RANCHO CUCAMONGA, Calif. (July 9, 2014) On Saturday, August 30, 2014 King of the Cage (KOTC) returns to Las Vegas at Eastside Cannery Casino Hotel for “Future Legends 25” for another action packed night of MMA fighting.

The KOTC 145 lb. Amateur Bantamweight Title will be on the line when current Champion David Hernandez (Team Allegiance) from Apple Valley, California battles Christian Cardona (Torres MMA) from Las Vegas, Nevada. The challenger, Cardona, has earned one of the fastest knockouts ever recorded in KOTC amateur history which was 0:10.

In the co-main event in the light heavyweight division, Dan Lewis (Rice Brothers BBJ) from Redding, California takes on Prentice Williams (Extreme Couture) from Las Vegas, Nevada. This match will be for the number one contender in the light heavyweight division.

Other key matchups will feature:

  • Adam Gentile vs. Austin Haggerty (Heavyweight)
  • Jason Pacheco vs. Oscar Sanchez (125 lbs.)
  • Graig Slattery vs. Chris Flores (145 lbs.)
  • Will Hope vs. Felix Carreras (185 lbs.)
  • Dylan Oligo vs. Bruce Harleysville (115 lbs.)
  • Farley Thomas vs. Justin Hernandez (135 lbs.)
  • Omar Romero vs. Daniel Rodriguez (170 lbs.)
  • Johnny Lopez vs. Jordan Christensen (165 lbs.)

Other fighters appearing on the card will be Jose Lopez, Paul Uhi, Steve Hartman, Ken Rose, Ty Bethley, Don Murphin, Alberto Gomez, Mateusz Gruziaz, Raul Hernandez, AJ Smith, Ricky Alvarez, Justin Robinson, Javier Hernandez and more.

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BattleGrounds MMA (www.battlegroundsone.com) announced today that it has confirmed two Superfights – a lightweight (155 pounds) showdown between Ryan Couture (7-3) of Las Vegas, Nev. and Jonny “The King of Late Night” Carson (11-6) of San Francisco, Calif., and a women’s atomweight (105 pounds) scrap between Nicdali “The Night Queen” Rivera-Calanoc (8-7) of Tulsa, Okla. and Jen “Tink” Aniano (0-2) of Kalamazoo, Mich. – for its highly-anticipated O.N.E. event that will be headlined by a one-night, eight-man tournament at BOK Center in Tulsa on Friday, June 27.

The tournament affair, featuring an assembly of established and fast-rising stars in the welterweight (170 pounds) division, marks the first one-night, eight-man, single-elimination MMA affair in Tulsa since UFC 4 on Dec. 16, 1994, and will award its winner a hefty grand prize of $50,000.

“We are excited to showcase such high-caliber talent on what is, without a doubt, our most superb fight card to date,” said BattleGrounds MMA President and Olympic wrestling gold medalist Kenny Monday. “Fans are going to see a mix of fast-paced, high-pressure tournament fights as well as several nationally recognized and local, emerging stars facing off in single, Superfights with potential tournament opportunities at stake in each bout.”

Ryan Couture vs. Jonny Carson
Couture, the 31-year-old son and protégé of retired legend Randy “The Natural” Couture, is coming off his second consecutive victory, a second round (1:34) submission (rear-naked choke) of Shakir McKillip at BattleGrounds MMA 4 on May 17. In his previous start, Couture made quick work of Kyle Sjafiroeddin, using the rear-naked choke to submit Sjafiroeddin in the first round (2:14) of action at BattleGrounds MMA 3 on Jan. 18.

Prior to signing with BattleGrounds MMA, Couture compiled a career record of 6-1 while competing for Strikeforce. His greatest win to date – a split decision over UFC star K.J. Noons – came during Strikeforce’s final event in Oklahoma City, Okla. on Jan. 12, 2013.

The matchup with Couture represents the 28-year-old Carson’s first start of 2014. He will look to notch his second consecutive win after earning a unanimous decision over Marcio Navarro in Catoosa, Okla. on April 12, 2013.

Carson is a member of the Skrap Pack, the vaunted, San Francisco, Calif.-based fight squad founded and headed by UFC superstar Gilbert “El Nino” Melendez. Carson relocated from his native Broken Arrow, Okla. to The Golden Gate City six years ago after receiving an invitation from Melendez to become a full-time member of the team.

Nicdali Rivera-Calanoc vs. Jen Aniano
Rivera-Calanoc, the 28-year-old wife of retired kickboxing and MMA star Travis Calanoc, will look to return to the win column after suffering a first round (4:57) submission (rear-naked choke) defeat in her Invicta Fighting Championships world title bid against reigning champion Jessica Penne on July 13, 2013.

