Ray Sefo and his partners at the World Series of Fighting spent two past two years working to put Saturday night's fight together.
Shortly after Saturday turns into Sunday on the East Coast, after people are done watching the event on NBC Sports Network, there exists the very real possibility that the investment of time (and money) will be looked upon with a frown.
That's the thing about fight promotion: you have no control over how the fights play out in the cage. You can do everything right going into the night -- sell tickets, make compelling matches, have the right venue, be in compliance with all Nevada State Athletic Commission regulations -- but if the fights are a dud, none of that other stuff matters to many fans.
“That scenario would be a kick in the butt," Sefo told Newsday. "But at the same time, as long as I know that myself and my team put everything together and everything is running smoothly and it’s meant to be the way it is, then I understand."
The caliber of names for a brand new promotion is impressive -- Andrei Arlovski, Anthony Johnson, Miguel Torres, Gregor Gracie, Ronys Torres. Making sure they meet fans' expecations, however, is another matter.
No one is expecting a UFC-like atmosphere, nor should they. The WSOF is brand new and it takes time to develop an identity. The key is to make sure fans stick around long enough. Entertaining fights are an easy way to make that happen.
“As long as they jump in there and fight with passion and love of the sport and heart and soul, then I think they’re going to put on a great performance," Sefo said. "At the same time, you can't rewind time or cry over spilled milk. Hopefully, they’ll come back and put on a better show.”