Live from the Seminole Hard Rock Casino in Hollywood, Fla., the World Series of Fighting 8 will commence on Saturday, Jan. 18. Two championships will be on the line as the undefeated Justin Gaethje will battle Richard Patishnock for the vacant lightweight crown.
History will also be made as Jessica Aguilar and Alida Gray will fight to become the women's strawweight championship. The winner will be the first female champion in the promotions history.
It's a pretty solid card overall. Here's how you can watch the action:
When: Saturday, Jan. 18 at 9 p.m. ET
Where: Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood, Fla.
Here's a look at the card, and a closer look at the featured bouts.
- Lightweight Championship: Justin Gaethje (10-0) vs. Richard Patishnock (6-1)
- Light Heavyweight: Anthony Johnson (15-4) vs. Mike Kyle (20-10-1)
- Women’s Strawweight Championship: Jessica Aguilar (16-4) vs. Alida Gray (4-0)
- Bantamweight: Cody Bollinger (14-2) vs. Tyson Nam (12-5)
- Lightweight: Jorge Patino (35-14-2) vs. Luis Palomino (21-9)
- Welterweight: Tyler Stinson (25-9) vs. Valdir Araujo (14-4)
- Heavyweight: Derrick Mehmen (16-5) vs. Scott Barrett (14-3)
- Bantamweight: Alexis Vila (13-4) vs. Sidemar Honorio (8-4)
- Featherweight: Freddy Assuncao (7-1) vs. Brenson Hansen (5-1)
- Welterweight: Jose Caceres (5-4) vs. Anderson Melo (10-7)
Gaethje Gets to Prove He's Worthy of WSOF Gold
Patishnock wasn't the opponent originally scheduled to face Gaethje in this bout, but after Gesias Cavalcante suffered an injury and his replacement, Lewis Gonzalez also went down, Patishnock got the call.
Though he isn't as experienced, the 29-year-old Patishnock is undefeated in the WSOF, with two wins over members of the Gracie family (Gregor and Igor).
Gaethje has made a name for himself as a dynamic finisher. He has stopped each of his last six opponents, and nine of the 10 men he's faced overall. Riley Kontek of The MMA Corner breaks down Gaethje's game: "With nasty leg kicks and powerful hands, he is a buzzsaw on the feet. He does have a good ground game as well, it’s just rarely seen because of his skilled striking attack."
Gaethje has the looks of a future superstar, but he needs this win as validation.
Will Gray or Aguilar Make History?
With just four professional fights to her credit, Gray will be attempting to become the WSOF's first women's strawweight title holder and first female champion overall.
She'll have to defeat Aguilar, who has had 20 pro fights spread over 12 different promotions.
Gray has shown good KO power thus far in her career. That includes what may have been the K.O. of the year in MMA. This devastating one-punch K.O. of Soannia Tiem launched Gray's career, and paved the way for this opportunity.
Per Trula Howe of Sherdog, Gray says the WSOF was the first to reach out after her big, statement-making win. She said:
I was hoping [Invicta] would call for the next Invicta card, but they haven’t yet. WSOF contacted me via Facebook, saying that they needed to talk to me ASAP. I forwarded the information to my manager. When he called me back to inform me of the opportunity to fight Aguilar, we immediately had a meeting. We talked it over and took the fight. We are all excited for this opportunity.
Gray has stopped all four of her opponents, and the last three wins have come via K.O./T.K.O.
Aguilar is a submissions specialist with seven wins in that fashion. Can she stand up to Gray's power? The fight should be an interesting clash of styles.
Rumble and Kyle Could Be an Epic Slugfest
It's not a fight for the title, but the Johnson-Kyle bout might be the best scrap of the night. Both men are dangerous strikers who do their best work in stand-up competition.
Johnson does have more of a grappling background, so he could make this fight easier—and more boring—by taking Kyle to the mat. He's a UFC veteran who hasn't lost a fight since he left the promotion.
If Johnson commits to standing and trading, an explosive K.O. could be the result.
The two men have 35 career wins, and 23 of them have come by way of K.O./T.K.O.
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