World Series of Fighting 5 Media Conference Call Highlights

The World Series Of Fighting takes place this Saturday at the Revel Resort in Atlantic City, New Jersey. It is headlined by two UFC veterans in Mike Kyle and former heavyweight champion, Andrei Arlovski, two men looking to ignite life in to the latter stages of two memorable careers.

On Wednesday, a conference call was held which included the fighters on the main event of this weekend’s card.

Mike Kyle was received the most attention, making his WSOF debut and facing off against a replacement opponent in Arlovski. Kyle was fielded questions pertaining to his new home, hype surrounding his bout, and where he stands in his career:

Looking forward to this fight and putting on a great show. I’d like to thank Arlovski for taking this fight.

I’m coming off of a great fight, a knockout of Travis Wiuff. I feel comfortable being in the ring again.

Kyle was asked whether or not a fight with his original opponent, Anthony Johnson is something that he would be interested in if he can get past Arlovski:

I like that fight, I don’t think there’s too many fights I’m not interested in. I’d like to fight Tyrone Spong, Anthony Johnson.

I’m trying to think about Arlovski

He also reflected on his recent move back to heavyweight and how he thinks that will affect him come Saturday night:

You know, I don’t have a problem going in. I’m not going in too light. Bouncing back and forth is not too much of a problem unless I’m fighting someone with that world-class wrestling. I have a lot of speed building with these other heavyweights.

I plan on having better footwork and I plan on hitting him first.

Kyle reflected on his last fight with Travis Wiuff that lasted just 21-seconds, comparing it to what he expected from the Arlovski bout:

I hope it’s a little bit longer. I really don’t try to put a time limit on it. When the knockout comes, it comes. I’m gonna try to stay away from him and take him down and ground and pound him.

We train at AKA to do it all. We’re a well-rounded camp and we train to do it all. I’m prepared for this fight to go anywhere. I’m excited for this fight.

Talk of Kyle’s future in the sport turned serious when he was asked whether or not his recent announcement of retirement from the sport was made in the heat of the moment:

It was a little out of frustration. Like any fighter knows we train really hard for months at a time. It really hurts when you don’t get to go out their and showcase your skills. It was a little out of frustration. I wasn’t happy with that performance (vs. Mousasi) and I feel I beat myself.

I can barely get up in the morning and go out and play with [my kids] because my hips hurt in the morning. I’m getting older and I’ve been doing this a long time. I’m starting to get a lot of aches and pains. I really feel like I have to showcase my skills. Now I’m in the process of getting comfortable and being comfortable in he ring.

His opponent, Andrei Arlovski stuck to talking about his previous bout with Anthony Johnson as well as his feelings on a recent interview, in which Kyle called Arlovski’s chin ‘weak’ seemingly discrediting his stand up defense all together.

I’m very excited about this fight, I’ve been training hard even during the 6-8 weeks when my jaw was wired. During that time I did a lot of cardio stuff and a lot of technique stuff and I’m really excited about Mike. I think he’s a good match for me.

Arlovski seemed prepared to get in the cage with Kyle to prove his allegations wrong:

I think he’s a good match for me. Mike Kyle has a big mouth.  He said he’s going to knock me out.  

For middleweight  tournament participant, Dave Branch, he feels as though he belongs here with a middleweight title in his deserved future:
I can’t wait, its been a long camp. I can’t to be in the cage. I don’t think I should be given any favoritism. I was the first fight in WSOF and I would certainly like to be the first champion in the division.
Up and coming WSOF fight Danillo Villefort faces off with Branch in the co-main event. Villefort feels his long lineage of grappling will give him the edge while his physical preparedness will lead to a win:

I can’t wait, its been a long camp. I can’t to be in the cage. I don’t think I should be given any favoritism. I was the first fight in WSOF and I would certainly like to be the first champion in the division.


On the opposite side of the middleweight tournament stand two more competent fights in Jesse Taylor and Elvis Mutapcic. Only one of these men will get the chance to fight for the WSOF middleweight title and both men know what being in the WSOF means for their careers.

First Taylor spoke about how the WSOF has been for him:

Really looking forward to this fight with Elvis.

It’s really awesome. It’s so nice to have a home in a reputable organization like the WSOF. It’s so nice to be back in the states and get some good exposure where I can show my skills off.

Taylor also fielded questions about possibly returning to welterweight claimed he would for the promise big fights, although he is not looking past Mutapcic:

I really got comfortable back at middleweight. I kind of grew a little bit, too, so I think middleweight is a good weight for me. But I’m all about big fights, and I have thought about there are definitely some big names down at welterweight that I would love to get my hands on. But I’ve just got to take care of business first. I can’t look past Elvis. He’s a really tough and game opponent, so I’m just really concentrated on him, and then we’ll see what happens after that fight and with the whole tournament. We’ll see what happens down the road. 

The man opposite Taylor in the cage is former MFC champion, Elvis Mutapcic who talked on relinquishing his belt and coming down from Canada:

I think to keep me motivated, I’ve got to keep stepping up the competition. I keep fighting guys that are better than the previous guys I fought, so that keeps me motivated. Two, I’m really glad to be back in a cage. I thought I’d like the ring, but the ring has proven not to work for me. World Series is a great sport for up-and-coming fighters, and I just feel they’ve got a lot of hungry guys. I’m trying to make a living in this. I’m not trying to do this as a hobby. A belt is nice, but I’m getting an opportunity to get a different, better belt.  

Another heavyweight bout lines the main card Saturday night. Rolles Gracie Jr. will be the third member of the famed Gracie clan to fight on this card and will take on Derrick Mehmen. Rolles expressed his joy in being involved with WSOF:

I’m feeling great for this fight. Derrick is definitely a tough opponent. I can’t take him lightly. I’m really looking forward to this fight. I don’t know what’s going to happen in the fight. I can say, ‘I wish this,’ or, ‘I wish that,’ but it’s only once you step in the cage that you know what’s going to happen. So I’m ready to do whatever it takes. Whatever it comes down to in the cage, I’m ready and prepared for it.

Mehmen seems a bit put off being the underdog given that he has more career wins than Gracie Jr. but he knows that it just means that a win will propel him even further:

I guess you could say that. I feel like he has a lot of expectations on him. Maybe that gives him a little extra pressure. I have no expectations on me, but I feel it’s a great matchup for me, a great fight.

This is Mehmen’s heavyweight debut and he says the switch is permanent and he plans on making a statement in the division.

It’s a permanent switch. I had been thinking about it before Strikeforce really, moving to heavyweight. This seemed like a great opportunity to move to heavyweight right now. 

One of the most anticipated fights for fans of the WSOF is that of Waylon Lowe and Georgi Karakhanyan. Lowe was absent from the call as he got final blood work done for his fight, but Karakhanyan was there to take questions about Lowe and his place in WSOF:
As a fighter, it’s very important because fighting is how I feed myself and my family. It’s great to have a home like World Series of Fighting. A couple of organizations opened up their eyes and wanted to sign me. I don’t want to talk about the rest of the organizations, but I’m just happy that I finally landed somewhere where I can get to compete.
Karakhanyan also had strong words for his prediction of the fight:
He has a powerful left hand. I’m not going to go in there and underestimate him and think he’s going to just wrestle me. I’m going to go in there prepared no matter what he’s going to want to do to me if it’s wrestling or it’s standup. I prefer to keep the fight standing and kick the shit out of him and throw a couple of knees, but if he tries to out-wrestle me, then I’ll break my wrestling out and grind out a decision win over him.
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