The prelims for World Series of Fighting 31 were confirmed by the promotion on Thursday, as seven fights will stream live via an embeddable video player.
Set for June 17 from Foxwoods Resort Casino in Connecticut, the NBC Sports Network main card features Blagoy Ivanov defending his heavyweight title against Josh Copeland and lightweights Mike Ricci and Jason High meeting in a No. 1 contender match.
Below is the complete press release with details on the prelim fights:
World Series of Fighting (WSOF.com) today announced a complete, seven-bout preliminary fight card for its WSOF31: Ivanov vs. Copeland world heavyweight championship Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) event, live on NBCSN at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT from Foxwoods Resort Casino in Mashantucket, Conn. on Friday, June 17.
The WSOF31 undercard lineup includes the promotional debut of heavyweight knockout artist Lorenzo Hood (9-3), who will square off with fellow finisher Tyler “The Marauder” King (10-4).
The 6-foot-3, 27-year-old Hood of Chicago, Ill. is a former professional football player turned MMA wrecking machine who has notched all 9 of his professional victories by way of (T)KO in the first round of battle.
King, a 6-foot-5, 35-year-old resident of North Attleboro, Mass. has earned 8 of his 10 career wins via (T)KO or submission. He is coming off a 51-second submission (heel hook) of Eric Bedard on April 16.
In another heavyweight contest, Juliano “Banana” Coutinho (7-2) of Cape Cod, Mass. via Rio de Janeiro, Brazil will look to secure his second straight victory when he faces off with Team AKA product Justin Willis (3-1) of San Jose, Calif.
Willis, who is riding a three-fight win streak, was originally slated to face Chris “Huggy Bear” Barnett on the main card portion of the bill.
Returning to the decagon cage for the fourth time, submission specialist Tom “Tommy Gunnz” Marcellino (7-4) of Amsterdam, N.Y. will take on Devin Powell (6-1) of South Berwick, Maine in one of three lightweight (155 pounds) matchups on the WSOF31 preliminary bout card.
Powell boasts won four straight fights, three by way of (T)KO or submission.
In welterweight (170 pounds) action, Robert Fonseca (10-3, 1 NC) of Manaus, Amazonas, Brazil will seek his fourth consecutive victory when he squares off with Sean Lally (4-2) of Orleans, Mass.
Saul “The Spider” Almeida (18-6) of Boston, Mass. will make his third start in the decagon cage in a lightweight matchup with prolific power striker Bruce “Pretty Boy” Boyington of Bangor, Maine.
Thirty-year-old rising star Rodrigo “The Young Lion” Almeida of Woburn, Mass. will do battle with Ben Pierre-Saint (9-4) of Superior, Wisc. at bantamweight (135 pounds).
In the leadoff preliminary card fight, unbeaten Sam Watford (2-0) of Mount Vernon, N.Y. will face Christian “The Terminator” Torres (0-0) of Endicott, N.Y.
Priced from $39.99, tickets for WSOF31: Ivanov vs. Copeland are on sale at WSOF.com and Foxwoods.com.
Doors at The Grand Theatre at Foxwoods Resort Casino will open at 5 p.m. ET, and the first preliminary card bout will begin at 6 p.m.
In the live NBCSN televised main event, reigning world heavyweight champion Blagoy Ivanov (13-1) will risk his title against Josh “Cuddly Bear” Copeland (13-1) while, in the lightweight co-main event, superstars Jason “The Kansas City Bandit” High (19-5) and Mike “The Martian” Ricci (11-4) will square off with their division’s number one contender ranking at stake.
Elsewhere on the live NBCSN telecast, John “Doomsday” Howard (23-12) will make his highly-anticipated World Series of Fighting debut against submission expert Thiago “Minu” Meller (20-7) at welterweight.
In a featherweight (145 pounds) tilt between two prolific strikers, Luis “Baboon” Palomino (24-12) will battle former world championship challenger Sheymon Moraes (8-1).