The former UFC women’s bantamweight makes her muay Thai debut at Lion Fights 75, as she takes on Mexico’s Karen Cedillo in a 135-pound matchup. The event goes down at The Theater at Virgin Hotels in Las Vegas.
Clark is a recognized name in MMA, given her long tenure in the sport. She’s fought for Invicta FC and most notably the UFC, where she competed nine times over the span of six years. For Kent, it was a no-brainer to bring her on Lion Fights 75.
“It’s one of the things that’s great about this job, you get to meet so many nice folks,” Kent told MMA Junkie Radio. “Kirian Fitzgibbons, who is training her now, we’ve worked with a lot of his fighters over the years: Kevin Ross, Gaston Bolanos, all those guys. He called me, and he said, ‘Well, would you be interested? We got a star here who was with the UFC for years, and she really wants to try some muay Thai.’ We did that with Chip Pollard, he was an MMA guy, so when he threw out her name, I was like, ‘Absolutely, let’s put it together.’ As you guys know, when we had Cris Cyborg, it was probably the highest-rated show we ever had, so it’s exciting for our sport. It’s exciting for a lot of the MMA folks, they get to see a different side from Jessy-Jess.”
Kent hopes more MMA names follow and wants to have an open door policy for any big names looking to fight in muay Thai. Given the numerous switches of MMA fighters to boxing, Kent believes Lion Fights can be a landing spot, too.
“I think it’s the business itself that’s evolving,” Kent explained. “You look at what’s happening with boxing and MMA. People may have a particular skill set that they may want to try, and they’ll go to Thailand and train at a gym in muay Thai.
“I know Valentina was there for the last month, and you know, it’s a great opportunity if you’re a striker to test yourself in traditional muay Thai. It’s a big part of all the MMA fighter’s arsenal, and we got the biggest brand out there as far as just promoting muay Thai. We’ll be here in Vegas, and it just makes sense. We’re open for a lot of folks who want to come in here and give this a try. We’d love to showcase muay Thai like we did Jorina Baars vs. Cris Cyborg. It’s great for the sport.”