After 11 years of promoting mixed martial arts, the Tachi Palace Hotel and Casino is likely out of the fight business.
Sherdog.com confirmed the information with a source close to the situation, who verified that tribal council members have voted to discontinue Tachi Palace Fights during the council’s annual meeting to discuss the casino’s entertainment options in the coming year. As a result, TPF 16, which was scheduled to go down Feb. 21, will not take place. However, Sherdog’s source also stated that if the decision is disputed by the people of the tribe, the population’s opinion could sway the council to change its decision. Nevertheless, even if the tribe votes to challenge the council’s ruling, is unlikely the development would affect the cancellation of TPF 16, as the aforementioned process is not expected to come to a head until February or March, according to Sherdog’s source.
On Friday, Sherdog.com was able to reach TPF matchmaker Richard Goodman for comment. Goodman, who assumed fight-booking duties several months ago following the departure of Tachi Palace Entertainment Director Jeremy Luchau, verified that the council has voted to discontinue events for the coming year but could not confirm any further details surrounding the development.
“Yes, unfortunately as of right now, the rumors are true,” Goodman told Sherdog. “ I do not exactly know what the process is, so I am not sure about the whole process with the tribe and its people. I would like to say that it has been an honor to work for the Tachi Palace for the past six years, and hopefully they will reconsider the decision that was made.
“This decision has not only affected the MMA world, but it has also affected the community and the local fighters. I would also like to thank West Coast Fighting Championships, Cage Combat, and Impact Fight management for reaching out to me and giving me an opportunity to work within their companies and organizations. Last but not least, I would like to thank Tedd Williams and Gladiator Challenge for their contributions to the growth of Tachi Palace Fights.”
Tachi Palace, which is owned and operated by the Tachi Yokut tribe on the Santa Rosa Rancheria reservation near Lemoore, Calif., began promoting mixed martial arts events in 2001 under the World Extreme Cagefighting banner, hosting 22 of the organization’s first 24 events before the WEC was bought out by Ultimate Fighting Championship parent company Zuffa at the end of 2006.
The Palace Fighting Championship was then formed and held its inaugural event at Tachi Palace in January 2007. The PFC would go on to host 17 of its 19 shows at the venue before it ceased operations in May 2009, prompting the creation of Tachi Palace Fights just two months later.
Since its inception, TPF has held over a dozen events, most recently promoting TPF 15 “Collision Course” on Nov. 15. That show was streamed live on Sherdog.com and was headlined by a light heavyweight title tilt between Angel DeAnda and Anthony Ruiz, with DeAnda capturing the vacant belt via third-round technical knockout.
This story was updated on Dec. 8 to reflect the comments of Tachi Palace Fights matchmaker Richard Goodman.