(PRESS RELEASE) -- LAS VEGAS - The World Series of Fighting hosted
a press conference announcing the promotion's inaugural
NBC-broadcast event, "World Series of Fighting 11: Gaethje vs.
Newell," which will take place July 5 at Ocean Center in Daytona
World Series of Fighting 11 is headlined by a lightweight
championship bout with the exciting Justin
Gaethje (11-0) putting his belt on the line against the
extremely tough and talented "Notorious" Nick Newell
(11-0). Also on the card, a highly anticipated welterweight matchup
pitting Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt Jon Fitch
(25-6-1, 1 NC) against MMA veteran Dennis
Hallman (53-14-2. Additionally, newly signed lightweight
Guillard (31-13-2) debuts against Gesias
Cavalcante (18-7-1) and Cody
Bollinger (15-2, 1 NC) faces a dangerous 14-year veteran in
Alfonso (9-5) in an intriguing bantamweight contest.
Tickets for the event start at just $39 and can be purchased at
Ticketmaster.com or WSOF.com. Doors at the Ocean Center will open
to fans at 1 p.m. ET local time, with an NBCSports.com-streamed
undercard beginning at 2 p.m. ET/11 a.m. PT. The live,
NBC-broadcast four-fight main card begins at 4 p.m. ET/1 p.m.
Here what the principals had to say on Friday:
ALI ABDELAZIZ, WSOF Executive VP and matchmaker
"Today is a very special day for me, because I feel like we've made
it. To be on the NBC Network is a game-changer for all of us. Every
day we wake up, we say we want to be the best in the world. We may
not be No. 1 in the world, but we are getting there.... We keep
proving everyone wrong because they said we were going to have one
show, two shows. In 2014 we have seven more shows. On July 5th
history will be made, and I thank everybody who made it
"My entire career I've been training for someone like Nick Newell.
I'm a wrestler, and he's a grappler. He's going to try and get my
head down and submit me. This is what I've been preparing for my
entire life. I really like Nick. He's a nice guy. I'm just sorry
I'm going to have to knock him out on national TV. It's just
something I have to do."
"Justin definitely has a unique skill set. He's tough and he moves
forward all the time. Honestly, I'm a fan watching him fight. It's
a breath of fresh air seeing someone fight like him. Sometimes
people fight not to lose. But both of us fight to win. We both are
11-0 and we both have 10 finishes. I very honored that World Series
of Fighting gave me this opportunity. I feel like I've earned it
and I just want to make the most of it and I want to continue with
my relationship with World Series of Fighting. But as champion.
"This is the opportunity of a lifetime for me. I've never had a
fight this big before or experienced anything like this. NBC is the
biggest network in the world, and I get to be on the main event on
World Series of Fighting's first show, and I get to grow with the
promotion. He thinks he's going to knock me out, but I beg to
differ. I feel like I'm one of the harder guys in the division to
hit and I have great footwork. I think it's going to be an
"I have a lot of respect for Dennis
Hallman. Real fighters fight. It doesn't matter where or it
doesn't matter who. You get a date, you show up. That's what real
fighters do. I didn't let the opponent problems bother me because I
knew the light at the end of the tunnel was July 5 on NBC and
that's all I had to think about and worry about. And just be ready
for that day. And be ready to shine on the biggest network that
there is in this country.
"I wish I was fighting for the belt. I wish (Rousimar) Palhares
would have manned up and showed up to fight. But I'll take Dennis
Hallman as a fight. I've respected him for a long time and he's
the only guy to submit Matt Hughes
twice. We're a couple of old dogs in this sport, and old dogs fight
On Palhares caring for his ailing mother:
"We all have problems. My dad's going to have a heart procedure the
week of the fight. This is a big fight on NBC, and he's the title
holder. You have a responsibility as the title holder to defend
your damn title. It's unprofessional. I hope his mom is well, and I
wish her the best, and I'll pray for her. But do your job. We're
professionals. Do your job."
"I'm excited to fight someone the caliber of Jon Fitch. Some
guys go their entire career without getting to fight someone his
caliber. I think Ali said top 10, but I'd put Jon in the top 5.
Like he said we are old dogs coming to scrap and I expect to be
Fight of the Night."
"I'm going to give 100 percent, just like a normal fight. I'm not
training for this fight any differently because I'm friendly with
"I'm excited to get in there and bang with him for real this time.
This time it's not just 60 percent, it's 100 percent. I'm expecting
a war. You can expect a young assassin to show up on July 5, that's
"When you're fighting for UFC you're floating in a pack. There's a
bunch of guys and there's a lot of talent. There's a lot of talent
here too, but everyone here has a fair shot. I'm 31 years old. If
I'm going to be a champion, now is my time. I feel like I'm going
after a championship, and now is my time.
"It's Fourth of July weekend and I'm always looking to light up
some fireworks on July 4th."