JitzKing Promotions announced they are kicking off 2020 with a bang after locking in an explosive matchup between seasoned veteran Vagner Rocha and 18-year-old prospect William Tackett.
William Tackett might be the underdog, but he is quickly making a name for himself in the no-gi scene. During his last appearance at JitzKing, he won the 16-man tournament and submitted three-time ADCC Trials champ Enrico Cocco along the way.
Now Tackett is returning to face off against another elite member of the Fight Sports family. A win over Vagner Rocha would be a pivotal moment in his promising young career and would start putting him on cards across from more accomplished competitors. Here is William's reaction after hearing about the announcement:
"I absolutely can't wait. Pat messaged me asking for matchups at this event, and I asked for Vagner! He was shocked a bit I think, but I'm super thankful he was able to make it happen. I just want to make a really exciting match that's enjoyable for the crowd and hopefully, my training will get me the W. After the match, I'm hoping more opportunities will arise like this."
Although a win could propel William's career, it will not come easily.
Rocha is a highly-respected veteran of the game who will be Tackett's toughest challenge to date. Vagner is the 2019 ADCC silver medalist, a UFC veteran, and an EBI Combat Jiu-Jitsu champ. Rocha is well known for his gritty and punishing style, which will prove useful when battling Tackett's impressive cardio. I spoke to Vagner about his upcoming match with William and this is what he had to say:
"I love fighting anyone; it doesn't matter who or age or experience. When grappling was unprofessional I couldn't find an event to host me in a super fight for free. Now I get paid and get to do what I love. Ten years ago, Grapplers Quest, NAGA and Copa America in Florida was only absolutes for some small prize money, those were hard days. Fighting one guy with two months notice is easy work. Most important for me is to make my matches exciting and worth watching. I had a really great run at ADCC and I followed up with a horrible match. I hope I can make the fans excited and especially at home with some fireworks."
I believe William said it best in his recent post on social media: "Save the date, cause Vagner Rocha and I are going to put on the best match we can! NO STALLING. NO RUNNING. KILL MODE ONLY. DO NOT MISS IT!"
Although this match promises to get the crowd on their feet, the rest of the card is stacked as well. We have 10th Planet's Richie "Boogeyman" Martinez facing off against Fight Sports' Enrico Cocco and John Combs will be matched up against Tackett's training partner, Kody Steele.
Incredible action to start the year off right, be sure to tune in and watch January 24th, only on FloGrappling.com.