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  • Writer's pictureJeff Whitworth

559 Fights is Back

VISALIA – Live mixed martial arts action is back this Saturday at Valley Strong Ballpark home of the Visalia Rawhide.

559 Fights is the first amateur MMA promotion in the State to do a live event with a crowd since the pandemic started.

Doors open for the 17-bout event at 6pm and fights start at 7. In the main event, Oceano strawweight Gabby Lopez (5-0) fights Rocklin’s Valerie Thurs (3-4) for the 559 Fights title.

In the co-main event, Visalia 145-pounder Mark Hernandez (2-2-1) battles Bakersfield’s Sal Bruno (2-2-2) for the interim Featherweight crown.

“We are definitely glad to be back. And back with such an amazing fight card,” 559 Fights President Jeremy Luchau said. “It’s been a long time and we are excited to see some of the veterans back and a great mix of new local talent.”

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The fight card also features a grappling tournament featuring many of the Valley’s top talent, both on the mat and in the cage, including Bellator veteran Nick Bustamante, Tachi Palace Fights vet Christian Avalos, and Visalia black belt Marc De La Cruz.

“Really excited to see some pretty good grappling,” Luchau said. “There are a ton of great grappling events in the state and beyond and the Valley always has some great athletes. We are blessed to be able to put some great matches together.”

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