Arlovski vs Cole to Headline WSOF Debut Event
LAS VEGAS, Nev. (Sept. 25, 2012) – Hard-hitting heavyweight KO artists Andrei “The Pitbull” Arlovski (17-9) of Minsk, Belarus and Devin Cole (20-9) of Medford, Ore. will collide on the highly-anticipated, inaugural World Series of Fighting Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) fight card, live on NBC Sports Network from Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino in Las Vegas on Saturday, Nov. 3.
“We are thrilled to welcome both Andrei and Devin to the World Series of Fighting roster and to have them headline our first live event,” said World Series of Fighting President Ray Sefo. “Both of these heavyweights have delivered some incredibly memorable highlights during their careers and their matchup should be a barnburner.”
The 33-year-old, 6-foot-4, 250 pound Arlovski made his first major statement in the sport of MMA, winning the interim UFC heavyweight championship by forcing rival Tim Sylvia to tap out from a heel hook just 47 seconds into their matchup on Feb. 5, 2005.
Four months later, Arlovski defended his title, toppling Justin Eilers with an onslaught of punches in the first round (4:10) of their matchup in Atlantic City, N.J. Shortly after the victory, Arlovski was promoted to UFC heavyweight champion and went on to earn wins over the likes of Paul “The Headhunter” Buentello, Fabricio Werdum and Jake O’Brien before parting ways with the UFC and using his punching power to score a third round (1:13) KO on Ben Rothwell and a second round (1:46) TKO on Roy Nelson, respectively.
Of late, Arlovski has returned to vintage form, taking out Ray Lopez with a barrage of punches in the third stanza (2:43) of their matchup in Honolulu, Hawaii on Aug. 27, 2011, and scoring a crushing third round (4:59) KO on Travis Fulton with a monstrous head kick on Nov. 5, 2011.
The fact that the 35-year-old, 6-foot-4, 250 pound Cole has earned 10 of his 20 career victories by way of KO might lead one to believe he is a pure striker. On the contrary, however, he is a lifelong wrestler as well.
In 2001, Cole received All-American honors after leading Southern Oregon University to a national wrestling championship. Two years later, he burst onto the MMA scene, winning 10 of first 11 professional bouts. Amongst his best conquests to date are those over Travis Wiuff, Mike Kyle, D.J. Linderman and Mike “300” Hayes.
Cole will look to notch his third consecutive victory. He recently made his second-career trip to premiere training camp American Top Team in Coconut Creek, Fla. in order to prepare with some of the world’s premiere mixed martial artists for the showdown with Arlovski.
Tickets for the inaugural World Series of Fighting event, priced from $19.99, can be purchased online at Ticketmaster.com, at all Caesars Entertainment and Ticketron outlets and by phone at 800-745-3000. .
The live NBC Sports Network telecast of the World Series of Fighting event will begin at 10:30 p.m. EST/7:30 p.m. PST.
In other main card action, bantamweight (135 pounds) superstar Miguel Angel Torres (40-5) of East Chicago, Ind. will battle an opponent to be announced.
Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt Gregor Gracie (7-2) of Rio de Janeiro will face off with red-hot prospect Tyson Steele (9-1) in a welterweight (168 pounds) contest; Josh Burkman (23-9) of Salt Lake City, Utah will battle fellow star Gerald “Hurricane” Harris (21-4) of Tulsa, Okla. in a welterweight bout.
Fast-rising star Ronys Torres (25-4) will meet dangerous submission specialist Brian “The Bandit” Cobb (19-7) of Bakersfield, Calif. in a lightweight (155 pounds) matchup.
In an undercard scrap, seasoned warrior Gesias “JZ” Cavalcante (16-6-1) Deerfield Beach, Fla. by way of Brazil will take on submission wizard John Gunderson (34-14) of Las Vegas.
Additional undercard bouts will be announced soon.