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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
“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.
PRESS CONFERENCE QUOTES
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.”
INFORMATION:
Twitter: @Kansas_Star, @Neonstarmedia
Follow Nico Hernandez on Twitter & Instagram @Nicomhernandez

COMPLETE BELLATOR 171 RESULTS, QUOTES & PHOTOS

 

Video Highlights Here

Chidi Njokuani (17-4) defeated Melvin Guillard (32-17) via unanimous decision (30-25, 30-24, 30-26)

Quote: “I felt like the fight was pretty good, I had taken it on short notice, so I didn’t really have a lot of time to prepare for it,” Chidi Njokuani said. “Overall, I thought I did alright, but like I said, I just didn’t have a full camp and I could tell the difference.”

Photos: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/per4k86majpp5m7/AACAUkbQzegBSRD_TQ6OVkl0a?dl=0

David Rickels (18-5) defeated Aaron Derrow (14-9) via TKO at :45 of round three

Quote: “I can’t wait to re-watch that walkout. Shoutout to everyone that helped with that, including Sean Grande,” David Rickels said. “Now, give me the fun fights. Give me whoever wants it. I dropped him with a good combination 30 seances in and set the tone, I really wanted to get the finish and after tonight, I’m one step closer to being the best of the best.”

Photos: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/km0yv4a45r6tiee/AAAZ8aLX6To6KuU1zIOrtMKCa?dl=0

Jessica Middleton (2-0) defeated Alice Yauger (4-5) via unanimous decision (29-28, 30-26, 30-26)

Quote: “Blood and pain, isn’t that what you guys wanted? She was tough, after the first round I was like ‘holy crap,’ Jessica Middleton said. “I’m not truly happy with my performance, I want to get better and I will come back stronger and more efficient. Emily Ducote is great, I’d love to fight her, but I’m ready for any flyweight, I’m ready to go.”

Photos: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/qx27fz4n49oakqx/AAAvwiCrRmPgTVdzb0eI9MRga?dl=0

A.J. McKee (6-0) defeated Brandon Phillips (6-2) via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)

Quote: “I thought the night went well. It’s a fight and you never know what result you’re going to get in a fight. End of the day, I’m coming home with the victory,” A.J. McKee said. “I knew I could go out there and wrestle, but I wanted to do something different and entertain the fans.” 

Photos: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/492bpnr154drzqo/AACkb5DI-_f1oB5lHXFFK6jTa?dl=0

Preliminary Photos Here:

Jarod Trice (2-0) defeated Kevin Woltkamp (1-3) via knockout at 3:17 of round two

Quote: “Everything went according to plan tonight. I told my coaches that I have the best left hook in the world and my opponent better watch out for it,” Jarod Trice said. “I’m going to take fights from 185 to 265 pounds and best believe that they all can catch these hands”

Tyrell Fortune (2-0) defeated Will Johnson (0-1) via TKO at 4:27 of round two

Quote: “It was a good fight and a good win, but I took a few shots the groin that really made it difficult for me tonight,” Tyrell Fortune said. “I’ll take the win, but I paid for it.”

Jordan Young (6-0) defeated Chris Harris (7-1) via unanimous decision (30-26, 30-27, 30-27)

Justin Overton (4-2) defeat Gaston Reyno (6-2) via technical submission (rear-naked choke) at :34 of round two

Bruna Ellen (3-1) defeated Carmella James (0-1) via unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27)

Domo Garcia (1-0) defeated Will Lavine (0-1) via submission (triangle choke) at 2:08 of round two

Chance Rencountre (9-2) defeated Jake Lindsay (11-6) via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)

Johnny Marigo (3-0) defeated Joe Fulk (4-5) via TKO at 1:23 of round one

Manny Meraz (9-3) defeated Scott Heston (4-2) via unanimous decision (29-27, 29-28, 29-28)

Mike Breeden (1-0) defeated Craig Farley (0-1) via TKO at 4:38 of round 1

Full Bellator 171 Weigh-In Results, Video & Photos

 

STACKED MAIN CARD FEATURED DURING BELLATOR 171 TOMORROW NIGHT LIVE ON SPIKE

 

 

Complete Weigh-In Photos Here / Weigh-In Video Here

 

MULVANE, KANSAS. (Jan. 26, 2017) –The official weigh-ins for Bellator 171: Guillard vs. Njokuani took place this evening in front of a rowdy crowd just outside the Kansas Star Arena in Mulvane, Kansas. The competitors are now ready for action tomorrow, with the event airing LIVE on SPIKE at 9 p.m. ET/8 p.m. CT.

