WSOF Banking on All Championship Fights on New Year’s Eve

October 17, 2016

Hot on the heels of news that World Series of Fighting had canceled its next two events, company president Ray Sefo confirmed that the promotion is going all-in for its New Year’s Eve event in New York City. There will be three titles on the line at The Theater at Madison Square Garden. on Monday reported that the promotion bagged its WSOF 34 event on Nov. 12 in Colorado and WSOF 35, slated for Dec. 3 in Washington.

“We’ve pretty much kind of merged the two main event cards and decided to put on a mega-card for New York City,” Sefo said on Monday’s edition of The MMA Hour.

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The promotion is moving its WSOF 34 welterweight championship main event fight between champion Jon Fitch and challenger Jake Shields to the New Year’s Eve card, but it won’t serve as the headliner.

Jon Fitch vs Jake Shields at WSOF 34“(Fitch vs. Shields) is going to be the co-main event. The main event is going to be Justin Gaethje vs. Joao Zeferino (for Gaethje’s lightweight title),” revealed Sefo. “It’s going to be a tripleheader. (Bantamweight champion) Marlon Moraes will open up the NBC card with his opponent to be announced.”

Those three title fights will form the full main card, which will air live on NBC from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. ET. There will also be a three-bout card on NBC Sports from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. ET, and three to four bouts prior to that, which will stream online.

“After talking to NBC, they’ve given us NBC Sports to open up that show. The headliner for the NBC Sports card will be Yushin Okami vs. Paul Bradley,” added Sefo.

New Year’s Eve marks the second time World Series of Fighting will air on NBC. The first foray onto the broadcast network also featured Gaethje when he fought Nick Newell in July of 2014.

Though there has been much industry speculation as to the health of WSOF as a business, Sefo said that a large part of the reason the promotion canceled its Nov. 12 event was due to head-to-head competition with the UFC. The MMA juggernaut is promoting its first New York event on Nov. 12 at Madison Square Garden. It has stacked the UFC 205 fight card from top to bottom, also including three championship fights.

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