Scott Kent made the biggest and boldest move yet for the sport of Muay Thai and his LION FIGHT organization in joining with the UFC, for the first time ever, to present a world class full Muay Thai rules event, LION FIGHT 16, as part of the UFC’s International Fight Week taking place in Las Vegas July 1 – 6 (Pictured: Tiffany “Timebomb” Van Soest – Photo credit: Bennie Palmore).
UFC President Dana White and Kent, LION FIGHT Founder and CEO, today announced to fight fans everywhere that LION FIGHT 16 will take place live Friday, July 4 from The Pearl inside Palms Casino Resort, presented on the UFC’s roster of fan events and activities taking place in the city’s hottest venues and clubs throughout the holiday weekend.
“Presenting Lion Fight 16 as part of UFC’s International Fight Week, the biggest fan event in the world of combat sports, is a privilege and an honor and further proves that Lion Fight is the premier promotion in standup fighting,” said Kent. “I sincerely thank UFC owners Dana White and Frank and Lorenzo Fertitta for giving Lion Fight this opportunity. I promise you and the fans that our Fourth of July full Muay Thai rules event will be the ultimate action-packed prelude to your UFC 175 mixed martial arts mega-fight on July 5th.”
“The Pearl has been home to so many amazing fights over the years and we’re excited to be a part of such a historic event,” said VP of Entertainment and Special Events at Palms Casino Resort Billy Conn.
Tickets for LION FIGHT 16 are on sale NOW starting at $25 and are available for purchase through www.Ticketmaster.com. To charge by phone with a major credit card, call Ticketmaster at (800) 745-3000. Tickets are also available at the Pearl at the Palms box office. (Ticket prices do not include applicable service charges).
LION FIGHT 16 airs live on AXS TV starting at 6:00 p.m. ET/9:00 p.m. PT. The broadcast will feature play-by-play and color commentary by legendary MMA fighter and coach Pat Miletich alongside renowned sports commentator “The Voice” Michael Schiavello.
Kent also revealed the main event matchup for LION FIGHT 16 and that he will introduce a new championship division with Muay Thai superstar Kevin Ross battling Australia’s Michael Thompson for the Lion Fight World Super Lightweight belt.
Photo credit: Bennie Palmore.
“In honor of our first event in conjunction with the UFC, we are stacking LION FIGHT 16 with the best of the best in Muay Thai, and topping it off with a world championship super lightweight title fight between Muay Thai superstar and fan favorite Kevin “The Soul Assassin” Ross and Australian knockout artist Michael “Tomahawk” Thompson. Also, our former lightweight champion and the hardest working fighter in the women’s division, Tiffany “Timebomb” Van Soest, will compete in our co-main event, and for the first time ever, Rungravee Sasiprapa will fight inside the Lion Fight ring – this is a fast rising star in Muay Thai and someone that our fans have been asking us to bring to America. On Friday, July 4th, the stars of Muay Thai are coming to Las Vegas ready to kickoff the fireworks extravaganza.”
Ross fights out of Dublin, CA by way of Las Vegas, Nevada and owns 27 career wins with nine knockouts on record. The 5’10” fighter is currently ranked 10th in the world by the WBC for Muay Thai in the Super-Lightweight Division (140 lbs, 63.503 kg). Among Kevin’s titles is the Super Light Weight (140 pounds) WBC International championship Title, the Welterweight (147 pounds) WBC USA National championship Title, the FIDAM Welterweight championship of Mexico and the United States Muay Thai Federation (USMF) Welterweight champion.
Thompson, an Australian Intercontinental and World Muay Thai Champion, has racked up 34 wins and 17 knockouts at just 24 years old. He favors the aggressive Western style of Muay Thai equipped with heavy elbows and fast punching power. Last year, he defeated Thai superstar Pornsanae Sitmonchai, a pivotal career win that proved his skill and established him as one of the fastest rising stars in the sport.
Fighting out of Blue Ocean Muay Thai in San Diego, Van Soest is the former Lion Fight lightweight champion and holds a professional Muay Thai record of 8-1-1. She started her martial arts training when she was just eight years old with the U.S. Karate Organization in Riverside, Calif. She earned a second-degree black belt at age 17. After winning consecutive USKA State, National, and World karate titles, she began training in Muay Thai. Van Soest also grew up as a soccer player and played two seasons for Cal State San Marcos while earning her Bachelor’s degree in Kinesiology and certifications in personal training. “Timebomb” will take on a soon to be announced opponent in the co-main event of Lion Fight 16.
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