clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

World Series of Fighting 31: Ivanov vs. Copeland event preview

Everything you need to know about World Series of Fighting 31 including heavyweight title bout between champion Blagoy Ivanov and number one contender Josh "The Cuddly Bear" Copeland.

via The World Series of Fighting

World Series of Fighting 31 is going down at the Foxwoods Resort Casino in Mashantucket, Connecticut. Up for grabs in the main event will be the heavyweight crown, as Current WSOF champion Blagoy Ivanov looks to defend his title against wily striker Josh Copeland. The co-main event will be a lightweight title eliminator between American Top Team HD's Jason High and Tristar Gym's Mike Ricci. The main card will air live this Friday on NBCSN at 9:00 PM EDT and the Preliminary bouts will stream online at 5:45 PM EDT.

Check out WSOF CEO Carlos Silva's interview with Bloody Elbow HERE

Main Card: 9:00 PM on NBCSN

Blagoy Ivanov (13-1 MMA; 2-0 WSOF) vs. Josh Copeland (12-3 MMA; 1*-0 WSOF): Heavyweight Title

The World Series of Fighting heavyweight crown is on the line as current champion Blagoy Ivanov looks to thwart the title shot of the Trevor Wittman trained Cuddly Bear Josh Copeland. Ivanov is Sambo master isn't shy about letting his ultra heavy hands go. Of the Bulgarian champion's 13 wins, five were by knockout and six were by submission. Blagoy has the abilities to end the fight no matter where the match takes place... and early too. Copeland has been training at Grudge Training Center alongside the likes of Justin Wren and World Series of Fighting lightweight champion Justin Gaethje. Look for Copeland to want to remain standing by utilizing his footwork and angles to keep the Sambo specialist outside of grappling range.

Check out Josh Copeland's interview with Bloody Elbow HERE

* Although Copeland competed at WSOF 29, the Cuddly Bear fought while under contract with Sparta Combat League that was co-hosting with the World Series of Fighting.

Jason High (19-5 MMA; 1-0 WSOF) vs. Mike Ricci (11-4 MMA; 1-0 WSOF): Lightweight

Both Jason The Kansas City Bandit High and Mike The Martian Ricci have unique nick names. Both Jason High and Mike Ricci have fought for the UFC. Both High and Ricci's last bout was at WSOF 25. Both competitors won their respective bout with a head kick. These two fighters share a lot of similarities, however, only one of them will win to go on to face World Series of Fighting champion Justin Gaethje. Will the athleticism of High send The Kansas City Bandit to a shot at title town or will the technical precision of The Martian beam him up to number one contender status?

Luis Palomino (24-12 MMA; 3-3 WSOF) vs Sheymon Moraes (8-1 MMA; 2-1 WSOF): Featherweight

Expect nothing short of fireworks as the brawling style of Luis Palomino will be matched up against the crisp technical Muay Thai of Sheymon Moraes. Former WSOF lightweight champion Luis Palomino is dropping down to the featherweight division following back to back loses to current champion Gaethje and falling short in the WSOF 25 8-Man Tournament. Will Palomino's power follow him to featherweight? Sheymon Moraes has made waves thus far inside of the WSOF promotion as he has already challenged WSOF bantamweight champion Marlon Moraes for the title back at WSOF 22 in August of 2015. After falling short against Marlon, Sheymon moved up to the featherweight division and dismantled former UFC veteran Robbie Peralta. This should be an ultra exciting bout in which blinking is ill-advised.

Phil Hawes (3-0 MMA; WSOF Debut) vs. Joshua Key (6-11 MMA; WSOF Debut): Middleweight

Phil Hawes has a lot of hype surrounding him and rightfully so. The Jackson/Wink MMA prospect is a hyper athletic talent with a solid wrestling foundation. Although Hawes fell short on making it on to The Ultimate Fighter 23, the 27 year old looks to pave his way under the WSOF banner. Standing in his way will be The Prince of MMA Joshua Key. Key has been fighting since 2007 and will look to pull from his experience to rain on the debut parade of Phil Hawes.

John Howard (23-12 MMA; WSOF Debut) vs. Michael Arrant (14-10 MMA; WSOF Debut): Welterweight

John Doomsday Howard is starting a new chapter in his MMA career following his release from the UFC. Doomsday has joined the World Series of Fighting welterweight division and is set to face short notice replacement Michael Arrant. Arrant has is training out of Xtreme Couture and has won six of his last seven bouts. Howard was originally scheduled to fight Thiago Meller who was sidelined with a torn calf muscle. Has Arrant had enough time to prepare for a veteran of Howard's caliber?

Check out John Howard's interview with Bloody Elbow HERE

Preliminary Card: 5:45 PM EDT

Lorenzo Hood (9-3 MMA; WSOF Debut) vs. Tyler King (10-4 MMA; 0-1 WSOF): Heavyweight

The WSOF heavyweight division is in for a clash of styles as promotional debutant Lorenzo Hood takes on New England's own Tyler King. Hood brings a flashy kickboxing style that will encourage anyone to close the distance. King prefers the grappling game as he has accumulated half of his victories via submission; including a 51 second Heel Hook in his previous bout.

Main Card: (NBCSN -€” 9 PM EDT)

Blagoy Ivanov (13-1) vs. Josh Copeland (13-1)

Jason High (19-5) vs. Mike Ricci (11-4)

John Howard (23-12) vs. Michael Arrant (15-10)

Luis Palomino (24-12) vs. Sheymon Moraes (8-1)

Phil Hawes (3-0) vs. Joshua Keys (6-11-2)

Preliminary Card: ( -€” 5:45 PM EDT)

Lorenzo Hood (9-3) vs. Tyler King (10-4)

Juliano Coutinho (7-2) vs. Justin Willis (3-1)

Tom Marcellino (7-4) vs. Devin Powell (6-1)

Robert Fonseca (10-3-1) vs. Sean Lally (4-2)

Saul Almeida (18-6) vs. Bruce Boyington (12-8)

Rodrigo Almeida (12-3) vs. Ben Pierre-Saint (9-4)

Sam Watford (2-0) vs. Christian Torres (0-0)

Twitter: @theeddiemercado

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the Bloody Elbow Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of all your MMA and UFC news from Bloody Elbow