The next superstars of mixed martial arts are returning to action in Sin City, and a pair of championship belts will be on the line.
“Tuff-N-Uff: The Future Stars of MMA” – Las Vegas’ premier amateur mixed martial arts organization – returns to the Orleans Hotel & Casino’s Mardi Gras Ballroom on Friday, April 8, with the 15-bout event "Tuff-N-Uff: Jackson vs. Lilly," featuring title fights in the men’s welterweight and women’s 115-pound divisions.
The night’s main event sees Tuff-N-Uff welterweight champion Eddie Jackson (6-2) put his title on the line against striking specialist Lee Henry Lilly (4-1) in a bout guaranteed to deliver fireworks.
A seven-time Tuff-N-Uff veteran, Jackson looks to defend his belt for the first time since earning the title with a hard-fought decision win over Joe Angelo this past October. While Jackson went the distance in claiming the belt, the Legends MMA product earned his previous five wins by knockout, and three of his opponents didn’t make it past the first minute.
Meanwhile, Striking Unlimited’s Lilly is a three-time Tuff-N-Uff veteran who also went three rounds with Angelo in earning his shot at the title. The Ken Hahn protégé has earned a big Las Vegas following with his trademark hyper-aggressive style.
The night’s co-main event sees women’s 115-pound champion Ashley “Smashley” Cummins (7-0) put her belt on the line – not to mention her incredible seven-fight win streak. Cummins earned the title this past May with an impressive upset win of Wand Fight Team’s Gabriella Lakoczy. She’s since earned a tournament victory under the HOOKnSHOOT banner with two victories in a single night.
Facing Cummins is fighting twin Jocelyn Lybarger (3-0). The undefeated prospect, returns to the Tuff-N-Uff cage for the first time since July. Once again, she’ll have the locker room support of her sister, Jillian Lybarger, who also enters the cage at the April 8 event.
"The two featured bouts of this event really exemplify what out organization is all about,” Tuff-N-Uff president Barry Meyer said. “Eddie Jackson and Lee Henry Lilly have grown up in the Tuff-N-Uff cage, and their fanbase has grown along with their fighting abilities. Both guys are legitimate prospects, and their styles are guaranteed to please.
“Meanwhile, we’ve been fortunate enough to feature some of the best female up-and-comers in the world in recent events, and April 8 is no different. Ashley Cummins has put together an incredible winning streak, and she faces Jocelyn Lybarger – a fighter with a little less experience but just as much potential star power.”
Additional featured contests see Xtreme Couture product Jake Swinney (5-1) facing gritty 10th Planet fighter Christian Palencia (3-2), while tough-as-nails fan-favorite Milan Zerjal (2-1) tries to upend undefeated Cascao Jiu-Jitsu welterweight Chris Engles (4-0).
Other intriguing matchups at the April 8 event include a middleweight bout between unbeaten prospects Tyler Jeppesen (2-0) and Michael Lilly (1-0), the return of slugger Gio Zavala (1-0), as well as Team TapouT’s Cesar Campos (4-1).
In addition to the night’s featured contests, a full lineup of aspiring amateur fighters from some of the world’s top academies – including 10th Planet, Legends MMA, Striking Unlimited, TapouT, Team Tompkins, Throwdown, Wand Fight Team and Xtreme Couture – will compete at Tuff-N-Uff’s April 8 event.
Tickets for "Tuff-N-Uff: Jackson vs. Lilly," which start at just $25, are available at the Orleans Hotel & Casino’s box office or online at OrleansCasino.com and TuffNUff.net.
Fans from around the globe can watch the fights live at GoFightLive.com or TuffNUff.net, while highlights of the action air in more than 47 million homes across the nation on Tuff-N-Uff’s weekly series, which airs on VegasTV, SportsSouth and Sun Sports.
The full fight card is available for viewing at TuffNUff.net.
Come see the future stars of mixed martial arts.
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