Surging KO artist Chris “Gritz” Gruetzemacher (11-1) of Glendale, Ariz. will square off with fellow fast-rising star Jerrod Sanders (11-1) of Oklahoma City, Okla. in a World Series of Fighting featherweight (145 pounds) preliminary card bout at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas on Friday, June 14.
A bantamweight (135 pounds) contest between emerging force Carson “Little Juggernaut” Beebe (13-2) of Schaumburg, Ill. and undefeated submission ace Joe Murphy (6-0) of Huntington Beach, Calif. has been added to the preliminary card as well, World Series of Fighting announced today.
“We are excited to add another pair of matchups to our preliminary card that will showcase a collection of the sport’s brightest up and coming athletes and future champions,” said World Series of Fighting President and six-time world kickboxing champion Ray Sefo. “Since we launched our promotion last year, World Series of Fighting has made a commitment to building a roster of its own stars, so fighting as many potential future stars at our live events is critical in order to ensure that these athletes gain the necessary competitive experience to take their careers to the next level.”
The 26-year-old Gruetzemacher has been on fire since 2009, winning his last 10 fights. He has defeated each of his last seven opponents by way of (T)KO or submission, including four consecutive (T)KO victories.
Likewise, Sanders has notched nine straight wins. The 33-year-old has finished his last three opponents – two by way of submission and the third via TKO.
Beebe, the 24-year-old younger brother of bantamweight submission specialist Chase Beebe, is looking to return to the win column after he dropped a unanimous decision to Rolando Velasco in his last effort on Nov. 15, 2012. Prior to that, Beebe had reeled off seven consecutive victories.
The 25-year-old Murphy has been unstoppable since he made his professional debut with a first round (2:01) submission (armbar) victory over Orlando Aspericueta on May 1, 2009. Five of Murphy’s six wins to date have come by way of submission, including his last bout, an April 14, 2012 matchup with Tyler Weathers that Murphy won by way of armbar in the second round (2:56).
Tickets for the World Series of Fighting event, priced from $29 (plus applicable service fees), are on sale at the Hard Rock Hotel Box Office, all Ticketmaster locations, online at Ticketmaster.com and charge-by-phone at 800.745.3000.
The four-bout main card will air live on NBC Sports Network, beginning at 11 p.m. ET/8 p.m. PT.
In the welterweight (170 pounds) main event and a long-awaited rematch, Jon Fitch (24-5) of Fort Wayne, Ind., will square off with fellow superstar Josh “The People’s Warrior” Burkman (25-9) of Salt Lake City, Utah.
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.
In the co-main event, streaking stars and fearsome submission aces Tyson “Man of” Steele (10-1) of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan Canada and Steve Carl (19-3) of Cedar Rapids, Iowa will face off at welterweight (170 pounds).
Also slated for battle on the main 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. will collide with Brian Cobb (20-7) of Bakersfield, Calif., in a lightweight (155 pounds) contest and the first televised main card bout of the night.
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 another lightweight tilt. All 16 of Lauzon’s professional career victories have come by way of (T)KO or submission.
Grappling wizards Lyle “Fancy Pants” Beerbohm (21-2) of Spokane, Wash. and Jacob Volkmann (15-4) of White Bear Lake, Minn. will meet at lightweight.
Fellow undefeated prospects Krasimir Mladenov (9-0) of Borica, Bulgaria and Kendrick Miree (5-0) of Atlanta, Ga., will square off at middleweight (185 pounds).
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 5:30 p.m.