It’s a tough climate out there. But it’s probably safe to say MMA World Series of Fighting raised its profile a bit with their last show.
That event, WSOF 22 back on August 1, was headlined by the controversial Rousimar Palhares vs. Jake Shields bout, which we discussed here at Caged Insider. According to our friends at MMA Payout, the bout scored the promotion’s best ratings in more than a year.
Now it looks like they are building their roster for the future.
The promotion announced three signings this week, each at lightweight: Colton Smith, Jason High, and Mike Ricci.
The 28 year old Smith may be the highest profile of the three. An active member of the US Army, the Iowa native came into focus while competing for The Ultimate Fighter Season 16 with only a 2-1 pro MMA record. He would win all four of his bouts on the show, and then go on to win the season with a decision win over Canada’s Mike Ricci. Since exiting the promotion last year, he has won two straight bouts to raise his official record to 5-4.
“Today starts another journey,” Smith wrote on his Facebook account yesterday. “I signed a long term deal with one of the largest and fastest growing MMA organizations in the world, World Series of Fighting! I will be live on TV once again chasing my GOD birthed dream to achieve greatness and become a World Champion in MMA. Don’t believe me? Just stand back and watch my rise!”
Kansas City’s Jason High, 33, may be familiar to fans of Japanese MMA, where he had a successful run at welterweight from 2009 and 2010. Among his career highlights are a decision victory over jiu-jitsu standout Andre Galvao (in Japan’s DREAM promotion) and another decision, against old legend Hayato Sakurai at Dynamite 2010. High, who also had two stretches in the UFC, has an 18-5 record.
Smith’s old foe Mike Ricci, of Montreal, most recently fought for Titan FC where he won two straight bouts — including a decision win over George Sotiropoulos last year. A student at Tristar Gym in Montreal, the 29 year old Ricci is 10-4 in MMA.
“Our lightweight division is expanding at an aggressive pace,” WSOF President Ray Sefo said in a press release. “Both Jason and Mike will surely add depth to the competitive pool of athletes in this weight class, and provide us with the means to create some highly compelling match-ups with potential title fight implications.”