WOMEN'S WBC BOXING CHAMP HARDY FACES OKLAHOMA STAR WILLIAMS AT BELLATOR 185

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Women’s MMA (WMMA) has come a long way in the past few years. Female pioneers of the sport such as “Rowdy” Ronda Rousey, Chris “Cyborg” Santos, and other talented stars, have propelled what was once a novelty niche, to prime time. More and more women warriors are headlining big events or featured in key spots of fight cards. While the level of talent on the female side isn’t yet as developed or diverse, stars continue to be established at a rapid pace as WMMA gains popularity and traction among the casual fan. The fights are usually exciting, bloody, and full of action, thus the hype of women's battles, often lives up to the billing.

As the industry develops, so does the talent. New faces are making their mark on the sport and establishing themselves as household names. Paige VanZant of the UFC and Emily Ducote of Bellator MMA, are just two such names gaining popularity with the fans. Another big name to recently make waves is that of Heather “The Heat” Hardy. Hardy, the current WBC International Female Super Bantamweight Champion, found a new passion for MMA and it showed in her first bout with Bellator MMA, a brutal, gritty battle that notched her the victory.

At 35 years old, history shows that she has a limited window to make an impact in an industry which often favors youth, however, with a resume of extensive fighting experience, Hardy believes that she has the ability and perseverance to make a highly successful transition quickly.  She fights out Brooklyn, NY and is a true inspiration story. She started boxing in 2010, during a rough time in her life. She struggled with multiple jobs while raising her young daughter and decided to take a chance on boxing. Experiencing quick success, Hardy dedicated to the sport, which culminated with her winning the WBC title and amassing a 20-0 professional record. After her first MMA bout against Alice Yauger, at Bellator 180, the victorious Hardy told reporters, “I think I just fell in love.” With so many doubters, she had a lot of pressure to perform, which she did. “I just worked so hard, and now I can say I did it too. A lot of people said I couldn’t do it or I wouldn’t do it. And I did,” said Hardy. Her second venture in the cage is not going to get any easier, as across from her will be a younger, hungry, and well-rounded opponent who’s yet to face defeat in her career, in any combat sport, at any level.

Kristina “Warhorse” Williams also has an intriguing story, one that seems unlikely to have led her down the path of being a professional MMA fighter. Growing up in the small town of Guthrie, more known for its land run and Wild West history than sports, Williams never imagined she’d be in this position. She is a competitive horse jumper and an equine therapy specialist, who lives on a horse farm. A few years ago, Williams decided to try her hand at Muay Thai and found a passion. Her abilities developed quickly, prompting her to test her ability in boxing, then MMA. The 28 year old fighter became a household name in the Oklahoma combat sports scene and turned a lot of heads her direction with a 12-0 record as an Amateur.

Bellator MMA noticed and came calling as well. Looking to match their signed star Hardy, the organization reached out to multiple potential opponents, but it was Williams who stepped up to the plate first. The matchup was tantalizing and after a few days of watching film and discussing it, the team accepted, citing their confidence in the well-rounded ability of their fighter as being a key to their belief in her winning this fight. A humble and shy personality outside of the cage, one could assume that the often nonchalant Williams, may not be intense enough for a brutal sport like MMA at the top level, however that couldn’t be further from the truth. The calm and collected fighter uses her ability to keep cool under pressure as an advantage in the cage. While she hasn’t faced much adversity up to this point, due to her superior skillset, Williams ran into a stiff challenge in her last bout, losing a round for the first time in her career. At the end of that first round, many were left wondering if “Warhorse” finally met a challenge that was able to keep her at bay, or if she simply made a mistake that led to a lethargic round. The answer was evident when round two began. Williams adjusted between rounds and came out with an intensity that showed her will to win against all odds. Pushing forward at the bell in Terminator like fashion, she precisely laced her opponent with punches, elbows, kicks, and mixed in take downs. At the end of the round, the strategy that worked for her opponent in round one, was no longer efficient and Williams left her foe second guessing herself, bloodied up on the corner stool, in a visibly sunken demeanor. Clearly, Heather Hardy is on a different level and the toughest opponent to date for Williams, yet, Warhorse has shown her ability to make sound decisions mid fight, overcome pressure, and possesses the well-rounded skill that it takes to compete at an elite level. If anything more can be said about this talented fighter, is that come October 20th, she’s sure to be ready for this stage and opportunity.

