World Series of Fighting was dealt a blow last week, as Canadian MMA prospect Josh Hill was forced to withdraw from his main event bout against Marlon Moraes.
But the show will go on, with perhaps a higher-profile match serving as replacement.
Hill was to face the dangerous striker Moraes for the promotion’s bantamweight world title at the main event of WSOF 13 in Bethlehem, PA on Saturday.
Now, Cody Bollinger, noted for recent wins over Tyson Nam and Pablo Alfonso, has stepped in to fight Moraes in a 140 lb catch-weight bout.
“I thought Moraes vs. Hill was going to be an incredible championship fight, but this new pairing might better,” World Series of Fighting President Ray Sefo said about the switch. “Marlon isn’t exactly Cody’s biggest fan, and Marlon guaranteed me he was going to knock Cody out.
Moraes, who is riding a six fight winning streak that includes all of his WSOF bouts, has even expressed that he regards his title on the line for the fight.
“I don’t know how we can make it official, but as far as I’m concerned, this is a title fight,” said a fired up Moraes. “Anytime I’m fighting, I’m fighting as a champion and I’m defending my belt. I don’t know how everybody else will see it but, to me, this is my next title fight and, if Cody wins, I’ll send him my belt. If I’m going to be a champion, I have to beat everybody I fight.”
Bollinger described the event as “a an amazing opportunity that came my way from a first class fighting promotion.” He had already announced he would be moving up to featherweight after recent weight troubles, but the catch-weight would not be a problem: “I will be ready to go at it full force come fight time, shock the world, and put an end to Marlon’s winning streak.”
He would later joke on Twitter:
The good thing about 9days notice is not stressing for 2months and losing sleep
— Cody Bollinger (@CodyBollinger) September 6, 2014
World Series of Fighting 13 will take place at Sands Bethlehem Resort Event Center in Bethlehem, PA. The event will be broadcast on NBC Sports Network.