World Series of Fighting is assembling arguably the most stacked card in promotion history

On Monday afternoon, WSOF announced they were planning a world championship tripleheader for their upcoming WSOF 22 card. The card, which will be headlined by a highly-anticipated showdown between reigning welterweight Rousimar “Toquinho” Palhares and Jake Shields, will be take place at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino on Saturday, Aug. 1, live on NBCSN.

But on Monday, co-main event will see red-hot WSOF World Bantamweight Champion Marlon Moraes put his coveted belt on the line against undefeated contender Sheymon Moraes, while two undefeated rising stars, Magomed “Gladiator” Bibulatov and Donavon Frelow, face off in the inaugural WSOF world flyweight championship title fight.

“This is, in my opinion, the most incredible lineup of fights featuring marquee talent that WSOF has put together since we launched the company in 2012,” stated WSOF President Ray Sefo in press release.. “We have a collection of highly competitive matchups with top-caliber superstars that have all made some kind of mark in the sport, and it should be a spectacular night of world-class combat.”

In other action on the live NBCSN telecast, world kickboxing champion and MMA upstart Tyrone Spong will make his long-awaited return to the cage and square off with veteran powerhouse Mike “MAK” Kyle in a light heavyweight contest

Additionally, top-flight prospect and aggressive-minded finisher Abubaker Nurgamedov will make his promotional debut against an opponent to be announced.

For Palhares (17-6) this will be his second straight contest against a former UFC title contender. He previously submitted Jon Fitch just 90-seconds into their main event title fight at WSOF 16 in December.  Prior to this win, ‘Toquinho’ walked away with 69 second submission victory over Steve Carl in their title bout at WSOF 9 in March, winning WSOF’s 170-pound title in the process. He will enter this bout with 14 career submission wins, 11 of which have come from leg locks.

Shields (31-7) will be looking to make it three straight under the WSOF banner after scoring back-to-back first round submission over Ryan Ford and Brian Foster. Prior to this string of success fans saw Shields on the receiving end of a lopsided loss to Hector Lombard at UFC 171 last March that signaled the end of his run with the promotion, despite having gone 3-1-1 in his last five fights inside the Octagon. A former Strikeforce middleweight champion, Shields has defeated notables such as Dan Henderson, Tyron Woodley and Robbie Lawler over the course of his career, but he came up short in his lone effort at earning UFC gold against Georges St-Pierre in 2012.

Since making his WSOF debut with a split-decision victory over superstar Miguel Torres on the promotion’s inaugural card, Moraes (14-4-1) of Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. via Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, has been unstoppable and on Feb. 21, the 27-year-old secured his ninth straight win with a unanimous decision over previously unbeaten Josh Hill.

The other Moraes (7-0) has also been perfect since he jumpstarted his professional career with a unanimous decision win over Richard Medeiros on March 17, 2012. The 24-year-old, who has earned four of his seven career wins by way of (T)KO, made both his U.S. and promotional debut for WSOF on Dec. 13, 2014, earning a split decision over Gabriel Solorio.

Bibulatov of Grozny, Chechnya, Russia and Frelow (4-0) of Las Vegas represent two of MMA’s most heralded 125 pound prospects.Bibulatov (9-0), whose first start for WSOF also represents his debut in the U.S., notched his 9th career win on March 14, scoring a first round knockout on Eduardo Felipe in Grozny. The 26-year-old’s most noteworthy achievement to date is his victory of a one-night, eight-man tournament in Portugal in August 2013, when he defeated three consecutive opponents, including two by way of first round submission, to emerge the winner of the single-elimination affair.

Frelow (4-0) is a 30-year-old member of Wanderlei Silva’s fight squad and a product of Las Vegas’ highly competitive amateur fight circuit where he amassed an overall record of 5-1 between 2011 and 2013, his only defeat being on the losing end of a split decision in May 2011. In his last appearance and WSOF debut, Frelow earned a unanimous decision over Taylor McCorriston on Jan. 17.

After sustaining a broken leg in kickboxing competition in April 2014, Spong (2-0) of Boca Raton, Fla. via Paramaribo, Suriname will enter the cage for the first time since Aug. 10, 2013, when he notched a unanimous decision over Angel DeAnda in WSOF action. A three-time world kickboxing champion with over 80 career professional bouts in the sport, the 29-year-old former protégé of kickboxing legend Ernesto Hoost recently began pursuing a third combat sports career in professional boxing, as well, where he is a perfect 2-0 (1 KO), to date.

Kyle (21-12-1, 2 NC) of San Jose, Calif., is a battle-tested, heavy-handed finisher and member of Team AKA who has competed all over the world for numerous, major MMA promotions since he began his professional career in 2001. The 35-year-old Kyle, has earned 17 of his 21 professional career wins by way of (T)KO or submission, is coming off of a first round (1:56) submission (guillotine choke) victory over Baga Agaev on March 26.

The live NBCSN telecast of “WSOF 22: Palhares vs. Shields” begins at 11 p.m. ET/8 p.m. PT on Saturday, August 1.

About The Author

News Manager

José began his career as a mixed martial arts journalist while still enrolled at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communications at Arizona State University. Since graduating in May 2013, he has attended dozens of high profile UFC fight cards as a credentialed member of the media, providing live cage side coverage through his articles and videos. His work has appeared on UFC.com, ArizonaSports.com and AZCentral. He is also currently one of the main contributors on Power MMA Show at Arizona Sports 98.7 FM, one of the first all MMA radio shows on a major radio station.