UNIVERSITY OF MMA LIGHTWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP TOURNAMENT BEGINS
AT FIGHT NIGHT 9
MARCH 8 AT CLUB NOKIA AT L.A. LIVE
Los Angeles, CA – The University of MMA begins it’s 2015 season on March 8, at their regular campus, Club Nokia at L.A. LIVE, with University of MMA: Fight Night 9. Already overflowing with 19 guaranteed explosive matches, Fight Night 9 will feature one of the most diverse fight cards in U of MMA history, including three women’s matches, two University of MMA championship title defenses, and the opening round of the University of MMA’s second-ever lightweight championship tournament. Tickets are now on sale at www.UofMMA.com and www.axs.com.
“The buzz around this show has been tremendous. We’re just as excited as the fighters and fans, and we’re looking forward to launching the U of MMA in 2015 with a boom, not a bang,” said U of MMA promoter Turi Altavilla.
Elite Training Center teammates Roman ‘The Gladiator’ Todorovich and Tommy ‘The Spaniard’ Aaron currently reign supreme in the U of MMA as champions in their respective divisions. At featherweight, newly-crowned king Tommy ‘The Spaniard’ Aaron will defend his belt for the first time against Sergio ‘Surge the Kid’ Perez (Hayastan MMA) who bounds into the match undefeated at the U. The reigning Aaron is also undefeated, riding a four-fight win streak on top of two pankration matches before that.
The University of MMA welterweight belt finds itself in an unusual position, as current champion Roman Todorovich not only returns to defend the belt for an unprecedented second time, but he will defend it against the same former champion from whom he won it, Jarett Conner. The two fought just over one year ago in Conner’s first title defense. Since that time, the man formerly known as ‘Real Talk’ has reinvented himself, and is more motivated than ever to reclaim the championship he feels he should never have lost.
The first match in the quest to fill the vacant University of MMA lightweight championship throne pairs up rising star Julio Lopez (Ruckus MMA) vs. former title contender Pious ‘Voodoo’ Enilolobo, Jr. (BJMUTA/Flying Kick Martial Arts). Lopez is undefeated in his amateur career and has finished all of his opponents, including a first-round submission victory at Fight Night 8. Enilolobo is one of the most dynamic fighters in the U, finishing two of his first three fights in dominating fashion. He previously challenged former champion Derion ‘DC’ Chapman in one of the most anticipated U of MMA matches.
On the opposite side of the bracket, T.J. Scot (Team Lagarto) faces off against former University of MMA champion A.J. Lavarias (Systems Training Center). In his only U of MMA appearance, Scot submitted Lavarias’ teammate, Carnacion Contreras, in the first round to earn Blue Chip Honors on the University of MMA’s Dean’s List. Lavarias is coming back after a year’s hiatus, rejuvenated and rededicated to becoming a champion once again.
Several U of MMA veterans will be returning after lengthy hiatus, including Stefani Pogue (Systems Training Center), Cruz Martinez (10th Planet Van Nuys), Thom Landeros (All In MMA), Mike Derderian (10th Planet HQ Fight Team), and Vince Cachero (Systems Training Center). Coincidentally, Derderian and Cachero find themselves pitted against each other at 135 lbs. Schuyler ‘Scorpio Sky’ Andrews (The Guild) makes his second showing at the U, while the most veteran U of MMA fighter, Ryan ‘The Lion’ Lilley (Bas Rutten’s Elite MMA) comes in for a record seventh time, fighting the dangerous and experienced Jonathan Quiroz (California MMA).
Continuing to support womens’ MMA, Fight Night 9 features an unprecedented three female fights. Aside from the returning Pogue, all the other ladies are fresh faces to U of MMA fans. Pogue faces Kelli Vanhoy (Millennia MMA), while Daria ‘The Jersey Devil’ Berenato (Systems Training Center) takes on Jasmine Pouncy (Nubian MMA), and Anita Hoehenleiter (JFM Boxing/Systems Training Center) meets Ashlee Grant (Bowman’s Dojo), a world-class karate champion making her long-anticipated MMA debut.
“I’m ecstatic about the mix of new names and familiar faces we’re working with,” professed U of MMA matchmaker Jay Tan. “Fans are going to see a whole fresh crop of young stars, starting with this show.”
Confirmed matches for University of MMA: Fight Night 9 include:
University of MMA Featherweight Championship:
145 lbs. – Tommy ‘The Spaniard’ Aaron (Elite Training Center) vs. Sergio ‘Surge the Kid’ Perez (Hayastan MMA)
University of MMA Lightweight Championship Tournament Opening Round:
155 lbs. – T.J. Scot (Team Lagarto) vs. A.J. Lavarias (Systems Training Center)
University of MMA Welterweight championship:
170 lbs. – Roman ‘The Gladiator’ Todorovich vs. Jarett Conner (Independent)
University of MMA Lightweight Championship Tournament Opening Round:
155 lbs. – Pious ‘Voodoo’ Enilolobo, Jr. (BJMUTA/Flying Kick Martial Arts) vs. Julio Lopez (Ruckus MMA)
170 lbs. – Scorpio Sky (The Guild) vs. Lance ‘The Black Ranger’ Bush (Team Lagarto)
135 lbs. – Michael Derderian (10th Planet HQ Fight Team) vs. Vince Cachero (Systems Training Center)
125 lbs. – Hugo Aranda (House of Champions) vs. Thom ‘The Beast’ Landeros (All In MMA)
125 lbs. – Jasmine ‘Tapout Queen’ Pouncy (Nubians MMA) vs. Daria ‘The Jersey Devil’ Berenato (Systems Training Center)
135 lbs. – Richie Meister (BJMUTA) vs. Milton Arguello (10th Planet Van Nuys)
145 lbs. – Jonathan Quiroz (California MMA) vs. Ryan ‘The Lion’ Lilley (Bas Rutten’s Elite MMA Gym)
125 lbs. – Kelly Vanhoy (Millennia MMA) vs. Stefani Pogue (Systems Training Center)
205 lbs. – Travis Williams (Elite Training Center) vs. Michael ‘Lazer’ Reyes (10th Planet Van Nuys)
165 lbs. – Arsalan Homayun (10th Planet Burbank) vs. Yaskin Solano (Paragon BJJ)
170 lbs. – Sergey Martirosyan (Docando/Haystan MMA) vs. Cruz Martinez (10th Planet Van Nuys)
155 lbs. – Ashlee Grant (Bowman’s Dojo) vs. Anita Hoehenleiter (JFM Boxing/Systems Training Center)
155 lbs. – Ernie Leyva (CSW) vs. Vlad Kochiev (10th Planet Van Nuys)
170 lbs. – Danny Llamas (The Guild) vs. Aaron Landry (Ring of Fire Martial Arts Academy)
125 lbs. – Sonny Ashton (Smash Squad) vs. Angel ‘The Kraken’ Diaz (Systems Training Center)
150 lbs. – Victor ‘The Blitz’ Rivera (Nubians MMA) vs. Lance Lee ‘Vanquish’ (Kings MMA)
The University of MMA: Fight Night 9 takes place at 5:00pm on Sunday, March 8, 2014, at Club Nokia at L.A. LIVE, 800 West Olympic Boulevard. Doors open at 4:30pm. Fight card is subject to change. Tickets are now available and can be purchased through www.UofMMA.com and www.AXS.com, charge by phone at 888-9AXS-TIX or 888-929-7849, and from 10:00 AM-5:00 PM, Mon- Fri at the STAPLES Center Box Office located at 1111 S. Figueroa St. Applicable fees may apply. The Club Nokia box office will open at 2:00pm the day of the event.