The fight will be aired live on Spike TV. MMA fans, already excited about the Main Event between Gegard Mousasi and Alexander Shlemenko, will be treated to the type of matchup that has “Fight of the Night” potential written all over it with Hardy vs Williams. Neither Hardy nor Williams have ever backed down from a challenge and both look to cement their name as one of the top prospects at 125 pounds.

HD MMA 10 SCHEDULED FOR OCT 28, FEATURES COUGHRAN VS MCGOWAN TITLE FIGHT

Early fight report on the HD MMA 10 fight card, scheduled for Saturday, October 28th at Remington Park Casino (confirmed):

JR Coughran (5-0) vs Alex McGowan (3-1) 145 TITLE

Levi Queen (12-3) vs Wayman Carter (7-6) 185

RD Lashar (1-1) vs Aaron Rodriguez (0-1)

Alex Stephens (D) vs Zikica Krsmanovic (0-1)

Dale Bean (5-2) vs Emilio Gatewood (3-3) AM 155 TITLE

Abraham Benjamin (2-1) vs Malik Lewis (3-0)

Deonn McKay (2-1) vs Akeeme Williams (1-1)

Blake Morton (2-1) vs Shadlin Fry (2-4)

Zack Laurent (1-2) vs Jarrett Norfolk (0-1)

Zachary Bradshaw (1-0) vs Jason Rascon (D)

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AMATEUR STAR KRISTINA WILLIAMS SET FOR PRO DEBUT NATIONAL SPOTLIGHT FIGHT

Oklahoma combat sports fighter Kristina Williams is quiet, well mannered, humble, and a stone cold killer when it comes to martial arts. Amounting a 12-0 Amateur career up to this point, the dangerous Williams has been offered a big fight for Bellator MMA on Spike TV at Mohegan Sun in Connecticut. The fight, which is scheduled for Friday, October 20th, is sure to gain a lot of national attention once the match-up is announced.

We will have a full fight analysis on the bout once more information is revealed.

COUGHRAN VS PARVIN ROUNDS OUT HD MMA 9 MAIN CARD ON JULY 22

The HD MMA 9 card continues to add incredible fights as another exciting pro bout has been booked, finalizing the Main Card for the event.

Oklahoma City star JR “Bam Bam” Coughran (4-0) makes his return to the cage, coming off an big win against the gritty Daniel Carey (2-1), who almost stopped Coughran multiple times in the first round of their LFA bout. Coughran was tested like never before and showed that he can survive the toughest of circumstances. He looks to continue this impressive run against another dangerous opponent.

Coughran will face a tough and experienced opponent in Billy “The Fool” Parvin (3-1), coming off an impressive win in his own right, in which he defeated Levi Smith via TKO. Parvin has finished each of his three wins and looks to derail “Bam Bam’s” undefeated streak.

The fight card continues to shape into one of the best Oklahoma MMA cards of the year with more bouts yet to be announced.

⭐️ M - Demoreo Dennis (6-4) vs Brandon Lee (4-1) - HW

⭐️ C - Julia Avila (3-0) vs Candace Maricle (1-0) - BW

JR Coughran (4-0) vs Billy Parvin (3-1) - FW

Brandon Wright (1-1) vs Frank Jones (1-1) - LW

Tanner Hickey (3-0) vs Steve Jones (6-3) - WW

Ryan Hoover (4-0) vs Arpan Gurung (1-1) - BW AM-C

Kris Vereen (2-0) vs Adam Stumblingbear (2-3) - MW

Akeeme Williams (1-0) vs Chris Shea (2-2) - LW

JULIA AVILA VS CANDACE MARICLE HD MMA 9 MAIN EVENT SET FOR JULY 22

The July 22nd HD MMA 9 Main Event at Remington Park Casino in Oklahoma City, is a showcase of quickly rising women’s bantamweight stars.

