“Mr. Andrew Simon, he’s a good guy, and I have no problems with him,” Ali Abdelaziz, WSOF’s executive vice president and matchmaker, told MMAjunkie Radio. “If anybody issues a challenge to World Series of Fighting, we will take it. But one of the things I’m going to make sure is that the card is going to make sense.”
Simon recently proposed an AXS TV Fights vs. WSOF card. Unfortunately for the eager TV exec and the regional organizations under the AXS TV Fights banner (including Legacy FC, XFC, RFA and more), Abdelaziz feels they don’t have enough high-level fights to make for an evenly matched co-promoted card.
“It needs to make sense for the fans to watch, for the fans to enjoy,” Abdelaziz said. “I’m not going to bring a guy from XFC to fight a guy like Marlon Moraes. That would be a mismatch. Nobody is going to watch.
“Tell me one guy in XFC who can fight Marlon. Tell me at 205 (pounds) who can fight Anthony Johnson. Tell me anyone who can fight Rousimar Palhares and give him a good match the fans will care about it. It has to make sense.”
Abdelaziz said he isn’t attempting to discredit the competitors under the AXS TV Fights umbrella, but he feels those fighters aren’t ready to compete against staples of recognizable operations like WSOF, UFC and Bellator.
“AXS TV is a big part of MMA,” Abdelaziz said. “Without AXS TV and guys like Ring of Combat and Ring of Fire, it wouldn’t be possible to have UFC, WSOF or even Bellator. These guys are the heart of the sport, and they should be very proud of it – not challenging us.”
With a WSOF vs. AXS TV Fights event unlikely at this point, Abdelaziz continues to hold out hope that Bellator will accept WSOF’s recent challenge for a 10-fight super card on pay-per-view. Despite the fact that officials from the Viacom-owned organization have not responded, Abdelaziz has decided to up the ante with a deadline.
“They have 48 hours to accept the challenge,” Abdelaziz said. “It’s good for the fans, good for the fighters. Let’s do it. You challenged Strikeforce before. They didn’t take it, but we’re willing to take it. We’ll give you a run for your money. We can win this challenge.”
While Abdelaziz has been aggressive in trying to garner a response, he isn’t getting his hopes up and expects the deadline to come and go without an answer.
“I don’t think any of these guys will come on the show because they’re in their shells,” Abdelaziz said. “They’re closing their eyes, and they have blankets over their faces.”