STAMFORD, Conn. – June 16, 2016 – World Series of Fighting returns to NBCSN tomorrow, Friday, June 17, live at 9 p.m. ET, with heavyweight champion Blagoy Ivanov defending his title against Josh “Cuddly Bear” Copeland from Foxwoods Resort Casino in Mashantucket, Conn.
The 29-year-old Blagoy Ivanov of Bulgaria was on the verge of representing his home country as a judoka in the 2012 Olympic Games, but chose instead to enter a career in mixed martial arts. In 14 professional contests, Ivanov has lost just once, earning 11 of his 13 career wins by stoppage, including seven finishes in the first round. In his World Series of Fighting debut, Ivanov scored a third-round submission win over then-WSOF heavyweight champ Smealinho Rama this past June (WSOF 21) to claim the belt. He then defended the title with a second round TKO win over Derrick Mehmen at October’s WSOF24 event.
Josh Copeland has been fighting professionally since 2012, posting a 12-3 record. Most recently, he earned back-to-back victories against Jason Ackerman and D.J. Linderman, before suffering a submission loss to current Bellator heavyweight champion Vitaly Minakov in a December 2015 matchup in Russia. Of his 12 career victories, eight have come in the opening round.
In addition, tomorrow night’s card features Jason “The Kansas City Bandit” High and Mike “The Martian” Ricci in a lightweight bout. Both High and Ricci made their World Series of Flighting debuts in November (WSOF 25), where High picked up a second-round knockout of Estevan Payan, and Ricci knocked out Joe Condon in the first round via head kick in the promotion’s eight-man lightweight tournament. The winner of the bout is expected to challenge Justin Gaethje for the lightweight title.
Tomorrow’s card also features bouts between John “Doomsday” Howard (23-12) and Mike “Mad Mike” Arrant (15-10) in the middleweight division, Luis “Baboon” Palomino (24-12) and Sheymon Moraes (8-1) in the featherweight division, and Phil Hawes and Joshua “The Prince of MMA” Key in the middleweight division.
Play-by-play announcer Todd Harris will be joined by mixed martial artists and analysts Bas Rutten and Joey Varner to call the action.
World Series of Fighting will be streamed live on NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app via “TV Everywhere,” giving consumers additional value for their subscription service, and making high quality content available to MVPD customers both in and out of the home and on multiple platforms. The NBC Sports app is powered by Playmaker Media, and available on the iTunes App Store, Google Play, Windows Store, Roku, Apple TV and Amazon Fire.