PRO MMA ( was notified today that longtime Muay Thai promotion, World Combat Sports Challenge (WCSC) will present its first hybrid Muay Thai/MMA event, “THE AWAKENING,” on Saturday, May 30th, live from the Kezar Pavilion in San Francisco, CA. The main event will be an MMA fight with King of the Cage Champion Ky Hollenbeck vs. WEC vet Blas Avena. The bouts will take place in a Pride-style 5-rope ring.

Also on the card will be San Francisco’s own Rick Cheek battling for the WCSC Super-Heavyweight World Title against Ethan Cox. Former 3-time world kickboxing and Muay Thai champion Michael Espinoza will be making his return to the fight game after an absence of nearly 17 years. Espinoza’s perfect 32-0 record and the WCSC Super-Lightweight Muay Thai belt will be on the line as Espinoza battles rising Muay Thai star Victor Cortez (23-2, 16 KO’s). “I’m looking forward to getting back into the ring,” says Espinoza. “I’ve been training hard, and Cortez is a talented kid. I’m sure it will be a good fight.”

Known for pioneering fight events in the Bay Area such as the first all-female Muay Thai card, WCSC’s “AWAKENING” will be showcasing the first Muay Thai and MMA fights to take place in California in a 5-rope ring. There will be two MMA belts on the line as STRIKEFORCE veteran Jesse Gillespie will match up with Gladiator Challenge fighter Mike Fazzino for the WCSC California State MMA Middleweight Belt and A.J. Fonseca will take on Gabriel Solario for the WCSC California State MMA Lightweight Title.

Ky Hollenbeck

In Muay Thai title fights, Christine “Blade” Toledo will battle for the WCSC Women’s Bantamweight belt, local Muay Thai whiz Brandon Banda and Las Vegas’ Danny Davis, Jr. will go to war over the WCSC U.S. Middleweight Title, and two sixteen year-olds will fight for the debuting WCSC Junior Lightweight World title, as Gaston Bolanos takes on “Bad” Brad McDonald.

Dan Merrill, WCSC VP of Operations says, “Bringing MMA and Muay Thai together on the same card is something that we have been looking forward to for a very long time. We are thrilled to be in a position to put on this ‘hybrid’ show, which will cater to both the MMA crowd, as well as our Muay Thai fan base. This event will be an explosive night of action.”

World Combat Sports Challenge has been promoting martial arts in the Bay Area for over 20 years. Since its inception, WCSC has staged several exciting events, such as 2008’s “Best of the Bay” and “Female Fury.” For ticket information regarding the May 30th 2009 event “THE AWAKENING,” please visit the World Combat Sports Challenge website at or Virtual Box Office at

WCSC: The Awakening

Blas Avena

Ky Hollenbeck Vs. Blas Avena
Rick Cheek Vs. Ethan Cox
Michael Espinoza Vs. Victor Cortez
Christine Toledo Vs. TBD
Jessie Gillespi Vs. Mike Fazzino
Jenna Castillo Vs. Tiffany Connell
AJ Fonseca Vs. Gabriel Solario
Brandon Banda Vs. Danny Davis Jr.
Kyle Rideau Vs. David Barrios
Edwardo Baiao Vs. Dave Velazquez
Vishnu Golata Vs. Phanuwat Chunhawat
Adam Albright Vs. Jay Rodriguez
Ryan Roy Vs. Anthony McDavitt
Gavin Clark Vs. Ryan Wong
Raymond Cole Vs. Jose Palacios
Josh Neal Vs. Josh McDonald
Linda Loyce Vs. TBD
Derek Williams Vs. Eric Lupercio
Phil Baldacci Vs. Orlando Catbagan Jr.
Amber Pope Vs. Angelica Jimenez
Gastone Bolanos Vs. Brad McDonald
Bryan Padilla Vs. Thong Syvanthong
Chris Cariaso vs. Alvin

3 thoughts on “World Combat Sports Challenge: The Awakening set for May 30th in San Francisco”
  1. Fights started over an hour late & main event didn’t happen!!!! Not only did the main event not happen, but no one acknowledged or apologized for it. WCSC will NEVER get our money again…..

  2. Hello Nic,

    This is Dan Merrill CEO of World Combat Sports Challenge. The reason our event started late was because the canvas we ordered 1.5 weeks in advance never did arrive. We were scrambling at the last minute to secure a canvus that was delivered to us at 6pm. This is why the fight was delayed and the main event didn’t happen.

    I completely understand your frustration as we were equally frustrated on how things played out.

    I would like to offer my sincerest apologies and would like to offer you a pair of complimentary tickets to our upcoming event “female fury” which will take place at Kezar on Saturday August 1.

    Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you wish to discuss in greater detail. My email is [email protected]

    Kind Regards


  3. Talk about a classy move! Very thoughtful of you Dan. I am sure Nic will greatly appreciate it and we will make sure to mention on next weeks Info as well.

Leave a Reply