WSOF 20: Emmanuel Walo Faces "Phoenix Jones" Live on NBCSN

Mar 23, 2015
(PRESS RELEASE) -- LAS VEGAS – A war hero versus a real-life superhero – both fast-rising stars in the sport of Mixed Martial Arts (MMA). Who do you root for?

That is the question that fans will be faced with when Emmanuel Walo (7-2-1) squares off with undefeated Ben Fodor (5-0-1), also known as costumed crime fighter “Phoenix Jones,” in a welterweight (170 pounds) contest at the much-anticipated WSOF 20: Branch vs. Markes event at Foxwoods Resort Casino in Mashantucket, Conn. on Friday, April 10, live on NBCSN.

“This is a matchup between two of the most prolific prospects in our great sport, and a fabulous addition to our first-ever event in Conn. that is already stacked with a tremendous lineup of talent,” said WSOF President, six-time world champion and two-time Hall of Famer Ray Sefo.

Another new addition to the WSOF 20 fight card will see Steve Mocco (4-1) of Coconut Creek, Fla. battle Juliano Coutinho (6-1) of West Yarmouth, Mass. in a heavyweight tilt.

In the midst of his fourth year as a professional fighter, the 28-year-old Walo of Jersey City, N.J. is also a member of the National Guard who saw action in Iraq during the war there. It was while he was stationed in Iraq that Walo was introduced to MMA through a fellow U.S. military operative and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu brown belt who offered to teach Walo

After returning home from combat, Walo followed what had become his passion, reeling off a 2-0 record in amateur MMA competition in 2011, before making the jump to the professional ranks.

Walo received a rude awakening in his professional debut on Dec. 10, 2011, losing a unanimous decision to Michael Wilcox, but rebounded and went unbeaten in his next eight starts.

The 26-year-old Fodor of Seattle, Wash. signed a multi-fight contract last week with WSOF after being covered in a compelling feature segment on ESPN SportsCenter that profiled his strenuous lifestyle as both a prize fighter and a costumed crime fighter dedicated to curbing street crimes and assisting people in distress in Seattle’s streets.

Fodor is coming off a third round (3:06) technical submission (rear-naked choke) victory over Jason Novelli on Feb. 21, 2015.

Tickets for the WSOF 20: Branch vs. Markes, priced from $39.99, are on sale at Ticketmaster.com.

In the main event, reigning WSOF World Middleweight (185 pounds) Champion David Branch (15-3) will move up to light heavyweight (205 pounds) and face off with fellow Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt Ronny Markes (15-3) in what represents the second bout of the multi-event WSOF tournament that will crown its winner the promotion’s inaugural world light heavyweight champion.

In the lightweight (155 pounds) co-main event, Melvin Guillard (32-14-2, 2 NC) of New Orleans, La. will collide with fellow hard-hitting, KO artist Ozzy Dugulubgov (6-2) of Hackensack, N.J.

Leading off the live NBCSN telecast that will begin at 9:00 p.m. ET/6:00 p.m. PT, is another lightweight matchup between Nick Newell (11-1) of Springfield, Mass. and Joe Condon (12-7) of Victorville, Calif.

Doors at the Grand Theater at Foxwoods Resort Casino open at 5:00 p.m. ET, and the first preliminary bout begins at 6:00 p.m.

The preliminary bout lineup for WSOF 20: Branch vs. Markes will be announced soon.

Prior to the April 10 event, live WSOF MMA action returns to NBCSN on Saturday, March 28, beginning at 9:00 p.m. ET/6:00 p.m. PT, with WSOF 19: Gaethje vs. Palomino, headlined by a world lightweight championship showdown between undefeated reigning kingpin Justin Gaethje (13-0) of Safford, Ariz. and hard-hitting contender Luis “Baboon” Palomino (23-9) of Miami, Fla.

About "World Series of Fighting" (WSOF) "World Series of Fighting" (WSOF) is a world wide premier professional Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) fight promotion dedicated to delivering the best action-packed fights for fight fans by producing the best possible match-ups between elite fighters from around the world. For more information please visit WSOF.com. Follow "World Series of Fighting" on Twitter @MMAWorldSeries and "World Series of Fighting" President Ray Sefo @SugarRaySefo.

About Foxwoods ® Resort Casino Foxwoods Resort Casino is one of the premier entertainment destinations in the Northeast. As the largest resort casino in North America, Foxwoods offers a vast array of gaming in six casinos; AAA Four-Diamond hotels, restaurants from gourmet to quick-service, world-renowned spas, award-winning golf, state-of-the-art theaters, and exclusive retailers. Perfect for both recreation and business, Foxwoods provides modern and versatile convention and meeting space to infuse new life into any meeting or event. Foxwoods Resort Casino is owned and operated by the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation. For a comprehensive look at Foxwoods Resort Casino and Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation visit Foxwoods.com.

ABOUT NBCSN NBCSN, part of the NBC Sports Group, is dedicated to serving passionate sports fans. Now in more than 85 million homes, the Emmy Award-winning network is the cable television home of the Summer and Winter Olympics, National Hockey League (NHL) – including two games of the Stanley Cup Final -- Premier League, Formula One, IndyCar, Tour de France, the 34th America’s Cup, and beginning in 2015, NASCAR. In addition, NBCSN features college football, college basketball, college hockey, cycling, outdoor programming, horse racing surrounding the Triple Crown and Breeders' Cup, Fight Night boxing, Ironman, the Dew Tour and USA Sevens Rugby. The network is also home to original programs such as Costas Tonight, NFL Turning Point, Pro Football Talk, The Dan Patrick Show, and NASCAR America. NBCSN is distributed via cable systems and satellite operators throughout the United States.

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