The attention of the MMA world once again turns to Las Vegas this Fourth of July weekend, and while the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s “UFC 116: Lesnar vs. Carwin” event will see a heavyweight score settled, Friday night will see 16 female competitors take center stage for Las Vegas’ premier amateur fight organization.
Tuff-N-Uff returns to the Orleans Hotel & Casino’s Mardi Gras Ballroom for another night of action-packed mixed martial arts contests on Friday, July 2, and it’s the ladies that are prepared to provide the evening’s fireworks.
In May, Ashley Cummins was crowned Tuff-N-Uff’s first-ever 115-pound female champion in the finals of a highly successful four-woman tournament, and the organization has now created 125-pound and 135-pound female titles that will be awarded to the winners of two separate eight-woman tournaments that kick-off on the July 2 card.
Larry Mir (2-3), cousin of former UFC heavyweight champion Frank Mir, will also appear in the evening’s headlining bout against an opponent yet to be determined. The co-feature sees a rematch of an exciting but controversial contest from May 30, as Zach Grossman (1-1) meets Barry Prevost (2-2) for a second time.
Among the early favorites in the 125-pound bracket are Virginia’s Nicole Hess (2-1), North Carolina’s Jenn Yum (5-1) and fighting twin Jillian Lybarger (2-1).
Hess, who meets Jenn Yum (5-1), is no stranger to title fights. All three of the MiKiDo MMA product’s fights have been contested with a title on the line, and Hess has delivered with first-round submissions in two of the three outings. Hess now looks to rebound from the first loss of her career after dropping a split-decision result to Audrey Pang this past November.
While Yum has looked impressive during a string of decision victories early in her career, it was a stunning nine-second knockout of Kristen Truli in April 2009 that put the Team Hard Target fighter on the map.
Lybarger, who along with sister Jocelyn Lybarger (who also fights on the card) comprise MMA’s only fighting female twins, works as a law-enforcement officer when not training. Having fought past opponents that weighed up to 142-pounds, Lybarger is undoubtedly looking forward to facing Stephanie Eggnick (0-0) at just 125 pounds.
The featured bout in the 135-pound tournament sees Emily Peters-Kagen (2-2) face Ashley Weakley (1-0).
Peters-Kagen returns to the Tuff-N-Uff ring after looking impressive in a 23-second TKO stoppage of Autumn Richardson in May. The Greg Jackson’s MMA product meets Weakley, a Disorderly Conduct fighter who earned a debut win with a first-round TKO stoppage of Madelina Salgado in March.
The remaining tournament bouts include Tsui Cunanan (1-0) vs. Mollie Estes (0-0), Sarah Marang (0-0) vs. Michelle Velebit (0-1) and Amanda Laudland (0-0) vs. Jocelyn Lybarger (0-0).
The winners of the first-round contests in both tournaments will return for the semifinal round on Aug. 6, while two new champions will be crowned in the Sept. 24 final round.
In addition to the evening’s featured matchups, a full lineup of aspiring amateur fighters from some of the world’s top academies, including Striking Unlimited, TapouT Las Vegas, Wand Fight Team and Xtreme Couture will compete at this historic Tuff-N-Uff’s event.
The full fight card is available for viewing at www.TuffNUff.net.
Tickets for Tuff-N-Uff’s July 2 event, which start at just $25, are available at the Orleans Hotel & Casino’s box office or online at www.OrleansCasino.com and www.TuffNUff.net. Come see the future stars of mixed martial arts!