World Series of Fighting will hit The Joint at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas with a stacked world-class Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) event, headlined by a welterweight (170 pounds) rematch between superstars Jon Fitch (24-5) of Fort Wayne, Ind., and Josh “The People’s Warrior” Burkman (25-9) of Salt Lake City, Utah, on Friday, June 14, live on NBC Sports Network, beginning at 11 p.m. ET/8 p.m. PT.
In the light heavyweight (205 pounds) co-main event, hard-hitting, 27-year-old Tyrone “King of the Ring” Spong (1-0) of Boca Raton, Fla., via Suriname, a decorated champion and veteran of 77 professional kickboxing bouts, will make his much-anticipated, second start under MMA rules against fellow KO artist Angel “The Dream” DeAnda (11-2) of Oakdale, Calif. DeAnda has scored (T)KOs in 10 of his 11 career victories, including his last four starts.
Tickets, priced from $29 (plus applicable service fees), go on sale at noon PT on Friday, April 19 and will be available for purchase at Hard Rock Hotel Box Office, all Ticketmaster locations, online at Ticketmaster.com or charge-by-phone at 800.745.3000.
“We are coming off a spectacular event showcasing some of the world’s greatest mixed martial arts athletes and up-and-coming talent of the sport and are looking forward to returning to Las Vegas with another outstanding night of world-class competition in the World Series of Fighting cage on NBC Sports Network,” said World Series of Fighting President and six-time world kickboxing champion and two-time Hall of Famer, Ray Sefo.
The second meeting between the 35-year-old Fitch, a member of San Jose, Calif.-based Team AKA, and the 32-year-old Burkman, a winner of four consecutive fights, comes slightly more than seven years after Fitch submitted Burkman with a rear-naked choke in the second round (4:57) of their initial encounter that, coincidentally, also took place at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas.
Fitch has since gone on to become one of the top-ranked 170 pound fighters in the world, defeating the likes of Thiago Silva, twice as well as Diego Sanchez, Mike Pierce, Ben Saunders and Erick Silva and fighting all-time great B.J. Penn to a draw.
Burkman is coming off his second consecutive win under the World Series of Fighting banner, a highlight reel, first round (3:04) TKO (knee and punches) of Aaron Simpson in Atlantic City, N.J., on March 23. At the inaugural World Series of Fighting event last Nov. 3, Burkman earned a unanimous decision over Gerald Harris.
Also slated for battle on the four-bout TV card is heavyweight rising star and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt Rolles Gracie (8-1) of Rio De Janeiro, Brazil, who will face off with Dave Huckaba (21-4) of Sacramento, Calif.
Undefeated prospect Justin Gaethje (8-0) of Denver, Colo., fresh off a first round (2:27) TKO (doctor stoppage due to cut) of J.Z. Cavalcante at the World Series of Fighting event on March 23, will collide with Brian Cobb (20-7) of Bakersfield, Calif., in a lightweight (155 pounds) contest. In his last effort at the first World Series of Fighting event, Cobb took a split decision over Ronys Torres.
In preliminary card action, battle-tested submission specialist John Gunderson (34-14) of Houston, Tex. will be pitted against Dan “The Upgrade” Lauzon (16-4) of Bridgewater, Mass. in a lightweight scrap. All 16 of Lauzon’s professional career victories have come by way of (T)KO or submission.
Fellow undefeated prospects Krasimir Mladenov (8-0) of Borica, Bulgaria and Kendrick Miree (5-0) of Atlanta, Ga., will square off at middleweight (185 pounds).
Additional preliminary card bouts will be announced soon.
Doors at The Joint at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino will open at 4:30 p.m. PT and the first preliminary card bout will begin at 5 p.m.