World Fighting Championships 78

MMA is all about heated one-on-one combat, no-holds-barred fighting skills and earning the right to wear a title strap. Once a fighter has earned that strap, it doesn’t mean his story ends there. More often than not, it’s just the beginning. Now he has to defend his right to claim it over and over again, because of all those hungry guys out there who want nothing more than to take it away and make it their own.
So this time stepping into the World Fighting Championships 78 octagon is about rematches and second chances when Shane Mapatis takes on Eric John Diaz in the amateur heavyweight title match at the Avi Resort & Casino’s Grand Ballroom on Saturday, September 9 (doors open 7 p.m., fights start 8 p.m.).
Tickets are $75 cage side; $50 reserved; $30 general admission and they can be purchased at www.WFCFights.com or ticketfly.com. All ages are welcome to attend.
The card features 11 scheduled bouts at this time, however, it is always subject to last minute changes and bout cancellations without notice.
Pros and amateurs alike get their chances to test themselves on the same action-packed fight card and many of those in the World Fighting Championships 78 octagon are from the local area.
This won’t be the first time the undefeated Mapatis (6-0-0) and Diaz (6-0-0) have met in battle. They both know this time they’re going to have to ante up their game plan, because one of them will go home in defeat, even if Mapatis has the home-court advantage, hailing from Needles, California. Last time, Mapatis won the decision, but the fight could have gone either way
“It’s a Shane vs. EJ rematch for the title they fought for in a five-round decision bout September 10 of last year, almost a year exactly,” said Matt McGovern, president of World Fighting Championships. “It was a really good fight and it was a tough fight, so we’re remaking the fight.
“Shane is a Fort Mojave Tribal member and people get pumped up because he’s really popular in that area. The cool thing about his opponent, is he wears a mask, so they are really fighting for the fans.
“They stood and bang-punched each other in the first fight. Shane is usually a really good grappler, which is a ground fighter and then his boxing style is his standup style,” McGovern said. “EJ’s a boxer and he has a limited ground game, but Shane couldn’t take him down last time. He never took EJ down, so they had to box each other. They just stood up, trading punches and they had a very exciting style of fight for the fans when he couldn’t take him down.
“If Shane is able to take him to the ground this time, he’ll be able to submit EJ,” he said. “By the third, fourth and fifth round, they were real sweaty and he was real slippery so Shane couldn’t get a grip to get him down.
“When he and Chris Thompson were fighting at the Avi last time in WFC 67, Shane got a hold of him early and threw him to the ground and submitted him. So that’s why we’re bringing back the fight with EJ.
“It was a really close controversial decision, so it could have gone either way, so the fans were asking for that fight,” he added. “It will be a fun fight to watch.”
The Mapatis-Diaz fight isn’t the only title fight on the card.
Cristian Molina (3-1) who trains out of the Rick Lucero gym in Lake Havasu City takes on Elliot Moore, from the Team Alpha Male gym out of Sacramento.
“Cristian is a really popular local fighter, too. He’s in the 115 lb. division defending his title,” McGovern said. “He first fought for it on the last card and knocked his opponent out in like 15 seconds. He’s coming back to defend his title against a guy from a really big gym in California.”


WFC 78
The Avi Grand Ballroom
Saturday, September 9. 8 p.m.; doors open 7 p.m. (See Showtimes for tickets)