Fight Girl’ Readies For K-1 Debut
Las Vegas, NV; August 5, 2007…. Oxygen network reality series star, Ardra Hernandez, will make her K-1 fight card debut during a 115 pound limit preliminary bout with Cung Le protégé, Van Milnes, at the “World GP 2007 in Las Vegas” event at Las Vegas, Nevada’s Bellagio on Saturday.
The 32-year-old Hernandez gained distinction this summer as a standout competitor on Fight Girls, which, for six weeks, followed 10 young women living and training together in Las Vegas in their efforts to fulfill their dreams of becoming Muay Thai superstars.
After the fifth episode, Hernandez became one of five Fight Girls contestants selected to compete in Thailand, Muay Thai’s birthplace, as a result of her on-going success throughout the show, which included a three-round, unanimous decision victory over fellow
Labeled as “The Free Spirit” by the show’s producers, Mess Media, Hernandez is a student of Las Vegas-based Muay Thai trainer Master Toddy, who also served as head trainer on the show. She is also a dedicated mother.
Last year, Fight Girls premiered on Oxygen as a special, single episode program that showcased seven Toddy protégés vying for the opportunity to travel to Thailand where they would face the top female Muay Thai fighters in the world. The show’s popularity led to the creation of the spin-off series in which Hernandez was a contestant.
Like her undefeated world champion trainer, Milnes is a native of Vietnam who fled the war-torn country for The United States in the 1970s. After settling down in Springfield, Illinois at the age of 12, Milnes took up Tae Kwon Do before relocating with her family two years later to northern California.
In 2002, she made the acquaintance of Le, who introduced her to San Shou kickboxing. Milnes has since captured two gold medals in national tournament competition and, in 2005, she became the International Kickboxing Federation (IKF) United States San Shou Featherweight Champion.
The K-1 fight card at Bellagio will be headlined by an eight-man, single-elimination heavyweight tournament as well as three, single “Superfights” between top competitors in the sport.
In one of two tournament brackets, undefeated kickboxer and former United States Airforce and Armed Services heavyweight boxing champion, “Savage” Rick Cheek (19-0 (17 KO’s) (1 No Contest), will face fellow American, Imani Lee (17-4 (12 KO’s), while Russia’s Alexandre Pitchkounov (6-1-1 (3 KO’s) will meet Japanese Karate stylist, Tsuyoshi Nakasako (18-24-1 (5 KO’s).
Also representing The United States in the eight-man Las Vegas tournament draw are Muay Thai specialists Patrick Barry (14-3-1 (8 KO’s) and Esh’Chadar “The Dispossessor” Brown Ton (6-1 (3 KO’s). Barry is slated to face Sweden’s Rickard Nordstrand (16-6 (3 KO’s) in the tournament’s quarterfinal round while, in the same bracket of the draw, Brown Ton is scheduled to square off with 23-year-old speed demon, Zabit Samedov (50-5 (26 KO’s), of Belarus.
In Superfight action, two-time K-1 tournament champion and fearsome knockout artist, “Mighty Mo” Siligia (32-5 (26 KO’s), will square off with last April’s K-1 North America tournament victor, Chalid “Die Faust” Arrab (16-6 (3 KO’s).
K-1 superstar, Ray “Sugarfoot” Sefo, meanwhile, will face 6’8”, 275 lb. Bjorn Bregy in another Superfight while two-time Las Vegas tournament conqueror, Stefan “Blitz” Leko (54-15-1 (1 NC) (32 KO’s) will do battle with Petr Vondracek (44-19 (23 KO’s).
Tickets for “K-1 World Grand Prix 2007 in Las Vegas,” priced at $300, $200, $100, and $50, are on sale at Bellagio’s box office (888-488-7111) and on www.k-1usa.net, the official website of K-1 North America.
Bellagio Ballroom doors will open for “K-1 World Grand Prix 2007 in Las Vegas” at 5 PM Pacific Standard Time on Saturday and the card’s first preliminary bout will begin at 5:30 PM. The eight-man tournament will commence at 7 PM.
K-1 is a martial arts fighting sport that derives its name from its inclusion of a wide array of combat disciplines including Karate, Kung-Fu and Kickboxing (“K”), with an intent to determine one champion in one ring (“1”). After being staged for the first time in Japan in 1993 under the direction of founder Master Kazuyoshi Ishii, K-1 has evolved into the country’s most popular sport and has achieved popular culture status as its athletes are larger-than-life celebrities.