Here's a preview of fights coming up this weekend in the world of MMA.
Lyman Good Looks to Regain Form
It’s a slow week in the world of the UFC folks, but this Friday fans can tune in to Bellator 78 and still get their MMA fix. This weekend’s card features a main event of Lyman Good facing off against Michail Tsarev for a place in the finals of the welterweight tournament.
Good has a fascinating back story of struggle, having grown up in Spanish Harlem in New York, on tough streets with a single parent and eventually fighting his way to Bellator’s welterweight title. But after suffering two defeats, this tournament is a make or break fight for the charismatic New Yorker. Good looked sharp against Jim Wallhead in the quarterfinals consistently beating the overmatched Brit to the punch. But in Tsarev he faces a different proposition.
Tsarev isn’t an athletic match for Good. He’s slower but much more aggressive than his previous foe. Avoiding the Russian’s groundwork and submissions will be key for Good. The goal? Stay off the mat. A defeat for Good is a real setback, but a victory will be a step further in re-claiming a belt he once held.
In the other semi final, fans can look forward to Marius Zaromskis and Andrey Koreshkov squaring off and in all likelihood fireworks ensuing. Koreshkov’s cannon ball like fists mean knock outs are swift and brutal and in Zaromskis he’s facing a guy who is all too keen on finding openings in fighters. Both guys have low guards which can mean only one thing for fans. When will the knockout come?
With a slow week in the world of the UFC one thing that’s worth fans taking note of is the launch next week of a new promotion, The World Series of Fighting (WSOF), that seeks to conquer where others have failed - slowly but surely though.
The WSOF is the brainchild of current kickboxing and MMA fighter Ray Sefo and with their first card premiering on the NBC Sports Network on November 3, thanks to the cancellation of Strikeforce’s Frank Mir- Daniel Cormier card, things could not have started off any better. And with the limelight shining solely on WSOF, Sefo was in optimistic form.
“The goal for us is to provide another stage,” explained Sefo to ESPN.com. “There’s so much talent, so many fighters out there who don’t have a stage to go to. Obviously the mecca of MMA is the UFC. Our goal is to start slowly and then hopefully be as good or as big as the UFC. Obviously that takes a lot of time and you have to crawl before you walk.”
While initially using former UFC guys on the slide, such as Miguel Torres and Anthony Johnson as well as the likes of Andrei Arlovski and Tyrone Spong, the WSOF is undoubtedly stacking its first card as high and mighty as possible. But this is to gauge interest and there is no reason for fans to not to check out a promotion that’s already planning a January card and has many of the fighters mentioned locked down to three or four fight deals.
With television exposure and relative marquee names for a first outing, the future could be deemed bright for Sefo and his new organization.
“Everybody that we’ve got on the card is excited,” Sefo concluded to ESPN.com. “I’m really excited to see everybody come out and perform. It’s such a good card that there’s no one particular fight that stands out as a favorite. We’re very blessed with the card that we have. It’s baby steps. Take one step at a time and see where it goes.”
Igor Guryashkin is a freelance journalist whose extensive work on combat sports has been featured in ESPN The Magazine and ESPN.com. He splits his time between New York and Louisville. Follow him on Twitter @IGuryashkinESPN.