The World Series of Fighting is a young and burgeoning promotion and one which is probably only followed by the most ardent of MMA fans.
Coming into existence just two short years ago, the promotion has made remarkable gains in the small amount of time that they’ve been around.
Now in its sophomore, the WSOF finds itself in a three year contract with the NBC Sports Network, expanding into Canada and Japan, and having at least five marquee names fighting under its banner. Further still, they may end up becoming the future home of undefeated and former Bellator welterweight champion, Ben Askren. In viewing it, particularly in light of what the young promotion is up against, it’s been an impressive 24 months.
As it turns out and going into their third year, the promotion’s president, Ray Sefo, believes that 2014 will prove to be even better than the previous two, and one that will bring greater exposure and more global expansion.
In terms of exposure, Sefo stated that the promotion will have two of its anticipated ten cards broadcast on NBC’s main network, and as such, he anticipates marketing his brand of MMA to millions of viewers that have never seen it before.
In speaking with the Huffington Post, Sefo stated the following:
"Next year we're gonna have two shows that are gonna be on the mother-ship of NBC. They are starting to promote WSOF on there, which reaches millions of millions of other people that probably don't know much about the sport or have never seen it."
Truly, it’s a coup to make it onto NBC and the broadcasts will go a long way to building their brand. That said, Sefo will have to ensure great cards and ones that have some cache. As such, fans shouldn’t be surprised if the events are peppered with x-UFC talent.
Regardomg expansion, Sefo remarked that the promotion will be signing deals in New Zealand and Australia, and that they are working on Mexico, Brazil and Peru. This is on top of their already planned expansion into Japan, which is slated for the spring of 2014. In considering it, fans may pause to wonder whether or not Sefo is taking on too much, too soon. However, considering the success he’s had so far, perhaps he’s not. The man is a fighter, after all.
As to the next phase of their growth, Japan, Sefo says they’ll take action on that in March or April. Regarding the card, Sefo is guaranteeing that’ll be headlined by Yushin Okami.
As Sefo put it:
"I consider Japan as my second home. The fans are truly amazing. It's a huge fight nation, in terms of following kickboxing and MMA. We're looking at either the end of March or early April ... 100-percent Okami will be fighting on that card, most likely headlining."
For Okami’s fans this is good news. It will mark the middleweight’s first appearance in the Octagon since being cut by the UFC back in October, and will stand as an opportunity for Okami to put his name back in the headlines; hopefully with a win.
All things considered, Sefo appears to have a well-developed and aggressive strategy for growing his promotion over the next year, and we wish the WSOF much success with it through 2014.