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By David Tees on 2/15/2016 8:36 PM

The highly touted Tachi Palace Fights promotion holds its first event of 2016 this Thursday Night and it will also be the first of seven big MMA events happening this weekend. The event will be headlined by a bantamweight title bout as Rolando Velasco defends against Joe Neal. Also, Cleber Luciano faces Danny Navarro and UFC veteran Cain Carrizosa will be stepping into the cage.

Main Event

TPF Bantamweight Title Fight

Rolando “The Machine” Velasco (12-3-1) (Champion) vs. Joe “Nine Lives” Neal (5-1-0)

Velasco will be making the first defense of his championship, which he won by defeating Josh San Diego at TPF 24. Neal will be making his Tachi Palace Fights debut in this bout and he is a two fight veteran of Bellator MMA. Velasco is a longtime veteran of the Tachi Palace Fights and he previously defeated UFC veteran Darren Uyenoyama. Neal will be looking to rebound from his first professional MMA defeat, which came to Gabriel Carrasco at Bellator 142. Neal will do his best to grind this out for five rounds, but Velasco will eventually submit him in the second round to keep the belt.

Co-Main Event

TPF Lightweight Division Fight

Cleber Luciano (12-5-0) vs. Danny “Ironman” Navarro (14-6-0)

Luciano will be making his TPF debut in this fight and he will be doing so on the strength of a four fight winning streak. Navarro is currently undefeated in TPF competition, having defeated Cain Carrizosa at TPF 24. Luciano did win three of four fights under the Bellator MMA banner, most notably defeating Joe Camacho at Bellator 106. Navarro had an astounding year in 2014, winning all seven of the fights that he had competed in that year. These are two fighters who will want to take the fight to the ground, but it will be Navarro out working Luciano on the ground to get the decision.

TPF Lightweight Division Fight

“The Insane” Cain Carrizosa (6-3-0) vs. Ray “Baby Ray” Cervera (9-4-0)

Carrizosa is a UFC veteran who will enter the fight on a three fight losing streak and he has not won a bout in just over two years. Cervera is currently winless in TPF competition, dropping bouts to both Jamall Emmers and John Reedy. Carrizosa is badly in need of a win, but he will not get it here as Cervera submits him in the second round.

TPF Flyweight Division Fight

Martin “Tarzan” Sandoval (9-5-0) vs. Hector “Kid Alex” Sandoval (10-2-0)

Martin is currently winless in TPF competition and he has only competed two times in the last three-plus years. Hector is a former TPF Flyweight Champion and he will be competing in the promotion for the first time since losing that belt to UFC veteran Willie Gates. Hector is the far better wrestler when compared to Martin, but Martin’s submission game is far better and he taps out Hector in the first round.

TPF Featherweight Division Fight

Isaac DeJesus (12-7-1-1NC) vs. Chris “The Urban Legend” Culley (19-13-0)

DeJesus will be returning to action after a year-plus absence and he does hold a victory over UFC veteran Nam Phan. Culley has won just one of his last three bouts, with that lone win coming over Kyle Reyes at TPF 25. These are two fighters known for going the distance in their fights, but DeJesus will walk out with the decision by out wrestling Culley.

TPF Lightweight Division Fight

Evan “Pitbull” Solorio (1-2-0) vs. Jeff Carson (2-9-0)

Solorio has spent his entire professional MMA career in the TPF promotion, with his last bout being a loss to Samuel Alvarez at TPF 25. Carson will enter the fight on a six fight losing streak and he has not earned a win in just under two years. Carson usually gets tapped out quickly in his fights and that will happen again as Solorio taps him in the first.

TPF Flyweight Division Fight

Abel “War” Garcia (1-0-0) vs. Casey Kenny (1-0-0)

Garcia made his professional MMA debut in May 2015 at TPF 23, where he defeated Anthony Torres by first round submission. Kenny will be making his TPF debut in this fight, he did defeat Paul Amaro in his professional MMA debut at Dragon House MMA 20. These are two fighters who are truly in the early stage of their careers, but it will be Gracia subbing Kenny to stay undefeated.

TPF Lightweight Division Fight

Drakkar Klose (5-0-0) vs. Joshua “El Rey” Aveles (22-11-1)

Klose will be making his TPF debut in this fight and only one of his five MMA bouts have gone to the judge’s scorecards. Aveles has won eight of his last nine fights and he is a former King Of The Cage Lightweight Champion. Klose has some good striking skills, but Aveles’s striking is on a different level and he finishes Klose with strikes in the first.

TPF Featherweight Division Fight

Christian Buron (4-0-0) vs. Sergio Cortez (10-11-0)

Buron will be making his TPF debut in this fight, but he is a veteran of the Global Knockout MMA promotion. Cortez has only won just one of his last four fights, with that lone win coming over Jeff Carson at TPF 25. Buron heads into this fight at a huge experience disadvantage, but he grinds out a decision to stay undefeated in the end.

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