BREWER, Maine — Bruce Boyington will leave for Russia on Monday for his next mixed martial arts adventure.
After that, he’ll seek to conquer the world — or at least the World Series of Fighting.
The 37-year-old Boyington, who has won his last five fights and eight of his last nine outings, said this week he has agreed to a four-fight contract with the World Series of Fighting, one of the three largest MMA promotions in the United States.
Boyington, who already has won two fights on World Series of Fighting promotions held at Foxwood Resort Casino in Mashantucket, Connecticut, within the last 10 months, was presented the offer in an email Tuesday morning by World Series of Fighting President Ray Sefo.
“I’ve liked the idea of the World Series of Fighting or the [Ultimate Fighting Championship],” and I’ve been aiming for the World Series of Fighting thinking that was a good opportunity to get there first, Boyington said.
“I really wanted the World Series of Fighting, and I kind of figured after my last fight if I pushed it something might come of it, and here we are,” he said.
Boyington (14-8) is already set to take on 28-year-old Musa Khamanaev (16-4) on Aug. 20 in the main event of ACB 42, a show being staged by one of Russia’s top MMA promotions, Absolut Championship Berkut.
That bout will take place at Diesel Arena in Penza, Russia, a city of about 500,000 residents located in the country’s central European region some 390 miles south of Moscow.
Boyington said that fight won’t affect his relationship with the World Series of Fighting.
“This will be a good fight for where I stand because this guy’s one of the best in the world,” said Boyington. “If I can put him away, there’s no doubt in my mind I can beat anyone else.
“I feel really good going into it. I feel like I’m at a different level now. My body is really conditioned, and my health is better,” he added.
Boyington, the former New England Fights lightweight champion, made his World Series of Fighting debut October 2015 with a split-decision victory over Rodrigo Almeida at World Series of Fighting 24.
He followed that with a second split-decision win over Saul Almeida at World Series of Fighting 31 in his most recent fight on June 17.
“I haven’t had a hiccup lately, and I feel great,” said Boyington. “I feel like I can challenge the best in the world, so now I can at least find out where I stand before it’s too late.”
While there is no specific time frame covering the World Series of Fighting pact, Boyington expects to fulfill the contract in two years or less.
“I think they’ll push me to fight as much as I want,” said Boyington. “Personally I like the idea of a four-fight contract because I don’t have to fight if I’m not healthy. When they came to Foxwoods before I had to fight because they asked me to fight and I couldn’t say no or that would have been the end of it.”
He does hope one of the bouts under his contract will involve a potential World Series of Fighting date in New York, which legalized professional mixed martial arts earlier this year.
“They’ve got their first show in Madison Square Garden coming up, and I’ve got a lot of family in New York, so I’ve been wanting to fight there,” he said. “I’m hoping that happens, whether it’s the first one there or not.”
Boyington also sees success in his first fights under the World Series of Fighting contract leading to major opportunities.
“It’s perfect for me,” he said. “The four-fight contract has pretty decent pay, so for once I won’t be fighting for nothing, and I think it’s designed so that four fights should get me a title shot if I’m winning for them. If I’m not, I doubt they’ll have any interest in signing a guy like me again.
“But if you win three fights, I’d bet the fourth one is a title fight, and if you win a title for them, you’re a big name around the world,” he said.