by Damon Martin
Kit Cope, Vernon White Victorious
In front of the crowd in Susanville, CA Valor fighting premiered and showcased it’s new line-up of fighters and no one was disappointed with the results. Eddie Millis and Rick Bassman, who co-own the promotion, were able to bring in guests like Ken Shamrock and Randy Couture and feature up and coming stars like Kit Cope and returning veterans such as Vernon “Tiger” White.
Kit Cope, who is one of the newest members of the newly reformed Team Punishment, was able to secure a TKO victory over his opponent, Mike Lucero, and begin to make his climb into the 170lb rankings. Cope’s stand-up skills have never been questioned as he is a multi-time muay thai champion, but his ground skills have obviously improved working with training partners like Dean Lister and Tito Ortiz.
“The fight went exactly the way we planned it,” said Cope. “I had a really good gameplan, and basically I just executed it perfectly. We worked a whole lot on having somebody taking my back and having somebody get me fully mounted and how to get out of that and get back up. I worked really closely with Dean Lister on it, before the fight actually for a couple of weeks and so I was very comfortable giving up my back in order to get up. I actually ended up giving up my back twice in full confidence, the first time I did the steps to get out of it, I forgot to scoop my butt out before the alligator roll and consequently he ended up mounting me. Which was good, because I didn’t panic, I just went through the steps like we worked on every day and ended up getting up and beating him up some more and then I ended up backing up towards the end of the fight, and knocking him down with a right hand, and when I dropped him I ended up knocking his mouthpiece out and it flew way up in the crowd. He kind of turtled up on me, I took his back and just started pounding down on him.”
The Valor fights, which take place in a ring instead of a cage, gave Cope the chance to display some of the skills he’s learned while working with Team Punishment, and big things are expected from the one time MTV True Life star.
“We’re looking at a pretty big fight coming up toward the end of the year, probably in October. That one’s a little secretive at the moment. It’s been proposed to me from Dennis Hallman as well, that he wants me to fight on a card in Washington and I think that’s in September or the end of August. K-1 has been calling wanting me to come back, so I got a lot of stuff coming up.” Cope stated about his upcoming fight future.
Cope is set to start training again and helping teammate Ivan Salaverry prepare for his fight on the August 6th card for the UFC’s Ultimate Fight Night against Team Jackson team member, Nathan Marquardt.
In other action, Lion’s Den member and MMA journeyman, Vernon “Tiger” White saw his first action since suffering a devastating knockout loss to now UFC lightheavyweight champion, Chuck Liddell at UFC 49. White was matched up against Canadian fighter, Chris Leak. Vernon White’s obvious ring experience paid off and he was able to end the fight in round 1 by TKO.
Full Results for the Professional Fights:
Kit Cope defeats Mike Lucero by TKO
Vernon White defeats Chris Leak by TKO
Amir Rahnavardi defeats Eric Vance by submission (rear naked choke)
Dan Molina defeats Kengo Ura by decision.