platforms.
NBC Sports Group will televise 14 World Series of Fighting events live this year, including NBC’s first-ever broadcast of mixed martial arts when “World Series of Fighting 11: Gaethje vs. Newell” takes place July 5, followed by a year-end card on NBC on December 27. Additional events will be added to NBC and NBCSN schedules in ensuing years.
To date, NBCSN has televised all World Series of Fighting events live, as well as two World Series of Fighting Canada events and seven unique editions of “WSOF Future Champs” and “Unstoppable: Best of World Series of Fighting.”
“We are excited to extend and broaden our partnership to continue to bring World Series of Fighting’s unique brand of elite mixed martial arts to our viewers,” said Jon Miller, President of Programming for NBC and NBCSN.
World Series of Fighting President Ray Sefo, who is also a six-time kickboxing world champion and Hall of Famer added, “We have enjoyed tremendous success as a young company with the great people at NBC, and we are thrilled to be continuing on this journey with them for years to come. World Series of Fighting will continue to put on premier MMA events around the world with some of the world’s best fighters, and we’re so proud to be able to share it with all of NBC and NBCSN’s viewers.”
NBCSN airs the first event following Tuesday’s announcement on Saturday, June 21, when “World Series of Fighting 10: Branch vs. Taylor” takes place at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. The star-studded event features a championship triple header, including a main event of David Branch (13-3) vs. Jesse “JT Money” Taylor (27-9) for World Series of Fighting’s inaugural middleweight title, as well as dual co-main events with World Series of Fighting featherweight champion Georgi “Insane” Karakhanyan (23-3-1) vs. Rick “The Gladiator” Glenn (14-2) and the No. 1 female strawweight fighter in the world and current World Series of Fighting champion Jessica “Jag” Aguilar (17-4), who will defend her belt against Japanese contender Emi “The Kamikaze Angel” Fujino (13-7).
World Series of Fighting will make history on July 5th with its first ever event to air live on NBC. “World Series of Fighting 11: Gaethje vs. Newell” features lightweight champion Justin Gaethje (11-0) putting his belt on the line against the tough and inspirational Nick Newell (11-0). Also on the card, Josh “The People’s Warrior” Burkman (27-10) will face another well-known fighter in Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt Jon Fitch (25-6-1). Both Fitch and Burkman boast a win over each other, so this bout is for bragging rights.