Ali Abdel-Aziz and the World Series Of Fighting are ready to stand in the pocket and trade punches with Bellator.
Abdel-Aziz got the first blow in, as he went on Ariel Helwani’s The MMA Hour to issue a challenge to Bellator.
“Officially on your show, I will challenge Bellator, live on pay-per-view, ten fights – nine-fight challenge, one super fight,” Abdel-Aziz said.
Why do Abdel-Aziz and the WSOF want to challenge Bellator? It seems there is some bad blood between them, and WSOF would like to be considered the unequivocal number two MMA promotion on the planet, behind the UFC.
“Listen, a lot of people said Bellator [is] number two and a lot of the media said Bellator is number two, but I believe it’s all about winning. If we line up nine of our guys and nine of their guys, I believe we’ll win,’ Abdel-Aziz said.
“We are number two, strong number two,” he continued. “At the end of the day, it’s about the fighters and the fan. It’s the entertainment business. We’re here to entertain. Honestly, sometimes I get people saying we’re number four. Some people put Invicta before us, but I can prove everyone wrong.”
After his appearance on the show, the WSOF tweeted out a picture of their proposed match ups.
— #WSOFNYC (@MMAWorldSeries) January 6, 2014
Tyrone Spong vs. Quinton Jackson
Anthony Johnson vs. Attila Vegh
Andrei Arlovski vs. Vitaly Minakov
Marlon Moraes vs. Eduardo Dantas
Yushin Okami vs. Alexander Shlemenko
Rousimar Palhares vs. Douglas Lima
Justin Gaethje vs. Michael Chandler
Georgi Karakhanyan vs. Daniel Straus
Jon Fitch vs. Rick Hawn
David Branch vs. Brett Cooper
The bad blood between Abdel-Aziz and Bellator apparently stems from Bellator’s business tactics.
“I like Bellator, but I don’t like certain people in Bellator,” he said. “They recently did something very disgusting and very dirty. They tried to take something that’s not theirs.” Abdel-Aziz would not elaborate on what exactly happened between the WSOF and Bellator, but stated that he may disclose what occurred in the future.
Abdel-Aziz was also critical of the way Bellator handled the Eddie Alvarez situation, saying “one of the things we will never do is keep as guy who doesn’t want to be in World Series of Fighting. For example, if you go to war and you get caught in a crossfire, you can’t be torturing and shooting people because they’re prisoners of war. You have to go by the rules. I believe Eddie Alvarez is a hostage.”
Although this crossover card is unlikely to happen, Abdel-Aziz believes it would be good for both the fighters from each promotion, and for the fans of MMA around the world.
“I think Bellator has some great fighters, but they don’t get enough exposure… we’re willing to give them some exposure, win live on pay-per-view, winner take all,” he said.
What Abdel-Aziz means by “winner takes all” is that whichever promotion came out on top would take all of the live gate and PPV revenue.
He went on to talk about how this stunt would entice the fans. “A lot of people wanted to see UFC vs. PRIDE. It never happened. Strikeforce vs. UFC. It never happened,” he said. “Why not get the fans excited and give them something they want?”
“It’s great for everybody if we want to grow the sport,” he added. “If we can put on a megashow like that and entertain the fan, why not?”
As to whether Bellator will decide to follow through with this proposition, Abdel-Aziz does not think it is likely.
“I don’t think they will, but we will, 100 percent,” he said.
Some may think this is just a publicity stunt, but Abdel-Aziz assured that his motives were not about promotion. “I’m not trying to get attention,” he said. “This is real. I really mean it and the winners are the fans and the fighters.”Tags: Alexander Shlemenko, Ali Abdel-Aziz, Andrei Arlovski, Anthony Johnson, Ariel Helwani, Attila Vegh, Bellator, bellator news, Bjorn Rebney, Brett Cooper, Daniel Straus, David Branch, Douglas Lima, Eddie Alvarez, Eduardo Dantas, Georgi Karakhanyan, Invicta, Jon Fitch, Justin Gaethje, marlon moraes, michael chandler, mma, MMA NEWS, Quinton Jackson, Rick Hawn, Rousimar Palhares, Tyrone Spong, Vitaly Minakov, world series of fighting, wsof, WSOF NEWS, yushin okami