Tag Archives: Brandon Phillips

2016 Olympic bronze medalist Nico Hernandez Set for pro debut on Knockout Night Boxing card

“History Begins”
 March 25 on CBS Sports Network live from Kanas Star Arena 

2016 Olympic bronze medalist Nico Hernandez
Press Conference quotes below
(All pictures courtesy of Courtney Wells / Kansas Star)
MULVANE, Kansas (February 16, 2017) – 2016 Olympic junior flyweight bronze medalist Nico Hernandez will make his professional boxing debut at home on Saturday, March 25 (9 p.m. ET / 6 p.m. PT) on CBS Sports Network. He will headline “Knockout Night Boxing: History Begins” live from Kansas Star Arena in Mulvane, Kansas.
A press conference was held today at Kansas Star to announce the show, as well as Hernandez signing a promotional contract with Knockout Night Boxing LLC, the promoter of the March 25th event, in association with Kansas Star Casino and sponsored by Miller Lite. Neon Media Sports & Entertainment is the parent company of Knockout Night Boxing.
“I reached the highest-level I could in my amateur career and it was time for me to turn pro,” Hernandez said.  “I’ve always wanted to make my pro debut in my hometown, Wichita.  My plan is to do it like Terence Crawford has done in Omaha.  I’m hoping it works out as well for me.  I signed with Knockout Night Boxing because they’re really going to work with me and I like what they want to do.”
The all-star announcing team for “History Begins” will include Hall-of-Famer Jim “J.R.” Ross, Sean Wheelock and Joey Varner, while Justin Roberts serves as ring announcer.
The 21-year-old Hernandez’ long anticipated pro debut will be against flyweight Patrick Gutierrez (0-2), fighting out of the fight capital of the world, Las Vegas (NV), in the six-round main event.
Hernandez was a highly-decorated amateur boxer (94-5) whose accomplishments, in addition to capturing a bronze medal at the 2016 Olympics in Brazil, include eight-time Ringside World Championships and six-time consecutive Silver Gloves National Championships winner, as well as 2014 National Golden Gloves gold medalist.
Patrick Gutierrez (L), promoter John Anderson and Nico Hernandez
Undefeated rising junior middleweight star Neeco “Rooster” Macias (14-0, 8 KOs) takes on Arturo “El Toro” Crespin (13-8-1, 4 KOs) in the eight-round co-feature.  Macias is a colorful, fan-friendly fighter from Palm Desert, California, who is the reigning World Boxing Council (WBC) United States 154-pound division champion.
Kansas cruiserweight Jeff Page, Jr. (17-3, 11 KOs),  will open the televised portion of card in a six-round bout against an opponent to be determined.
Scheduled to fight on the non-televised undercard, in separate four-round matches, are four Kansas boxers: Kansas State junior middleweight champion Efrain Morales (4-0, 1 KO) faces Brandon Philips (1-2); cruiserweight Chris Harris (2-2-2, 2 KOs), super middleweight Marcio Navarro and featherweight Eric Vargas (1-0, 1 KO) will meet opponents to be determined.
(L-R) — Jeff Page, Jr., Patrick Gutierrez, promoter John Andersen, Eric Vargas and Efrain Morales
All fights and fighters are subject to change.
Ticket prices are $115.00 (ringside, rows 1 & 2), $75.00 (floor seats, rows 3-5), $60.00 (floor seats, floor rows after 1-5), $35.00 (lower bowl) and $25.00 (upper bowl).  Suites seating up to 22 people are available to purchase for $2,500 (includes non-alcohol beverages and food). Tickets are available to purchase via pre-sale tomorrow (Friday, Feb. 17), starting at 10 a.m. CT (use presale code: KOBOX), at www.kansasstarcasino.com/entertain/arena.  Tickets go on sale this Saturday (Feb. 18) at 10 a.m. CT at www.kansasstarcasino.com/entertain/arena, and
Doors open at 5:00 p.m. CT with the opening bout scheduled at 6:00 p.m. CT.
TITLE Boxing is the official apparel and gloves partner for Knockout Night Boxing.
Nico Hernandez: “I want to thank everybody for coming here today to Kansas Star.  I also want to thank my opponent for stepping up.  I’m training hard and don’t take anything for granted.  I hope to put on a great show.”
