The mixed martial arts community is in full swing this year as another card of action is ready to be presented on Saturday, January 18th. At World Series of Fighting 8 there are a number of reasons to watch this event. Two titles will be awarded and the organization continues to build towards what they are considering will be a great year of growth.
WSOF 8 will crown two champions to join Steve Carl as the first fighters to hold belts in their respective weight classes. Undefeated lightweight Justin Gaethje will face off against Richard Patishnock for the opportunity to hold the belt at 155. Gaethje has looked phenomenal since joining the promotion as he's rattled off three straight stoppages.
Gaethje was scheduled to face two other opponents who were forced off the card due to injury; creating the opening for Richard to get a shot at the strap. The 26-year old fighter is on a two-fight win streak since joining the promotion in 2013. His grinding style can cause problems for the very aggressive Gaethje, so while he may be a vast betting underdog, it will be interesting to see if he can pull off quite the upset.
Long time women's MMA competitor, Jessica Aguilar, will make her promotional debut in an attempt to become the first strawweight champion of the WSOF. With 20 professional fights, the Houston native has faced some of the greatest female fighters the sport has ever known. She most recently defeated Megumi Fujii for the second time, defeated Carla Esparza in 2011 and lost a close split decision battle to Zolia Gurgel in 2010. Aguilar is widely considered one of the top pound-for-pound competitors across all women's MMA and it will be quite a moment to see her have the opportunity to fight on what may be the biggest stage yet.
WSOF heavyweight Anthony Johnson is walking into a story book moment in his MMA career. He's set to face off against Mike Kyle and while there isn't a title on the line, he's in a position with many risks.
This is Johnson's last contracted fight with the promotion. He's made it clear that he intends to access the situation after this fight and make a decision towards the best financial opportunity presented to him. While other promotions haven't made any comments on whether or not they will seek “Rumble's” services in this new weight class, he has strung together a six-fight win streak since leaving the UFC. He's had well documented struggles with making weight, but in moving up to heavyweight it seems as if the long time welterweight has put all of those problems behind him.
To go with that decision, he's been promised the chance to fight for the WSOF heavyweight title against an unnamed opponent once he resigns with the company. Being one of the first champions of an aggressively growing fight organization could open up lucrative deals for Johnson further along in his fight career. Even still, he assures the fight public that he's not looking past the experienced Mike Kyle in the co-main event of the evening.
Along with these fights, there are other reasons worth watching the action. Cody Bollinger and Tyson Nam will face off in an important bantamweight.fight that features two talented, but lesser known competitors. Freddy Assuncao and Brenson Hansen are paired off in what should be an action packed featherweight matchup as well. In the past, cards such as these have created some exciting fights even if the competitors are not as well known as the big name stars in the sport.
World Series of Fighting 8 is the organization's first offering in the year 2014. Those unfamiliar with the promotion should take the time to enjoy this fight card. WSOF President Ray Sefo has promised some developments within his organization that should entice fight fans to care about the fighters that are under his employ. With two titles on the line this fight card features some of the best athletes that the promotion has to offer.