MMA Big Show showcases its brightest stars at “Triple Threat”

Dave Hess, Roger Bowling, and Mojo Horne to Compete Live on February 20th

Indiana (USA): MMA Big Show, one of the top fight promotions in the Midwest, will present one of its biggest shows ever when it brings “TRIPLE THREAT” to the Belterra Casino on Saturday, February 20th. In the main event, MMA Big Show heavyweight contender Dave Hess (3-1) will battle UFC veteran and Indiana native Jake O’Brien (11-3) in a bout that will certainly have future title implications. Featured in the co-main event, MMA Big Show Welterweight Champion Roger Bowling (6-0) will fight for the final time before he makes his StrikeForce debut. He will defend the Big Show belt against rising newcomer Jerrod Appenzeller (1-0 – pro, 7-1 – amateur). Also showcased will be former MMA Big Show Middleweight Champion Mojo Horne (7-2) as he takes on tough, experienced StrikeForce veteran Lucas Lopes (18-8). In addition, local favorite TJ Ball will make his long-awaited pro MMA debut, and MMA Big Show Amateur Lightweight Champion “The Samurai” Chris Bennett (17-1) will fight in a special welterweight attraction. Tickets for “TRIPLE THREAT” are priced at $25, $40, $45, and $75, and are available through Ticketmaster, as well as 21 and over only, please.

Dave Hess will face a tall task when he battles the 6’ 3” 240 lb. former amateur standout Jake O’Brien. But Hess is no small man himself, and the submission expert has been presented with a huge opportunity to cement his place in the heavyweight ranks on February 20th at “TRIPLE THREAT.” Coming off the first loss of his pro career, Hess will look to add a big-name fighter like O’Brien to his resume. Indiana native O’Brien, for his part, attended Franklin Central High School where he wrestled for four years, earning IHSAA 215 lb. State Champion honors three years in a row from 2000-2003. Over that time, he compiled a record of 125-4 on the mats. O’Brien also attended Purdue University where he wrestled for two years. He is a seven-time UFC veteran who has faced top fighters such as former UFC Heavyweight Champion Andrei Arlovski, current UFC heavyweight contender Cain Velasquez, and former PRIDE superstar Heath Herring, who he defeated at a UFC event in 2007. He’s gone through a rough patch recently, going only 1-3 in his last four fights in the UFC, which lead to his release. He will look to get back to his winning ways against up-and-comer Hess. What does he think about fighting in MMA Big Show? “I’ve been to their show before, and they put on a great show. So I’m excited to fight in front of my hometown fans again. I’m just excited to fight again.” What does O’Brien think about facing Hess? “I wrestled him in high school, actually. But I’ve only seen him fight once. So I assume he’s good wrestler with a ground-based attack, as far as I know. But he chose a bad time to face me. I’ve been off for awhile, so I’m excited to get back in there and put on a great show for the fans.”

Recently signed by StrikeForce, “Relentless” Roger Bowling is on the cusp of greatness in the sport of MMA. Before he can embark on the journey in one of the top promotions in MMA, he will defend his title once again in Big Show against newcomer Jerrod Appenzeller. The 23 year-old Appenzeller checks in at 5’9” 170 lbs., and holds a blue belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu. An Iowa native, he is a solid wrestler with an exciting style. But he will have his hands full with the undefeated champion. Bowling, who has yet to go to a decision or even see the 2nd round in his career, is considered by many to be one of the top welterweight prospects in MMA. Known for his cardio, brutal strikes, and excellent wrestling, he is expected to make his StrikeForce debut soon after “TRIPLE THREAT.” He holds quality wins over former IFL fighter Seth Baczynski and current StrikeForce fighter Shamar Bailey, and his last fight was a victory over Devon Plaisance via TKO at Big Show’s “Unstoppable” event last July. Sidelined by injuries since then, Bowling is itching to get back in the cage and show why he is a future superstar. “I have been lucky enough to have one of the most supportive fan and family bases, which has helped me get to where I am today,” stated the undefeated Bowling. “Without them, I wouldn’t have worked as hard to be able to do what I’ve done so far, and I’m grateful to have had the opportunities I’ve had. I won’t let the fans down; you can count on that.”

An ex-training partner of Rich Franklin and a former MMA Big Show Middleweight Champion, Mojo Horne was glad to put 2009 behind him, as he suffered the first losses of his pro career. However, he ended the campaign on a high note, as he submitted Kevin Barkdull in the first round at November’s “ONSLAUGHT” event. Now back to his winning ways, Horne is looking to target his title once again in 2010. Standing in his way will be extremely experienced veteran Lucas Lopes. A veteran of 26 MMA fights, Lopes has fought well-known competitors Sean Salmon and StrikeForce fighter Evangelista “Cyborg” Santos, and has defeated UFC welterweight contender Thiago Alves and former UFC fighter Antonio “Samuray” Mendes. Lopes is on a four fight-winning streak, including two straight wins in StrikeForce. Certainly, this will be a difficult test for Horne, but he’s ready to go out there and prove that not only can he beat a veteran like Lopes, he is deserving of a shot at “his” belt. “I’m hoping that if I win this fight, that I’ll be able to fight for my title again. From there, once I get my title back, Jason says he has some plans for me. So I’m excited about that.” What does he think about facing a competitor like his opponent? “I’ve seen some footage on him. He looks like more of a standup fighter…don’t know much about his ground. The fight footage on him doesn’t show much about the ground. But I’m a firm believer in fighting the fight, not the fighter. So I’m just gonna go in there and do my thing.” And to the fans, Mojo had this to say: “I’m going to do my best for you guys, as I always do. Hopefully, I get the KO or submission, and everyone get’s their money’s worth.”

Also featured at “TRIPLE THREAT” will be former light heavyweight TJ Ball, who will drop down a weight class to make his pro debut against Brandon Barger (2-1), in addition to shooting star and MMA Big Show Amateur Lightweight Champion “The Samurai” Chris Bennett in a special welterweight fight against the bigger Muhammed Abdullah. The full fight card for “TRIPLE THREAT” is as follows:

Dave Hess vs. Jake O’Brien
Roger Bowling vs. Jerrod Appenzeller
Mojo Horne vs. Lucas Lopez
TJ Ball vs. Brandon Barger
Chris Bennett vs. Muhammad Abdullah
Brian Francisco vs. Kawika Smith
Ethan Ott vs. Brandon True
Brad Balmer vs. Marcus Lewis
Mitch Charbeneau vs. Nathan Campbell
Will Northern vs. Sebastian Giovannini
Trevor Riley vs. Cliff Watson
Jake Bello vs. Liko Mahoe
Rob Egan vs. Robert Marshall
Andrew Zinser vs. Kirk Miller
Anas Ford vs. Casey Jones
Joe Pegg vs. Chad Rynn
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