State of Oklahoma Women’s Bantamweight Champion Julia “Raging Panda” Avila (3-0), fresh off a Fight of the Year candidate battle against KOTC Champion Nicco Montano at HD MMA 7, returns to take on dangerous contender “Scrappy” Candace Maricle (1-0) in a non-title, three round contest.

Avila, ranked #8 out of 408 at 135 pounds in the US West, looks to keep the momentum going and seeks to retain her undefeated record against Maricle, who’s ranked #6 of 322 in the US Southeast.

Avila, who already holds a win over current UFC fighter Marion Reneau (7-3-1), looks to get one step closer to putting herself into the national spotlight, while Maricle seeks to derail Avila’s unbeaten streak and earn her way into the same spot.

This is a stellar match-up of two women who have their sights set on the next level in the immediate future. In what shapes up to be an event full of “fireworks”, this must see fight is just one of many exciting bouts from top to bottom.

BRANDON WRIGHT VS FRANK JONES SET FOR HD MMA 9 ON JULY 22

Two young prospects are set to square off on Saturday, July 22nd at Remington Park Casino in Oklahoma City for the next installment of Oklahoma’s premier MMA ticket.

Brandon Wright (1-1) takes on Frank Jones (1-1) in this highly anticipated pairing of two promising talents. The bout is set to take place in the lightweight division.

Both men are intent on making a statement and look to showcase their abilities at HD MMA 9. Wright has been the more active fighter in the past year with multiple bouts under his resume, while Jones has had several fights fall through, including an HD MMA 8 scheduled billing with Angel Garcia, who pulled out of the fight just weeks before and was suspended indefinitely by the OKSAC.

HD MMA has a history of making terrific, exciting fights and this one is primed to be just that.

BRICKTOWN OKC SET TO HOST ONE OF THE BIGGEST MMA CARDS IN OKLAHOMA HISTORY

On March 11th, downtown Oklahoma City will be buzzing as one of the most anticipated fight cards in the history of Oklahoma will invade the prestigious Criterion for an action packed night. Bricktown, the illustrious heart of the city, will be packed as the city's professional basketball team, the Thunder play a 2 p.m. day game vs the Utah Jazz directly leading into the night's cage fighting super event starting at 6 just a few blocks away. Aptly named Rumble (KOP 53: Vanguard PI® Bricktown Rumble), like the OKC Thunder mascot, this prolific fight card embodies the heart, spirit, and grit of this thriving city.

Fans will be able to experience downtown in it's entirety, with a day and evening full of high level professional sports action, followed by the vibrant night life at multiple night clubs and bars, such as the official after party location of KOP 53, Dollhouse OKC.

The fight card features a Main Event clash between two of the region's most promising featherweights, as #2 ranked Zac Church (7-3) squares off with #10 Justin Rader (5-2), a student under infamous BJJ legend Rafael Lovato Jr. Both men are hungry for the biggest win of their career and a win for either does just that, putting both men closer to the next level of opportunity such as the UFC.

The Co-Main is just as intriguing of a fight and for some, even more so, as undefeated and quickly rising prospect Aaron McKenzie (3-0) takes on Justin Overton (4-2), a fighter who was most recently seen choking a heavily favored opponent unconscious on a Bellator MMA card. McKenzie has beaten a list of strong opponents, as has Overton, and both men look to also take that next step in their careers, putting themselves on the map of national rankings contention.

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Multiple undefeated fighters are featured on this colossal fight card including popular names like JR "Bam Bam" Coughran (2-0) and female prospects such as Stepheanie Geltmacher (2-0).