One fight prior to the championship matchup, the feisty Rivera-Calanoc, who has been touted as the “female Wanderlei Silva” for her hard-charging, aggressive-minded fighting style, earned a unanimous decision victory over Angelica Chavez on July 28, 2012. An eight-year veteran of professional MMA, Rivera-Calanoc began boxing at age 11 as a means of emulating her childhood hero, Oscar De La Hoya.

Also 28 years of age, Aniano brings over a decade of experience in martial arts to the BattleGrounds MMA cage. A former high school and collegiate wrestler who competed in freestyle rules wrestling tournaments while attending community college, Aniano added Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu to her repertoire and continued studying the submission fighting art while pursuing a master’s degree in education at the University of Michigan.

After graduating in 2010, Aniano moved to Kalamazoo to train under Gracie Jiu-Jitsu black belt Clint Crabtree and MMA coach Master Amir Khillah. Aniano also holds a position as an alternative education middle school teacher where she mentors at youth risk.

Slated for action in the one-night, eight-man BattleGrounds MMA tournament are fellow submission aces Dennis “Superman” Hallman (53-14-2, 1 NC) of Yelm, Wash. and Cody “AK Kid” McKenzie (15-4) of Spokane, Wash.; undefeated upstart and former NCAA National Wrestling Championship runner-up Chris Honeycutt (4-0) of Fresno, Calif.; two-time, one-night tournament winner Brock Larson (37-8) of Brainerd, Minn.; Luigi “The Italian Tank” Fioravanti (24-11) of St. Louis, Mo.; Urijah Faber protégé David “Bulletproof” Mitchell (14-4) of Lower Lake, Calif.; Josh “The Beast” Bryant (14-4) of Broken Arrow; and Roan “Jucao” Carneiro (16-9) of Atlanta, Ga.

Additional bouts will be announced soon.

Tickets for the BattleGrounds MMA event, priced from $65, can be purchased online at www.bokcenter.com as well as at Arby’s Box Office at the BOK Center, all ticket outlets, or by calling 1-800-7-BOKCTR.

Doors at BOK Center open at 6 p.m. CST on June 27. The first preliminary bout will begin at 7:15 p.m.

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TWO-TIME TOURNAMENT VICTOR TAKES AIM AT $50,000 GRAND PRIZE

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BattleGrounds MMA (www.battlegroundsone.com) announced today that it has filled the last remaining spot for O.N.E., its highly-anticipated, one-night, eight-man welterweight (170 pounds) tournament at BOK Center in Tulsa, Okla. on Friday, June 27, with two-time world championship contender and two-time, one-night tournament winner Brock Larson (37-8) of Brainerd, Minn.

The 36-year-old, 5-foot-11 Larson will vie for the single-elimination contest’s $50,000 grand prize amongst a pack of other thirsty challengers, including fellow submission aces Dennis “Superman” Hallman (53-14-2, 1 NC) of Yelm, Wash. and Cody “AK Kid” McKenzie (15-4) of Spokane, Wash.; undefeated upstart and former NCAA National Wrestling Championship runner-up Chris Honeycutt (4-0) of Fresno, Calif.; Luigi “The Italian Tank” Fioravanti (24-11) of St. Louis, Mo.; Urijah Faber protégé David “Bulletproof” Mitchell (14-4) of Lower Lake, Calif.; Josh “The Beast” Bryant (14-4) of Broken Arrow, Okla.; and Roan “Jucao” Carneiro (16-9) of Atlanta, Ga.

“Brock Larson is amongst the best submission fighters in the world and an incredible addition to our tournament field of world-class talent,” said BattleGrounds MMA President and Olympic wrestling gold medalist Kenny Monday. “We have on our hands a sensational lineup for BattleGrounds MMA’s first one-night, eight-man tournament, and are going to deliver a very memorable night of action for fans on June 27.”

A 12-year veteran of professional MMA, Larson is also the most seasoned one-night tournament competitor in the BattleGrounds MMA eight-man field, with experience dating back to March 12, 2004 when he overcame Brian Maceachern and Alex Gasson, both by way of armbar submission, in the semifinal and championship stages of a four-man tournament in Minn.

On July 23, 2005, Larson took his first eight-man tournament by storm, finishing three consecutive opponents, beginning with DaMarques Johnson, whom Larson tapped out with a keylock in the third round (1:02) of their quarterfinal stage matchup. In the semifinal stage, Larson forced Ryan Jensen to tap from an onslaught of punches in the first round (1:39) and, in the championship showdown, Larson again used a keylock to submit Ryan McGivern in the first round (2:09) of battle.

On April 5, 2013, a gritty Larson notched an impressive three-round, unanimous decision win over two-time world champion Melvin Manhoef in Singapore.

