I've been so behind with everything in my life that I've been extremely behind in talking about the next UWC show here in the Washington, DC area. The truth is the show is next week and all of the information you could need is here.
One fight the UWC announced today I wanted to talk about a little more is their flyweight bout between local standout and Team Lloyd Irvin product Jose Villarisco and Albuquerque Kickboxing's Mikey Lovato. On a personal note, Villarisco was my very first instructor in Thai boxing and I hold his abilities in high regard. Quite candidly, I've yet to see tape on Lovato, but his his wrestling pedigree gives me hope this fight could be the show stealer over War Machine vs. Reshad Woods or Mike Easton's title defense.
Look, I'll put it this way: Villarisco's knuckle game is absolutely vicious. He routinely drops 200lbs men in training with body shots. He's a two-time national champion kickboxer that possesses not only brutal power, but really excellent, mixed technique that allows him to put together multi-shot combinations both high and low. On top of that, he's a BJJ purple belt under world champion Lloyd Irvin. And if you saw his professional debut against John "The Magician" Dodson, you know he's also ultra aggressive with a fire hydrant for a head.
Lovato, though, could be kryptonite for Villarisco. He was an Olympic qualifier in wrestling out of high school in addition to being a national high school wrestling champion (in addition to being a three-time state champion). Villarisco showed strong pocket presence against Dodson, but ultimately conceded the takedown throughout the fight. If Lovato can replicate that feat, Villarisco could be looking at a very inauspicious start to his career.
Per usual, I'll be there cageside commentating. I'll also be Twittering live from the event at Bloody Elbow's Twitter page, so follow me there if you're so inclined.
Full press release after the jump.
Disclosure: I am an employee (color commentator) of the UWC.
WASHINGTON, DC’S OWN JOSE "THE PISTOL" VILLARISCO OUT TO PROVE HIMSELF AGAINST NEW MEXICO’S MIKEY "THE BURQUE BULLDOG" LOVATO
WASHINGTON, DC - East coast-based Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) leader the Ultimate Warrior Challenge (UWC) formally announced today a flyweight bout (125lbs.) between two-time national kickboxing champion and local product Jose "The Pistol" Villarisco and three-time state champion wrestler from Albuquerque, New Mexico in Mikey "The Burque Bulldog" Lovato. The bout will take place at UWC - Capital Punishment on Saturday, April 25th at the George Mason University Patriot Center in Fairfax, VA.
"After the performance Jose Villarisco and John Dodson put on in their last fight, fans of MMA and UWC know how incredible the talent is at 125lbs.," said UWC CEO S. Marcello Foran. "It's an emerging weight class in the sport that has to be recognized. As luck would have it, we didn't have to look far to find the best. To have a UWC fighter with amazing talent like Jose Villarisco test his vicious striking skills against a celebrated and hugely accomplished wrestler like Mikey Lovato is a positive step for the UWC flyweight division. For years, the Japanese had all the best flyweight talent, but the Americans have caught up quickly and Villarisco vs. Lovato will prove just how gifted the UWC's flyweights truly are. "
Villarisco is 0-1 in pro MMA and trains with Lloyd Irvin from Team Lloyd Irvin in Camp Springs, MD. A two-time ISKA national kickboxing champion and one-time world championship qualifier, Villarisco is also a purple belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu under world champion Lloyd Irvin. He trains with UFC veteran Brandon Vera and UWC vets Ron Stallings as well as UWC bantamweight champion Mike Easton. In his professional debut, Villarisco battled a top-ranked veteran in John "The Magician" Dodson taking the experienced and talented fighter the distance ultimately losing by split decision at UWC 5: Man O' War. Although a losing effort, Villarisco's performance was widely regarded as spectacular for a professional MMA debut particularly given the experience level of his opponent.
Lovato (3 -1) is among the top wrestlers to ever enter the UWC cage. He is a three-time New Mexico State wrestling champion, New Mexico's first high school national champion, a four-time high school All-American and a 2000 Olympic Trial Qualifier. He trains out of Albuquerque Kickboxing and Mixed Martial Arts in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
"Both fighters have the athleticism, speed and tenacity to have a shot at fight of the night," said Foran. "But this story is not just about their physical gifts. Both fighters have very unique and highly accomplished skill sets. It's a fact that Villarisco has never fought anyone with the wrestling pedigree of Lovato and conversely, Lovato has never faced anyone with the kickboxing skills of Villarisco. Like any modern MMA fighter, both Villarisco and Lovato have skills in every department, but their radically different styles make for a really intriguing match-up. It's the modern version of striker versus grappler and no one really knows what's going to happen. You have to be there to find out."
UWC shows have become a staple of the Washington, D.C. sports culture, attracting thousands of fans, along with mainstream celebrities like Alex Ovechkin from the Washington Capitals, Washington Redskins TE Chris Cooley, and ESPN's Tony Reali, among many others. UWC CEO S. Marcello Foran remains committed to finding and developing the great MMA champions of tomorrow. Fans can expect explosive cage fights, first-class production and a crowd-pleasing environment as the UWC provides the highest level of competition seen on the east coast.
Buy tickets today at all Ticketmaster outlets and Ticketmsater.com with general admission prices set at $35, $58.50, $78.50 and $128.50. A limited number of Ultimate VIP (UVIP) and VIP packages ($500 and $250) are available, which include cage side seating, UVIP fight night pre-party, UVIP event lanyard, special guest fighter meet and greets, UVIP suite access, full food and beverage service and more.
Find ticket information, photos, videos, fight card updates, and other UWC news:
Text "UWC" to 30644 or visit the UWC Website: www.uwcmma.com
Official Event Flash Website: www.uwcmma.com/uwc6
UltimateVIP Contest - Meet and Greet w/ TITO ORTIZ
For a chance to "WIN" the UltimateVIP Fight Night Ticket Package and a Meet and Greet with Tito and other special celebrity guests TEXT "VIP" to 30644
Missed Man "O" War, but heard about the coolest show in town from friends? Check out fight video for free at the UWC Multi Media Center to see what all the buzz is about: http://www.uwcmma.com/media_
UWC 6: Capital Punishment will be streamed "LIVE" and for "FREE" on the most visited MMA website in the world - SHERDOG.com
(*Unavailable within 100 miles of the Washington DC Metro area)