Lemoore, Calif. – It’s not too often that a champion is overlooked, but that looks like it might be the case for February 18’s Tachi Palace Fights’ “All or Nothing” mixed martial arts show at the Tachi Palace Hotel and Casino in Lemoore, Calif.
In what’s being called by many MMA diehards as “the other flyweight fight”, Tachi Palace Fights Flyweight champ Ulysses Gomez defends his title for the first time against Darrell Montague.
The bout has been overshadowed by the addition of the World’s top ranked 125 pounder Jussier da Silva, as the Brazilian puts his unblemished record on the line against World Extreme Cagefighting vet Ian McCall. Da Silva (9-0) made his first appearance in the U.S. in December with a decision victory over Danny Martinez. McCall (8-2) has notable losses to Dominic Cruz and Charlie Valencia, but the San Clemente, Calif. fighter will be looking to turn things around in a more natural weight class.
“Yeah, I think we’ve been overlooked a bit, but it is what it is really. We just have to go out there and give the people something to watch and put on a good show,” said Gomez (7-1), who trains out of Las Vegas, Nev.’s Cobra Kai Jiu Jitsu and Ken Hahn’s Striking Unlimited.
“Honestly, the proof is in the pudding. I think that Darrell and I have the skills to be considered in the Top 10 in the World, but obviously there are other guys there and have been built up through Shooto or WEC and have fought on TV.”
Both Gomez and Montague (8-1) have carried the torch for Tachi Palace Fights and with the recent explosion of the division and many of the top flyweights ready to make the trip into the U.S. to fight, the pair have been pitted against each other.
“The Gomez and Montague bout was in the works well before we signed Jussier da Silva, Danny Martinez, John Dodson, Ian McCall or Yamaguchi,” said Tachi Palace Hotel and Casino Entertainment Coordinator Jeremy Luchau. “It was obvious after Montague knocked out Luis Gonzalez that he was the No. 1 contender and with Gomez fighting in Bellator we had to push the fight back a few months. It just so happened within that time we were able to sign some great fighters at that weight, but we stuck to our word with Montague and still believe that both of these fighters belong in the Top 10 in the World.”
Tachi Palace Fights will stream live and free on MMAJunkie.com at 5:30 p.m. (PST) with MMAJunkie’s John Morgan, Tachi Palace Fight’s welterweight champ John Alessio and Fresno’s B95 Andre Covington cage side with the call.
The stream will be blacked out to fans within 100 mile radius of the Palace unless there is a sellout.
Montague comes from the famed Millennia MMA Camp and has been a main training partner for both Charlie Valencia and Manny Tapia, both of which were ranked in the Top 10 in the World at 135 pounds at one time or another.
“He’s a tough kid with a good record and has only lost once,” Gomez said of Montague. “He has some good striking and is good on the ground. I thought he did really well on the ground with Gonzalez, who is a black belt. I was surprised he did so well and I don’t think people give him the credit he deserves on the ground.”
Montague has seven finishes in eight wins and his lone loss came to an opponent that he fought 20 pounds out of his weight class.
“Ulysses is tough as heck. He’s a great grappler and likes to get in there and bang. I think that we are pretty evenly matched,” Montague said. “I kind of feel like I’m fighting myself in a way because we are so similar.”
Gomez has five finishes in seven wins. His lone loss was to Rambaa Somdet, who was ranked No. 4 in the World at 125 pounds at the time of the fight.
“I think for people who follow the sport already have the opinion that Ulysses and I have the skills to be ranked in the Top 10 in the World,” Montague said. “I mean Ulysses only loss was a close decision loss to Rambaa and it was Ulysses third fight. I think whoever wins this fight should be in there.”
Gomez seems to agree.
“Come February 18, I’m going to show up and put on a show. Darrell and I are going to show everyone that we are two of the top 125-pound fighters in the world and I think that the winner of this fight should break into the top 10,” Gomez said.
In the main event, Tachi Palace Fights Middleweight Champion Leopoldo Serao defends his title against Montreal Quebec, Canada’s David Loiseau. Serao (17-7) rides a 3-fight win streak and the Oakland, Calif. based grappler has recorded 13 submissions in his 17 wins. Meanwhile, the former UFC title contender Loiseau (19-10) has won four of his last six bouts.
Parlier, Calif. middleweight Mike Moreno makes his return to the cage after a two year absence to take on UFC vet Yuma, Ariz.’s Edgar Garcia (8-2)
In other bouts;
-Oakland, Calif. lightweight Dominique Robinson (5-4) vs. Las Vegas, Nev.’s John Gunderson (30-11-2).
-Porterville, Calif. lightweight C.J. Keith (7-0) vs. San Diego, Calif.’s Fabricio Camoes (10-5-1).
-Lemoore, Calif. welterweight Andrew Martinez (7-2-1) vs. Taft, Calif.’s Doug Hunt (8-4).
-Las Vegas, Nev. lightweight David Bollea (3-0) vs. Sacramento, Calif.’s Ryan Burton (3-0).
-Santa Rosa, Calif. middleweight Collin Hart (2-1-1) vs. San Bernardino, Calif.’s Mike Arellano (3-7).
-Las Vegas, Nev. featherweight Tyler Freeland (0-0) vs. Henderson, Nev.’s Diego Melendez (0-0).
-Clovis, Calif. welterweight Kyle Griffin (1-0) vs. Los Angeles, Calif.’s Alan Jouban (0-0).