Bellator’s Soto to Kick Off Tachi Palace Fights

By Loretta Hunt Sep 17, 2009
Tachi Palace Fights is bringing in Bellator champion Joe Soto and others for its first state-regulated event on Oct. 8, the promotion announced Wednesday.

The promotion, owned by the casino property of the same name on sovereign land in Lemoore, Calif., had previously run shows under the Palace Fighting Championships brand without the oversight of the California State Athletic Commission. Tachi Palace was also the birthplace of the WEC, which held events there from 2001 until 2006, when it was purchased by the UFC and moved to Las Vegas.

The promotion will also move its bouts from a ring to a cage and will contest five-minute round fights. It had previously used three-minute rounds under the PFC banner and once under the TPF name in a boxing-MMA mixed event last July.

Ted Williams, promoter of the long-running Gladiator Challenge, has been hired to stage Tachi events under his license. Williams and Richard Goodman will also assist with the promotion’s matchmaking.

“Ted is going to use Gladiator Challenge as a launching pad to the Tachi Palace Fights, like a feeder event,” said Jeremy Luchau, entertainment coordinator for the Tachi Palace.

Urijah Faber-trained Chad Mendes will face former WEC contender Chance Farrar in a featured featherweight bout on Oct. 3. War Machine, formerly TUF 6 competitor Jon Koppenhaver, will also meet Dave Terrell student David Mitchell in a welterweight fight.

Soto, who won Bellator Fighting Championship’s first featherweight tournament earlier this year, will fight a yet-to-be-named opponent.

TPF also announced that it will hold another event on Dec. 3 and five more shows in 2010. Luchau said the promotion aims to hold its first championship bout in January.
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