Seven events in, and Ray Sefo’s World Series of Fighting is struggling to find its identity in its pursuit to become the #2 MMA promotion in the world. The promotion has already announced a co-promotion deal with Pancrase, and has made its plans to go international fairly clear.
While arguably the weakest outing so far, the three main fights still have enough behind them to make WSOF 7 worth watching. Karakhanyan and Palmer is a very solid featherweight title fight, Mutapcic has the potential to be a breakout star, and Nick Newell is possibly the greatest inspiration in all of sports, let alone MMA.
Lance Palmer vs Georgi Karakhanyan (Featherweight – For Inaugural WSOF Title)
Karakhanyan was once thought to be a very middle of the pack fighter, and after going 2-2 in Bellator, it seemed those initial projections were right. Fast forward a few years, and the two guys Karakhanyan lost to are two of the best in the world, and Karakhanyan himself has gone on a 8-0 run, showcasing an incredibly well rounded game.
Palmer is another import out of Team Alpha Male, holds an undefeated record, and is replacing WSOF veteran Rick Glenn here. While he may be undefeated though, he has shown holes, with many feeling he lost to Jared Downing. Still, the winner of this fight will have a clear case to being top 20 in the world.
Elvis Mutapcic vs Jesse Taylor (Middleweight – Number One Contender Fight)
These two were supposed to fight at WSOF 5, but Mutapcic tested positive for a banned substance — which he vehemently denied taking.
Mutapcic may not have hit the mainstream yet, but he’s the real deal. With a knockout win over Ultimate Fighter Brazil winner Cezar Ferreira, and a brutal leg kick TKO over Joseph Henle, Mutapcic has shown he has the skills to belong at the upper echelon.
After an infamous meltdown at the conclusion of TUF 7, Taylor was sent packing from the UFC. Since then, he’s been a true journeyman in the world of MMA, fighting the likes of Dong Sik Yoon, Hector Lombard, and Mamed Khalidov. Now, he finds himself on a six fight win streak, and a win here would see him fight David Branch for the WSOF middleweight title.
Nick Newell vs Sabah Fadai (Lightweight)
The Canadian Fadai has spent most of his career in Asia and Canada, and is getting a step up to the big show here, and on a main card no less, for his WSOF debut.
Let’t not kid ourselves though, this fight is all about Newell. The one armed star has shown that more than having a handicap, he’s an athlete with fantastic skills. While he has been on the brink of defeat before, his wrestling and jiujitsu have proven to be too much for all 10 of his opponents thus far, as he looks to stay undefeated, and possibly earn a title shot in 2014.