Jeremy Luchau sent along the following
LEMOORE, Ca. — When Art Arciniega looks across the Palace Fighting Championship ring on Thursday, the Oakdale mixed martial artist will see a rather familiar face.
“We used to train at the same gym in Fresno years back,” the PFC World Featherweight Champion said of his challenger Fresno’s Jorge Evangelista (6-2-1).
“I know that he’s a well rounded fighter with experience,” Arciniega (6-1) added.
The pair will help headline PFC 8’s “A Night of Champions” on Thursday at the Tachi Palace Hotel and Casino in Lemoore where four PFC World titles will be on the line.
“I’m kind of excited to be fighting for the belt, but at the same time kind of uncomfortable that it’s against Art,” said Evangelista, who fought to a decision victory against Oregon’s Enoch Wilson (10-4-1) in March.
“I really like Art and the way he fights. We always talk and we both have a lot of respect for each other.”
Arciniega defeated Oroville’s Shawn Bias (12-6) for the belt in January by submission in the fourth round.
“I think Art is a very under rated fighter. He has a great chin and I think he’s a lot more polished on the ground than people give him credit for,” PFC President Christian Printup said. “He’s hungry even as the champion. He knows to be the champ is one thing, but to hold on to the championship is when things start to happen for you.
“Jorge is definitely one of the most talented fighters in the 145-pound division. He had an extremely tough fight with Wilson to earn the No. 1 contender spot. He’s taken this fight seriously and like the fight of his life. Jorge is some one who has always fought and trained in his spare time. And in some respects got by on natural ability, but I know this fight he’s taken the time to be at his best,” Printup added.
It should be one of the more action-packed fights of the night.
“I have respect for Jorge and his skills. He definitely deserves a shot at the title. I love wearing that belt, though, and I’m prepared to do what I need to keep it,” Arciniega said. “I believe it’s going to be a great fight with two men willing too stand toe-to-toe and leave it all in the ring.”
Both fighters can excel wherever the fight ends up. Both have great standup and excellent ground skills.
“Art is a very scrappy fighter. I really had a hard time submitting him when we trained together. I know that was a long time ago and we have both come a long way since then,” Evangelista said. “Art comes from that boxing background, but I’m not sure if the fight will stay standing. Everyone knows that my jiu-jitsu is awesome, but I haven’t really been pushed to use it yet. I think that I’m the better wrestler and that’s probably my strength. I really don’t see Art trying to sub me, I don’t think that will happen.”
In the three other title fights, Atlanta’s Diego Saraiva (11-6-1) will defend his lightweight title for the first time against Bakersfield’s Brian Cobb (11-4); Visalia’s Kenny Ento (9-3) defends his middleweight title against Santa Rosa’s Nate Loughran (7-0); and Porterville’s Shawn Klarcyk (7-2) will fight Oregon’s Jason Georgianna (7-2) for the interim bantamweight championship.
There are less than 100 tickets left and they can be purchased at tickets.com or charge by phone at 1-800-225-2277. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. and fights start at 6:30.
In other bouts;
–Lemoore lightweight Poppies Martinez (15-4) vs. Huron’s Sergio Cortez (3-3)
–Oregon heavyweight Devin Cole (7-6) vs. Arizona’s Vince Lucero (18-13)
–Oxnard light heavyweight Lodune Sincaid (12-6) vs. Tulare’s Rafael Del Real (5-8)
–Sacramento lightweight Dustin Akabari (1-0) vs. Los Angeles’ Cody Canterbury (1-2)
–Sacramento bantamweight Joseph Benavidez (4-0) vs. Los Angeles’ Maurice Eazel (3-6)
–Sacramento lightweight Thonglor Armatsena (1-0) vs. Susanville’s Dan Russum (1-2)
–Lemoore featherweight Sergio Quinones (2-1) vs. Fresno’s Casey Olson (6-2)
–Mexico lightweight Olaf Alfonso (6-8) vs. Hesperia’s Chris Soloman (2-4)
For breaking PFC news go to www.palacefightingchampionship.com. You can also find other PFC and Palace information at http://www.tachipalace.com.