NBC. It’s a network that’s become synonymous with American television. And now, World Series of Fighting (WSF) is primed to become synonymous with MMA.

I know it may sound crazy to say, considering how new WSF is to the MMA scene, but the upstart promotion has a few trump cards over some regional promotions.  One of them is a partnership with NBC Sports.

WSF is expected to air on NBC Sports Network, which MMA fans will recognize as the cable network formerly known as Versus. The network has undergone a rebranding under the NBC umbrella, but should remain well-known to MMA fans due to its former partnership with the UFC and WEC. NBC Sports Network has also began running a number of shows to help distinguish themselves from other sports networks.

The WSF could add to that diversity by providing something very few MMA promotions offer—a tournament format. As of now, Bellator Fighting Championships is the only major promotion that follows the tournament format, but it has failed to capitalize on the popularity that Pride’s Grand Prix series once enjoyed.

A problem with Bellator’s tournaments is that many of the names are top prospects that are unrecognizable to the average MMA fan. WSF could move past that with its impressive array of talent currently under contract.

Names like Roger Huerta, Thales Leites, Jorge Santiago, Tyrone Spong, Gilbert Yvel, Rolles Gracie and Jerome Le Banner are just a small handful of the names that comprise the WSF roster. Another name recently added to the list is Miguel Angel Torres, one of the pioneers of the 135-pound division.

Of course, there’s a risk involved for NBC Sports for signing a partnership with a smaller promotion rather than one that has a more recognizable name. Part of what will help World Series of Fighting become a recognizable name, besides the deal with NBC, is its president, Ray Sefo. Sefo is one of the biggest stars of K-1 and also coaches at the Xtreme Couture gym in Las Vegas. Sefo’s name and connections will likely lead to an increase in talent once the promotion gets going.

Sefo and WSF’s location will also play a factor in getting WSF, along with NBC Network, into the MMA market. The promotion will be based out of Las Vegas, and as any combat sports fan knows, fights in Las Vegas just seem to have a certain mystique to them. WSF would be wise to play up the fact that it will be located in the boxing/MMA capital of the world.

In the end the partnership between NBC Sports and WSF is mutually beneficial to each party involved. WSF has some drawing power with its veteran roster and recognizable president, and NBC Sports has the brand name to bring national attention to the promotion. There’s risk involved for NBC by choosing a promotion like World Series of Fighting, but given that the events will air on NBC Sports Network, instead of a national channel (I’m looking at you, CBS), there’s relatively low risk involved should something bad happen.

Photo: Miguel Torres (James Law/Heavy MMA)

About The Author

Kyle Symes
Staff Writer

Kyle is a recent graduate of Aurora University, where he obtained a Bachelor's in Communications. Kyle resides in Illinois, just outside of Chicago. He played baseball and football in both high school and college, but is now focusing on an amateur MMA career.