The World Series of Fighting showcased a solid first outing in Las Vegas on Saturday night with the likes of Tyrone Spong, Andrei Arlovski, Anthony Johnson and Josh Burkman earning sound victories.
Depending on who you ask, former WEC bantamweight champion Miguel Torres might have suffered the night's only real upset in dropping a split decision to Brazilian-born prospect and former Muay Thai champion Marlon Moraes, but overall, the fights played out as expected.
Now, Ray Sefo and the WSOF deserve props for their efforts on Saturday. NBC Sports Network stopped the stream of preliminaries, not Sefo or the WSOF. Whether the same can be said for the shifting of Tyson Steele's first-round TKO win over Gregor Gracie might prove to be a different story, but the product delivered more than most expected.
Not only that, but Sefo also manned up and admitted that he and the team would work to patch up a few areas of the product so as to deliver a stronger product.
All that being said, that first-show success does not automatically mean that it can compete with the largest MMA promotion in the world. Quite frankly, no logic justifies the excessive focus on whether or not the WSOF should even do such a thing.
In other words, press pause on those WSOF vs. UFC talks, folks.
New promotions often provide the intriguing talent rosters that are needed to catch the eye of the MMA world, with some making enough waves to get people talking in the process. WSOF did just that last night, but does it really matter to fans if its first show did enough to get noticed by the UFC or Bellator?
Moraes' WSOF 2 bout with Tyson Nam should do more to get Bellator's attention than anything else, but with events in Macau, Montreal, Australia and Seattle preceding their year-end effort in Vegas, how much time do Dana White, Joe Silva, Sean Shelby or Lorenzo Fertita really have to notice what WSOF did last night?
Sure, we can act like Johnson, who defeated D.J. Linderman last night, got the attention of the UFC brass. We can also act like White paid close attention to Arlovski's win over Devin Cole. That said, do we know for sure that they even knew of another event in Vegas happening this weekend?
Probably not, but that does not ring any alarms for concern.
Eventually, everyone catches wind of the talents in promotions like the WSOF. Once that happens, some talent will get their call up to the UFC or Bellator while the WSOF keeps building more young talent. Though growth and progression rely on time, WSOF will grow and progress over time.
The minute that the MMA world notices this growth and this evolution of the WSOF, perhaps then the UFC might have a reason to keep one eye on WSOF. Until then, let's watch WSOF grow into a top promotion and cool it with prematurely thinking that they're already bringing some competition to the UFC.
They haven't gotten around to that just yet, but if we let them transform themselves into a legitimate competitor, perhaps then they will prove themselves as the only real competitor to the premier promotion in the world's fastest-growing sport.
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