The mixed martial arts (MMA) community will make room at the table tomorrow night (Sat., Nov. 3, 2012), as a brand new promotion, World Series of Fighting (WSOF), makes its debut on network television from Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas, Nevada..
WSOF 1 will be shown LIVE on NBC, and it will feature a Heavyweight headline bout between between former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) champion Andrei Arlovski and Strikeforce veteran Devin Cole.
Here's what you've got to look forward to.
265 lbs.: Andrei Arlovski (17-9 and 1 NC) vs. Devin Cole (20-9-1)
Cole has 10 wins by knockout, as well as three submission victories to his credit. He's certainly no stranger to finishing fights, but let's face it, he hasn't finished anyone of Arlovski's ilk in a very long time (if ever).
Cole is going to do his best to ugly things up. He'll stand as long as he's comfortable in the striking exchanges, and when that ends, he'll either shoot for a takedown or clinch against the fence.
Which version of Arlovski shows up is key. However, if the version that was beating the absolute hell out of Tim Sylvia at ONE Fighting Championship: Pride of a Nation, before an unusual ending and a brutal soccer kick caused the fight to be ruled a "No Contest" (NC), shows up to this fight, Cole is in for a short night of work.
It could go either way, but I think Arlovski knocks him out. Plain and simple.
Prediction: Arlovski def. Cole via knockout
205 lbs.: Anthony Johnson (13-4) vs. D.J. Linderman (14-3)
This is an interesting fight, because it features two guys who could fight at heavyweight (Linderman actually has), would probably be best suited to make the disciplined cut down to 185 pounds, but are actually competing in the middle at Light Heavyweight.
Neither fighter has probably lived up to their potential, but of the two, it has been "Rumble" who has fallen the shortest.
Johnson is one of those fighters who seems to always look either impressively devastating or embarrassingly unprepared and out of shape.
He's won his last two fights by way of knockout, and he appears to have really come into his own as a 205 pounder.
That's bad news for Linderman, who, despite his recent three-fight winning streak, looks to be well overmatched in his pairing versus Johnson.
Linderman's best bet would be to get the fight to the ground and to possibly employ his submission skills. He's won five fights that way, and if he has any hope of pulling out the "W," that's how he gets it done.
But that's a best case scenario.
In all likelihood, Linderman will have a hard time taking Johnson down, and he'll have an even harder time getting inside and landing effectively.
I think Linderman will make it out of the first round, but I don't see him lasting a lot longer than that before Johnson turns the lights off.
Prediction: Johnson def. Linderman via TKO
135 lbs.: Miguel Torres (40-5) vs. Marlon Moraes (8-4)
Torres has the clear experience advantage. It pretty much goes without saying. A veteran of 45 professional contests, Torres has amassed almost four times as many fights as his opponent.
But, here's the thing. Fighting 45 times in 12 years is no picnic. The body can only take so much before it says, "See ya. You're on your own now."
Torres has lost four of his last seven fights, all to quicker more athletic opponents. Unfortunately, we may be looking at a repeat of just that.
If he's able to turn this fight into a jiu-jitsu competition, Torres wins and wins easily. I'm just skeptical that he's still able to effectively do that.
I'd love to see "the Mullet" turn things around on national television, but I think his run may sadly be over.
Prediction: Moraes def. Torres via unanimous decision
You might not be well acquainted with who Gregor Gracie, but if you're a fan of MMA, the name sounds familiar.
That's because the 170 pound Brazilian comes from a long line of fighters, most notably his cousin Royce Gracie, who was the inaugural UFC champion and the man who many feel put MMA on the map.
Gregor isn't quite as renowned, but like the rest of his family, if the fight hits the canvas, he almost always holds the advantage.
Gracie is 7-2 as a professional, and has spent the last couple of years fighting for ONE FC.
Gracie's opponent, Steele, has earned seven of his nine wins via first round submissions. His one loss came the same way (only in the second round), when he took on Maximum Fighting Championship (MFC) veteran Curtis Demarce.
There's the rub.
Steele is confident in his ground game, but he may not yet be experienced enough to know when that's not where he holds the edge.
Make no mistake about it, if Steele gets caught up in Gracie's web, it will be curtains.
Picking a Gracie to win by submission might be the easy way out, but I never claimed to be a genius.
Prediction: Gracie def. Steele via submission
Kickboxing legend Tyrone Spong will be making his MMA debut against Maine product Travis Bartlett.
Bartlett has powerful hands, and he likes to stand and trade. Spong is far from a slouch in the striking department, as evidenced by his long resume of opponents whom he's put down.
I think fans can expect a "bangfest," which just doesn't work out in Bartlett's favor at all.
I predict a quick and violent fight that ends with Spong's hand being raised in the air.
Prediction: Spong def. Bartlett via knockout
That's the best I can make of the WSOF 1 main card. Feel free to hit us up with prediction of your own in the comments section below.