Lemoore, Calif. – Tachi Palace Fights announced two significant signings on Monday, November 16 that will help bolster its growing roster.
“We are looking to build and brand the Tachi Palace Hotel and Casino name throughout the mixed martial arts community and we are able to do that by signing some of the best free agents possible at this time,” said Tachi Palace Entertainment Coordinator Jeremy Luchau.
“We will have another big fight card on December 3, but I think come February 4 we will really start to turn some heads, especially with the additions of Manny Tapia and Nam Phan to our Tachi Palace Fights roster.”
Phan (15-6) is a veteran competitor with a large following in Southern California. The Brazilian jiu-jitsu brown belt is one of the hot young stars and with his recent move to 145 pounds is expected to bring in increased depth to a flourishing division with Tachi Palace Fights.
“He is a character and a fan favorite amongst hardcore MMA fans. I think everyone enjoys watching this guy fight win or lose,” Luchau said of Phan, who has signed for three fights with Tachi Palace Fights.
Phan is a Strikeforce and Sengoku veteran. He recently lost by technical knockout to Michihiro Omigawa (8-8-1) in May of 2009.
“I’m very excited and can’t wait to fight at the Palace,” Phan said. “Fans can always expect a very exciting and action-packed fight with me. I always push the pace.”
Tapia (10-3-1) is currently in the midst of a 3-fight losing streak, but is revamping his training and is ready to get back on track.
“I’m looking forward to fighting at the Palace. I’ve heard a lot of good things out there and the fights have a lot of action there,” said Tapia, who is World Extreme Cagefighting and King of the Cage veteran.
“After the Akitoshi (Tamura) loss I really started to refocus my training. I used to just take everyone down and pound them out and once I got in the WEC I mainly just focused on my standup and making exciting fights. Right now, I’m going back to the old Manny.”
Tapia is widely recognized as one of the top 135 pound fighters in the world still and brings an aggressive and exciting style into the cage.
“When I first heard that we might be able to get our hands on Tapia, I was pretty excited. I’ve always been a big fan of his and I know our matchmaker Richard Goodman is as well,” Luchau said. “I think having some one like Tapia on our card continues to draw credibility and much deserved recognition to what we are trying to do out here at Tachi.”
Both Phan and Tapia will make their Tachi Palace Fights debuts on February 4 on a card that is being billed as “Champions Collide”. Tachi Palace Fights will crown its first champions on the card.
Phan will face Fresno, Calif.’s Isaac De Jesus (8-1), who is a local up-and-comer out of the Team Buhawe, which is home to Billy Evangelista (10-0), who owns a victory over Phan.
“The 145-pound weight division is very stacked at the Palace. My opponent De Jesus has very good standup and solid jiu-jitsu. This is going to be a very tough fight,” Phan said.
Tapia’s opponent is still to be determined.
On December 3 Tachi Palace Fights will feature in the main event, Parlier, Calif. middleweight Mike Moreno (5-2) takes Parris, France’s Xavier Foupa-Pokam (20-11) and in the co-main event Las Vegas, Nev. featherweight Eddie Yagin (13-3-1) clashes Atlanta, Ga.’s Diego Saraiva (13-8-1).
In a pair of feature bouts, Parris, France’s Cyrille Diabate (14-6-1), who is a former coach on Spike TV’s “The Ultimate Fighter” battles veteran light heavyweight Milwaukee, Wis.’s Rob Smith (20-13-1) and the up-and-coming flyweight sensation from Las Vegas, Nev.’s Ulysses Gomez (4-1) takes on Sioux Falls, S.D.’s Ben Nguyen (4-2).
Tickets can be purchased at www.tickets.com or charge by phone at 1-800-225-2277. Tickets may also be purchased at the Tachi Palace Gift Shop and start at a low price of just $30 for general admission seating.
Doors open at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday and fights start at 6:30 p.m.
The weighins will take place at the Den Sports Bar located on the third floor of the Palace. Weighins are slated to begin at 5 p.m. and fans are encouraged to come mingle with the fighters.