Born and raised on a beef farm in Brainerd, Larson developed a strong work ethic during his childhood. He competed as a high school wrestler before being introduced to Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and, later, meeting famed world champion Sean Sherk and master trainer Greg Nelson who took Larson under their wings and geared him up for a career in MMA.

Tickets for the BattleGrounds MMA event, priced from $65, can be purchased online at www.bokcenter.com as well as at Arby’s Box Office at the BOK Center, all ticket outlets, or by calling 1-800-7-BOKCTR.

Doors at BOK Center open at 6 p.m. CST on June 27. The first preliminary bout will begin at 7:15 p.m.

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WSOF 10

Championship triple-header features David Branch vs. Jesse Taylor and Georgi Karakhanyan vs. Rick Glen, with third title fight announced shortly

The Las Vegas-based World Series of Fighting promotion will stay in its hometown for a championship triple-header on June 21.

Las Vegas’ Hard Rock Hotel & Casino hosts “World Series of Fighting 10: Branch vs. Taylor,” which pits David Branch against Jesse “JT Money” Taylor for World Series of Fighting’s inaugural middleweight title in the night’s five-round main event. World Series of Fighting featherweight kingpin Georgi “Insane” Karakhanyan battles relentless finisher Rick “The Gladiator” Glenn in the co-main event.

A third championship matchup, which will also take place on the evening’s main card, will be announced shortly.

“Every time we hold an event, we always work hard to put on the most exciting fights possible,” said World Series of Fighting President Ray Sefo. ” World Series of Fighting 10 will be no exception and will deliver one exciting fight after another at The Joint in The Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, which is such a fantastic venue we decided to return on June 21.  With these two championship fights leading the way – not to mention a third one on the way – it’s going to be an incredible night.”

As with all World Series of Fighting events, the evening’s main card airs live on NBCSN. The broadcast begins on Saturday, June 21, at 9 p.m. ET (6 p.m. PT local time).

Branch (13-3) is a three-time World Series of Fighting veteran who earned his way into the championship fight with a September win over Danillo Villefort in the company’s middleweight tournament semifinal. The 32-year-old Branch, a Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt under Renzo Gracie, also boasts wins over Paulo Filho and Dustin Jacoby under the World Series of Fighting banner. The highly-regarded New Yorker collides with Taylor (27-9), a highly-decorated wrestling machine who mashed Elvis Mutapcic in his semifinal bout five months ago and owns a seven-fight winning streak.

Russian-born Karakhanyan (23-3-1), coming off an impressive third-round submission over big-name talent Lance Palmer that won him the World Series of Fighting featherweight belt, is widely considered one of the top 145-pounders on the planet. The 28-year-old destroyer Karakhanyan goes for 10 straight wins against the very aggressive Glenn (14-2), an Iowa native who is trained by standup wizard Duke Roufus at the Roufusport MMA Academy. Karakhanyan vs. Glenn looks to be a war.

Tickets for “World Series of Fighting 10: Branch vs. Taylor” start at just $39 and go on sale at 10 a.m. PT local time on Saturday, May 3, at AXS.com.

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On Thursday, June 5, 2014, King of the Cage returns to the San Manuel Indian Bingo & Casino in Highland, California for another blockbuster evening of MMA action with two championship belts on the line. “Slugfest” will be broadcast live to all cable and satellite subscribers on MavTV (Channel 214 Direct TV, Channel 248 Dish Network). Check your provider for MavTV.

If your cable provider does not offer MavTV, be sure to check with your Pay Per View provider to view this event.

One of the featured bouts will be for the KOTC Junior Welterweight Championship. Joe Condon will face current champion Joshua Aveles, who is coming off his previous fight where he re-gained his Welterweight title from Kito Andrews.

The other championship fight for the KOTC Bantamweight Championship will feature Alejandro Garcia against Henry Corrales, who is defending his belt with an undefeated record.

Another exciting battle will showcase Seth Dikun against Trace Gray. Dikun is looking to work his way back up for another shot at the Bantamweight title. Gray, a KOTC newcomer is hungry for a future opportunity for the 145 lb. belt.

Other fighters appearing on the card will be 2013 KOTC World Amateur Championships winner Aaron Williams, Reuben Duran, Daniel Hernandez, Dimitris Papakonstantinou, Kyle York, William Wheeler, Georgie Garcia, Steve Ramirez, Jesse Miramontes, Jonathan Del Rosario, Jay Pinto, and Chris Pena.

Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Reserve seating and Ringside tickets are on sale now. For more information on upcoming KOTC MMA fights or to purchase tickets, please visit http://www.sanmanuel.com or call (800) 359-2464. Guests must be 21 years old to attend. Event card and schedule are subject to change.

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