Jeremy Luchau sent along the following:
Bias is heavy favorite over unknown Maldonado
LEMOORE, Ca. –Oroville California’s Shawn Bias doesn’t necessarily feel like the favorite for his featherweight title showdown with Minnesota’s Aaron Maldonado at the Palace Fighting Championship’s “Step Up” card on July 19th.
Bias believes it will take some hard work for anyone to claim the 145-pound title and hold it for long in the PFC.
“Overall, it’s one of the toughest divisions out there,” said Bias, who has enjoyed success in the first two PFC shows and is arguably the most exciting fighter to step into the PFC ring.
“The guys in this division are so agile and they still have some knockout power,” he added. “There’s a lot of talent out there and anyone that wants the title in this division is really going to have to work for it.”
Bias (10-4) had a string of seven wins snapped by Brian Cobb at Gladiator Challenge’s “Best of the Best” in May. Cobb (8-4) defeated Bias by rear-naked choke at 3:20 in the first round of a lightweight tournament.
Cobb went on to defeat John Reedy (2-2) by rear-naked choke to win the tournament.
But the PFC still had their sights set on Bias to challenge for the featherweight crown.
“Shaw Bias is the best featherweight fighter not already fighting for a major organization. He is dangerous, charismatic and the crowd just loves the kid,” Tachi Palace Hotel and Casino Entertainment Director Christian Printup said. “He may not be the biggest featherweight out there but pound-for-pound he's as dynamic a fighter as you'll ever see in the 145-pound division.”
Although Bias was an easy and obvious choice to vie for the featherweight title, Maldonado (4-1-1) is a virtual unknown on the West Coast.
“It’s not surprising that the PFC would bring some one in like him,” Bias said. “Christian is always looking for the best fighters all over the Nation. This guy has a really good record.”
And Maldonado already holds a belt.
“Maldonado is the X-factor. Really, in the tape we've seen on him he shows a tremendous will to win, a great… make that an outstanding chin… and a willingness to trade punches and kicks without hesitation,” Printup said. “He's a big guy for the 145-pound division and we're excited to bring him out here to the PFC.”
Maldonado, who is formerly of Visalia, is the EFX Full Contact Cagefighting 145-pound champion.
“Bias will be the toughest opponent I’ve faced,” Maldonado said. “I don't like to win by decision. I’m excited, happy, scared and honored to be fighting for the title.”
The pair will square off in a title bout that is slated for five, 3-minute rounds.
“I think this is going to be that classic matchup where whoever can dictate the tempo and style of fight will win. I see Bias as the better grappler and I see Maldonado as having a size and strength advantage in the clinch and standing up,” Printup said. “It's a great fight and I'm very happy that one of these two guys will represent the PFC as the World Featherweight Champion.”
Bias can finish a fight from any position. At PFC 1 in January, Bias defeated Stockton’s Brandon Jinnies (2-5) by technical knockout at 1:36 in the first round. He followed with a submission win over Chico’s Giovanni Encarnacion (0-1) by guillotine choke in the first round at PFC 2 in March.
“I watched one of Maldonado’s fights and I’m not really sure how old it was, but it didn’t look like he had much wrestling,” Bias said. “I think that I will have an advantage on the ground. But I want to stand and bang with him.
“I’m excited for this title fight. I’ve wanted this ever since I came to the PFC. At the Palace they really know how to treat their fighters and this is a great show.”
Maldonado believes that “heart, training, maturity, sportsmanship, my family and my home town of Visalia close by to cheer me on,” will help carry him through the fight.
Also featured next Thursday night in front of a sold-out, capacity crowd is a main event between Lemoore’s Chris Botelho (4-2) and Bakersfield’s Josh McCartney (1-1) in a welterweight eliminator.
Sacramento’s Dave Espinosa (3-0) takes on Porterville’s Shawn Klarzcyk (5-1) for the vacant bantamweight championship.
In other bouts:
–Fresno’s Casey Olson (4-1) takes on Jinnies in a lightweight bout.
–Lemoore’s Kenny Ento (6-2) fights Palika Drummondo (2-3) at middleweight.
–Calousa’s Ruben Villareal (11-13-3) takes on Tulare’s Rafael Del Real (4-5) in a heavyweight bout.
–Las Vegas’ Dewey Cooper and Adam Smith of Venice Beach are slated to tangle in their pro debuts at light heavyweight.
–Las Vegas’ Angelo Antuna (4-0) challenges Palmdale’s Seth Dikun in a featherweight fight.
–In a welterweight fight, Lemoore’s Mickey Martinez (2-0-1) battles Bakersfield’s Robert Breslin (3-6-1).
–Sacramento’s Mark Munoz (0-0) makes his light heavyweight debut against Elk Grove’s Donny Easterling (0-2).
–In a featherweight bout, Fresno’s Ralph Lopez (2-0) meets Sacramento’s Louie Moreno (1-2).
–Lemoore’s Elvis Franco makes his pro featherweight debut against Anahiem’s Scott Brommage (0-2).
–Visalia’s Mike Cook (3-1) tangles with Bakersfield’s Paul Mince (4-3) in a heavyweight bout.
–Coalinga’s Mario Rivera (3-4) meets Bakersfield’s Joe Chaidez (2-0) in the welterweight division.
–Sacramento’s Jeremy Freitag (4-5) returns to action at the Palace against Philadelphia’s Lamont Lister (3-2) in a light heavyweight showdown.
–In a bantamweight eliminator, Jason Georgianna (3-0) takes on Visalia’s Brandon Miller (2-0).
–In a last minute addition to the card, Brazils’ Cleverson Dezonet (1-1) will meet Visalia’s Bobby Rivas, who will be making his professional debut, in a welterweight bout.
Weighins are slated for Wednesday, July 18th at 4 p.m. at The Den Sports bar located on the third floor of the Tachi Palace Hotel and Casino. Fight fans are encouraged to come see their favorite fighters.
Doors open for the fights on Thursday, July 19th at 5:30 p.m. with the first fight slated for 6:30 p.m.
For more breaking PFC news log on to www.palacefightingchampionship.com.