WORLD SERIES OF FIGHTING RETURNS TO
FOXWOODS RESORT CASINO IN CONNECTICUT
WITH HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP MEGA-EVENT
ON FRIDAY, JUNE 17, LIVE ON NBCSN
TICKETS FOR WSOF31: IVANOV VS. COPELAND
ON SALE FRIDAY, APRIL 1
LIGHTWEIGHT CO-MAIN EVENT:
JASON HIGH VS. MIKE RICCI
LAS VEGAS (March 29, 2016) –World Series of Fighting (WSOF.com) announced today that it will return to Foxwoods Resort Casino in Mashantucket, Conn. with a stacked lineup of Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) fights led by a world heavyweight championship showdown between reigning kingpinBlagoy Ivanov (13-1) and Josh “Cuddly Bear” Copeland (13-1), live on NBCSN at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT on Friday, June 17.
In the lightweight (155 pounds) co-main event, superstars Jason “The Kansas City Bandit” High (19-5) and Mike “The Martian” Ricci (11-4) will square off with the number one contender ranking at stake.
Priced from $39.99, tickets for WSOF31: Ivanov vs. Copeland, go on sale on Friday, April 1 at 10 a.m. ET, at WSOF.com and Foxwoods.com.
“We are looking forward to returning to the great state of Connecticut, and putting on another phenomenal world championship event featuring some of our top superstars, for fans at Foxwoods Resort Casino,” said World Series of Fighting President Ray Sefo.
Blagoy Ivanov vs. Josh Copeland
Ivanov of Sulfia, Bulgaria is a 5-foot-11, 29-year-old Judo black belt and Sambo master who has earned 11 of his 13 career MMA wins by way of (T)KO or submission. At the 2008 World Sambo Championships, he made his first big mark in combat sports, defeating all-time great Fedor Emelianenko.
Ivanov made his way to World Series of Fighting after a near-flawless, 8-fight run under the promotion of Bellator, posting an overall, 7-1 record there. He seized the World Series of Fighting heavyweight championship fromSmealinho Rama, forcing Rama to tap out from a guillotine choke in the third round (1:17) of their matchup on June 5, 2015, and successfully defended thetitle for the first time on October 17, scoring a second round (4:33) TKO onDerrick Mehman with a barrage of punches.
Copeland of Denver, Colo. is coming off his World Series of Fighting debut victory, a unanimous decision over Mike “300” Hayes, at WSOF29 on March 12. The 6-foot-1, 33-year-old teammate of undefeated World Series of Fighting lightweight champion Justin “The Highlight” Gaethje has notched 8 of his 13 career wins, to date, via (T)KO or submission.
Jason High vs. Mike Ricci
Following his near 18-month absence from competition, High of Kansas City, Miss. made his long-awaited return to the cage on November 20 at WSOF25, after signing an exclusive, multi-fight contract with World Series of Fighting, and scored a thunderous, second round (:47) KO on Estevan Payan with a head kick-punches combination.
The 5-foot-9, 34-year-old High, a veteran of the UFC and Strikeforce, initially caught the attention of the MMA world while fighting at an elite level in Japan under the promotion of K-1 and Dream where he faced and defeated the likes of Andre Galvao and Hayato “Mach” Sakurai. High also holds a victory over retired phenom Jordan Mein.
Ricci of Montreal, Quebec, Canada reached the final round on the 16th season of the hit competition reality show The Ultimate Fighter.
The 6-foot, 30-year-old member of famed trainer Firas Zahabi’s Tristar Gym fight team is looking for his fourth consecutive win, after defeating the likes ofJorge Gurgel, George Sotiropoulos and Joe Condon, whom Ricci conquered by way of first round (2:41) KO with a head kick at WSOF25.
Doors at The Grand Theatre at Foxwoods Resort Casino will open for WSOF31: Ivanov vs. Copeland, at 5 p.m. ET, and the first preliminary card bout will begin at 6 p.m.
Additional bouts will be announced soon.
ABOUT WORLD SERIES OF FIGHTING
"World Series of Fighting" (WSOF) is a worldwide premier professional Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) fight promotion dedicated to delivering the best action-packed fights for fight fans by producing the best possible match-ups between elite fighters from around the world. For more information please visit and follow "World Series of Fighting" on Twitter . WSOF and World Series of Fighting are registered trademarks of MMAWC, LLC.
NBCSN, part of the NBC Sports Group, is dedicated to serving passionate sports fans. Now in more than 85 million homes, the Emmy Award-winning network is the cable television home of the Summer and Winter Olympics, National Hockey League (NHL) – including two games of the Stanley Cup Final -- Premier League, Formula One, IndyCar, Tour de France, the 34th America’s Cup, and beginning in 2015, NASCAR. In addition, NBCSN features college football, college basketball, college hockey, cycling, outdoor programming, horse racing surrounding the Triple Crown and Breeders' Cup, Fight Night boxing, Ironman, the Dew Tour and USA Sevens Rugby. The network is also home to original programs such as Costas Tonight, NFL Turning Point, Pro Football Talk, The Dan Patrick Show, and NASCAR America. NBCSN is distributed via cable systems and satellite operators throughout the United States.
About Foxwoods® Resort Casino
Foxwoods Resort Casino is the premier resort destination in the Northeast. As the largest resort casino in North America, Foxwoods offers a vast array of gaming in six casinos; AAA Four-Diamond hotels, restaurants from gourmet to quick service, world-renowned spas, award-winning golf, state-of-the-art theaters, and exclusive retailers. Perfect for both recreation and business, Foxwoods provides modern and versatile convention and meeting space to infuse new life into any meeting or event. Foxwoods Resort Casino is owned and operated by the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation. For a comprehensive look at Foxwoods Resort Casino and Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation visit Foxwoods.com.