Jesse Taylor and Joe Ray Enter Battlegrounds MMA One Night, Eight-Man Welterweight Tournament
TULSA, OK (Sept. 16, 2014) – Submission ace Jesse “JT Money” Taylor (27-10) and red-hot finisher Joe Ray (11-3) have entered the highly-anticipated BattleGrounds MMA one-night, eight-man, welterweight (170 pounds) tournament that will award its winner a grand prize of $50,000, live on pay-per-view from BOK Center in Tulsa, Okla. on Friday, October 3.Taylor and Ray will replace Dennis Hallman and Chris Honeycutt, respectively.“We are thrilled to bring two more highly accomplished competitors like Jesse and Joe into the tournament fold, and are excited by the increased number of potential outcomes that their addition creates for this incredible, one-night event,” said BattleGrounds MMA President and Olympic wrestling gold medalist, Kenny Monday.
A veteran of a number of the world’s current and former top-tier fight promotions, including the UFC, Strikeforce, DREAM and World Series of Fighting, the 6-foot-1, 31-year-old Taylor honed his foundation in wrestling, becoming a two-time Junior College All-American and, later, a standout competitor for NCAA Division I Cal State Fullerton.
Between August 2012 and December 2013, Taylor ran to seven consecutive victories, defeating standouts Kendall “Da Spyder” Grove and Elvis Mutapcic along the way. Taylor also boasts finishes of superstars Denis Kang and Murilo Bustamante.
One of the hottest prospects in MMA, the 5-foot-11, 29-year-old Ray has earned all of his victories to date by (T)KO (7) and submission (4), and enters the BattleGrounds MMA cage on a six-fight winning streak that began nearly three years ago with a first round (1:48) TKO (punches) of Levi LaLonde. In his last start, Ray pulled off an impressive submission of Muay Thai champion Ole Laursen with a guillotine choke in the third round of battle.
Ray relocated from Sarasota, Fla. to Miami in 2007 and began his training in martial arts shortly after the move. In a relatively short time, he has built a powerful foundation in the striking art of Muay Thai, splitting his training camps between American Top Team in South Florida and Tiger Muay Thai in Phuket, Thailand. In addition to his stellar MMA record, Ray owns a 6-1 record in professional Muay Thai and kickboxing competition.
Taylor and Ray join a tournament field comprised of elite competition in submission wizard Cody “AK Kid” McKenzie (15-4) of Spokane, Wash.; two-time, one-night tournament winner Brock Larson (37-8) of Brainerd, Minn.; hard-hitting brawler Luigi“The Italian Tank” Fioravanti (24-11) of St. Louis, Mo.; Urijah Faber protégé David “Bulletproof” Mitchell (14-4) of Lower Lake, Calif.; Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu expert Roan “Jucao” Carneiro (16-9) of Atlanta, Ga.; and Trey “That Just Happened?” Houston (11-2) of Bixby, Okla.
BattleGrounds MMA ‘O.N.E.’ will be distributed at a price point of $19.95 in the United States and Canada by Integrated Sports Media for live viewing, beginning at 10 p.m. EST/7 p.m. PST on both cable and satellite pay-per-view carriers iN DEMAND, DirecTV, DISH and Avail-TVN in the United States and Bell TV and SHAW PPV in Canada. A pre-show will begin at 9 p.m. EST/6 p.m. PST.
WWE Hall of Famer Jim Ross and recently retired UFC superstar Chael Sonnen will call the action live from cageside.
Additional bouts for the telecast as well as a preliminary bout card will also be announced soon.
Tickets for the event, priced from $65, can be purchased online at www.bokcenter.comas well as at Arby’s Box Office at the BOK Center, all ticket outlets, or by calling 1-800-7-BOKCTR.
Doors at BOK Center open at 6 p.m. CST on Oct. 3. The first preliminary bout will begin at 7:15 p.m.
About BattleGrounds MMA
BattleGrounds MMA (www.battlegroundsone.com) is a world championship professional Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) promotion designed to place combative sports athletes on a major stage in the most challenging and exciting format possible: one-night, single-elimination tournaments that reveal the toughest competitors in their respective weight divisions. Launched by Olympic wrestling legend Kenny Monday and Bryan O’Rourke in 2012 as a regional organization in Tulsa, OK to unearth promising new talent in one of MMA’s biggest hotbeds, the promotion is quickly capturing the hearts of fans nationwide as it brings about an exciting new era in the world’s fastest growing sport.
About the BOK Center:
The BOK Center is Tulsa’s state-of-the-art sports and entertainment venue that opened in fall 2008. The 19,199-seat arena is home to the WNBA Tulsa Shock and the CHL Tulsa Oilers. The BOK Center was designed to host major concerts, family shows, ice shows, and other world class entertainment. Owned by the City Of Tulsa, the BOK Center is part of Vision 2025, a project to grow economic and community infrastructure for future generations. In 2011, the BOK Center won the prestigious International Association of Venue Managers (IAVM) Venue Excellence Award.
Founded in 1977, SMG provides management services to more than 230 public assembly facilities including convention and exhibition centers, arenas, stadiums, theatres, performing arts centers, equestrian facilities, science centers and a variety of other venues. With facilities across the globe, SMG manages more than 14.4 million square feet of exhibition space and over 1.75 million sports and entertainment seats. As the recognized global industry leader, SMG provides venue management, sales, marketing, event booking and programming, construction and design consulting, and pre-opening services for such landmark facilities as McCormick Place & Soldier Field in Chicago, Moscone Convention Center in San Francisco, Houston’s Reliant Park and the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. SMG also offers food and beverage operations through its concessions, catering and special events division, SAVOR, currently servicing more than 100 accounts worldwide. For more information visit www.smgworld.com.