World Series of fighting just can’t seem to catch a break.
Originally, the company planned a huge show on July 5, capitalizing on a number of factors. UFC’s heavily promoted “International Fight Week” takes place that week, as they’ll be promoting two shows, in addition to concerts and fan expos. Not to mention the fact that it will be Independence Day weekend.
On top of that, across the country in Florida, World Series of Fighting will run it’s first ever event on the NBC network, slated in a mid-afternoon slot, just before the huge UFC 175 event will go on air. Things seemed to good to be true.
WSOF had planned on Welterweight champion Rousimar Palhares defending his newly won title against UFC veteran Jon Fitch to help support the big card, which would have been their most stacked in the promotion’s short history. Unfortunately, Palhares declined, saying he had to care for his ailing mother. Plan A, out the window.
So the WSOF instead decided to book Jake Shields, who has drawn praise and criticism that almost parallels and mirrors that of Fitch, against Fitch himself. Well, that was until Jake Shields was injured and forced out of the fight three weeks later. Plan B, out the window.
Luckily, WSOF has a pretty deep welterweight division, and were able to immediately place former champion Josh Burkman in the spot against Fitch. Many may remember, Burkman scored a huge upset victory over Fitch, but that won’t happen in July. Why? Because last week, Josh Burkman got injured. Plan C, out the window.
Well, that’s not so bad, you may say. WSOF still has the likes of Gerald Harris, Aaron Simpson, and Jorge Santiago in their welterweight division. Well, they don’t. Harris was promised a big fight at the beginning of the year before the WSOF dragged their feet, and subsequently retired. Simpson hasn’t fought in over a year, and Santiago, much like Harris, has seemingly retired. It may not have been plans D, E, or F, but they’re out the window.
Finally, WSOF landed on Dennis Hallman, a UFC veteran, has victories over the likes of Karo Parisyan, and two victories over Matt Hughes. Hallman was released from the UFC in 2011, despite winning three of his last four fights, as he failed to make weight twice in a row. Since leaving the UFC, the 38-year old is 2-0.
It may be plan G, but it will have to work for the WSOF. The WSOF 11 event will also include Nick Newell vs. Justin Gaethje for the lightweight title, as well as Melvin Guillard taking on Gesias Cavalcante.