FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
A historical night for Lion Fight Promotions is on tap for Friday with four title bouts taking place on the Lion Fight 31 card including the third title defense for reigning welterweight champion Jorina “Jojo” Baars.
Baars (40-0-3) garnered worldwide recognition when she defeated renowned female fighter Cristiane “Cyborg” Justino to claim the belt at Lion Fight 14. The Dutch powerhouse defends her crown against Puerto Rico’s Angela “Riptide” Whitley (14-0) at the top of the card that will air live on AXS TV Fights and Fight Network beginning at 9 p.m. ET / 6 p.m. PT emanating from Foxwoods Resort Casino in Mashantucket, Connecticut.
At the official weigh-in on Thursday, Baars stepped off the scale at 143 lbs. while Whitley registered in at 141 lbs.
In the co-main event, Inside MMA Rising Star award-winner Gaston “The Dream Killer” Bolanos will vie for the vacant super lightweight title as he squares off against highly touted veteran competitor Tum “Hollywood” Sityodtong.
Fighting out of Dublin, California, Bolanos (8-0), who has scored highlight-reel knockouts with his much-ballyhooed spinning back elbow, weighed in at 139 lbs.
Sityodtong (75-22-3) also weighed in at 139 lbs. The product of Pattaya, Thailand, earned his shot at the Lion Fight belt by winning a four-man, one-night tournament earlier this year under the banner of Australian promotion Warriors Way.
British sensation Iman “Pretty Killer” Barlow (83-5-3) will look to complete her fast rise to the top of the Muay Thai world by securing the vacant Lion Fight super bantamweight title. She’ll look to do it against late replacement Jeri Sitzes (33-12) as the American steps in for Spain’s Lara Fernandez, who bowed out of the title fight earlier this week.
Barlow weighed in at 119 lbs. with Sitzes stepping off the scale at 121 lbs.
The third women’s title bout will see recently crowned lightweight champion Antonina Shevchenko (36-1) take on Italy’s Paolo Cappucci (46-9-1).
A multi-time world champion, Shevchenko, who now fights out of Peru, and Cappucci both weighed in at 134 lbs.
The lone non-title bout on the main card is a cruiserweight test pitting Brett Hlavacek (15-3) against Brad “Machine Gun” Mountain (3-3).
Hlavacek, who is under the tutelage of famed former fighter Phil Nurse, has a significant student of his own in WWE superstar Shane McMahon. The New York City combatant weighed in at 182 lbs., while Virginia product Mountain registered in at 180 lbs.
Six amateur bouts make up the preliminary bouts for Lion Fight 31.