Monday, January 24, 2022

PFC Signs Crop Of Elite Amatuer Wrestlers To Contracts

LEMOORE, Calif. — Central California is know for its farmland, dairies, the Fresno State Bulldogs and is one of the nation’s hotbeds for wrestling.
Palace Fighting Championship President Christian Printup recognizes this and brought some of the best wrestlers to crossover to mixed martial arts.
The PFC has recently spawned the careers of future greats like Sacramento, Calif. light heavyweight Mark Munoz (5-0) and Hanford, Calif. featherweight Chad Mendes. Both were All-American wrestlers in College.
Printup has stayed true to the wrestling community and just signed a pair of outstanding future stars — Harrisburg, Pa.’s Phil Davis (1-0) and Williamston, Mich. flyweight Alexis Vila (3-0).
Vila might just be one of the greatest wrestlers to enter the MMA world. The 37-year-old was a bronze medalist in the 1996 Olympics for Cuba in the men’s freestyle light flyweight division.
Vila’s wrestling credentials are staggering, as he has been called one of the more technical wrestlers in the world.
“My goal (in MMA) is the same as it was when I wrestled,” Vila said. “I want to fight the best, dominate them and become a world champion in MMA, like I was multiple times in freestyle.”
Vila will make his PFC debut on January 22 at the Tachi Palace Hotel and Casino against Sioux Falls, S.D.’s Ben Nguyen (10-2).
“We were very clear this past year in that we are making a big commitment to the flyweight division. We want to be known as the promotion that has the best flyweights in the U.S. and Vila fits mold,” Printup said. “He wrestled collegiate at Michigan State, was an Olympic bronze medalist, and has trained with American TopTeam and Greg Jackson’s camp and is real close with Rashad Evans. He’s a very talented and exciting fight and definitely adds another top notch flyweight to roster and has some intriguing matchups on the horizon”
Vila adds depth to an already bountiful group of 125-pound fighters, which include fellow wrestling standout Pat Runez (5-0) of Scottsdale, Ariz., Thailand’s Rambaa Somdet (6-2), Las Vegas, Nev.’s Ulysses Gomez (2-1) and Hanford, Calif.’s Luis Gonzales (3-1).
“What got me interested in MMA was the drive I’ve always had to compete,” Vila said. “My style is wrestling and boxing, which I did most of my life in Cuba and now Brazilian jiu-jitsu which has came very natural to me.”
Davis might not have all the credentials of Vila, but he was a 4-time All-American at Penn State and an NCAA National Champion in 2008 at 197 pounds.
And he certainly could have made a run for the Olympics in the future, but chose a different path.
“I’m trying to adapt my style of wrestling into MMA. I’m doing a little bit of everything to get better,” said Davis, who will make his debut in the PFC on January 22 at PFC 12 against Visalia, Calif.’s Josh Green (0-0).
“I don’t have any expectations in MMA and I hope people don’t have expectations for me. No one knows what I’m going to do out there. I just might surprise some people. I might surprise myself some times.”
Davis’ opponent has not yet been announced, but Printup believes that he could be a future star in the sport.
“Any time you can bring in some one with the potential of Phil Davis, as a promoter, you have to seize the opportunity. He’s a beast on the ground and has a bright future,” Printup said. “I would liken him to Mendes, Munoz and the Team Takedowns guys out at Cobra Kai. I’m excited about bring Phil Davis into the PFC. I’m anxious to see what he brings to the table. But MMA is not collegiate wrestling, so it’ll be interesting to how he develops.”
Davis has wrestled since he was in the seventh grade and admits he is still learning the striking and jiu-jitsu game, but says “I’ve been competing all my life. I’ve competed at the highest level and I think that helps. It’s like guys that have competed in Golden Gloves or at the highest level in jiu-jitsu, you know how to find that rhythm and peak at the right times. I think I have that edge.”
Tickets go on sale for PFC 12 on December 6 and can be purchased at tickets.com or charge by phone 1-800-225-2277 and at the Tachi Palace Hotel & Casino gift shop.
For breaking PFC news go to www.palacefightingchampionship.com. You can also find other PFC and Palace information at http://www.tachipalace.com.

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