Update: World Series of Fighting 2 May Be Cancelled Tomorrow Due to Cage Issues
Update: Thankfully, the cage issue was resolved by the New Jersey State Athletic Control Board just two hours before the first bout.
Bloody Elbow has the full details:
WSOF borrowed corner pads from local promotion CFFC to replace their own corner pads, which were not thick enough to meet safety standards.
They also had to replace their canvas, which was too short to meet approval. They flew in the [canvas] they used for their first event from Las Vegas. That canvas arrived this morning and was put on the cage.
For those looking to watch the live online prelims, you can find the stream at the WSOF official website. Afterward, the main card will start as scheduled at 9:30 p.m. ET on Saturday, broadcasting on NBC Sports.
According to Brent Brookhouse of Bloody Elbow, the WSOF cage has yet to be cleared for combat use by the New Jersey State Athletic Control Board.
(World Series of Fighting 2 is currently scheduled for Saturday, starting with online prelims at 6 p.m. ET, followed by the main card broadcast on NBC Sports at 9:30 p.m. ET.)
As Brookhouse notes, the current chain of events and tight deadline poses a good chance that World Series of Fighting 2 may simply be shut down:
From what we have been told, the New Jersey State Athletic Control Board had not approved the WSOF cage for the event by late Friday evening. There are issues with both the corner pads and the canvas that are holding things up.
WSOF will apparently be borrowing corner pads from a local promoter and has a canvas being flown in from Las Vegas. The main issue is that if the canvas does not correctly fit the cage floor, it could lead to a situation where the cage will not be cleared which would almost certainly lead to the cancellation of the event.
Update: At the moment, this story is still developing, with conflicting reports being given by multiple sources via Twitter.
Apparently, the World Series of Fighting is sticking to their schedule, saying that the event will start on Saturday with "100 percent" certainty, although Nick Lembo of the NJSACB has confirmed with Bloody Elbow that there are problems with the cage.
Nick Lembo just told me "cage still needs togain approval. Has not yet. New canvas to be flown in and new post pads." — Brent Brookhouse (@brentbrookhouse) March 23, 2013
If the worst comes to pass and the event is cancelled, that could be catastrophic for the WSOF promotion, which debuted with their first card on Nov. 3, 2012, at the Las Vegas Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino.
For starters, that could leave 22 fighters without a promised match, including ex-UFC middleweight-turned-heavyweight Anthony Johnson and former UFC heavyweight champion Andrei Arlovski—the main event headliners for WSOF2.
Other notable names on the card include former UFC fighters Dave Branch and Josh Burkman, as well as former WEC middleweight champion Paulo Filho.
Moreover, the cancellation of WSOF2 would leave NBC Sports with a huge chunk of empty programming to fill at the last minute, not to mention the stigma of a dropped event causing some backlash.
That also certainly wouldn't please the channel's advertisers nor the live crowd that's already paid for tickets.
Other problems have been noted for WSOF2 in the lead-up to the event, including the official weigh-ins being delayed by several minutes due to the fighters' paperwork being improperly filed, forcing the promotion to hold up their online stream.
McKinley Noble is an MMA conspiracy theorist and tech writer. His work has appeared in GamePro, Macworld, PC World, 1UP, NVision, The Los Angeles Times, FightFans Radio, MMA Mania and Bleacher Report. Talk with him on Twitter.
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