ShoXC Elite Challenger

debi purcellEvent Will Include Return Of Camoes Against Morgan, Terrific Women’s Match Between Purcell And Sexton, Diabate vs. Fletcher And KOTC champ Berry Defending Against Lizama (SHOWTIME, 11 p.m. ET/PT, Delayed on the west coast)

LOS ANGELES (Aug. 7, 2008) – Same network, same venue, same fighters.

It’s only fitting.

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  . Doors open at 4:30 p.m. First live fight is at 5:30 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 for the first time ever, EliteXC will showcase a title fight from one its sister organizations, King of the Cage, when KOTC middleweight champion Keith “KO Kid’’ Berry (7-2) of Las Vegas by way of Murrieta, Calif., takes on Ray Lizama (5-5) of Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.

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 LaCroix (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 pounds; Mike Moreno (3-2) of Fresno vs. Lucas Gumaza (2-0) of Stockton, Calif., at 170 pounds; and Marcus Levesser (5-2) of Fresno vs. Josh McDonald (3-3) of San Francisco at 160 pounds.

The SHOWTIME and non-televised fights are scheduled for three, 5-minute rounds with the exception of Purcell-Sexton and LaCroix Alendale, which are slated for three, 3-minute rounds. Fans can watch pre- and post-fight interviews only at ProElite.com.

Purcell, who’s as responsible as anybody for helping put woman’s MMA on the map, and the talented Sexton recently signed multi-fight deals with EliteXC. They join a group of EliteXC female fighters that includes, among others, Gina Carano, Cris Cyborg, Tonya Evinger, Shayna Baszler, Julie Kedzie, Kaitlin Young and LaCroix.

Long regarded as one of the world’s toughest women and one of a few to hold a black belt in Ruas Vale Tudo, Purcell has trained in fitness and MMA for more than 20 years, with competitive experience also in submission grappling, boxing, kickboxing, Muay Thai, wrestling, Tae Kwon Do, and gymnastics.

Purcell was the first woman to compete and win in King of the Cage, headlined the first-ever all female NHB card in the U.S., owns a win in Hook N Shoot, was an Ultimate Wrestler world title belt-holder and was the first and only female coach in the International Fight League (IFL).

On the recent popularity surge of women’s MMA, Purcell said, “It’s awesome. I’ve been telling promoters for years what women could bring to the sport. I’ve always thought that if you brought in skilled women and put them on a fight card, it would bring in the fans. We come to fight, always give everything we have and it’s always exciting. You never see a boring women’s fight.’’ The founder of fightergirls.com, Purcell will be making her first start since dropping a decision to Hitomi Akano at a Smackgirl event in Japan on Feb. 15, 2006.

Sexton, one of the most courted women in the game before signing with EliteXC, is fighting for the first time since scoring a second-round submission (armbar) over Julia Berezikova on Aug. 24, 2007. “It’s great to be involved with an international promotion of the caliber of EliteXC,” said Sexton, a submission ace who owns notable victories over Carina Damm and Tomomi “Windy Tomomi” Sunaba. “EliteXC has a very promising female division. I’m looking forward to fighting some of the top ones.’’

The much-admired Brit, a full-time mother and an osteopathy student, is keen to avenge the sole blemish on her record, a loss to Carano. “I would love a rematch with Gina,’’ Sexton said, “but the weight would be an issue. My management tells me I’m too small to be fighting at 140 pounds.’’ Since her debut in 2002, Sexton has become a stalwart of the British scene. One of a few, popular mainstays in women’s game, she has earned international
acclaim for her sprightly performances.

Watch Debi Purcell’s interview on CBS 2 Inside MMA with EliteXC’s Jarred Hamman and Debi Purcell.

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