Patrick Gutierrez: “I want to thank Nico and his team.  He represented our country so well and I’m honored to be fighting him in five weeks.  It’s a big fight, make or break for me.  If I can pull it off, it’ll be a jump start for my career. I plan to put on a good show.  I’m coming to fight and I’ll be putting in a lot of hard work.”
Jeff Page, Jr.: “I want to thank everybody here.  It’s been fun watching Nico fight and I’m blessed to be fighting on his pro-debut card.”
Efrain Morales: Thank you for this opportunity.  It’s an honor to be fighting on the same card as Nico’s pro debut.  I’m grown up watching Nico fight and I’m excited to be on hi card,”
Eric Vargas: “It’s a huge opportunity for me to fight on Nico’s card.  I’m coming out big.”
Mike Garrow, CEO, Neon Star Sports & Entertainment: “First off, I would like to thank, on behalf of “‘Knockout Night Boxing’ on CBS Sports Network, all fighters here today and also those competing on the card, Saturday, March 25th, at Kansas Star Arena. It is you that fans are coming to see and we are excited once again to provide a platform with ‘Knockout Night Boxing’ for you to showcase your skills and dedication to the sport.  That is one of the core philosophies of the ‘Knockout Night Boxing’ series: to provide a platform for the stars of tomorrow – today – to shine on Saturday, March 25th. Wichita’s own Olympic medalist, Nico Hernandez, will make his pro debut as he takes on Patrick Gutierrez from Las Vegas.  History will begin!
“In closing, we would like to thank you, fans and media, for coming out today to support ‘Knockout Night Boxing’ on CBS Sports Network and we look forward to you also being part of ‘History Begins’ on Saturday, March 25th.”
John Andersen, Promoter, Knockout Night Boxing: “Let me start by saying what an absolute pleasure it’s been working with Kansas Star. Our mission Knockout Night Boxing is to help put Kansas on the boxing map.  What better way to do that than announcing our signing of Olympic bronze medalist Nico Hernandez to the Knockout Night Boxing Team?  I feel having Nico fight in his hometown, in the main event on CBS Sports Network, is exactly what an Olympian like Nico deserves for what he’s accomplished, not only for himself, but for the state of Kansas. It is such an honor for us to showcase him in the main event, on national television, for the boxing world to see.
“This is a can’t-miss show, loaded with Kansas fighters like Jeff Page, Jr., Efrain Morales, Eric Vargas and others.  Let’s not forget that ‘Knockout Night Boxing’ series is known for putting on well matched fights and this card will not disappoint.  Nico will have his hands full with Patrick Gutierrez.  I also would like to announce the return of Neeco “Rooster” Macias on our series.  You guys will be in for a real treat watching this kid fight.  He is one of a kind.  Come support your very own Nico Hernandez in what will really be a can’t-miss show where ‘History Begins!”
Dan Ihm, Vice President & General Manager, Kansas Star: “I’m very excited about today’s announcement of this event that will be held right behind me in Kansas Star Arena.  We’ve hosted a lot of events – equestrian, MMA and national entertainment acts – but this will be the first time it’s boxing.  We’re very excited.”
Pete Meitzner, City Councilor from Hernandez’ district in Wichita: “On behalf of the mayor (Jeff Longwell) and City Council, we’re so proud of and excited for Nico.  He’s elevated the excitement in this city (Wichita), state and country.  For him to continue his story here in the next stage of his life is great.  I want to thank Kansas Star and Boyd Gaming for all they do.”
Adam Roorbach:  Executive Director, Kansas Athletic Commission: “For the past 2 1/2 years, since I’ve been on the commission, we’ve had some great fights It’s exciting for Mr. Hernandez to make his pro debut in Kansas. I’m familiar with some of these other (fighters) faces from fights in Kansas and I’m glad they will be able to showcase their skills here on a larger stage.  I’m looking forward to the fights.”
Lewis Hernandez, trainer/father of Nico Hernandez: “This is an opportunity we’ve been waiting for a long time.  I want to thank Patrick for stepping up.  We don’t take anybody lightly.  This is going to be a great fight.”
Twitter: @Kansas_Star, @Neonstarmedia
Follow Nico Hernandez on Twitter & Instagram @Nicomhernandez



