THREE WORLD CHAMPIONS CROWNED AT “AFL: BULLETPROOF”
AFL Announces Addition of Bobby Lashley and Tara LaRosa
ATLANTA – An enthusiastic crowd greeted the American Fight League tonight as it hosted the first mixed martial arts (MMA) event held in Philips Arena. Nearly 6,000 eager MMA fans were in attendance to witness the league’s three title fights and to cheer on the seven Georgians who participated in the night’s seven bouts.
During the “BulletProof” event, AFL also announced the addition of new fighters including former wrestling mega-star Bobby Lashley and Tara LaRosa, the #1 female MMA fighter in the world.
Lima vs. Weedman
The main event featured Brent Weedman versus Marietta’s “The Phenom” Douglas Lima in an all-out war for the AFL welterweight championship. With thirty seconds left in the second round, Weedman transitioned from a triangle choke to an arm bar, causing Lima to tap out and earning Weedman the AFL welterweight title.
Saraiva vs. Cate
The AFL lightweight title fight featured crowd favorite, Atlanta resident and AFL lightweight world champion, Diego Saraiva. Saraiva battled challenger Josh Cate, who has had his eye on the title since their last duel. In the second round, Saraiva took Cate down with a series of knee kicks to the head and grounding punches to win the match via Technical Knockout. Saraiva, a noticeable crowd favorite, maintains his reign as AFL lightweight world champion.
Lockhart vs. Allen
The AFL middleweight championship featured a knock-down, drag-out fight as George “Loaded” Lockhart traded momentum with George Allen over five grueling rounds. After Allen dominated the first two rounds, Lockhart countered, ultimately winning the battle by a Unanimous Decision of 48-47.
“The fights tonight were spectacular – the AFL really knows how to put on a show!” said Bob Bachtler, a fan who began following mixed martial arts about two years ago.
“Diego’s knockout of Cate was my favorite moment of the night by far. I have never seen a fighter with so much agility and the strength to back it up,” Bachtler said.
Full results for “AFL: Bulletproof” are listed below:
· AFL Lightweight World Championship:
Champ Diego “The Octopus” Saraiva (Atlanta, GA) defeated Josh “Kaos” Cate
· AFL Welterweight World Championship:
Brent Weedman defeated “The Phenom” Douglas Lima (Marietta, GA)
· AFL Middleweight World Championship:
George “Loaded” Lockhart defeated George Allen
· Lightweight bout:
Torrence Taylor defeated UFC veteran “The Punisher” Junior Assuncao (Vinings, GA)
· Middleweight bout:
David Curby defeated Robi “Rick James” Ramey
· Light Heavyweight bout:
Ethan Garrison (Woodstock, GA) defeated Willie “Steamin Willie Beamin” Smalls
· Heavyweight bout:
Dan “The Sandman” Christison defeated Sam Holloway
Along with intense bouts, BulletProof showcased a bit of drama and flair as AFL announced the addition of former wrestling superstar Bobby Lashley and Tara LaRosa, the #1 female MMA fighter in the world.
Since announcing his exit from professional wrestling, there have been murmurs that the goliath-like Bobby Lashley would be making a move into MMA. Long anticipated and much speculated, the signing of Bobby Lashley to fight in the American Fight League will finally put all the rumors to rest. Bobby’s entrance into the cage is sure to bring a new level of excitement to the MMA world as he competes in the heavyweight division, one known for its hard hitting brawlers and dramatic knock downs.
“I’ve been looking to switch to MMA for quite some time but wanted to make sure the move was with the right organization. It wasn’t until I started talking with American Fight League that I found where I wanted to begin the next chapter in my career,” said Lashley. “I love the AFL’s vision. They aren’t interested in running a circus but rather want to produce quality MMA events with legitimate athletes. The more I spoke with BJ Santiago and Jon Hatton, the more I knew that the AFL would be the best outlet for me to show the world what I can do in the ring. I think we are going to be a great fit, and I am excited about my first fight.”
Joining the AFL will mark Lashley’s entrance into the sport of competitive mixed martial arts. With a long history in competitive wrestling, MMA is a natural progression for the championship level athlete. He attended Missouri Valley College where he was a three-time National Amateur Wrestling Champion and four-time All-American. Lashley went on to join the United States Army where he continued to wrestle and was a two-time Armed Forces Champion and a 2002 Silver Medalist at the Military World Championships.
