10 WSOF Fighters Worth Getting to Know

Riley Kontek@@BigRIlesMMAFeatured ColumnistDecember 17, 2013

10 WSOF Fighters Worth Getting to Know

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    Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

    Although World Series of Fighting has gotten off to a slow start in terms of viewership, the company undoubtedly is expanding rapidly, acquiring a number of talented fighters that will boost interest in the company.

    Just seven shows into the promotion's history, WSOF has put on some great fights that have only been seen by a few because of the lack of advertising that NBC and NBC Sports are giving to the company. It's kind of a shame, as the WSOF has good production quality to compliment the immense talent it actually does have.

    So, for all you people who haven't been paying attention, here are 10 fighters worth getting to know going forward. It may be beneficial to you, as these are top prospects that are currently banging for this Las Vegas-based company.


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    Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

    Let's just get some of the already famous names out of the way, as most fans probably already know them from their UFC days:

    • Anthony Johnson
    • Andrei Arlovski
    • Jesse Taylor
    • Josh Burkman
    • Jon Fitch
    • Yushin Okami
    • Gerald Harris
    • Aaron Simpson
    • Jacob Volkmann
    • Tyson Griffin
    • Miguel Torres

Tyrone Spong

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    Weight Class: Light Heavyweight

    Record: 2-0

    You may be asking yourself, "Why would I want to get to know a guy who is just 2-0?"

    The answer is simple: Tyrone Spong is a beast of both the kickboxing and MMA world.

    Spong's migration to MMA has been slow but steady. The leg-kicking, power-punching animal opened up his career with an absolute drubbing of Travis Bartlett before picking up a decision victory over an ultra-durable Angel DeAnda.

    He is having a tough time finding opponents willing to fight him, as his kickboxing credentials and brute force have people shaking in their boots. There is no return table yet, but you can expect WSOF to slowly build up this budding star.

Elvis Mutapcic

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    Weight Class: Middleweight

    Record: 13-3

    Sure, Elvis Mutapcic is coming off a loss at World Series of Fighting 7, but let's be honest here. Elvis lost a wrestling match to Jesse Taylor, not an MMA fight.

    That fight may have exposed him a little bit, but Taylor has been known to do that throughout his career. 

    Before that fight, Mutapcic was one of the most coveted middleweight prospects in the sport. He owns wins over UFC vets Zak Cummings, Sam Alvey, Jacen Flynn, Joseph Henle and Cezar Ferreira, proving he was ready for the big time.

    He is a vicious striker with baseball bat-like leg kicks. If you don't believe me, ask Henle, who had his legs taken out from under him.

    He will return at some point, and hopefully he can put in a more Mutapcic-like performance. He is a treat to watch when he's not engaging in a boring lay-and-pray fest.

Steve Carl

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    Weight Class: Welterweight

    Record: 21-3

    I'm not sure if you know this, but Steve Carl is actually the WSOF Welterweight champion. He won the title when he choked out Josh Burkman, the man who famously put Jon Fitch to sleep in Fitch's WSOF debut.

    Carl is that under-the-radar type of fighter. He's not flashy and he's not quotable—he just gets in the cage and does his job.

    The submission specialist is 3-0 with WSOF, all of which have come by tapout. He has really turned things around from his Bellator days, where he became an afterthought with losses to Dan Hornbuckle and Douglas Lima.

    He hasn't lost since the Lima fight, which puts him on a seven-fight surge. Yeah, you should definitely get to know the 170-pound king of WSOF.

Justin Gaethje

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    Weight Class: Lightweight

    Record: 10-0

    Possibly the top prospect that WSOF holds in any division is Justin Gaethje, an undefeated knockout artist with heavy leg kicks and an all-around solid game.

    He will be fighting for the title next month opposite Lewis Gonzalez, but let's look back on his handy work thus far. In three WSOF bouts, he forced the doctor to stop his fight with JZ Cavalcante, he beat Brian Cobb's legs until Cobb could stand no more and he absolutely desolated Dan Lauzon with horrid combinations of punches.

    Yeah, Gaethje is for real.

Nick Newell

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    Weight Class: Lightweight

    Record: 11-0

    Nick Newell may get a ton of attention for all the right or wrong reasons, depending how you look at it. Of course, when I say that, I mean he gets the spotlight because he has just one arm.

    The submission wrestler, despite the disadvantage, has gone undefeated in his career, submitting eight and knocking out another two. He has done it against some respectable competition as well, including the likes of Eric Reynolds and Keon Caldwell.

    His two subs in WSOF have come via choke, as he has tapped Caldwell and Sabah Fadai. He has shown that just because he is handicapped in one way doesn't mean he isn't a top-notch competitor.

Georgi Karakhanyan

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    Weight Class: Featherweight

    Record: 23-3-1

    Newly minted featherweight champion Georgi Karakhanyan has been one of the early stars of WSOF. He has come in, dominated and cashed his checks in the two outings he's been around.

    He opened his WSOF career with a dominant submission win of UFC vet Waylon Lowe, where he utilized a guillotine choke to put him away. He followed that with his title win this month, taking out dangerous wrestler Lance Palmer with another guillotine choke.

    He is incredibly well-rounded and tough. He could be a top star with this company for some time.

Lance Palmer

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    Weight Class: Featherweight

    Record: 7-1

    Lance Palmer was a top featherweight prospect who took a title fight on short notice this month when he entered the WSOF cage. He got a good learning experience in that title fight, losing to now-champ Georgi Karakhanyan.

    The brute wrestler came into the company undefeated, beating guys like Jared Downing and Fredson Paixao along the way. He showed that he was developing his all-around game and that he could be a future star of this sport.

    Take his recent loss with a grain of salt. It was on short notice against a more experienced fighter.

    Believe me, he is going to be a future contender.

Rick Glenn

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    Weight Class: Featherweight

    Record: 14-2-1

    As you can see, WSOF has themselves a pretty good featherweight division so far.

    Rick Glenn was supposed to fight Georgi Karakhanyan for the featherweight title this month, but he fell out due to injury. He still may be the top contender to that belt now.

    The Roufusport product is just 24 years old and has a great amount of experience. This includes two wins in WSOF over fellow prospects Alexandre Pimentel and Artur Rofi.

    He is a well-rounded guy whose crown jewel is his striking. If he keeps the fight standing, there is a good chance he will knock you on your butt and finish you.

Marlon Moraes

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    Weight Class: Bantamweight

    Record: 12-4-1

    One guy has been the most consistent, dangerous and under-the-radar fighter for WSOF. That man is Marlon Moraes.

    He is 4-0 in the company, using sick striking and sturdy takedown defense to get his wins. He is the unlikely hero that the bantamweight division now fears.

    Nobody gave him a chance against Miguel Torres. He won.

    Few gave him a chance against Tyson Nam. He won.

    More and more people started to believe, and for good reason. He followed those two wins up with devastating performances against Brandon Hempleman and Carson Beebe.

    This guy is for real. Whenever he is on a fight card, make sure you watch his fight. You won't regret it.

Jessica Aguilar

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    Weight Class: Women's Strawweight

    Record: 16-4

    There is only one woman under contract with WSOF right now, and she goes by the name of Jessica Aguilar.

    "Jag" has been considered the top of the women's 115-pound class ever since she defeated Megumi Fujii in their first encounter. Since then, she hasn't looked back, winning fights against Patricia Vidonic and Fujii again in her retirement bout.

    Aguilar has no fight scheduled yet as WSOF looks to build this women's division. It will definitely be tough now that UFC has began to build its women's strawweight division and Invicta has a stanglehold on most of the other top talent.