World Series of Fighting: Second Card Announced For March 23rd

WSOF This coming March 23rd, the upstart World Series of Fighting announced their second show for Atlantic City, New Jersey. The WSOF, who ran their inaugural show last November in Las Vegas, Nevada, also announced the signing of a broadcast deal with NBC Sports Network, making the event available in over 80 million households. Several of the bouts have already been announced, including the main event that features Andrei Arlovski taking on Anthony Johnson in a heavyweight contest, so let’s take a look at where the lines may come in when they open. Compared to Bellator, whose tournament schedule is frenetic, the WSOF is announcing their card more than two months in advance, meaning there should be a lot of opportunity for action once the lines go up at the books. Both Arlovski and Johnson appeared on the first WSOF card back on November 3rd of 2012, scoring first round victories over Devin Cole and D.J. Linderman, respectively. Arlovski, a former UFC Champion, is unbeaten in his last five fights after a four-fight losing streak that saw him get cut by Strikeforce. He also owns wins over UFC standouts Roy Nelson and Ben Rothwell, and Arlovsk, at 6-feet-4 inches tall and 240 lbs, is a true heavyweight, giving him the size advantage over Johnson. As for Johnson, he is a difficult fighter to peg for a weight class, but Arlovski is a tall order for anyone’s first fight going up to heavyweight. Johnson started out in the UFC as a 170 lber, and famously washed out of the UFC after failing to make 185 lbs for a match with Vitor Belfort at UFC 142. Since then, he has found success at catch weights and at light heavyweight. Look for Arlovski to be favored going into the fight, probably by more than 2 to 1. Arlovski has been in the cage with some of the biggest and toughest heavyweights in the world, and although people will always question his chin, he has shown improved defense on his latest winning streak. Johnson counts on a physical style that is unlikely to work on Arlovski. Three other bouts have been announced, including a solid fight between Tyson Nam and Marlon Moraes at 135 lbs. Nam made a bit of a name for himself last yar when he KO’d Bellator MMA Bantamweight Champion Eduardo Dantas at a SHOOTO event in Brazil, while Moraes is coming off a surprising split decision win over top 135 lber Miguel Torres at the first WSOF event. Talent wise, it is a good, tight fight, as both men are coming off victories that put them on the map. I suspect that Nam will open a slight favorite, and that he might be riding a wave of hype that his win over Dantas gave him. Talentwise this one is close, and if Moraes becomes a wide underdog, there may be a place for a gamble on Moraes. As well, Brazilian middleweight Paulo Filho returns to action on the card, facing Brooklyn fighter and WSOF veteran David Branch. Filho was once considered an elite middleweight, however personal problems have derailed his career, and several comebacks have failed. Branch is a tough customer who went undefeated in Bellator and 2-2 in a stint with the UFC. In a more recent outing back in May of last year, he extended main event fighter Anthony Johnson for the full fifteen minutes in a losing effort. This bout is one to bet te day of the fight – with Filho, if we even get there it will be remarkable, and before putting money on him I want to see his demeanor and conditioning at the weigh ins.

The final fight announced is UFC veteran Josh Burkman taking on unbeaten prospect Ryan LaFlare at 170 lbs. Look for LaFlare to come in as the underdog for this bout, as his 7-0 record on a regional show does not match up with the extremely seasoned Burkman’s experience. It will likely be Burkman with his hand held up at the end of the fight. Unless you love to bet ‘dogs, or are a fan of the northeast circuit (there are many excellent fighters developed in that area, such as Frankie Edgar), you can’t bet LaFlare. Of course, the boys at the books might see it completely different, so keep an eye out for when the lines officially open.

Written by Miguel

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