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Ray Sefo interested in hiring 'Stitch' Duran, predicts 'great' WSOF 22 match ups will be better than Ronda Rousey's quick UFC 190 show

Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports

For the first time in almost two months, World Series of Fighting (WSOF) will run a live event. And WSOF 22: "Palhares vs. Shields" on Aug. 1, 2015, promises to be one of their biggest cards of the year.

WSOF held a conference call earlier this afternoon (July 22, 2015) to discuss the NBC Sports-televised event, which is set for Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada. Welterweight champion Rousimar Palhares headlines the show against No. 1-ranked contender Jake Shields.

WSOF 22 will go head-to-head with UFC 190: "Ronda Rousey vs. Bethe Correia" on the same night.

Other fighters slotted for the main card also joined the conference call, including Bantamweight champion Marlon Moraes and his opponent Sheymon Moraes, as well as Light Heavyweight veterans Thiago Silva and Mike Kyle. Of course, WSOF executives Ray Sefo and Ali Abdel-Aziz were on the line, too.

Shields wasted no time going after Palhares for his alleged reputation for hurting opponents:

"Palhares is a guy I don't really care for. He's a dirty guy who likes hurting people. He's a bad person so it makes it fun to go out there and punch him. I mostly focus on what I do best but I spent a little extra time on leg locks. I spent some time with Dean Lister. (Palhares) has one thing he's amazing at, he's a really dangerous guy, but I'm feeling really comfortable right now."

Palhares seemed completely unfazed by his comments:

"It doesn't really bother (me). Everybody's really good at jiu-jitsu, and he knows he has to have good submissions to submit a great fighter. Jake Shields is pretty good, but (I'm) better and he will find out."

Bantamweight champion Marlon Moraes addressed fighting second from the top:

"World Series sees how good (Sheymon) is, I think he belongs in that position, and you're going to see how good we are. You guys shouldn't be missing this fight. It's high level. I think we are even better than the UFC champion. It's going to be a war and I'm ready to take it."

The undefeated Sheymon Moraes addressed his opponent with equal respect:

"I'm happy to face a guy like Marlon, I've followed his career for a long time, I know his work, but I'm training hard and I'm ready to get this win and bring this belt (home.)"

WSOF President Ray Sefo was asked about UFC firing Jacob Duran and if the would attempt to bring "Stitch" into the organization.

"'Stitch' and I have been friends for years. Now that he's a free agent, we want the best guys out there, and we want a guy who knows how to look after fighters. I'm interested in him working for us."

Both Shields and Palhares were asked about Palhares' fight with Alan Belcher, one he lost by technical knockout in the first round back in 2012.

Shields: "(Palhares) is weak mentally. You can see how he quits. He doesn't like getting hit. (Palhares) turns away when he gets hit."
Palhares: "It made me strong and made me better. I think everybody can see that. I'll beat him anywhere."

Silva spoke about stepping into to replace Tyrone Spong for a fight with Kyle:

"I'm gonna try to be a complete fighter. I'm pushing myself to be good standing, good on the ground, a good grappler. I'm going to fight hard and use all of my weapons. It's gonna be a war. I'm ready to fight anywhere. I really don't care. I'm here to do my best and to get the job done."

Kyle concurred with Silva's assessment of his overall skill:

"I'm concerned about everything. He's a well rounded fighter who's been fighting in the sport for a long time. To say I'm worried about one thing would be lying. He's a dangerous fighter but I really feel confident and I know I prepared for a war. It's unfortunate I don't get Tyrone Spong, but (Silva) was willing to jump in on short notice and I'm thankful for the opportunity."

Sefo talked about the stacked card and going head to head with UFC 190.

"This is one of our best cards to date. We go with the fighters and who's available and what makes sense. Sometimes we're going do two world title fights, sometimes we're going do one. It's important we have our champions out there as much as we can. You have the Ronda Rousey show and the World Series of Fighting show. She's pound for pound one of the best in the world. You can go on any website and watch the highlights -- and how long is the fight gonna be? Our fight card we have really great match-ups, you don't know who's going to win, who's going to lose."

Matchmaker Ali Abdel-Aziz felt the co-main event was being overlooked:

"The best technical fight you can put on today between two guys -- Moraes vs. Moraes. They both come from great camps. Both guys have great punching power, aggressive, they're well rounded. On Saturday night Sheymon Moraes is going to be the biggest challenge Marlon Moraes has. If you really love martial arts you should tune in and watch this fight."

Abdel-Aziz also took exception to the idea Palhares is "dirty" in any way:

"He's the champ, he beat two guys, if the commission saw anything wrong they would have suspended him. His track record in World Series of Fighting is clean. He's a professional, Jake is a professional."

Palhares said that the mind games don't bother him, and that his reputation is exaggerated either way:

"They don't say that about me in Brazil, it's only here (in the States), and I'm not worried about it."

The complete (NSFW) audio of our today's conference call is below and complete WSOF coverage is right here at MMAmania.com.

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