LFA 36: Bantamweight Champ Ricky Simon to Face Vinicius Zani
By Press Release
HOUSTON, Texas – Legacy Fighting Alliance (LFA) CEO Ed Soares announced today that the LFA will return to California in March with a bantamweight world title fight and a high-stakes featherweight war.
The main event of LFA 36 will feature the return of LFA bantamweight champion Ricky Simon when he defends his title against LFA #1 bantamweight contender Vinicius “Don” Zani. LFA 36 – Simon vs. Zani takes place Friday, March 23rd at the Morongo Outdoor Pavilion at the Morongo Casino, Resort & Spa in Cabazon, California. The entire main card will be televised live and nationwide on AXS TV at 10 p.m. ET / 7 p.m. PT.
“I’m excited to bring an LFA title fight to Coachella Valley at LFA 36”, stated Soares. “This will be our third show in my home state of California. Morongo Casino, Resort & Spa is a beautiful 4-diamond establishment and we look forward to featuring our bantamweight world title fight at the world-class Morongo Outdoor Pavillion on March 23rd.”
Tickets for LFA 36 – Simon vs. Zani are available for purchase NOW at Ticketmaster.com.
Simon (11-1) returns tot he LFA Octagon after winning the vacant LFA bantamweight title in December in the main event of LFA 29. The fight served as the LFA’s final fight of 2017 and left fight fans and MMA pundits anxiously awaiting the next move of the wildly popular Pacific Northwesterner. Simon took home LFA gold by shutting down eight-time UFC vet Chico Camus with a bloody and dominant 5-round decision win. The title win stamped a career-year for the 25-year-old, which also saw him pick up a win a fight in front of UFC President Dana White on Week 5 of Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series. Simon is now eager to defend his title instead of basking in the glow of 2017. He also wants to up the ante by taking on the clear cut #1 contender Vincius Zani.
Zani (11-4) will challenge the champion in one of the most anticipated title fights of 2018. Zani has been perfect since competing for the promotion. This started before the merger of RFA and Legacy FC, when he showcased his world-class Muay Thai skills in the co-main event of RFA 38. The Brazilian known as “Don Zani” defeated Joe Murphy that night with UFC President Dana White sitting cageside. Zani unleashed a barrage of leg kicks and other violent techniques that excited the crowd, while putting the division on notice. He would win his next two fights in LFA after the merger and has shown no signs of taking his foot off the pedal. In his last appearance in October, Zani defeated former RFA title challenger Joey Miolla via Unanimous Decision in the co-main event of LFA 24.
The co-main event of LFA 36 will feature the return of Jamall “Pretty Boy” Emmers (12-3). The powerful 28-year-old is one of the only people to have fought for LFA, RFA, and Legacy FC. He became the third fighter to complete this rare hat trick of promotional appearances when he co-headlined LFA 5 last year. That night, Emmers lived up to the hype surrounding him after the praise he received from UFC President Dana White on Episode 7 of Dana White: Lookin’ for a Fight just a few months earlier. Emmers traveled to the high-altitude of Colorado and defeated the highly-touted Cory Sandhagen, who is now making waves in the UFC. Emmers hopes to shine once again and perhaps punch his own ticket to the UFC with a breakthrough performance at LFA 36.
Emmers will face Talison Soares (10-2), who is coming off a breakthrough performance of his own last month in the co-main event of LFA 30. The 29-year-old Brazilian prospect, who is a decorated BJJ black belt from the prestigious Checkmat academy, made his international debut against fellow top prospect and BJJ ace Fernando Padilla that night. He took full advantage of the opportunity and wowed the crowd by thoroughly out-grappling his heavily favored Mexican opponent. Soares now looks to keep the momentum moving in the right direction by defeating Emmers, who has won three straight fights since impressing the UFC boss at RFA 38. Soares knows a second straight impressive showing will catapult him to the top of what many consider LFA’s deepest division.
Currently Announced Main Card (Televised on AXS TV at 10 p.m. ET / 7 p.m. PT):
Main Event | Bantamweight Title Bout (135 lb)
– Ricky Simon (11-1) vs. Vinicius Zani (11-4)
Co-Main Event | Featherweight Bout (145 lb)
– Jamall Emmers (12-3) vs. Talison Soares (10-2)
Featherweight Bout (145 lb)
– Tommy Aaron (5-3) vs. Troy Guerrero (5-1)
Light-Heavyweight Bout (205 lb)
– Herdem Alacabek (3-0) vs. Jonathan Noriega (3-0)
In September 2016, RFA and Legacy FC officials announced that they would be merging to form the premier developmental organization in Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) starting in January 2017. RFA and Legacy FC have launched the careers of over 150 athletes that have reached the pinnacle of MMA by competing in the UFC.
LFA 36 will be the third LFA event to take place in the state of California. RFA hosted eight events inside “The Golden State” before the merger. The entire main card of LFA 36 will be televised live and nationwide on AXS TV at 10 p.m. ET / 7 p.m. PT.