Doug Marshall. Photo property of World Extreme Cagefighting.
LEMOORE, CA - Not very many fighters are willing to throw away a title shot. But then again, not many people are thinking the way Merced’s Phil Collins is.
Palace Fighting Championship President Christian Printup announced Monday, June 7 that Collins will fight Visalia’s Doug Marshall at PFC 9 at the Tachi Palace Hotel and Casino on July 18. Marshall (7-3) is the former World Extreme Cagefighting Light Heavyweight champion and will return to the Palace where he started his mixed martial arts career with a submission victory over Tulare’s Anthony Fuller (1-2) at WEC 8 in 2003.
“I absolutely love this fight. Doug is the former WEC Light Heavyweight champion. He’s been in there with some of the best in the game. He’s an intimidating guy,” Printup said. “But in Phil Collins, here is a guy who has also fought tough competition, makes exciting fights and is not intimidated by anyone. He has nothing to lose.”
With the exception of a shot at the PFC World Middleweight crown, which is currently held by Santa Rosa’s Nate Loughran (8-0).
“Taking this fight, Phil has relinquished his No. 1 contender status,” said Printup, who had previously announced that Collins (6-3) and Loughran would fight in September. “This is a much bigger opportunity for me,” said Collins, who defeated Lemoore’s Mike Martinez (2-2) at PFC 7 in March to earn the No. 1 contender spot.
“No disrespect to Nate, as he’s a great fighter. Nate’s already beat me, but if he’s walking around the Palace nobody knows who he is. If you see the ‘Rhino’, you know it’s the ‘Rhino’. Doug has been at the higher level and that’s what I want to get to. If I can beat him, then I think I can get there, too.”
It’s also an opportunity for Marshall to make his return to the Palace and to his loyalist of fans.
“I wanted to fight back at the Palace because of the Central Valley fans,” said Marshall, who lost his WEC title to Brian Stann (6-0) WEC 33 in March. “I love watching the PFC. There’s a lot of young hungry fighters and I love the blackjack table. The fans can expect the same thing they can always expect from me and that’s to serve up a Central Valley ass whopping.”
Marshall was last in action in the Palace when he captured the WEC title in August of 2006 when he knocked out Lodune Sincaid (13-6). Ironically that was one of the last times an MMA event was held outside at the Palace, but Printup announced that PFC 9 in order to accommodate the fans would hold the event outdoors.
Also as part of the 1-fight deal with Marshall, the PFC can’t air the fight on Comcast SportsNet. If fans want to catch Marshall in action, they’ll have to see it live.