On Monday's edition of The MMA Hour, World Series of Fighting executive VP Ali Abdel-Aziz made a special announcement regarding one of his promotion's upcoming events. In order to determine the next title challenger for the winner of Justin Gaethje-Luis Palomino II, WSOF will conduct an eight-man, one-night tournament on November 20th in Seattle, WA. While the entire field isn't set, they have got most of it confirmed, including UFC veteran and TUF 16 runner-up Mike Ricci. Here are the quotes via MMA Fighting:
"The winner will fight three times, and it's going to crown a tournament champion," Abdel-Aziz said. "It's going back to the gladiator days. One gladiator fights and he keeps going and going until he achieves his ultimate goal."
The field of eight includes Dagestani prospect Islam Mamedov (12-1), UFC veteran Mike Ricci (10-4), Joao Zeferino (18-6), Rich Patishnock (6-2), Jorge Patino (37-15-2), Brian Cobb (20-8), plus the likely winner of WSOF 23's LaRue Burley (6-0) vs. Brian Foster (22-7) main card fight and another unnamed competitor.
"That's good for the hardcore fan, but when you have an eight-man tournament, you want to sit in front of the TV and watch which gladiator is going to win the tournament -- which one is going to wrap his knee and go back into the second round, then is going to ice his eye from swelling and go back and fight this other gladiator and be a champion."
One of the men who is competing on the World Series of Fighting 25 show in Seattle is Jason High, but he won't be participating in the tournament. Instead, High will debut against former Strikeforce and UFC fighter Caros Fodor. "Unnamed competitor" could be reserved for one of the fellow new signings Colton Smith or Isaac Vallie-Flagg.
It should be noted that WSOF 25 will take place on the same night as Bellator 146, which currently has no fights scheduled but will take place in Thackerville, Oklahoma. Regardless, WSOF and Bellator MMA will be holding one-night tournaments just two months apart, with Bellator doing a four-man LHW tourney on September 19th as part of their Dynamite show.