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WSOF 19: Gaethje vs. Palomino slated for Phoenix on March 28


Justin Gaethje's next fight will be a home game. Headlined by a lightweight title bout between desert native Gaethje and hard-charging Luis Palomino, WSOF 19 is slated to take place March 28 at the Comerica Theatre in Phoenix, Ariz., promotion officials announced Friday.

Born and raised in Safford, Ariz., Gaethje (13-0) has quickly proven himself to be one of WSOF's most promising draws, amassing a flawless 6-0 record with five KO/TKO stoppages inside the promotion. Of late, Gaethje brutally finished Nick Newell to defend his 155-pound belt at WSOF's NBC debut, then edged out a split decision over UFC veteran Melvin Guillard in November's non-title affair.

He'll now face Palomino (23-9), a 34-year-old who's undergone somewhat of a career resurgence since inking a deal with WSOF in early 2014. Palomino is 2-0 in two WSOF appearances, boasting back-to-back KO stoppages over Jorge Patino and Lewis Gonzalez.

WSOF 19 also features the opening leg a four-man light heavyweight tournament that will ultimately decide WSOF's inaugural 205-pound champion.

UFC veterans Ronny Markes (15-3) and Thiago Silva (16-3) collide on one side of the bracket, while Matt Hamill (11-5) is expected to meet an opponent to be named on-air during WSOF 18's Feb. 12 broadcast.

WSOF 19 airs live on NBC Sports Network. Tickets for the event go on sale Tuesday, Feb. 10.

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