World Series of Fighting: What Can Fans Expect Next? Dale De Souza June 19, 2013 News The World Series of Fighting wrapped up only its third show last weekend, but the promotion now stands as an organization that is willing to make moves, create demand and leave a lasting impact on the MMA world. With the recent signings of Derrick Mehmen and Lewis Gonzalez, the MMA world can certainly expect interesting things from the lineups that the WSOF intends to put together for future cards. Naturally, we now find ourselves wondering if the WSOF’s three shows did enough for the promotion to quickly emerge as the No. 3 promotion in the sport. Of course, that shocks no one. A lot of upstart promotions from all over the world surge like this, with successful show after successful show. However, something happens to these promotions which causes them to flame out and eventually go out of business. This raises a number of questions, For one, can we refer to WSOF as the true No. 3 promotion in MMA? Also, can WSOF bring something different from the other now-defunct promotions? Finally, will the promotion emerge as the new Strikeforce? Let’s address each question individually, starting with the first one. It still appears premature to christen WSOF as the true No. 3 promotion in the sport. But if the promotion did not make that case yet, it will in time. Remember, WSOF remains a young promotion and needs time to grow. It will aim to crown new champions on upcoming cards, sure, but it still needs a plethora of talent for its champions to face. Also, let’s not forget that, again, the promotion just wrapped up WSOF 3 this past Friday. It provides a great platform for the next generation of MMA fighters, but it will need more than three events before it can claim that status. Now, can the promotion bring something different than previous “third-best” promotions could not? The answer is likely yes. Aside from its WSOF decagon, the promotion does bring a handful of talent that fans will not find anywhere else. In other words, it isn’t all about picking up the UFC’s castoffs, but rather using that name recognition to draw fans in while also developing homegrown talent to carry the promotion into the future. Prospects like Justin Gaethje, Tyson Steele, Brenson Hansen and others find a suitable platform for exposure in WSOF because the world gets the chance to see them make their names known before they truly get to show their full potential. Developing these fighters alongside the likes of Josh Burkman, Jon Fitch and other established names will be key to sustained success for the promotion. In WSOF President Ray Sefo, the sport gets treated to an executive figure who not only holds experience as a professional kickboxer, but also will always give the promotion’s fans something to look forward to every time the promotion comes to town. Simply put, Sefo knows what the fans want to see from this young upstart pleague, and while it will need the time to come into its own as a promotion, Sefo looks to consistently find a way to deliver. Of course, it also doesn’t hurt that he will fight Dave Huckaba at WSOF 4, but I digress. With the WSOF’s inevitable growth, some will ask if the promotion will emerge as the new Strikeforce. This is not so much about thinking that its product will surpass Bellator MMA and gain the status of the sport’s second-best promotion, but still, remember what Strikeforce accomplished before it folded. Stars like Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza, Tim Kennedy, Gilbert Melendez, Alistair Overeem, Ronda Rousey, Miesha Tate and others created their names under the Strikeforce banner and emerged as top names to watch in MMA over time. Therefore, when the UFC bought the promotion out in 2011, it meant something for those stars and others to cross over to the UFC. Right now, the World Series of Fighting is still just three events old and continues to find its footing. Its moves to sign marquee talent have been ambitious, but what is often overlooked is the promotion’s ability to concoct a balanced blend of veterans and prospects. If given a chance to fill out its roster with additional depth, the promotion can firmly establish its position as the No. 3 promotion in the sport. It may not happen this year, but with the moves that the WSOF has already made up to this point, it will not shock anyone to see it happen sooner than later. Photo: WSOF President Ray Sefo (Dave Mandel/Sherdog) Chris Honestly, I think the WSOF supplants Bellator as #2 by this time next year. Fighters want to fight for an org that treats them well, not one with shady contracts. The fact that they’ve already amassed talent this quickly is crazy, and I only expect their roster to continue to improve. Richard I think the biggest question was missed…who is financing the promotion and how deep are their pockets? As they are bringing up talent of their own, the main draws continue to be UFC castoffs – Andre Arlovski, Anthony Johnson, Jon Fitch, and Josh Burkman have headlined the first 3 events with big names including names like Paulo Filho, Tyson Nam, Miguel Torres, Aaron Simpson, and Jacob Volkman included on the main card. They need to continue to acquire and keep these names for TV exposure while they are trying to build their young guys and that is going to money.