MMA LEGEND RENZO GRACIE
TO CALL THE ACTION CAGESIDE AT
WSOF 20: BRANCH VS. MARKES
LIVE ON NBCSN ON FRIDAY, APRIL 10
FROM FOXWOODS RESORT CASINO
LAS VEGAS (April 6, 2015) – Legendary Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) superstar and trainer Renzo Gracie will serve as a special guest color commentator alongside veteran play-by-play announcer Todd Harris, for the live NBCSN telecast of the star-studded WSOF 20: Branch vs. Markes event at Foxwoods Resort Casino in Mashantucket, Conn. on Friday, April 10.
“It is an honor to be able to have an all-time great and member of MMA’s First Family like Renzo Gracie join the WSOF team and call our fights from cageside,” said WSOF President, six-time world champion and two-time Hall of Famer Ray Sefo. “The keen, technical insight that Renzo has the ability to provide should be a real treat for fans tuning into the NBCSN telecast, which is loaded with some of the world’s top martial arts fighting talent.”
Gracie, a sixth degree black belt under his uncle, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu pioneer Carlos Gracie, Jr., has faced and defeated a host of rival, decorated icons from MMA’s early years, including Russian Sambo master Oleg Taktarov, kickboxing sensation Maurice Smith, Hall of Famer Pat Miletich and Carlos Newton.
As a trainer, Gracie has excelled similarly, and is responsible for advancing the careers of Georges St-Pierre, Chris Weidman, Matt Serra, Frankie Edgar and a number of other active and retired MMA world champions and superstars.
Along with Harris and fellow MMA legend and WSOF color commentator Bas Rutten, Gracie hosted WSOF Unstoppable: Road To The Championship, a 90-minute special program that premiered on NBC last December, and looked back at the most exciting highlights and complete rounds that took place in the WSOF decagon cage in 2013 and 2014.
The five-bout NBCSN telecast of WSOF 20 will be headlined by a showdown between superstars David Branch (15-3) of New York, N.Y. and Ronny Markes (15-3) of Natal, Rio Grande Do Norte, Brazil that represents the second matchup in the WSOF multi-event tournament that will crown its winner the inaugural WSOF world light heavyweight (205 pounds) champion.
In the lightweight (155 pounds) co-main event, Melvin “The Young” Assassin Guillard (32-14-2, 2 NC) of New Orleans, La. will collide with fellow hard-hitting, KO artist Ozzy Dugulubgov (6-2) of Hackensack, N.J.
Making their respective WSOF debuts, undefeated Ben Fodor (5-0-1), also known as costumed crime fighter “Phoenix Jones” of Seattle, Wash., and fellow rising star and Iraq war veteran Emmanuel Walo (7-2-1) of Jersey City, N.J. will collide in a welterweight (170 pounds) contest.
Steve Mocco (4-1) of Coconut Creek, Fla. will battle Juliano Coutinho (6-1) of West Yarmouth, Mass. in a heavyweight tilt.
Leading off the live NBCSN telecast that will begin at 9:00 p.m. ET/6:00 p.m. PT, is a lightweight matchup between Nick Newell (11-1) of Springfield, Mass. and Joe Condon (12-7) of Victorville, Calif.
A seven bout preliminary card will precede the live televised main card.
Tickets for the WSOF 20: Branch vs. Markes, priced from $39.99, are on sale at Ticketmaster.com.
Doors at the Grand Theater at Foxwoods Resort Casino open at 5:00 p.m. ET, and the first preliminary bout begins at 6:00 p.m.