NBC Sports Network and World Series of Fighting announced today that they will further their partnership beyond live event programming by unveiling an all-new television series, World Series of Fighting: Future Champs, showcasing Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) action from the sport's hottest rising stars, beginning on Saturday, April 13, at 7:00 p.m. ET/4:00 p.m. PT.
The premiere, 30-minute episode will feature the three-round, 160-pound catchweight fight between Ozzy Dugulubgov (4-1) of Hackensack, N.J. and Chris Wade (5-1) of Lindenhurst, N.Y, a bout that took place on the non-televised undercard of the World Series of Fighting event at Revel in Atlantic City, N.J., on March 23.
The series continues on Friday, April 26 at 7:30 p.m. ET/4:30 p.m. PT, and will feature the explosive, 150-pound catchweight bout between Brenson Hansen (4-1) of Las Vegas and Tom Marcellino (4-2) of Fairfield, Conn. that also took place on the March 23 undercard.
"We are excited to take our partnership with NBC Sports Network to the next level and complement our live event programming with library fights featuring World Series of Fighting's fast-growing roster of emerging, young stars and future champions," said World Series of Fighting President and six-time world kickboxing champion and two-time Hall of Famer Ray Sefo. "The World Series of Fighting: Future Champs program will effectively give us the stage needed to build the star power of our best prospects by connecting them with a national audience that would not otherwise be able to see them in action on television."
World Series of Fighting is coming off its second, star-studded, live NBC Sports Network-televised event headlined by a heavyweight showdown between superstars Anthony "Rumble" Johnson (16-3) of Boca Raton, Fla. and Andrei "The Pitbull" Arlovksi (18-10) of Minsk, Belarus on March 23. The live telecast peaked with 332,000 viewers, marking a 46 percent increase in peak viewership from the promotion's inaugural event on Nov. 3 that peaked with 228,000 viewers.