NCAA wrestling champ Bubba Jenkins and heavyweight “Bad Man” Dave Huckaba will make their second appearances at the Tachi Palace Hotel and Casino come March.
Event sources Monday informed Sherdog.com that Jenkins (Pictured) will take on Millennia MMA lightweight Chris Gomez at Tachi Palace Fights 12 “Second Coming.” Huckaba will square off against onetime Bellator veteran Liron Wilson.
Headlined by featherweight champion Georgi Karakhanyan’s first title defense against Micah Miller, TPF 12 takes place March 9 at the promotion’s home base in Lemoore, Calif. Broadcast plans have yet to be announced, but the event is expected to stream online.
An NCAA Division I champion at 157 pounds, Jenkins had a successful MMA debut at TPF 11 in December, when he forced fellow neophyte Josh Williams to submit to first-round ground-and-pound. Jenkins, 23, spent three years wrestling at Penn State before moving to Arizona State for his 2011 title run. After finishing his collegiate career, the Virginia native took up training at American Top Team in Coconut Creek, Fla.
Gomez holds a professional record of 2-3 and has not competed since October 2009. The 24-year-old Southern Californian was slated to face Russian fighter Max Martyniouk at M-1 Challenge 30 in December, but that bout was scrapped at the last minute for reasons unknown.
Huckaba, 37, hasn’t fought at the Tachi Palace since January 2009, when he fell by TKO to Lavar Johnson at a Palace Fighting Championship event. The former Gladiator Challenge champion has gone 6-1 since then, and enters the bout on a five-fight winning streak.
Wilson went 3-1 in 2011, the lone loss coming via first-round TKO in his most recent outing against Justin Frazier at Bellator 52. The 39-year-old, who also fights out of Millennia MMA, has recorded all nine of his career wins via submission.