Lashley, Baroni Face Pivotal Fights At “HDNet Fights: Titan Fighting Championship 17” Live on HDNet

Colette Carey
(303) 542-5576


Plus, Abe Wagner meets Aaron Rosa

DALLAS (March 24, 2011) At first glance, Bobby Lashley (5-1) and Phil Baroni (13-13) don’t have much in common. Lashley is a highly touted heavyweight prospect, fast tracked for stardom as a former WWE superstar and only 27 months into his MMA journey. Baroni is a flamboyant veteran who has enjoyed a ten-year run as one of the most entertaining fighters in the sport.

Despite their differences, the two men have at least one thing in common: they both find themselves in must win situations this Friday night at “HDNet Fights: Titan Fighting Championship 17” set to broadcast LIVE on HDNet at 10:00 p.m. ET.

Lashley is looking to rebound after suffering his first career loss, albeit in controversial fashion, at “Strikeforce™: Houston” last August. The former WWE champion’s career has advanced slower than some expected as promoters are having difficulty finding quality opponents for the imposing heavyweight. Case in point: Lashley was originally scheduled to face James Jack (6-2), but Jack went missing last week, forcing John Ott (9-7) to step in as a late replacement.

Lashley now needs an impressive victory over Ott to re-establish himself as top prospect in the heavyweight division.

Baroni finds himself in a similar situation following three consecutive losses in Strikeforce™ and the UFC. “The New York Bad Ass” needs a win over Nick Nolte (3-2) to revive his career. Another loss could spell the end of his run at MMA’s highest level.

“Bobby Lashley and Phil Baroni both have something to prove and I expect fireworks this Friday night,” said Andrew Simon, CEO of HDNet Fights. “Although the MMA landscape is changing, HDNet will feature more MMA superstars this year than ever before!”

In the co-main event of the evening, Heavyweight prospects collide as Ultimate Fighter alum Abe Wagner (8-3) squares off with Strikeforce™ veteran Aaron Rosa (15-3). Wagner is looking to follow up on his impressive knockout victory over former UFC Heavyweight Champion Tim Sylvia at Titan Fighting Championship 16.

Eric Marriott (19-5) vs. Willian De Souza (3-1), Alonzo Martinez (28-14-1) vs. Aaron Derrow (9-2), and James Krause (11-3) vs. Nathan Schut (13-4) rounds out the main card.

The event is part of an action packed night of MMA programming on HDNet including:

• “The Voice vs. Wanderlei Silva” at 8:00 p.m. ET
• “Inside MMA” at 9:00 p.m. ET Phil Davis, Mike Dolce & Joe Riggs
• “HDNet Fights: Titan Fighting Championship 17” at 10:00 p.m. ET

About HDNet
HDNet ( is the independent network with unique and thought-provoking content that appeals to men of all ages and is delivered in true high definition.

HDNet is the exclusive, high definition home for popular, original programming, including television’s only HD news feature programs “HDNet World Report,” and the Emmy Award winning “Dan Rather Reports,” featuring legendary journalist Dan Rather. Only HDNet goes beyond the headlines to deliver real news that is redefining the way we look at our world. HDNet News is provocative, sometimes controversial and always relevant – telling the important stories of our time in-depth, with attitude and with independence. HDNet is also the exclusive high definition home to critically acclaimed and award winning documentaries as part of the InFocus series. “NASA on HDNet” presents all live shuttle launches through 2011.

HDNet presents championship sports coverage featuring the best of Mixed Martial Arts with its Friday night series, “HDNet Fights” ( “HDNet Fights” works with leading MMA promoters including DREAM, Sengoku, King of the Cage, XFC, K-1, K-1 Max, MFC and more. HDNet produces more live Mixed Martial Arts events than any other network and HDNet’s “Inside MMA” is the hottest Mixed Martial Arts program on television, giving MMA fans their weekly fix for everything MMA, while “Fighting Words with Mike Straka,” goes one-on-one with some of the biggest names in the sport. HDNet also features live coverage of regular season games from the second season of the United Football League.

HDNet also delivers the world’s largest and most diverse concert line-up through the HDNet Concert Series. The HDNet Concert Series features leading artists and bands including Paul McCartney, Mariah Carey, John Mayer, Nickelback and more. HDNet also features revealing lifestyle programming featuring “Art Mann Presents,” “Girls Gone Wild,” “Deadline” and “Get Out!”

Only HDNet Movies ( delivers exclusive Sneak Previews of new movies before they hit theaters. The HDNet Movies Sneak Preview series features top Hollywood stars in critically acclaimed performances including Gwyneth Paltrow, Joaquin Phoenix, Demi Moore, Michael Caine, Tom Hanks, Vera Farmiga, Parker Posey, Brian Cox, Matthew Broderick, Brittany Snow, Eric Bana, John Malkovich, Emily Blunt, Robin Williams, Charlize Theron and Kim Basinger.

In addition to being the exclusive home of Sneak Previews, HDNet Movies viewers enjoy the best films from the classics of the 1950s-1970s, to favorite films from the 1980s and 1990s, to recently released theatrical films.

HDNet Movies offers subscribers a premium movie viewing experience in true HD, and more original movies shot entirely in HD than any other network.

Launched in 2001 by Mark Cuban and General Manager Philip Garvin, the HDNet networks are available in the U.S. via AT&T U-verse, Charter, Comcast, DIRECTV, DISH Network, Insight, Suddenlink, and Verizon FiOS, and in Canada via Access Communications and Cogeco.

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