Saturday night, Josh Burkman or Steve Carl will fight for the first ever World Series of Fighting championship title and belt. Today the promotion revealed theat belt.
Custom-designed by A.J. LaFons, the World Series of Fighting championship belt features more than 43 carats of genuine ruby, diamond, emerald, sapphire and red garnet and weighs in at a total of 10 pounds, 7 ounces.
The two-tone effect on the plates was accomplished by nickel-plating each layer of the details before gold-plating the highlights by hand.
A former master model maker for Jostens, LaFons had never before designed a championship belt. However, a self-professed MMA fan, he lobbied World Series of Fighting executives for the opportunity to commission the company's first title. While he admits it it was even more of an undertaking than he initially imagined, LaFons said the opportunity to unveil the belt to the World Series of Fighting athletes made it all worthwhile.
"These fighters all tell me that the thing they live for is this belt, so I wanted them to all love it," LaFons said. "Every one of them that got to see it today loves it. They're all looking forward to winning one, so that made me feel good."
WSoF president Ray Sefo echoed those sentiments.
"We wanted to make sure our championship belt was reflective of our commitment to excellence," said Sefo. "We've been working in the background for more than a year on the design of this belt, and we feel like we got it right. On Saturday night, I feel confident that either Josh Burkman or Steve Carl will be proud of the belt they receive as recognition of their accomplishment as our first-ever welterweight champion."
Burkman and Carl's title bout headlines Saturday's "World Series of Fighting 6: Burkman vs. Carl" event, which takes place at BankUnited Center in Coral Gables, Fla.
The live, two-hour NBCSN telecast of the evening's main card begins at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT, and venue doors open at 5 p.m. ET.
NOTE: MMAjunkie.com today confirmed with World Series of Fighting officials that the company is offering free tickets for all military, police and fire personnel, along with one guest. The offer will be extended as long as seats are available. Uniforms are not required, but World Series of Fighting officials request qualifying individuals bring a proper badge or ID to the BankUnited Center box office on fight night.
Main Card (NBC Sports Network, 9 p.m. ET)
Josh Burkman vs. Steve Carl - for inaugural welterweight title
Carson Beebe vs. Marlon Moraes
Marcelo Alfaya vs. Jon Fitch
Justin Gaethje vs. Dan Lauzon
Prelim Card (WSOF.com, 6 p.m. ET)
Pablo Alfonso vs. Miguel Torres
Luiz Firmino vs. Jacob Volkmann
Francisco France vs. Hans Stringer
Josh Rettinghouse vs. Alexis Vila
Nick LoBosco vs. Fabio Mello
Chad Robichaux vs. Andrew Yates
Alexandre Pimentel vs. Jade Porter