HOLLYWOOD, CALIF. — (Jan. 13, 2017) – A pair of heavyweight fights featuring undefeated blue chip prospects Jarod Trice(1-0) and Tyrell Fortune (1-0) have been added to the Bellator.com-streamed preliminary card of Bellator 171 at the Kansas Star Arena on Jan. 27.

Also added to the preliminary portion of Bellator 171 is Bruna Ellen (2-1), who will take on Carmella James (Debut) in a female flyweight clash. The new additions join a competitive undercard that is highlighted by a middleweight fight pitting the undefeated Chris Harris (7-0) against Jordan Young (5-0), along with  Gaston Reyno (6-1, 2 NC) versus Justin Overton (3-2).

A catchweight bout putting Melvin Guillard (32-16-2, 3 NC) against knockout artist Chidi Njokuani (16-4, 1 NC) will serve as the evening’s main event, while fans will have the opportunity to see the return of “The King of Kansas” David Rickels (17-4, 2 NC) in a lightweight co-main event fight with Aaron Derrow (14-8). Undefeated phenom A.J. McKee (6-0) will take on Brandon Phillips (6-2) in a featherweight feature fight and Kansas’ own Jessica Middleton (1-0) challenges Alice Yauger (4-4) in a female flyweight bout on the SPIKE-televised main card.

Tickets for Bellator 171: Guillard vs. Njokuani start at $24 and are on sale now atKansasStarEventCenter.com, as well as Ticketmaster.com. The event will be broadcast live and free on SPIKE at 9 p.m. ET/8 p.m. CT, while preliminary action will stream on Bellator.com and the Bellator Mobile App.

A highly touted wrestling prospect out of Detroit, Michigan, Jarod Trice will make his second appearance inside of the Bellator MMA cage and is looking to build off of an impressive professional debut. The 27-year-old standout was awarded three All-American honors, as well as a National Title at 120 kg and two Greco Roman National Titles, prior to joining the Bellator MMA fray in 2016. Now Trice is looking to make a name for himself in the world of MMA, after delivering an exceptional performance in his first career win over Tommie Britton at Bellator 167 just over one month ago. Kansas’ Kevin Woltkamp (1-2) will challenge Trice, and will look to play the role hometown spoiler when he competes in front of thousands of friends and family.

After earning state championships in nearly every national age-group in both freestyle and Greco-Roman wrestling during high school, Fortune went on to compete at Grand Canyon University’s highly acclaimed program, where he was named the 2013 Division II Wrestler of the Year, taking home a NCAA Division II championship in the process. The Portland, Ore. native began his career under the direction of Bellator MMA last year, earning a sensational first round knockout victory in his debut at Bellator 163. The 26-year-old now hopes to preserve his unblemished record when he enters the cage for the second time against Will Johnson, who will be making his professional debut.

Hailing from Sao Paulo, Brazil, Ellen enters the bout looking to build off the momentum she came into Bellator with after signing with the Viacom-owned promotion last year. The flyweight prospect began her professional career with back-to-back victories in 2015, including one victory coming after a brilliant knockout win in the opening round of action. Now, the 20-year-old Brazilian makes her second appearance under the Scott Coker-led promotion in the same venue where she made her debut.

