The landscape of MMA is littered with organizations both small and large. Some came in with big plans and fell flat (YAMMA anyone?) while others have stuck around and become viable national brands. This week, a new organization announced that they are throwing their hat in the MMA ring.
MMA World Series of Fighting is a new organization based out of Las Vegas. They are set to debut in Vegas later this year, tentatively scheduled for November 3, and will feature 5 weight classes ranging from Lightweight to Heavyweight. According to their website, champions in all divisions will be crowned in tournaments that will wrap up in 2013. K-1 great and Xtreme Couture trainer Ray Sefo will serve as the organization's president.
The company has two key components that set them apart from other upstart organizations - an impressive talent roster, and, most notably, a TV deal.
According to the event request filed with the Nevada State Athletic Commission, MMA World Series of Fighting will air on NBC Sports Network - that's the rebranded name for Versus, a channel already known to any MMA fan thanks to their former partnership with the UFC. When the UFC signed their deal with Fox last year, they left Versus behind, opening the door for MMA World Series of FIghting to step in. That's definitely a big deal, and immediately gives the company a huge leg up in terms of audience reach. Again, this information comes from the company's request to the NSAC, and has not yet been announced publicly by either the organization or NBC Sports Network.
The company's website includes an initial roster, and it's quite impressive, with a few particularly notable names standing out. Among them are Roger Huerta (who will headline the first show against Kurt Southern), Jorge Santiago, Gilbert Yvel, Tyrone Spong, Rolles Gracie, and Jerome Le Banner. If all these names pan out, it's a very interesting talent pool, with a number of fighters that grab my attention. Check out the full rosters in the complete entry.
Between the NBC Sports Network deal and the planned roster, MMA World Series of Fighting has managed to quickly make a strong impression. The big question now is, can they keep that attention. If so, we can welcome a new player to the mix of national level MMA promotions.
The complete MMA World Series of Fighting roster according to their website is:
Jerome Le Banner