WSOF 23 Main Card Finalized with Two New Bouts
By WSOF (via press release)
LAS VEGAS (August 12, 2015) – World Series of Fighting (WSOF.com) has finalized the live NBCSN televised portion of its highly anticipated, “WSOF 23: Gaethje vs. Palomino II” world championship doubleheader at Comerica Theatre in Phoenix, Ariz. on Friday, Sept. 18, with the addition of two new bouts – a bantamweight (135 pounds) battle between ferocious rising star Timur “Lucky” Valiev and seasoned puncher Tito Jones, and a lightweight (155 pounds) tilt between dangerous finisherBrian Foster and undefeated LaRue Burley.
“We are looking forward to another incredible night of action, now that the main card for WSOF 23 is complete with five bouts featuring an exciting mix of championship fights and matchups filled with accomplished veterans and some of the world’s best prospects,” said World Series of Fighting President Ray Sefo.
Fighting out of the famed Jackson-Winklejohn camp in Albuquerque, N.M., the 25-year-old Valiev (9-1) of Makhachkala, Dagestan, Russia has been on fire in the cage, winning 9 straight fights since his second professional start in July 2011.
Valiev’s run includes three victories in the World Series of Fighting decagon cage. In his last effort at WSOF 19 on March 28, Valiev decimated Ed West, scoring a first round (1:39) TKO on West with an impressive combination of elbow strikes and punches.
Jones (11-7), a native of Panama City, Fla., now fighting out of Phoenix, is a two-time regional Golden Gloves boxing champion and former protégé of boxing trainerRoy Jones, Sr. The 34-year-old has never been knocked out over the course of a 9-year professional career that has spanned 18 bouts.
Foster (22-7) of Sallisaw, Okla. is a 31-year-old, battle-tested grappling expert who has notched 20 of his 22 career victories by way of (T)KO or submission, and who has defeated a collection of name rivals, including the current number 6-ranked welterweight in the world, Matt Brown, whom Foster forced to tap out from a guillotine choke in the second round (2:11) of their matchup on Nov. 20, 2010.
Foster will look to rebound from a defeat at the hands of superstar Jake Shields on Jan. 17 when the two faced off in the main event of WSOF 17 in Las Vegas. The result halted a 4-fight win streak that Foster had ignited on July 27, 2013, when he scored a stunning second round (:43) KO on James Wood with a spinning back kick.
Also 31 years of age, Burley (6-0) of Phoenix, has yet to be beaten over the course of six professional starts and two amateur bouts, a run that includes six wins by either (T)KO or submission.
Burley has earned six victories during a professional run that began with a unanimous decision win over Kelly Osser on Sept. 15, 2012, and also includes a third round (3:40) TKO (punches) over 2011 NCAA Division I National Wrestling Champion and fellow rising star Bubba Jenkins.In the main event of WSOF 23, undefeated, reigning World Series of Fighting Lightweight (155 pounds) Champion Justin “The Highlight” Gaethje (14-0) will collide for the second time with hard-hitting rival Luis “Baboon” Palomino (23-10).
The first matchup between Gaethje and Palomino, which headlined WSOF 19, was a barnburner affair that Gaethje won via third round (3:57) TKO (leg kicks and punches), and that has already been touted as a “Fight of the Year” candidate.
In the co-main event and inaugural World Series of Fighting light heavyweight (205 pounds) championship bout, David Branch (16-3), the promotion’s reigning world middleweight (185 pounds) champion, will attempt to become the first two-division kingpin in World Series of Fighting history, when he faces off with Cinderella storyTeddy Holder (9-1), whose nine career wins have all come by way (T)KO or submission.
In a featured, 160-pound catchweight fight, rising star and costumed crime fighterPhoenix Jones (5-1-1) will look to return to the win column after suffering the first professional loss of his career during his World Series of Fighting debut in April, when he takes on professional boxer turned MMA upstart Roberto Yong (2-2).Priced from just $39.99, tickets for “WSOF 23: Gaethje vs. Palomino II” are on sale at the Comerica Theatre box office and online at WSOF.com and Ticketmaster.com.
The live NBCSN telecast begins at 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT.
Doors at Comerica Theatre will open at 3 p.m. MT and the first preliminary bout will begin at 3:45 p.m. A complete preliminary bout card will be announced soon.