Complete Bellator 171: Guillard vs. Njokuani Main Card:

175 lb. Catchweight Main Event: Melvin Guillard (32-16-2, 3 NC) vs. Chidi Njokuani (16-4, 1 NC)

Lightweight Feature Fight: Dave Rickels (17-4, 2 NC) vs. Aaron Derrow (14-8)

Featherweight Feature Fight: A.J. McKee (6-0) vs. Brandon Phillips (6-2)

Flyweight Feature Fight: Jessica Middleton (1-0) vs. Alice Yauger (4-4)

Preliminary Card:

Middleweight Preliminary Bout: Chris Harris (7-0) vs. Jordan Young (5-0)

Featherweight Preliminary Bout: Gaston Reyno (6-1, 2 NC) vs. Justin Overton (3-2)

Weltereweight Preliminary Bout: Will Lavine (Debut) vs. Domo Garcia (Debut)

Welterweight Preliminary Bout: Chance Rencountre (8-2) vs. Jake Lindsay (11-5)

Bantamweight Preliminary Bout: Johnny Marigo (2-0) vs. Joe Fulk (4-4)

Welterweight Preliminary Bout: Manny Meraz (8-3) vs. Scott Heston (4-1)

Lightweight Preliminary Bout: Craig Farley (Debut) vs. Mike Breeden (Debut)

Heavyweight Preliminary Bout: Jarod Trice (1-0) vs. Kevin Woltkamp (1-2)

Heavyweight Preliminary Bout: Tyrell Fortune (1-0) vs. Will Johnson (Debut)

Flyweight Preliminary Bout: Bruna Ellen (2-1) vs. Carmella James (Debut)





HOLLYWOOD, CALIF. —  (Jan. 12, 2017) – A featherweight feature fight pitting A.J. McKee (6-0) against Brandon Phillips (6-2) has been added to the SPIKE-televised main card of Bellator 171 at the Kansas Star Arena on Jan. 27.

In addition, Kansas’ own Jessica Middleton (1-0) will take on Alice Yauger (4-4) in a female flyweight clash, while Uruguayan knockout artist Gaston Reyno (6-1, 2 NC) highlights a stacked preliminary card when he meets Justin Overton (3-2).

The evening’s main event features a 175-pound catchweight showdown between MMA veteran Melvin Guillard (32-16-2, 3 NC) and knockout specialist Chidi Njokuani (16-4, 1 NC). “The King of Kansas” David Rickels (17-4, 2 NC) also returns to the Bellator cage, as he will take on Aaron Derrow (14-8) in a lightweight feature fight.

Tickets for Bellator 171: Guillard vs. Njokuani start at $24 and are on sale now at KansasStarEventCenter.com, as well as Ticketmaster.com. Additional main and preliminary card bouts will be announced in the coming weeks.The event will be broadcast live and free on SPIKE at 9 p.m. ET/8 p.m. CT, while preliminary action will stream on Bellator.com and the Bellator Mobile App.

McKee enters the Bellator MMA cage undefeated and continues to prove that he is one of the top young prospects in the sport of MMA. With each of McKee’s six professional fights coming under the direction of Bellator MMA, the 21-year-old Team BodyShop product has made a name for himself from day one, showing both exceptional power and elusiveness every time he steps into the cage. After finishing each of his first five opponents with opening round victories, “Mercenary” was finally taken the distance in his most recent bout with Ray Wood, earning a hard-fought unanimous decision win atBellator 166. A native of Long Beach, Calif., McKee will return to the Midwest in search of his first win of 2017.

Taking his ninth professional fight, 27-year-old Brandon Phillips will participate in the main card action for the first time in his Bellator MMA career. Phillips began his professional career with a bang, delivering five consecutive victories, with four knockouts, and earning well-deserved attention from the Scott Coker-led promotion. Phillips made his Bellator MMA debut in 2016, collecting a unanimous decision victory over Chuka Willis at Bellator 159. After recording finishes in five of six career wins, the Oklahoma City native will make the short trip up North to Kansas Star Arena, where he will have the opportunity to add to that impressive total.

