Opinion: WSOF Hits Home Run With Expanded Presence on NBC Sports Network

By: Mike Fridley
Apr 11, 2013



WSOF on Thursday morning announced an expanded presence on the NBC Sports Network with a new series titled “World Series of Fighting: Future Champs.”

The new show, which debuts Saturday, April 13 at 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT, will highlight the promotion’s young talent by featuring explosive performances by upstarts Ozzy Dugulubgov [pictured] and Brenson Hansen.

With all due respect to the Jon Fitches, Andrei Arlovskis and Anthony Johnsons of the world, “Future Champs” is an extension of WSOF’s best strategy for making a meaningful impact on the mixed martial arts landscape.

Let’s face it: most MMA hardcores are going to look at UFC castaways as talented fighters that weren’t able to stick around in the major league. By developing its own talent with the likes of Marlon Moraes, Justin Gaethje, Dugulubgov and Hansen, WSOF could conceivably promote fights that are relevant beyond the pitch of watching athletes that once made their names on the sport’s biggest stage, but were let go due to declining performance or other negative aspects.

WSOF needs to only look at the roster model of Bellator, who has legitimate homegrown Top-10 talent in Pat Curran and a slew of talented Russian fighters that will make waves for years to come.

By scouting and pushing its own homegrown talent on outlets such as “Future Champs” and proactively grooming the next generation of stars, WSOF is taking a tried (yet refreshing) approach to establish itself as a long-term player in the MMA world.

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