The event is headlined by a 180 lb. catchweight main event featuring Melvin Guillard (32-16-2, 3 NC) and Chidi Njokuani (16-4, 1 NC). In the evening’s co-main event, Kansas’ own Dave Rickels (17-4, 2 NC) returns to the Bellator MMA cage to take on Aaron Derrow (14-8) in a lightweight feature fight. The Spike-televised main card also offers an enticing featherweight clash pitting undefeated phenom A.J. McKee (6-0) against Brandon Phillips (6-2), as well as a female flyweight contest pairing Jessica Middleton (1-0) against Alice Yauger (4-4).

Bellator 171: Guillard vs. Njokuani takes place at the Kansas Star Arena in Mulvane, Kansas, and airs live and free on Spike at 9 p.m. ET/8 p.m. CT, while preliminary bouts will stream live on Bellator.com and The Bellator Mobile App.

 

Main Card: (Live on SPIKE – 9 p.m. ET/8:00 p.m. CT)

 

Catchweight Main Event: Melvin Guillard (178.1) vs. Chidi Njokuani (179.7)

 

Lightweight Co-Main Event: Dave Rickels (170.3) vs. Aaron Derrow (169.8)

 

Featherweight Main Card Bout: A.J. McKee (145.6) vs. Brandon Phillips (146.8)*

 

Flyweight Main Card Bout: Jessica Middleton (126) vs. Alice Yauger (125.7)

Preliminary Card: (Bellator.com – 7:00 p.m. ET/6:00 p.m. CT)

Middleweight Preliminary Bout: Chris Harris (184.7) vs. Jordan Young (187)

Featherweight Preliminary Bout: Gaston Reyno (145.2) vs. Justin Overton (146)

Heavyweight Preliminary Bout: Jarod Trice (223.6) vs. Kevin Woltkamp (238)

Heavyweight Preliminary Bout: Tyrell Fortune (244.4) vs. Will Johnson (228.1)

Flyweight Preliminary Bout: Bruna Ellen (125) vs. Carmella James (124.2)

Welterweight Preliminary Bout: Will Lavine (170.8) vs. Domo Garcia (170.5)

Welterweight Preliminary Bout: Chance Rencountre (170) vs. Jake Lindsay (170.9)

Bantamweight Preliminary Bout: Johnny Marigo (135.5) vs. Joe Fulk (135.9)

Welterweight Preliminary Bout: Manny Meraz (170.2) vs. Scott Heston (170.1)

Lightweight Preliminary Bout: Craig Farley (155.5) vs. Mike Breeden (155.9)

BLUE CHIP PROSPECTS JAROD TRICE & TYRELL FORTUNE RETURN TO BELLATOR MMA CAGE AT BELLATOR 171 INSIDE KANSAS STAR ARENA ON JAN. 27

BRAZILIAN PHENOM BRUNA ELLEN ALSO ADDED TO STACKED UNDERCARD

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)

RISING STAR A.J. MCKEE RETURNS TO ACTION WITH FEATHERWEIGHT BOUT AGAINST BRANDON PHILLIPS AT BELLATOR 171 INSIDE KANSAS STAR ARENA ON JAN. 27

 

KANSAS’ OWN JESSICA MIDDLETON MAKES SPIKE DEBUT DURING FLYWEIGHT BOUT AGAINST ALICE YAUGER

GASTON REYNO ADDED TO STACKED PRELIMINARY CARD

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)

MELVIN GUILLARD-CHIDI NJOKUANI SET TO MAIN EVENT BELLATOR 171 INSIDE KANSAS STAR ARENA ON JAN. 27

 

HOLLYWOOD, CA. (Jan. 10, 2017) – A catchweight bout pitting Melvin Guillard (32-16-2, 3 NC) against Chidi Njokuani (16-4, 1 NC) will serve as the main event of Bellator 171 at the Kansas Star Arena on Jan. 27.

The SPIKE-televised main card will feature the return of “The King of Kansas” David Rickels (17-4, 2 NC), who will meet Aaron Derrow (14-8). Lastly, a middleweight fight pitting undefeated prospect Chris Harris (7-0) against Jordan Young (5-0) will be featured during the preliminary portion of the event.

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.

After beginning his professional career 11-0, Guillard continued to make a name for himself under the direction of UFC, where he fought 22 times over a nine-year stint. “The Young Assassin” has made 50 professional appearances inside the cage over his 15-year career, making him one of the most experienced veterans Njokuani has ever faced. With 21 of his 32 professional wins coming by way of knockout, we can be sure to see fireworks fly when Guillard returns to action inside Kansas Star Arena on Jan. 27.

