ATLANTIC CITY — The World Series of Fighting, the newest professional organization in mixed martial arts, will stage its second-ever card tonight at Revel’s Ovation Hall.
That’s if the WSOF can resolve some glitches in time.
Like any new venture, the WSOF ran into a few issues during Friday’s weigh-in at Revel’s The Social.
First, the weigh-in was delayed by about an hour because the fighters had not completed the necessary paperwork with the New Jersey Athletic Control Board, the state’s governing body for boxing and MMA.
Next, Control Board official Nicholas Lembo, a deputy state attorney general, informed the WSOF that the pads covering the posts inside the cage were too thin and that the canvas on the floor was a foot too short.
The problem with the pads is easily solvable. WSOF is scheduled to borrow some used by Vineland-based Cage Fury Fighting Championships at its events in Atlantic City.
“I’m happy to help them out,” said CFFC president Rob Haydak, who also helped WSOF put its fight card together. “I don’t consider them to be a rival. The WSOF is a national organization and we’re regional, at least for now.”
But because WSOF’s cage is a hexagon instead of an octagon, it can’t borrow a canvas. Thus, the organization is flying one in from its base in Las Vegas.
Assuming the problems are corrected, as expected, tonight’s 12-bout show includes some intriguing fights featuring some of the sport’s top fighters and prospects.
J.Z. Calvalcante (16-6), who fights Justin Gaethje (7-0), was once considered the top lightweight in the world. The co-feature between bantamweights Marlin Moraes (9-4) and Tyson Nam (12-4) has the potential to be the best fight. Former UFC heavyweight champion Andrei Arlovski (19-9) takes on Anthony Johnson (15-3) in the main event.
MMA experts rank WSOF’s talent roster among the top three in the industry, along with UFC and Bellator. UFC held a card at Revel last June, and Bellator is coming there April 4. WSOF also has the benefit of a three-year TV contract with NBC Sports Network and will televise some fights through Univision Deportes.
“A lot of leagues made the mistake of trying to be too big too soon,” WSOF president Ray Sefo said. “We’re taking small steps and trying to find the right mix of fighters who are the right fit for us.”
Notes: Doors to Ovation Hall will open at 5:30 p.m. today with the first bout slated for 6:30. Tickets start at $39 and are available through Ticketmaster and at Revel’s box office. Ticketmaster is offering a two-for-one deal by entering the code “MMARTS.”
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