March 8, 2006; San Jose, CA….Veteran brawler, Harris “The Hitman” Sarmiento (18-12), will take the place of David Padilla as opponent of undefeated Gilbert Melendez (10-0) during “Shamrock vs. Gracie,” California’s historic, first mixed martial arts fight card that will take place on Friday at San Jose’s HP Pavilion.
A native of Waipahu, Hawaii, Sarmiento brings to the cage a wealth of experience uncommon for a 23 year old. He has been in the ring with a number of the sport’s prominent figures including Nick Diaz and Roger Huerta.
Sarmiento’s gutsy style of toe-to-toe fighting has gained him a load of respect in the mixed martial arts world. His best showing to date arguably came on January 16, 2004, when he earned a split decision over “Razor” Rob McCullough, whose resume includes nearly a hundred Muay Thai bouts and a 9-3 record in the sport of mixed martial arts.
The 13 bout “Shamrock vs. Gracie” card will be headlined by the long-awaited showdown between bitter rivals Shamrock (20-7-1) and Cesar Gracie (14-0) as well the mixed martial arts debut of Cung Le (16-0), who will face seasoned veteran, Mike Altman (19-8). Rising stars and former collegiate wrestling standouts Josh “The Punk” Thomson (10-1) and Clayton Guida (19-3) will square off with each other while fan favorite, Eugene “The Wolf” Jackson (12-7-1), will make his long-awaited return to action when he meets Jorge “The Naked Man” Ortiz (7-2). A pair of heavyweight matchups on the card will see former WWE superstar Daniel Puder (1-0) lock horns with Jesse Fujarcyk (2-0) and Mike “Mak” Kyle (14-4) do battle with Krzysztof “The Experiment” Soszynski (9-4).
Tickets for “Shamrock vs. Gracie” are officially on sale and can be purchased at all Ticketmaster (408-998-TIXS) outlets and Ticketmaster online (www.ticketmaster.com) as well as at the HP Pavilion box office (408-287-7070). Fans can also purchase tickets by logging on to the official “Shamrock vs. Gracie” website, www.shamrockvsgracie.com, and clicking on the “Tickets” link where a ticket order form is located. All completed forms should be returned for processing to Ms. Julie Lin either via fax: 408-863-0153 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Ticket prices start at $30.
Doors to the event will open at 5 PM Pacific Standard Time on Friday. The first preliminary bout will begin at 6 PM.
The “Shamrock vs. Gracie” bill is being promoted and produced by Silicon Valley Sports and Entertainment (SVSE, www.svse.net), a leading producer of major sporting and entertainment events and the exclusive producer of such events for San Jose, California’s largest entertainment arena, the HP Pavilion. SVSE’s many properties include “Miller Lite Fight Night,” world championship boxing; the National Hockey League’s San Jose Sharks; and the annual ATP men’s professional tennis “SAP Open” event.