A native of Las Vegas, Nevada, Njokuani enters the cage riding momentum of an impressive streak that has seen him win seven consecutive bouts and 11 of his last 12. Since joining the Bellator MMA fray in 2015, the 28-year-old Njokuani has collected three victories, including a pair of knockout finishes. Most recently, “Chidi Bang Bang” made quick work of rising star Andre Fialho at ‘Bellator 167,’ handing the Portuguese powerhouse the first loss of his young career with a brutal stoppage just 21 seconds into the fight. With 10 of his 16 career wins coming by way of knockout, Njokuani brings a fearless style of fighting that pairs perfectly with his equally unshakable opponent Guillard.

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

Updated Preliminary Card:

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

BELLATOR MMA RETURNS TO KANSAS WITH LIGHTWEIGHT CLASH FEATURING DAVID ‘THE CAVEMAN’ RICKELS AND AARON DERROW INSIDE KANSAS STAR ARENA ON JANUARY 27

 

 

PAIR OF UNDEFEATED PROSPECTS CHRIS HARRIS AND JORDAN YOUNG ALSO SLATED FOR MAIN CARD ACTION

SANTA MONICA, CALIF. (November 28, 2016) – A lightweight bout pitting Kansas’ most popular MMA fighter David Rickels (17-4, 2 NC) against Aaron Derrow (14-8) and a middleweight bout featuring undefeated phenom Chris Harris (7-0) versus Jordan Young (5-0) are the first two fights announced for “Bellator 171” which will take place inside Kansas Star Arena in Mulvane, Kansas, on January 27.

“Bellator 171,” which airs live on Spike at 9 p.m. ET/8 p.m. CT, is expected to have a main event announced in the coming weeks.

Tickets for the event starting at just $24, go on sale Saturday, Dec. 3 with an exclusive two-day Bellator Nation pre-sale beginning November 30, and can be purchased at Ticketmaster.com or KansasStarEventCenter.com. The event takes place one week after the extremely anticipated “Bellator 170: Ortiz vs. Sonnen” in Inglewood, Calif.

“The King of Kansas” will once again compete on the Spike-televised main card of Bellator MMA’s return to Kansas Star Arena. A 17-fight veteran of Bellator MMA, Rickels will return to action for the first time since competing against Melvin Guillard this past summer. “The Caveman” has strung together an impressive career, totaling 11 wins over his seven years with the promotion, including four of his five career knockouts. A native of Derby, Kansas, Rickles recently delivered a brutal first round knockout in his co-main clash with Bobby Cooper at “Bellator 150: Kongo vs. Spartan.” The 27-year-old Rickels now prepares for Aaron Derrow, who enters the bout undefeated since joining Bellator MMA in 2014.

A native of Blue Springs, Missouri, Derrow has made an immediate impact on the promotion, collecting victories in each of his first two fights under the Bellator MMA umbrella. Following his hot start, “Daddy Long Legs” will now be tasked with one of the lightweight divisions  most proven veterans in David Rickels. Of his 14 career wins, Derrow has finished his opponent in 12 of them, including 10 of the submission variety. The 29-year-old Derrow has scored two knockouts, each of which came in the first twenty seconds of action. Derrow will have his hands full with Rickels and the raucous hometown crowd that follows him when the two enter the cage on January 27.

With an unblemished mark of 7-0, Harris enters the cage riding an impressive string of success to begin his professional career. Fighting out of Wichita, Kansas, Harris will have the luxury of competing in front of his home crowd as he prepares to make his third appearance under the Bellator MMA banner. Harris has a knack for finishing his opponents early and often, recording six wins by way of knockout or submission, including four in the first round. The 26-year-old knockout artist will look to build off of a commendable 2016 campaign that saw him emerge victorious in each of his three contests, including a pair of wins with the Scott Coker-led promotion.

Also boasting an undefeated record through five career bouts, the 22-year-old Young will make his promotional debut against the equally impressive Harris. Of his five career wins, four have come by way of submission, with each of the four finishes occurring in the opening round of action. Prior to making his professional debut in 2014, the submission specialist had similar success on the amateur circuit, where he collected four submission victories over a five-fight span. Fighting out of Urbandale, Iowa, the 6’4’’ Young will also hold a significant height advantage over the 5’11’’ Harris as he prepares to challenge one of the most aggressive opponents of his career.

Updated “Bellator 171” Main Card:

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

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