Fighting out of Wichita, Kansas, 28-year-old Jessica Middleton will look to add to her impressive professional debut, a clutch victory over Bruna Ellen at last year’s Bellator 159 when she competes on Jan. 27. Following an undefeated amateur career, the hometown favorite now hopes to preserve her unblemished professional mark in a flyweight fight with Alice Yauger. An eight-fight veteran of MMA, Yauger enters the bout having won each of her last two contests and three of her past four. Hailing from Arlington, Texas, the 38-year-old Yauger hopes to use her experience advantage when she makes her promotional debut against the younger Middleton.

Making his fourth appearance under the Bellator MMA banner, Reyno enters the bout in search of his third win under the promotion and second in a row. A native of Montevideo, Uruguay, Reyno has delivered finishes in each of his six career victories, including five straight first round stoppages to begin his professional career. “Tonga” will now direct his attention to Kansas Star Arena and Jan. 27, where he will look to build off of an impressive knockout win over L.J. Hermreck at Bellator 159.

Updated Bellator 171: Guillard vs. Njokuani Main Card:

175 lb. Catchweight Main Event: Melvin Guillard (32-16-2, 3 NC) vs. Chidi Njokuani (16-4, 1 NC)

Lightweight Feature Fight: Dave Rickels (17-4, 2 NC) vs. Aaron Derrow (14-8)

Featherweight Feature Fight: A.J. McKee (6-0) vs. Brandon Phillips (6-2)

Flyweight Feature Fight: Jessica Middleton (1-0) vs. Alice Yauger (4-4)

Updated Preliminary Card:

Middleweight Preliminary Bout: Chris Harris (7-0) vs. Jordan Young (5-0)

Featherweight Preliminary Bout: Gaston Reyno (6-1, 2 NC) vs. Justin Overton (3-2)

Weltereweight Preliminary Bout: Will Lavine (Debut) vs. Domo Garcia (Debut)

Welterweight Preliminary Bout: Chance Rencountre (8-2) vs. Jake Lindsay (11-5)

Bantamweight Preliminary Bout: Johnny Marigo (2-0) vs. Joe Fulk (4-4)

Welterweight Preliminary Bout: Manny Meraz (8-3) vs. Scott Heston (4-1)

Lightweight Preliminary Bout: Craig Farley (Debut) vs. Mike Breeden (Debut)


Undercard headlined by much-anticipated rematch
 between bantamweight stars Chris Gutierrez and Timur Valiev

Live, three-hour NBCSN telecast begins at 11 p.m. ET
Preliminary bout card to stream live on WSOF.com at 8 p.m. ET

Tickets on sale tomorrow

LAS VEGAS (Sept. 1, 2016) – World Series of Fighting (www.WSOF.com) has announced a stellar and complete, seven-fight preliminary bout card, headlined by a much-anticipated rematch between rival bantamweight (135 pounds) stars Chris “El Guapo” Gutierrez (9-1-1) and Timur “Lucky” Valiev (10-2), for the star-studded, WSOF33: Gaethje vs. Dugulubgov world championship doubleheader extravaganza at Kansas City Municipal Auditorium in Kansas City, Mo. on Friday, Oct. 7, live on NBCSN at 11 p.m. ET/8 p.m. PT.

The preliminary bout card will stream live, in its entirety, on an embeddable video player on WSOF.com, beginning at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT, immediately before the unprecedented, three-hour telecast of the six-fight main card that will be headlined by a world lightweight (155 pounds) title fight between reigning, undefeated champion Justin “The Highlight” Gaethje (16-0) of Safford, Ariz. and number one contender Ozzy Dugulubgov (8-2) of New York, N.Y.

Priced from $20, tickets for WSOF33: Gaethje vs. Dugulubgov go on saletomorrow, Friday, Sept 2 at the Kansas City Municipal Auditorium box office as well as online at Ticketmaster.com and WSOF.com.