The official fight card carries 12 bouts, but as with any card, a possibility of a change exists if an unforeseen injury or situation occurs. Regardless, the card as stacked as it gets. With multiple female fights and a variety of fighter styles in all the bouts, this card is bound to leave a mark on the history of MMA in Oklahoma.

Tickets are available through: TICKETMASTER.COM and the event will be on PPV via FITE outside of Oklahoma!

  • Justin Rader #10 (5-2) vs Zac Church #2 (7-3) - 145
  • Aaron McKenzie (3-0) vs Justin Overton (4-2) - 155
  • JR Coughran (2-0) vs Aaron Roberson (7-6) - 145
  • Mattthew Dixon (4-0) vs Steven Jones (5-2) - 170
  • Kristina Williams (D) vs Ashlynn Kleinbeck (1-0) - 135
  • Matt Coe (1-0) vs Brad Frakes (1-0) - 205
  • Shawn Gustafson (3-3) vs Dyaln Doolittle (4-3) - 135
  • Chris Thornton (3-2) vs Phillip Terrell (1-1) - 135
  • Kayla Houtz (D) vs LeAnn Adkisson (1-0) - 115
  • Kris Vereen (1-0) vs Kirk Wiggins (1-2) - 185
  • Emilio Gatewood (1-2) vs Nick Palmer (D) - 170
  • Akeeme Williams (D) vs Cody McKamy (D) - 155

OU KICKING LEGEND LASHAR SET TO MAKE PRO MMA DEBUT APRIL 15TH

University of Oklahoma kicking legend Richard "R.D". Lashar, who was a staple at the university from 1987-1990, setting multiple records with his thunderous leg, will make his professional debut in Mixed Martial Arts on April 15th at Remington Park Casino in Oklahoma City. Lashar capped his amateur MMA run with an impressive 3-0 record.

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Lashar will fight on the HD MMA 8 card, a star studded lineup which features some of Oklahoma's brightest young stars and top regional prospects.

Standing across the cage from Lashar will be another professional debut fighter, Aaron Rodriguez. A talented fighter who finished his amateur career with a 2-1 record, Rodriguez looks to play spoiler to Lashar's inspirational story.

HD MMA | TRIGGER KO CHAMP AVILA SIGNS 3 FIGHT DEAL

Featherweight Women's Champion Julia "Raging Panda" Avila impressed as she retained her perfect record on January 7th, moving to 3-0 after a five round battle with Nicco Montano.

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This morning, the 135 LB. Champ and Trigger KO®, have come to an agreement for a three fight extension with the HD MMA organization. Avila sets her sights on future battles and title defenses in what should be a busy 2017 for the up and coming star.

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FRANK JONES VS ANGEL GARCIA BOOKED FOR APRIL IN OKC

Talented featherweight Frank Jones (1-1) makes his long awaited return to the cage in April at Remington Park Casino in Oklahoma City. Jones, a year removed from his last fight, a submission victory over Zach Davis (4-3), looks to make a triumphant return at HD MMA 8 and continue his rise up the 145 lb. latter.

He will be taking on equally talented Angel Garcia (1-0), a fighter who opened a lot of eyes after his short notice victory over heavy favorite Eddie Brown at Legacy FC 62. Garcia looks to secure another big win against Jones, which would position him in the conversation as one of the top, up and coming featherweight prospects in the state of Oklahoma.

The current lineup* for a star studded HD MMA 8 card is as follows:

Braden Smith (6-1) vs Tyler Jones (6-3) – 155 Championship
Marcus Penland (8-7) vs Manuel Murro (6-2) – 155 Championship
Chris Mullins (3-1) vs Zachary Farrington (2-2) – 145
Frank Jones (1-1) vs Angel Garcia (1-0) - 145

*Subject to change

Additional bouts for HD MMA 8 will be announced int he coming weeks.