Muscle Sport Magazine

Lion Fight MMA Promotions: Battle In The Desert 5 on Feb. 25 in Las Vegas

What began as a bold challenge issued by one fighter to his opponent, has become a reality.

The Lion Fight Promotions’ WBC full rules Muay Thai main event showdown between light heavyweight champion Joe Schilling (12-1, 10 KO’s) and undefeated top contender and bitter rival Simon Marcus (22-0, 17 KO’s), will be contested under winner-take-all terms at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas on Saturday, Feb. 25.  The terms have been approved by the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC).
The winner of the highly-anticipated matchup will take home not only his purse, but also his opponent’s entire purse, a rarity in combative sports.

“Joe was talking a lot about what he’s going to do to me and this and that, so I said ‘Put your money where your mouth is,” explained Marcus, who initiated the challenge to Schilling online two weeks ago.  “Money has never been the most important thing to me.  What’s important to me is that I show people – especially the media that have him ranked ahead of me – that I can dominate Joe.”

Schilling, who has been enduring a rigorous training camp that included regular sparring sessions with UFC superstar Nick Diaz before Diaz’s UFC 143 main event battle with Carlos Condit last Saturday, Feb. 4, has never been one to shy away from any kind of fight.

“He offered me the opportunity to take his purse and mine and I didn’t hesitate for a second to agree to it,” said Schilling, .who appeared on the final two episodes of “UFC 143 Primetime: Diaz vs. Condit” on FX,  “I’m going to kick his ass either way and, now it’ll just be more money in my pocket.  I’m going to expose him and show everyone that he’s just a pop tart.

“From the beginning, our goal has been to put together the best possible matchups between the top Muay Thai fighters in the world and, when you have two fighters like this who are so confident that they’re willing to put their entire payday on the line, it just makes a great matchup into an even greater one,” said Lion Fight Promotions CEO Scott Kent.

“The winner take-all purse concept has rarely been used in Nevada,” said Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) Executive Director Keith Kizer.  “This certainly should bring added interest and intrigue to this contest.”


Tickets, priced from $25, are available for purchase at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino box office, at all Ticketmaster outlets (800-745-3000) and online at

In other Lion Fight Promotions: Battle In The Desert 5, Live from The Joint main card action, streaking Las Vegas star and WBC International Middleweight Champion Chaz Mulkey (7-4, 3 KO’s), fresh off his fifth consecutive win at Lion Fight Promotions’ last event on Nov. 19, will face his toughest test to date in two-time world champion and WBC No. 5 ranked super middleweight (168 pounds) contender Gregory Choplin (59-9, 22 KO’s) of Miami, Fla. by way of Paris, France in the middleweight (160 pounds) co-main event.

Mulkey was victorious over British champion Simon Chu via unanimous decision in the main event of Battle In The Desert 4, Lion from The Joint, while Choplin, dropping down a weight class, is looking to return to the win column after two consecutive losses in Nov. and Dec 2011 in his native France.

Following his hard-fought, majority decision victory over Rami Ibrahim on Nov. 19, WBC national champion Phanuwat “Coke” Chunhawat (146-24-1, 24 KO’s) of Oakland, Calif. via Thailand will return to the squared circle an attempt to avenge a June 2011 defeat when he battles 21-year-old young gun Matt Embree (19-3, 9 KO’s) of Toronto, Ontario, Canada with the vacant WBC international lightweight (135 pounds) championship at stake.

The matchup between Chunhawat and Embree will serve as a rubber match.  In Sept. 2010, Chunhawat edged out a split decision over Embree, who returned the favor by winning in the same fashion in the second meeting.

Jose Palacios (5-2, 3 KO’s) of San Jose, Calif. will meet Shane Oblonsky (6-2, 3 KO’s) of Santa Ana, Calif. in a welterweight (147 pounds) matchup. Vivian Leung (2-0, 1 KO) of Las Vegas via Saskatoon, Canada will face Tiffany Van Soest (1-0) of San Diego, Calif. in a super bantamweight (122 pounds) bout.  Power striker Scotty Leffler (4-2, 3 KO’s) of Las Vegas will meet Sheldon Gaines (2-4, 1 KO) of Los Angeles, Calif. in a 142 pound catch weight fight and 21-year-old top prospect Anthony Castrejon (2-0, 1 KO) of Las Vegas will make the third start of his promising young career in a super bantamweight (122 pounds) fight with 28-year-old Francisco Barragan of Dallas, TX.

Doors at The Joint open at 4 p.m.  The first preliminary card bout will begin at 5 p.m.
About Lion Fight Promotions:

Lion Fight Promotions is a Las Vegas, Nevada-based world championship Muay Thai kickboxing promotion dedicated to producing matchups between the best Muay Thai fighters in the world in their respective weight classes.  Led by former Las Vegas casino executive, Scott Kent, the promotional company has been developed in consultation with Christine Toledo, one of the sport’s most popular champions and star of the Oxygen Network reality television show Fight Girls.  Both Kent and Toledo share a common passion for Muay Thai and are working together to promote the sport.

About Hard Rock Hotel & Casino:

Hard Rock Hotel & Casino is Las Vegas’ off-strip playground, just minutes and less than three miles from McCarran International Airport.  The premier destination entertainment resort is owned by Brookfield Real Estate Finance Fund II, a division of Brookfield Asset Management (NYSE: BAM) and managed by WG-Harmon, LLC, a subsidiary of Warner Gaming, LLC.  Built in 1995, the property completed a $750 million expansion in 2010. Hard Rock Hotel & Casino offers an energetic entertainment and gaming experience with the services and amenities associated with a boutique luxury resort hotel. The property is known for its innovative nightlife and music scene where acts such as The Rolling Stones, Bon Jovi, Paul McCartney, Incubus, Linkin Park, Foo Fighters and Carlos Santana have all performed.  Features of the property include an 11-story Casino Tower with 640 guest rooms, 17-story Paradise Tower with 490 rooms and suites and the all-suite HRH Tower with 359 suites, eight spa villas and seven penthouse suites; 72,000 square feet of casino space; 80,000 square feet of flexible meeting and convention space; more than $3 million in rare music memorabilia throughout the hotel; the luxurious Vanity Nightclub; Reliquary Water Sanctuary & Spa; Reliquary Salon; 4.8 acres of tropical pool paradise; REHAB, the trendsetting Sunday afternoon pool party; The Joint concert venue; Hart & Huntington Tattoo Co.; restaurants including traditional steakhouse with an edge 35 Steaks + Martinis, tapas hotspot Johnny Smalls, Mexican cantina Pink Taco, ‘round the clock diner Mr. Lucky’s Café and world-renowned Nobu; numerous cocktail lounges including The Lounge across from Pink Taco, Peacock Lounge and Blitzed Sports Lounge; and a state-of-the-art Fitness Center.  For room availability and additional information call 800.HRD.ROCK (800.473.7625) or visit

Mike Afromowitz (917) 566-8754,
Christine Toledo (702) 480-6799,

Courtesy of Mike Afromowitz/Lion Fight Promotions

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *