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Rules for WSOF's one-night tournament include 4th judge, no elbows until finals

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On November 20th, World Series of Fighting will stage an eight-man, one-night tournament to determine the next lightweight title challenger. Here are the official rules for the tourney.


World Series of Fighting lightweight champion Justin Gaethje will know who his next title defense will come against once this eight-man, one-night tournament is complete on November 20th in Phoenix, Arizona. Several former UFC fighters like Mike Ricci and Brian Foster feature in this tournament, as well as WSOF mainstays such as Luis Palomino (who is 0-2 vs. Gaethje) and Rich Patishnock.

With the tournament brackets set, the rules are now in place for next month's card. Here are the basic details per Thursday's press release:

  • No elbows allowed, ground or standing, until the tournament finals.
  • The quarter- and semifinals will consist of two five-minute rounds (ignore what their own poster says in the image at the top of the page).
  • If the three judges scoring the bouts have it as a draw, a fourth judge will be used to serve as the tiebreaker, but don't ask me what happens if the 4th judge has it as a draw as well.
Lastly, here's what happens in case of injury to any of the quarterfinalist winners:

Should any of the tournament's quarterfinal stage fight winners be unable to re-enter the cage for his semifinal stage commitment due to an injury sustained en route to victory, the loser of the bout will advance to the following tournament round in place of the hurt fighter.

If neither the winner nor loser are healthy enough to re-enter the cage, however, one of the reserve fight winners will serve as a replacement in the tournament field.

The tournament final will serve as the main event, while the non-tournament co-main is between Jason High and Estevan Payan. Here's the full tournament bracket:

Alternate bouts

LaRue Burley vs. Joe Condon
Benny Madrid vs. Ramil Mustapayev


Mike Ricci vs. Brian Cobb
Luis Palomino vs. Rich Patishnock

Brian Foster vs. Joao Zeferino
Jorge Patino vs. Islam Mamedov


Ricci/Cobb winner vs. Palomino/Patishnock winner
Foster/Zeferino winner vs. Patino/Mamedov winner



The card will broadcast live on NBC SN at 11 PM ET/8 PM PT.