By: Angela Chustz

New Orleans, LA: Joe Ancona, along with good friend and fellow promoter, Justin Verdin, will be making a big mark on New Orleans MMA presenting, “Battle of New Orleans 24: The Comeback”, a LIVE Mixed Martial Arts outdoor event, on Friday, April 21st.

MMA fans, get ready for a night filled with cage shattering action, along with some blood, sweat, and tears. This stacked fight card lineup includes four championship fights that are guaranteed to leave fight fans on the edge of their seats. Ancona is bringing out the big boys to test out the rust on his cage. New Orleans fighters, Bayardo Garcia and Jeffrey Ronquille will battle it out for the Amateur Heavyweight Championship, going in at 265lbs each. That is over 500 pounds in the cage ladies and gentlemen. You will want to keep your eyes on this one, because if one of these big boys hits that chin just right, someone is going night-night.

The Main Event of the evening will be pro Championship fight. Lanny Dardar, former boxer turn MMA, of Point Aux Chenes and Josh Davila, kickboxing and Jiu Jitsu pro, out of Baton Rouge are schedule for a five round Lightweight title fight. This is a rematch for these two MMA fighters. Back in May of 2015, these guys went to war in a three round battle, with Dardar walking away with victory by unanimous decision. Both of these fighters are seasoned and are craving this shiny hardware, so don’t expect anything less than some stand up crunk toe-to-toe fist punching eye candy.

Since the announcement of Ancona’s return to the MMA world, there has been a huge reaction from his fight fans, family, and friends, in response to his big “comeback” to the sport. With Ancona promoting his last MMA event over five years ago, he was hesitant in reserving a large venue for the debut of his return, but is graciously thrilled with the outcome so far.

“Over half of the tables have been sold, as well as, over half of the advanced tickets”, Ancona said. “This is by far the best Battle of New Orleans has ever done this far in advance for ticket sales. We will most definitely be looking into larger indoor venues for future events.”

Ancona is committed in recreating his mark on MMA in New Orleans. He wants to ensure that the fight fans are entertained throughout the night, leaving no little detail out, but there is one particular part of the evening that he holds close to his heart. In addition to the fights, he has added a Benefit for the Family of the Fallen Officer, Michael Louivere:

The New Orleans Advocate: Westwego Police Officer Michael Louviere, who was shot and killed while responding to an incident in Marrero on Friday morning, January 20, 2017, was a U.S. Marine Sergeant who served in Afghanistan before joining the police force in July 2015. He celebrated his 26th birthday just days before the incident. Born and raised in Marrero, LA, Officer Louviere was a loving, devoted husband and father of two young children. He attended Archbishop Shaw High School and graduated first in his class from the Kenner Police Academy, where he won multiple awards, and continued to strive for outstanding performance while serving the community he loved. Officer Louviere was friendly, kind, and helpful to all. Michael was a true man of God and a devoted member of Westpoint Church in Terrytown. He enjoyed golfing, dancing, gardening with his children, and spending time with his family. He is survived by his wife, Ashley Hunter; Daughter, Kinley; Son, Elijah.

“We will have a donation ceremony for the family of fallen officer, Michael Louviere,” Ancona said. “I will kick off the ceremony in behalf of Fight Sports Entertainment. The remainder of the ceremony will be presented by local supporters: The Banded Brothers, a First Responder Motorcycle Club, Justin Verdin of Xtreme Fitness, Myron Gaudet, Collin Murray and Al Courcelle of Mushin Training Center, and all sponsors for BNO24: Harley Davidson, Jimmy Gros Improvements, Friendly Powersports, The King Firm, Russo Chiropractic, Diamond C Offroad & Accessories. Med Rehab, Nicoll's Limousine, Tiger Event Rentals, Pelican Events, Budweiser Distributor Southern Eagle, R&O's Seafood Restaurant, Southern Insurance Agency, Gulf Coast Salvage, and NOLA Living Real Estate.”

“We will have open collections for donations on fight night. This will be an extraordinary event and we are expecting a sold out venue as fast as tickets are selling now. We are thankful to everyone in advance for their generosity in helping the Louviere family and making Battle of New Orleans a successful “COMEBACK!”

For tickets to Battle of New Orleans 24, call Fight Sports Entertainment at 504-810-2101. General Admission $20 in advance/ $25 at the door, $40 reserved, $50 table seating 2nd row, $80 1st row table, $100 VIP Cageside. Doors open at 7pm, fights start at 8pm in an Outdoor Fight Arena located at 3978 Downman Road, New Orleans. All ages welcome. Stay tuned at www.facebook.com/BattleofNewOrleansMMA for updated event information.