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Donahue steps in, steps up

By Debo | Knuckle Junkies

It is hard to imagine someone would sucker punch Jimmy Donahue at any point in time. That is exactly what happened to Donahue as a 17 year old junior at Seckman High School.

Donahue was involved in football and wrestling in high school. Shortly after the incident at school he became interested in boxing and kick boxing.

"I was not really interested in getting revenge. I was interested in self-defense skills and protecting myself," Donahue said.

The Barnhart native will headline the MMA Sport Federation Journey to the Top 3 card Friday at the Heart of St Charles. Donahue (6-3) takes on Brady Hovermale (8-3) from Fort Wayne, Indiana. Donahue is replacing teammate Zach Freeman who was received a severe abdominal injury and forced onto the shelf for the rest of 2013.

Donahue was limited during his high school wrestling career at Seckman due to injury. He spent both his junior and senior year rehabbing from a broken leg essentially ending his high school wrestling career early. Focused on getting healthy he was ready to start training again. In 2007 Donahue took his first kick boxing classes and he was instantly hooked.

"I immediately fell in love with combat sports. I started out boxing and kickboxing and blended those aspects with my high school wrestling experience," said Donahue.

He started boxing and kickboxing competition at the age of 17 since he needed to be 18 to compete in MMA. He stayed busy once he got in shape taking boxing and kickboxing fights as often as possible. He compiled an amateur boxing record of (2-5) and a stellar kickboxing record of (10-3) in a very short period of time. In 2007 Donahue found himself concentrating mainly on mixed martial arts.

He was able to gain some much needed direction when he spent some time in 2007 training with Adam Cella. Although it has been eight years in time it is ironic Donahue recalled this as a key point in his young mma career. Cella would go on to be a veteran of The Ultimate Fighter show.

After a semester at Jefferson Community College Donahue left campus and began full time MMA training. His first stop was the former World Combat League as an alternate in 2008. At the age of 19 he finished with a record of (0-1) dropping a close decision in his only WCL action.

"It was pretty nerve racking. You never knew weather you were fighting or not although you prepared right up until the walk out," said Donahue.

The WCL which aired on Versus was owned and directed by legendary kick boxer Chuck Norris. While the WCL was on unstable ground Donahue developed good training habits and more importantly he spent time training with quality mixed martial artist during the fall and winter of 2008.

Donahue currently trains and teaches at St Charles MMA with Coach Mike Rogers. Matt Ricehouse and Lance Benoist have been important components of the Donahue camp in his last few fights which included impressive first round stoppages over Jimmy Kim in August and Sal Woods in June. Entering his third year as a professional and having great training partners, getting proper rest and maintaining conditioning in between fights are all signs of a maturing professional.

"I love being a professional, growing as a fighter and staying in shape always ready to fight," Donahue said.

It is a great help that Donahue is fully connect to the sport through his training and teaching. Both aspects combined have been very helpful in his maturation as an up and coming professional.

MMA Sport Federation promoter Jim Jenkins knows Donahue is a hot fighter. "He has won both his fights in 2013 and he disposed those fighters quickly. He comes in winning five of his last six," said Jenkins. Hovermale comes into Friday night with and (8-3) record. He has fought exclusively in the state of Indiana. "Brady is a solid fighter who in my opinion has exhausted fighting in his area at this point. Jimmy Donahue is a good regional fighter who has all the tools and he is in a perfect position to make a run," stated Jenkins.

Make sure you check out the MMA Sport Federation Journey to the Top 3 at the Heart of St Charles Friday. The undercard features two St Louis guys dropping down to 115 when Dan O'Connor and Ken Porter tangle. The main event features Jimmy Donahue squaring off against Brady Hovermale on the MMA Sport Federation card Saturday at the Heart of St Charles.

MMASF Presents: Journey to the Top 3
Friday, November 1st
Heart of St. Charles - St. Charles, MO

Brady Hovermale vs Jimmy Donahue -- Main Event
Will Shutt vs Alex White -- Co-Main
Ken Porter vs Dan O'Connor
Corey Barreiro vs Hugh Pulley
Malshon Ball vs Wil Alfaro

Brian Klenc vs Nick Sanders
Anthony Boyd vs Micha Sensel
Tre Crawford vs Dillan Schreiter
Irfan Mulabitinovic vs D J Jones
Matt Murphy vs Cody Winistoefer

Photo courtesy of MMA Sports Federation and Jan Speelman-Jenkins