WSOF 19 Heads to Phoenix's Comerica Theatre on March 28th
LAS VEGAS (February 6, 2015) – The highly-anticipated, live NBC Sports Network (NBCSN) televised WSOF 19: Gaethje vs. Palomino world championship Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) event headlined by a lightweight (155 pounds) title fight and featuring the first stage of a star-studded, four-man light heavyweight (205 pounds) tournament will head to the Comerica Theatre in Phoenix, Ariz. on Saturday, March 28.
Priced from $39.99, tickets for the event go on sale on Tuesday, February 10 at 10 a.m. MST at Ticketmaster.com and WSOF.com.
WSOF President, six-time world champion and two-time Hall of Famer Ray Sefo will reveal the previously unannounced fourth tournament entrant as well as news concerning future WSOF events during the live NBC Sports Network telecast of WSOF 18: Moraes vs. Hill on Thursday, February 12.
In the headlining contest, reigning, undefeated lightweight kingpin and wrecking machine Justin Gaethje (13-0), who has been referred to as “the greatest lightweight on this planet,” will risk his belt and his flawless record against dangerous, hard-hitting KO artist Luis "Baboon" Palomino (23-9).
The event also marks the beginning of a multi-event, four-man elimination tournament that will crown its winner the promotion’s inaugural light heavyweight champion later this year. Superstars Ronny Markes (15-3) and Thiago Silva (16-3) will square off in the first bout of the tournament’s first stage.
The second bout in the first stage of the WSOF tournament, pitting wrestling standout and inspiration Matt "The Hammer" Hamill (11-5) against the soon to be announced fourth tournament entrant, will take place at a later date.
The winners of the two, initial stage tournament bouts will square off against each other with the vacant WSOF world title at stake.
The 26-year-old Gaethje of Safford, Ariz. has been on a perfect run since his 2011 professional debut. He made his WSOF debut in March 2013, scoring a first round (2:27) TKO (doctor stoppage) on Gesias "JZ" Cavalcante, before moving on to defeat Brian Cobb, Dan Lauzon and Richard Patishnock.
On July 5, 2014 Gaethje finished Nick Newell by way of TKO (punches) in the second round (3:09) of the first-ever WSOF world lightweight championship bout, live on NBC. Gaethje defended his strap for the first time on Nov. 15, 2014, earning a split decision win over Melvin Guillard.
In his 13 career wins, Gaethje has secured 11 stoppage wins, including 10 victories by KO.
Fighting out of Miami, Fla., the 34-year-old Palomino, a native of Peru, has 13 KO’s and 2 submission victories under his belt.
Palomino has been explosive in the WSOF decagon cage, thus far, picking up back-to-back KO wins over fellow battle-tested veteran Jorge "Macaco" Patino and the previously undefeated "Lethal" Lewis Gonzalez, by way of an onslaught of punches and a knee strike-punch combination, respectively to earn a shot at Gaethje’s title.
Hamill of Loveland, Ohio remains one of the most inspirational athletes in all of MMA, even as he nears 10 years in the sport. Deaf since birth, Hamill managed to earn his way to three NCAA Division III wrestling national titles before turning his attention to MMA.
The subject of a 2010 biographical film entitled "The Hammer," Hamill, who announced his retirement from the sport less than two years ago, owns notable wins over Tito Ortiz, Tim Boetsch, Keith Jardine and Mark Munoz, among others, and also boasts past clashes with Michael Bisping, Rich Franklin, Alexander Gustafsson, Quinton "Rampage" Jackson and Jon Jones.
Markes of Natal, Rio Grande do Norte, Brazil, is a member of his native country's famed Nova Uniao team. A Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt, the 26-year-old turned pro in 2007 and opened his career at 12-1 before moving down to middleweight (185 pounds), where he found mixed results at 2-2 in a four-fight run.
Markes returned to light heavyweight in his WSOF debut, scoring a dominating decision win over Cully Butterfield this past August. In his career, Markes is 13-1 when competing at 205 pounds.
Silva, originally from Sao Carlos, Sao Paulo, Brazil, now fighting out of Oakland Park, Fla., has been fighting professionally for nearly a decade. The 32-year-old Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt opened his career with 13 consecutive victories, a run that included nine first-round stoppages.
Silva’s appearance will mark his first start since earning a unanimous decision over Hamill on Oct. 9, 2013. One bout prior to that on June 8, 2013, Silva scored a brutal first round (4:29) KO (punches) on Rafael “Feijao” Cavalcante.
Additional bouts for WSOF 19: Gaethje vs. Palomino will be announced soon.
The live NBCSN telecast of WSOF 19: Gaethje vs. Palomino will begin at 9 p.m. EST/6 p.m. PST.
Doors at Comerica Theatre will open for the event at 3 p.m. MST, and the first preliminary bout will begin at 4 p.m.
About "World Series of Fighting" (WSOF)
"World Series of Fighting" (WSOF) is a world wide premier professional Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) fight promotion dedicated to delivering the best action-packed fights for fight fans by producing the best possible match-ups between elite fighters from around the world. For more information please visit WSOF.com. Follow "World Series of Fighting" on Twitter @MMAWorldSeries and "World Series of Fighting" President Ray Sefo @SugarRaySefo.
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