WORLD COMBAT SPORTS CHALLENGE ANNOUNCES CHANGES

May 21, 2009
(PRESS RELEASE) -- World Combat Sports Challenge (WCSC), one of the top Muay Thai promotions in North America, will debut its first event with MMA fights at “THE AWAKENING” on Saturday, May 30th at Kezar Pavilion in San Francisco, CA. Doors open at 5 PM, and the event is scheduled to deliver close to 20 fights. The MMA main event was to be local rising star Ky Hollenbeck tangling with WEC veteran Blas Avena, but Avena has had to drop out of the bout due to personal issues. A search for a replacement is ongoing, and the new fighter will be announced shortly.

In addition, WCSC is excited to announce two additional MMA bouts to “THE AWAKENING.” Two of UFC Middleweight Champion Anderson Silva’s protégés have been signed to fight, and Anderson will be in attendance as their cornerman. Lightweight fighter Damaso Schubert (0-1) is a strong striker, and will face Eduardo Baiao of Team USA, a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt who will be making his MMA debut. Also, middleweight fighter Roberto Amorim will be making his MMA debut against American Kickboxing Academy product Gavin Clark (1-0). Both Schubert and Amorim are trained by Silva, and are sure to excite the crowd with their striking skills.

“THE AWAKENING” will also feature San Francisco’s own Rick Cheek (25-2, 23 KO’s) battling for the WCSC Super-Heavyweight World Title. In addition, the hiatus of former 3-time world kickboxing and Muay Thai champion Michael Espinoza will come to an end, as he is making his return to the fight game after an absence of nearly 17 years. Espinoza’s perfect 32-0 record and the WCSC Super-Lightweight Muay Thai belt will be on the line as Espinoza battles rising Muay Thai star Victor Cortez (23-2, 16 KO’s). “I'm looking forward to getting back into the ring,” says Espinoza. “I've been training hard, and Cortez is a talented kid. I'm sure it will be a good fight.”

Known for pioneering fight events in the Bay Area such as the first all-female Muay Thai card, WCSC’s “AWAKENING” will be showcasing the first Muay Thai and MMA fights to take place in California in a 5-rope ring. Muay Thai and MMA belts galore will be on the line as some of the top young talent in California will match up with one another for supremacy. The titles bouts include:

Muay Thai

- Jenna Castillo will put her WCSC World Women’s Bantamweight title

- Christine “Blade” Toledo will battle for the WCSC Women’s Junior Bantamweight belt

- Local Muay Thai whiz Brandon Banda and Las Vegas’ Danny Davis, Jr. will go to war over the WCSC U.S. Middleweight Title

- Two sixteen year-olds will fight for the debuting WCSC Junior Lightweight World title, as Gaston Bolanos and “Bad” Brad McDonald will enter the ring of combat

MMA

- StrikeForce veteran Jesse Gillespie will match up with Gladiator Challenge fighter Mike Fazzino for the WCSC California State MMA Middleweight belt

- The WCSC California State MMA Lightweight Championship will be on the line as A.J. Fonseca and Gabriel Solario engage in battle for the WCSC California State MMA Lightweight Title.

“THE AWAKENING” is sure to be an exciting event for Bay Area fight fans of all types. Dan Merrill, WCSC VP of Operations says, "Bringing MMA and Muay Thai together on the same card is something that we have been looking forward to for a very long time. We are thrilled to be in a position to put on this 'hybrid' show, which will cater to both the MMA crowd, as well as our Muay Thai fan base. This event will be an explosive night of action."

World Combat Sports Challenge has been promoting martial arts in the Bay Area for over 20 years. Since its inception, WCSC has staged several exciting events, such as 2008's “Best of the Bay” and “Female Fury.” For ticket information regarding the May 30th 2009 event “THE AWAKENING,” please visit the World Combat Sports Challenge website at http://www.worldcsc.com/ or Virtual Box Office at http://www.virtualboxoffice.com/
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