Ozzy Dugulubgov believes he has the blueprint he needs to succeed where all others before him have failed.
Dugulubgov will challenge the undefeated Justin Gaethje for the World Series of Fighting lightweight championship in the WSOF 33 main event on Friday at the Municipal Auditorium Arena in Kansas City, Missouri. In the five-round co-headliner, David Branch puts his light heavyweight crown on the line against “The Ultimate Fighter 8” finalist Vinny Magalhaes.
The rest of the six-fight main card features a welterweight clash matching former Ring of Combat champion John Howard with Abubakar Nurmagomedov, a heavyweight scrap pitting Ultimate Fighting Championship castaway Shawn Jordan against Ashley Gooch and a pair of lightweight tilts, as American Top Team’s Jason High meets Joao Zeferino and Luiz Firmino faces Brian Foster.
With the Gaethje-Dugulubgov and Branch-Magalhaes title bouts on the marquee, here are 10 facts surrounding World Series of Fighting 33:
FACT 1: Gaethje wrestled collegiately at the University of Northern Colorado, a Division I institution in Greeley, Colorado, where in 2010 he became the first wrestler in school history to earn NCAA All-America honors.
FACT 2: The 27-year-old Dugulubgov emerged as the World Series of Fighting’s No. 1 contender at 155 pounds with consecutive victories over Nic Herron-Webb, Lucas Montoya and Keon Caldwell, men with a cumulative .725 winning percentage.
FACT 3: Branch holds the rank of black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu under two-time Abu Dhabi Combat Club Submission Wrestling World Championships gold medalist Renzo Gracie.
FACT 4: Magalhaes, 32, has already held titles in the M-1 Global and Titan Fighting Championship organizations.
FACT 5: A finalist in the 2009 Dream welterweight grand prix, High sports 24-, 26-, 45-, 51- and 59-second finishes on his 25-fight resume.
FACT 6: Zeferino has delivered 15 of his 20 career victories by submission: four by heel hook, three by rear-naked choke, three by armbar, three by arm-triangle choke, one by keylock and one by guillotine choke.
FACT 7: Twenty-four of Foster’s 34 professional bouts -- 17 of his 25 victories and seven of his nine losses -- have ended inside one round. The onetime Victory Fighting Championship titleholder has gone the distance only once.
FACT 8: Firmino appeared on Season 21 of “The Ultimate Fighter” reality series and defeated Uros Jurisic by unanimous decision while representing the powerhouse Blackzilians camp, but the Pride Fighting Championships veteran still has never officially set foot inside the UFC’s Octagon.
FACT 9: The 12 fighters who have defeated Howard -- Tim Means, Lorenz Larkin, Brian Ebersole, Ryan LaFlare, Leandro Silva, Matt Brown, Thiago Alves, Jake Ellenberger, Dan Miller, Woody Weatherby, Nick Catone and Alexandre Moreno -- have 245 wins between them.
FACT 10: Jordan was a four-sport standout at Riverside High School in El Paso, Texas, where he excelled in football, track and field, basketball and wrestling. Recruited by current University of Alabama head coach Nick Saban, he went on to win two national championships as a fullback for the Louisiana State University football team.