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Executive VP Ali Abdel-Aziz: WSOF 15 to be bigger than UFC 180 and Bellator 131

WSOF Executive VP Ali Abdel-Aziz thinks WSOF 15 will be best mixed martial arts (MMA) event out of the three going down on Sat., Nov. 15, 2014.

Abdel-Aziz with lightweight champion Justin Gaethje and WSOF president Ray Sefo
Abdel-Aziz with lightweight champion Justin Gaethje and WSOF president Ray Sefo

On Nov. 15, Saturday night is alright for fighting as the top-three MMA promotions will all be putting on fight cards. UFC 180 is going down in Mexico, Bellator 131 unfolds in San Diego, Calif., and WSOF takes place in Tampa, Florida.

UFC 180 will be headlined by Cain Velasquez vs. Fabricio Werdum (fight card here) and the main event of Bellator 131 is a grudge match between Tito Ortiz and Stephan Bonnar (that line up here).

WSOF recently announced (via MMAJunkie) there will now be three title fights on its Nov. 15 card inside The Sun Dome.

Middleweight champion David Branch will defend against Yushin Okami, lightweight champ Justin Gaethje will put his strap on the line against Melvin Guillard, and strawweight titleholder Jessica Aguilar will take on Kalindra Faria.

WSOF Executive Vice President Ali Abdel-Aziz believes WSOF 15 will be the best out of the three.

"I think it is going to be a bigger card than UFC and Bellator because it's going to be free on NBC Sports and it's going to have three title fights," Aziz told "I can guarantee you that fans are going to be very happy with it. I think it will be very intriguing for them."

The competition will be tough that night as UFC has a heavyweight title fight that should draw the lion's share of eyes. Bellator just added Melvin Manhoef vs. Joe Schilling to a stacked card that already has Michael Chandler vs. Will Brooks for the 155-pound title, King Mo Lawal vs. Tom DeBlass, and Bonnar vs. Ortiz in the headliner.

UFC will more than likely stand alone, leaving a battle for second place between Bellator and WSOF.

Before that takes place, WSOF 14 happens this Sat. (Oct. 11, 2014) and the main event features former UFC welterweight Jake Shields taking on Ryan Ford. "Whoever wins that is lined up for a title shot," said Aziz. So it will be Ford or Shields vs. the winner of current welterweight champion Rousimar Palhares vs. Jon Fitch, who collide for the title at WSOF 16 on Dec. 13.

The WSOF VP also spoke about when the promotion will return to NBC for another card. WSOF made its National TV debut on July 5, 2014 with WSOF 11 and will be back on in "March or June," Aziz said, before noting he would find out in two or three weeks.

While the next card on NBC is to be decided, WSOF will be on NBC before the year is up with a "Best of WSOF 2014" show, featuring all the promotion's top fights from the past calendar year.

"I know on December 27th we are going to have The Best of WSOF 2014. It is going to be on NBC," said Aziz. "They are going to put all of the best fights from 2014 on it. It will introduce the fans to who WSOF really is. It's going to be huge for us and huge for NBC. The time slot will be a good one and I am looking forward it. NBC has been such a great partner and they have helped us out a lot. They gave us that December 27th date and we are very happy to put our best fights of the year on that date and that will really push the needle for us."

Lastly, he discussed the WSOF's previously announced plans to head into the pay-per-view (PPV) waters.

"Listen, this is something that is long term. We announced it to see how everyone would feel about it. It's not something that will happen right away. Pay-per-view needs a lot of time and a lot of finances. I think we are moving in the right direction, we just want to build some stars so when they go onto PPV it transforms into good buys. This is something that we have to do and we are working on it on a daily basis."

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