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GRAND FINALE: Does WSOF have an opportunity to establish their own brand despite signing so many cut UFC fighters?
ABSOLUTELY: They are one of the top MMA promotions around right now, which is impressive for having just 7 events thus far – and that only speaks to how far they can go. Obviously, there is the stigma of being the promotion for former UFC fighters, but that can be overcome if WSOF continues to develop its young fighters: for example, recently crowned inaugural welterweight and featherweight champions Steve Carl and Georgi Karakhanya, respectively. More than its roster of fighters, WSOF can offer something new to fans.
First, their name literally begs the promotion to push the international card like no one has done before. It would take a lot of work, but could you imagine having a WSOF USA, a WSOF Canada, a WSOF Brazil, etc. each with its own set of national champions who then compete for a world championship?
WSOF can also address one of the biggest problems in the sport today, at least from the fans’ perspective: boring fights. Right now, the UFC’s adherence to rankings and Bellator’s use of the tournament system both reward winning first and foremost. That has led to fighters looking for wins, at times leading to fights that are less than pleasing to fans. Granted, this is a sport, and the goal should always be to win; but WSOF can change the game by rewarding fighters for more than just their victories. For example, if a top contender wins a fight by three rounds of takedowns and top-position, but the number-4 contender wins an epic fight by spectacular KO, give the title fight to the latter fighter. The fans would be happy and your fighters would understand that they not only need to win, they need to put on an entertaining fight.
Essentially what it comes down to is this: the UFC has its own system, something developed over 20 years of growth and trail and error. The World Series of Fighting cannot, and should not, compete with the UFC by trying to be better within the same system. They can, however, make improvements to the system; and with the talent and potential WSOF has, there is no reason they cannot change the game and become the leading MMA promotion worldwide. – Christopher Murphy