This weekend is arguably one of the biggest weekends on the MMA calendar and everything will be kicking off with the World Series Of Fighting 31. The event will be headlined by a heavyweight title fight as Blagoy Ivanov defends against UFC veteran Josh Copeland. Also, Mike Ricci faces Jason High in a lightweight bout and UFC veteran John Howard makes his promotional debut.
WSOF Heavyweight Title Fight
Blagoy Ivanov (13-1-0-1NC) (Champion) vs. Josh “Cuddly Bear” Copeland (12-3-0)
Ivanov will be making the second defense of his championship, last defending it against Derrick Mehmen at the WSOF 24. Copeland is currently undefeated in WSOF competition, having defeated Mike Hayes by decision at the WSOF 29. Ivanov did win six fights during his tenure in Bellator MMA, with a notable win coming over UFC veteran Lavar Johnson at Bellator 116. Copeland is a former Resurrection Fighting Alliance Heavyweight Champion and he did compete twice in the UFC. Copelands best shot at winning is to get the fight to the ground, but Ivanov has great striking and takedown defense, Ivanov keeps the belt via second round TKO.
WSOF Lightweight Division Fight
“The Kansas City Bandit” Jason High (19-5-0) vs. Mike “The Martian” Ricci (11-4-0)
High is currently undefeated under the WSOF banner, defeating fellow UFC veteran Estevan Payan at the WSOF 25. Ricci is coming off an appearance in the WSOF Lightweight Tournament, where he defeated Joe Condon in the first round, but withdrew afterwards due to injury. High won two of four fights during his time in the UFC, most notably defeating James Head at UFC Fight Night: Condit vs. Kampmann II. Ricci is also a UFC veteran, plus he defeated a pair of UFC veterans in Jorge Gurgel and George Sotiropoulos in the Titan Fighting Championships. Ricci will want to use his striking to pick up the win, but High has an amazing wrestling game and he uses that to grind out a decision win.
WSOF Welterweight Division Fight
Michael “Mad Mike” Arrant (15-10-0) vs. John “Doomsday” Howard (23-12-0)
Arrant is a late replacement fighter in this bout and this fight is also going to be marking his World Series Of Fighting debut. Howard will be competing for the first time since his second UFC release, which saw him win only one of his last five in the promotion. Arrant is a skilled fighter, but the late replacement status is going to hurt him here as Howard grounds and pounds him for the first round TKO finish.
WSOF Lightweight Division Fight
Sheymon Da Silva Moraes (8-1-0) vs. Luis “Baboon” Palomino (24-12-0)
Moraes has won two of three fights under the WSOF banner and he has previously challenged for the WSOF Bantamweight Title. Palomino has already challenged twice for the WSOF Lightweight Title and he made it to the semi-finals of the WSOF Lightweight Division Tournament. Palomino will enter this fight with a massive striking and probably weight advantage, he finishes Moraes with strikes in the first.
WSOF Middleweight Division Fight
Phil Hawes (3-0-0) vs. Joshua “The Prince Of MMA” Key (6-11-0-2NC)
Hawes will be making his WSOF debut in this fight and he did make an appearance on the UFC Ultimate Fighter 24. Key will also be making his WSOF debut in this fight and he has not earned a victory in just over two years. Key is merely a body to be destroyed by Hawes and that is exactly what is going to happen as Hawes finished him in the first round.
Tom Marcellino over Devin Powell
Juliano Cutinho over Justin Willis
Lorenzo Hood over Tyler King
Robert Fonseca over Sean Lally
Saul Almeida over Bruce Boyington
Rodrigo Almeida over Ben Pierre-Saint
Marcus Surin over Christian Torres