In a rematch of a fight that demanded one, promising, once-beaten light heavyweights Po’ai Suganuma (9-1) of Hilo, Hawaii, and Jared Hamman (10-1) of San Bernardino, Calif., will clash in the main event on ShoXC: Elite Challenger Series Friday, Aug. 15, live on SHOWTIME (11 p.m. ET/PT, delayed on the west coast) at Table Mountain Casino at Friant, Calif.
Suganuma handed Hamman his lone loss in a controversial fight that lasted all of 15 seconds in the main event last April 5 at the Table Mountain Casino on ShoXC.
ShoXC, an EliteXC presentation that pits developing fighters in tough match ups, is a springboard for the future stars and champions of EliteXC. ShoXC is patterned after the popular SHOWTIME boxing series ShoBox: The New Generation.
Tickets, priced at $50 (General Admission), $60 (Reserved), $70 (Gold) and $80 (VIP), are available at the Main Casino Cage at Table Mountain Casino. They also can be purchased online at www.tmcasino.com/tickets.html. Doors open at 4:30 p.m. First live fight is at 6 p.m. PT.
In other SHOWTIME fights, Fabricio “Morango” Camoes (10-4) of San Diego meets Sam “The Squeeze” Morgan (19-10) of St. Paul, Minn., at 160 pounds; Muay Thai striking specialist Cyrille “The Snake” Diabate (14-6-1) of France will make his EliteXC debut against ShoXC veteran Jaime Fletcher (9-3) of San Bernardino, Calif., at 205 pounds; and King of the Cage middleweight champ Keith “KO Kid’’ Berry (7-2) of Las Vegas by way of Murrieta, Calif., takes on Ray Lizama (5-5) of Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., at 190 pounds (Please note: This is NOT a title fight; the KOTC belt will not be on the line).
Also on SHOWTIME, EliteXC will introduce a new women’s weight class (130 pounds) when one of the few true pioneers of women’s mixed martial arts, Debi Purcell (4-1) of Laguna Hills, Calif., faces Cage Warriors champion Rosi Sexton (8-1) of Manchester, England.
Non-televised bouts: Promising, exciting Melanie La’Croix (1-0) of Los Angeles vs. Katrina Alendale (0-2) of San Francisco at 140 pounds; Ralph Lopez (3-0) of Fresno, Calif., vs. Roberto Vargas (2-0) of San Bernardino at 150 pounds; Josh Rave (8-4) of Fresno vs. Jesse Brock (6-3) of Sacramento at 140; Kenny “The Poet’’ Johnson (1-0) of Los Angeles vs. Lucas Gumaza (2-0) of Stockton, Calif., at 170; and Marcus Levesseur (5-2) of Fresno vs. David “Tarzan’’ Douglas (4-1) of Antioch, Calif. at 155.
The SHOWTIME and non-televised fights are scheduled for three, 5-minute rounds with the exception of Purcell-Sexton and La’Croix-Alendale, which are slated for three, 3-minute rounds. Fans can watch pre- and post-fight interviews only at ProElite.com.
What the fighters had to say:
“I just want to fight so I can put all doubts to rest about what happened last time. It bothered me a little, for a little while, that people thought our last fight was a fluke and I was lucky to win.
“This is going to be a great, hard, exciting fight. I know Hamman will come out determined to win and give everything he’s got. But so will I.
“It may take longer, but I am confident the result will be the same and that I will win again.’’
“It took me some time to get over the first fight, but no matter what anybody says, it was a loss for me. It went into the books as a defeat.
“I couldn’t have trained harder for that fight, but I learned a lesson. I learned that no matter how hard I worked at it, it was time to take this sport even more seriously.
“I always took my training and fighting seriously, but I never looked at this as a career. But that has all changed. This is now my No. 1 priority.’’
“I always go into a fight thinking I am going to win. I have heavy hands and I know how to finish a fight.
“Morgan is a good opponent but this is my job and I work very, very hard at it. I want to win the fight and finish the fight in exciting fashion.’’
“I’m fighting at 160, which was a hard cut for me, but I now feel like a different person and a totally different fighter. I want to be the best I can be and show the world what the real Sam Morgan is all about.
“This guy is definitely tough and I know he comes in highly regarded, but I have fought a lot of tough guys and have never backed down or said no to any fight. I am always confident I will win.
“The loss to Paul Daley really lit a fire under me. I switched my diet, upped my cardio and trained a lot harder. I know Camoes comes out fast and likes to take it to the ground. So I am going to keep it standing.
“Whatever happens, though, I came here to fight. The fact Camoes comes to fight makes this a great fight. I think it will be the fight of the night.’’
“I’m looking forward to returning to fighting and showing everybody how much I’ve improved. This is like a second chance for me. I have been in training three months for this.
“I’m really excited about making a name for myself in the United States in mixed martial arts. I’ve fought in the U.S. in Muay Thai and Full Contact Karate, but this is my first fight in MMA. I’ll fight anybody.’’
“I’m ready to go put on a show. I expect him to come out hard but if I get in first, it might throw him off. This is another great opportunity EliteXC and SHOWTIME have given me and I will take advantage.’’
“I feel like this is going to end by knockout in one round, or by submission in the second. I’m ready, feel really good and am 100 percent.
“But this is going to be a really hard fight, definitely the toughest of my career. My plan is to come out strongly and remain strong. That’s always been my plan though. The key is for me to stick to it.’’
“I am really excited about fighting in the United States and on SHOWTIME and fighting such an esteemed fighter like Debi. I have a lot of respect for her and for what she has done for women’s MMA.
“Fighting is a science and the most technical sport. You have to be able to mesh skills that people work their whole life to perfect. I can’t wait to show what I can do.’’
“I still try and go out and finish fights as soon as possible. I’m just going to stay on him the whole fight until I knock him out and I get the win.
“Being so young (20) and fighting for only two years I almost always am in against older, more experienced fighters.
“Anyone can fight on the street but not anyone can fight on SHOWTIME in a cage. I did street fighting and it is nothing. I am really excited about Friday and making a good impression.’’
“I’ve seen tapes of Berry and watched him so I am familiar with him and his style. He likes to stand and fight. Just like me.
“With this kind of matchup, style-wise this cannot be anything but an exciting fight for the fans.’’