The rematch between the 5-foot-9, 25-year-old Gutierrez of Greenville, Texas and the 5-foot-6, 26-year-old Valiev of Albuquerque, N.M. via Makhachkala, Dagestan, Russia will unfold less than eight months after the two went to war in a see-saw battle for three full rounds in Garden Grove, Calif. on February 20.

After the closing bell, Gutierrez, walked away with a controversial, split decision, leaving unfinished business between the two prolific athletes.

Leading off the undercard, undefeated submission ace Bryce “Thug Nasty” Mitchell (6-0) will face off with fellow rising star and knockout artist Brandon Phillips (6-1) in a featherweight (145 pounds) matchup.

One of MMA’s hottest prospects, the ferocious, 5-foot-9, 21-year-old Mitchell of Searcy, Ark. has notched all six of his professional wins to date via submission in the first round of action.  He made his promotional debut at WSOF27 in Memphis, Tenn. on January 23, finishing Jorge Medina with a rear-naked choke at the 1:02 mark of the opening round.

Phillips of Oklahoma City, Okla. is a hard-hitting striker who has earned four of his six professional career wins, thus far, by way of (T)KO.  The 5-foot-6, 26-year-old is coming off a unanimous decision victory over Chuka Willis at Bellator 159 on July 22.

Elsewhere on the WSOF33 preliminary card, world-ranked Jesse Brock (22-8) will make his World Series of Fighting debut opposite dangerous finisher Bekbulat Magomedov (16-1) in a bantamweight (135 pounds) scrap.

In his last start, the 5-foot-4, 34-year-old Brock of Boise, Idaho notched his sixth consecutive victory, forcing Olly Bradstreet to tap out from a rear-naked choke in the third round (3:57) of their bout at Bellator 155 on May 20.

The 5-foot-8, 25-year-old Magomedov of Makhachkala, Dagestan will look to rebound from his sole loss to date, a split decision to Josh Hill, at WSOF26 on December 18.  Prior to the fight, Magomedov had gone unbeaten since his professional debut in 2011.

Abu “Gladiator” Azaitar (12-1-1, 1 NC) of Cologne, Germany will square off with “Mad” Mike Arrant (15-11) of Las Vegas in a welterweight (170 pounds) tilt.

In a second welterweight matchup, Magomed Magomedkerimov (17-5) of Makhachkala, Dagestan will lock horns with Bobby “Super Duper” Cooper(12-6) of Knob Noster, Mo.

Streaking finisher Islam Mamedov (13-1) of Jersey City, N.J. via Derbent, Dagestan will face battle-tested veteran Alonzo “Zo Diddy” Martinez (40-19) of Papillion, Neb. at lightweight.

In middleweight (185 pounds) action, three-time UFC veteran Bruno “Carioca” Santos (14-2) of Macae, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil will make his World Series of Fighting debut against Xtreme Couture team member Clinton Williams (11-4) of Las Vegas.



World Series of Fighting Lightweight Championship Main Event:
Justin Gaethje (Champion) vs. Ozzy Dugulubgov (Challenger)

World Series of Fighting Light Heavyweight Championship Co-Main Event:
David Branch (Champion) vs. Vinny Magalhaes (Challenger)

Lightweight:  Jason High vs. Joao Zeferino
Lightweight:  Brian Foster vs. Luiz Firmino
Welterweight:  Abubakar Nurmagomedov vs. John Howard
Heavyweight:  Shawn Jordan vs. Ashley Gooch


Bantamweight: Chris Gutierrez vs. Timur Valiev
Bantamweight: Jesse Brock vs. Bekbulat Magomedov
Welterweight: Abu Azaitar vs. Mike Arrant
Lightweight: Islam Mamedov vs. Alonzo Martinez
Welterweight:  Magomed Magomedkerimov vs. Bobby Cooper
Featherweight:  Bryce Mitchell vs. Brandon Phillips
Middleweight:  Bruno Santos vs. Clinton Williams