In November 2003, Lashley began a career with the World Wrestling Entertainment where he stayed until early 2008. Lashley’s athleticism, magnetic personality and commanding presence quickly placed him as one of the WWE’s most popular wrestlers, garnering him a loyal worldwide fan base. He defeated numerous wrestling stars and earned two pro wrestling heavyweight titles.
For specific questions related to Bobby Lashley please contact – Cole Meyerson Entertainment – Matt Meyerson – firstname.lastname@example.org
The signing of MMA legend Tara LaRosa (15-1-0) also marks another coup for AFL. With wins over top female fighters, LaRosa is the # 1 female MMA fighter in the world. Prior to signing with AFL, LaRosa was heavily courted by multiple MMA leagues.
“AFL is the right place for me because they believe in putting fighters first and giving women a platform for showcasing their skills,” said LaRosa. “I also feel that the league offers a professional approach to MMA because it lifts the sport’s credibility with mainstream audiences.”
At 134 pounds and 5’6″, 30-year-old LaRosa is a fierce competitor. A resident of Woodstown, New Jersey, she grew up loving movies staring Chuck Norris, Steven Seagal and Jean Claude Van Damme. A self-described peacekeeper, LaRosa never got into trouble or fights while growing up. She played softball, basketball and field hockey in middle and high school and received a scholarship to play field hockey at Catawba College in Salisbury, North Carolina, from 1996 to 2000.
LaRosa’s official entry into martial arts began during her senior year of high school when she started to learn Karate. She took up Judo in college and began competing competitively at that time. From Judo, she began competing in jiu-jitsu and submission grappling tournaments. In 2001, she was introduced to mixed martial arts and has not looked back since.
LaRosa has never refused a fight challenge. She has competed and defeated the top female MMA fighters at the 135-pound division, including Amanda Buckner, Shayna Baszler, Roxanne Modafferi, Kelly Kobald, Julie Kedzie and Fedor’s prodigy Julia Berezikova. She is a nine-time North American Grappling Association (NAGA) champion. In 2007, she made the first ever U.S. Submission Grappling Team and won a gold medal at the World Games.
She currently trains at the Philadelphia Fight Factory under coach Stephen Haigh.
New AFL heavyweight fighter, Ron Sparks, was also introduced to the crowd. “I am really proud to be part of the American Fight League team,” said Sparks. “From my perspective, the MMA Heavyweight Division isn’t well represented at all. Most people view Heavyweights as lazy, out of shape, thugs because that’s the image other MMA leagues promote. AFL is giving me the opportunity to change the face of the Heavyweight Division, to show that we are true, professional athletes, not just a bunch of punks pounding away on scrubs.” Sparks added, “I am ready to face the best in the world, and challenge Elite XC or any other MMA organization to send me their top Heavyweight fighter. Kimbo Slice, come and get me!
AFL Adds 3 Army Fighters
Also added to the AFL roster are three fighters from the United States Army – Andrew Chappelle (155 lbs, 8-5 record), James Damien Stelly (185 lbs, 5-2 record) and Nate Ford (135lbs, 4-0 amateur, 1-1 pro record). More details will be released on these gentlemen in the future.
For more detailed information about each of tonight’s fights, please visit www.americanfightleague.com.
About American Fight League:
American Fight League (AFL) was co-founded in 2006 by BJ Santiago, CEO and former US Army Infantry Officer CPT, and Jon Hatton, Chief Production Officer. Santiago and Hatton formed the league with two primary goals in mind: to influence and enhance the sport and to positively impact every fan and city it meets. AFL, “where everyone has a fighting chance,” incorporates fighters from across the nation and around the world, encouraging the growth of amateur fighters and molding professional fighters into not only champions but also mentors. With a strong sense of community, AFL and its fighters are avid philanthropists of several nonprofits benefiting wounded soldiers, including Impact a Hero and Fisher House, and other local charities, such as Big Brothers Big Sisters. For more information about American Fight League, go to www.americanfightleague.com.
THREE WORLD CHAMPIONS CROWNED AT “AFL: BULLETPROOF”