Through sheer dumb luck, it seems that World Series of Fighting has finally found a night to themselves in the MMA sphere. While they booked WSOF 17 on the same weekend as both UFC and Bellator events, they avoided going head-to-head with either, since Bellator falls on Friday, and the UFC decided to schedule their card to coincide with NFL Conference Championship Sunday. Now that they’ve got no other MMA to distract fans, the question is: will they tune in to WSOF 17? The main event between Jake Shields and Brian Foster is a solid fight, but the rest of the card is filled with unfamiliar names. Given WSOF’s recent problems in the front office, it would be nice for them to have a successful showing on NBC Sports Network. That could happen if Jake Shields still holds some drawing power from his days as a UFC title challenger. Should Shields win, he’ll likely be next in line to face WSOF welterweight champion Rousimar Palhares, which is probably the most interesting bout the promotion could put on in 2015. MMA oddsmaker Nick Kalikas opened the odds for all five WSOF 17 main card bouts today at Several Bookmakers. Check them out: ——————– MAIN CARD (NBC Sports Network, 9pm ET) Jake Shields -350 Brian Foster +250 Johnny Nunez -190 Brian Cobb +150 Krasimir Mladenov -265 Brendan Kornberger +185 Bryson Hansen -280 Rudy Morales +200 Adam Cella -135 Danny Davis Jr. -105 ——————– Brad’s Analysis: Brian Foster is an underrated fighter, but he’s just been given a difficult style matchup against Shields. Foster is a solid wrestler and grappler, but Shields is simply better in both areas, in addition to being deceptively effective on the feet. Perhaps if Foster can keep this standing he can pull out a decision, but Shields has a way of racking up points in the striking even if he’s not threatening to finish. Nunez surprised me against Ozzy Dugulubgov, but he faces a fighter much like himself in Brian Cobb. I’m really not sure if this will end up a wrestling battle or if their wrestling will cancel out, but if I were Nunez I’d try to grapple with Cobb, who has been controlled by stronger fighters in the past. I still don’t think we’ve seen enough of Nunez to get a true gauge of his skills, so if the public takes this line too far in his direction, there may be some value on the veteran. Mladenov is one of WSOF’s better prospects, and I’d expect him to use his grappling to pick up a win here, but he’s facing some decent height and length disadvantages against a capable striker in Kornberger. I still think Mladenov gets the win, but this line is way too long given his relative inexperience against quality competition. WSOF likes the Hansen brothers, but it seems clear at this point that Brenson is the better fighter in the family. Bryson isn’t bad by any means, and the promotion probably expects him to get past the very inexperienced Rudy Morales — who has only ever won by split decision — but he’s not a fighter I’m terribly interested in betting, especially knowing so little about his opponent. Adam Cella has been fighting in Shamrock FC — which unfortunately has no ties with either Shamrock brother — since his departure from the UFC, and he’s gone a pedestrian 2-1 against some uninspiring competition. Danny Davis isn’t an elite fighter either, but he’s actually been on a decent run of late, despite terribly mismanaging his nickname and ring attire (how is this man not ‘Dangerous’ Danny Davis with pinstriped fight shorts?). Davis’ drawback in the past has been his submission defense, and that’s an area Cella can exploit, but Cella’s recent struggles actually have me leaning slightly towards Davis.