The names Eddie Jackson and Lee Henry Lilly may not mean much to the average fight fan. Sounds like just two more names in a long list of fighters they have never heard of. But for the fight fan who recognizes those two names, this Friday night represents a motherload of amateur MMA gold.
For hardcore fight fans in the know, especially fight fans in Sin City, those two names are accompanied by a strong reputation for exciting fights. These two athletes are extremely well trained and just downright scrappy.
Jackson and Lilly are the headliners for the April 8th Tuff-N-Uff fight card. They are set to cap off an explosive night of fights as they compete for Jackson's welterweight TNU title. Theirs' will be one of two titles contested this Friday.
TNU has brought together some of the most elite amateurs in the fight game to feature them in the fight capital of the world Las Vegas. Just off the strip at the Orleans Hotel and Casino, TNU will showcase amateurs out of some of the best fight camps in the world.
With 15 matches on tap, gyms like Legends MMA, Striking Unlimited, Tapout, 10th Planet, Wand Fight Team and Xtreme Couture will be represented this Friday night in the TNU cage.
With that in mind, the competition is extremely impressive. When the athletes spend their time under banners like those, they are without a doubt attaining a world class education in this fight business. And when they compete, often times their fights are equal to if not better than many pro fights.
Considering the co-main event for example, it is clear that the competitors are the cream of the crop, and it is only a matter of time before they dive into the deep end and make their mark on the sport.
It starts with the TNU Women's 115-pound champion Ashley Cummins. This amazing fighter holds a perfect amateur record standing at 7-0. She earned her TNU title in a hard fought battle last year and looks to defend it against another undefeated fighter.
Standing across the cage from Cummins will be Jocelyn Lybarger who holds a record of 3-0. Worth noting is the fact that Lybarger and her twin sister will both be competing on this Friday night card.
As for the matchup, with so much on the line and two warriors who up until this point in their careers have been unstoppable, this one is sure to be a barn burner. Both ladies have strong pedigrees, and both would like nothing more than to take that TNU title home with them.
Someone's O has got to go.
Following the ladies title fight, fans will see the second title in one night put on the line. As mentioned before, TNU welterweight champ Eddie Jackson returns to the TNU cage against challenger Lee Henry Lilly.
Both of these gentlemen have really proved to be crowd pleasing and successful competitors. Both of them had amazing performances on the same card in October of last year. In two separate wars on the same night, Jackson and Lilly captivated everyone looking on.
It was apparent immediately that the matchmaker at TNU would have to line these two up for a fight. Now it is about to go down and those who know just how talented these two guys are find themselves salivating for the matchup.
These are two fellas who will meet in the middle of the cage and exchange weapons of mass destruction relentlessly until the third man in the cage says otherwise. There is not one ounce of quit or hesitation in either fighter.
Anyone fortunate to catch this fight live in Sin City or online at gofightlive.com will positively remember their names when it is all over and the dust has settled. There is no doubt this one will be a barn burner.
TNU President Barry Meyer is very excited about his co-main and main events. He had this to tell Hurtsbad MMA about the two fights.
"The two featured bouts of this event really exemplify what our organization is all about,” Meyer said. “Eddie Jackson and Lee Henry Lilly have grown up in the Tuff-N-Uff cage, and their fanbase has grown along with their fighting abilities. Both guys are legitimate prospects, and their styles are guaranteed to please.”
“Meanwhile, we’ve been fortunate enough to feature some of the best female up-and-comers in the world in recent events, and April 8 is no different. Ashley Cummins has put together an incredible winning streak, and she faces Jocelyn Lybarger—a fighter with a little less experience but just as much potential star power.”
The support that TNU give to women in this sport is yet just another example of why they set the amateur industry standard. With the MMA world getting smaller, it is crucial that females have a platform to sharpen their tools so they are prepared for the next step in their careers.
TNU provides that opportunity for up and coming female fighters. Keep in mind, this is where Gina Carano got her start in MMA. So their support is invaluable to the overall success of women's MMA. Sadly, there is never enough support, but it is great to see such a reputable organization behind it.
All in all this card seems to be par for the course for TNU. Over a dozen fights lined up featuring those world class camps mentioned before. A mix of men and women looking to showcase their skills as amateurs before moving on to become pros. Sprinkle in a couple title fights, and fight fans, you have yourself a TNU event.
It is not uncommon to see Wanderlei Silva, Randy Couture, Frank Mir, or any MMA celebrity for that matter, sitting cageside or even cornering at these shows. That is very indicative of the type of event TNU puts on.
So if you find yourself in Las Vegas this Friday night be sure and catch these fights. If you’re not in town just visit gofightlive.com and purchase the very inexpensive pay per view stream and watch it on your computer.
Whatever you do fight fan, don’t miss this card. That is if that’s what you’re still calling yourself, a fight fan that is.
This article originally featured at Hurtsbad MMA.