The new World Series of Fighting promotion has done a good job of attracting buzz in the MMA world – websites are covering their development and fans are talking about it on forums. But not all the attention has been positive. Many are still skeptical about a newb promotion holding their first event on national television. And here’s Sherdog subtly saying their big ambitions are leading to big fighter payouts, a hallmark of the crash and burn promotions of the past:
Rumor has it that the promotion has been quite generous with its contracts, and it had to be in order to acquire the type of name value necessary to please the network suits. Following the Bellator Fighting Championships model of building relatively unknown prospects through tournaments would have been ideal — and probably cheaper — but the presence of NBC is a game changer.
Following that go big or go home attitude, WSOF is also working on more acquiring more talent including Anthony ‘Rumble’ Johnson and Phil Baroni. And in other promotional news, their announcer’s booth loses Kurt Angle but adds Renzo Gracie to its team of Bas Rutten and Michael Shiavello. That’s a Triforce of funny commentator accents right there.
As for why Kurt Angle is out and Renzo Gracie is in, Angle says it is “Due to A Conflict of Interested”, in other words because the promotion he wrestles for is owned by Viacom and NBC Sports is owned by rival Comcast. Don’t you love living in a world where giant media conglomerates own everything and wage proxy battles with each other through busted old pro wrestlers? Heaven forbid Kurt Angle be allowed to get exposure in the MMA world and remind people he’s not dead and still wrestling on SpikeTV every Thursday.
This little incident also gives you a sign of the difficulties FUEL TV will have getting onto other cable services. FUEL is owned by FOX, aka NewsCorp. So expect Comcast and Time Warner to be real dicks about carrying the channel on their providers. Yep, capitalism is the best! Just not for customers.