Mixed martial arts icons Randy Couture and Dan Henderson have thus far avoided an in-cage confrontation during their legendary careers, but in August, the pair will be represented in an epic clash.
Tuff-N-Uff returns to the Orleans Hotel & Casino’s Mardi Gras Ballroom in Las Vegas on Friday, August 6, and Las Vegas’ premier amateur fight promotion is proud to host a special event, “Xtreme Couture vs. Team Quest.”
What was originally announced as a five-on-five competition has now grown to a massive eight-bout contest. Eight fighters from Couture’s Las Vegas-based Xtreme Couture camp will clash with eight combatants representing Henderson’s California-based Team Quest academy in a showdown for the ages, and in addition to respect and bragging rights, Tuff-N-Uff’s featherweight title also hangs in the balance.
Tickets for Tuff-N-Uff’s Aug. 6 event, which start at just $25, are available at the Orleans Hotel & Casino’s box office or online at OrleansCasino.com and TuffNUff.net. Fans from around the globe can watch the fights live at GoFightLive.com or TuffNUff.net.
Add in four female tournament contests and a main event title contest between top amateur prospects Chris Holdsworth (5-0), the Tuff-N-Uff 135-pound champion, and Anthony Gutierrez (14-1), and the Aug. 6 event is clearly positioned as one of the best in Tuff-N-Uff’s illustrious history.
In the night’s co-main event, Tuff-N-Uff 145-pound champion Jimmy Jones (6-3) represents Xtreme Couture against Team Quest challenger Jon Gorton (4-2).
An eight-time Tuff-N-Uff veteran, Jones opened his career in 2008 with three-straight decision losses. Since then, Jones has gone on a tear with six-straight wins – including four via stoppage – en route to claiming Tuff-N-Uff’s 145-pound title.
Meanwhile, Gorton, who earned a submission win under the Tuff-N-Uff banner in August 2009, has put together a 4-2 record and looks to halt Jones’ impressive run.
Whether or not Jones and Gorton’s result will also decide the evening’s team challenge winner will be determined by a field of 14 additional talented participants sporting an impressive combined record of 30-11.
Xtreme Couture featherweight Eric Center (0-3) meets Team Quest’s Craig Cook (2-0), Xtreme Couture’s undefeated Gil Guardado (5-0) faces Team Quest’s Brandon Morris (4-2) in a 160-pound affair, Xtreme Couture lightweight Jake Swinney (3-0) squares off with Team Quest’s Marco Davila (0-0), Xtreme Couture lightweight John Hahn (2-0) clashes with debuting Team Quest fighter Ozzy Abarca (0-0), Xtreme Couture middleweight Zach Conley (3-0) tangles with Team Quest rookie Chris Herrerra (0-0), Xtreme Couture veteran welterweight Justin Jaynes (7-6) squares off with Team Quest’s Brock Pagen (2-0), and Xtreme Couture’s Jesse Romero (2-0) faces Team Quest’s Carlos Garcia (0-0).
In addition to the exciting team challenge, Tuff-N-Uff’s Aug. 6 event also sees the semifinals of the promotion’s ambitious 125- and 135-pound female tournaments, which will ultimately crown the organization’s first-ever champions in the divisions in September.
In the semifinals of the talent-rich 125-pound tourney Lindsay Jones (1-0) fights Jen Yumm (5-0), and Stephanie Eggink (1-0) faces Katie Klimansky (0-0).
Jones advanced to the semifinals with a unanimous-decision win over Trish Clarke. The Jackson’s MMA product fought valiantly in an action-packed affair, and though Clarke offered an ample test, Jones was able to pick up her first career win with a combination of effective striking and active grappling.
Yumm entered the tournament as the early favorite, and while first-round opponent Nicole Hess pushed her to the limit, little has changed. Yumm survived a scare after being caught in an armbar in the second round of her quarterfinal bout, but with five-straight wins to open her career, she remains the woman to beat.
Eggink qualified for the semifinals with an impressive win over Jillian Lybarger. The West Coast Fight Club product threatened with a triangle choke in the opening round before finally securing the hold in the third. A spinning backfist also hit its mark before the final tap.
Meanwhile, Klimansky enters the bout as the freshest fighter in the bracket as her first-round opponent, Kim Novak, withdrew from their quarterfinal matchup. Klimansky seeks her first amateur win after receiving a fortunate bye into the semifinals.
In a re-shuffled 135-pound bracket, Tsui-Jen Cunanan (3-1) faces Emily Peters-Kagen (2-1) while Jillian Lybarger (2-2) meets Ashley Weakley (3-0).
Cunanan impressed in a July quarterfinal bout by swarming a favored Mollie Estes from the opening bell. The Phoenix Combat Academy product rocked her opponent early in the opening round before locking in a fight-ending guillotine choke.
Meanwhile, Peters-Kagen first burst on the Tuff-N-Uff scene with a stunning 23-second TKO stoppage of Autumn Richardson in May. Peters-Kagen dropped a hard-fought decision to Weakley in the opening round of the tourney, but with Michelle Velebit unable to continue, the Greg Jackson’s MMA product earns a reprieve.
Lybarger steps in for twin sister Jocelyn, who was also unable to continue in the tournament. Jillian was defeated in the opening round of the 125-pound tournament, but she now moves up a weight class to fill in for her sister, who advanced to the semifinals with a July win over Amanda Lauland.
Lybarger faces Weakley, who earned a unanimous-decision win against a tough Peters-Kagan in the opening round. The undefeated Team Leo Dalla fighter showed a powerful Thai clinch as she battered her opponent with brutal knees throughout.
The winners of the semifinal contests in both tournaments will return for the final round on Sept. 24, when two valiant combatants will join 115-pound belt-holder Ashley Cummins as Tuff-N-Uff female champions.
And as if all that weren’t enough, Holdsworth defends his title for what is likely the final time against the experienced Gutierrez. A pro contract is likely in the near future for both fighters, and Cobra Kai Jiu-Jitsu product Holdsworth is anxious to finish undefeated.
A Marc Laimon black belt, Holdsworth has ended all five of his career contests via submission or TKO. But Gutierrez, who has fought 15 times in a 14-month span, will undoubtedly prove Holdsworth’s toughest test. The Missouri native and Team Grindhouse fighter rattled off 14-straight wins to open his career, and nine of his victories have come via stoppage.
In addition to the evening’s featured matchups, a full lineup of aspiring amateur fighters from some of the world’s top academies, including TapouT Las Vegas and Eddie Bravo’s 10th Planet, will compete at Tuff-N-Uff’s Aug. 6 event.
The full fight card is available for viewing at TuffNUff.net, and the entire event will stream live on GoFightLive.tv.
Come see the future stars of mixed martial arts.