Sports

Atlas Fights produces first fight of '16

JAMES JONES/THE SUN HERALD 
 Aaron Williams.
JAMES JONES/THE SUN HERALD Aaron Williams.

BILOXI-- Atlas Fights will hold its first Mixed Martial Arts card of the year on Saturday at the IP.

Atlas Fights 27 will start at 8 p.m. Saturday night, featuring two high-profile bouts on a 13-fight card.

The main event has Ocean Springs' Aaron Williams facing Chris Pham in a bantamweight contest. Each fighter has knocked out the other in their two previous bouts. Pham knocked out Williams 28 seconds into their first meeting two years ago. Williams won the Atlas Fights title in a five-round decision last year at the Golden Nugget.

"Hopefully we can settle it this time," Pham said. "He wasn't at his best when we first fought. I wasn't at my best when we fought last year. We know each other very well, but I'm sure he'll change some things like I've changed some things."

Williams doesn't mind facing Pham a third time.

"We're having a rematch because he deserves it," Williams said. "I've never backed out of a fight. I started in MMA 16 years ago and I've always been real competitive."

Unbeaten Omar Johnson faces Josh Davila in the co-main event with something to prove.

"I may be undefeated, but I feel my record isn't being recognized by a lot of people," Johnson said.

Atlas Fights President/CEO Glenn Mattina expects a strong crowd for Saturday's card.

"We have such a dedicated fan following to our promotions," Mattina said. "We're very excited to be back at the IP where it all started for Atlas Fights."

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