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Fight Hard - 12/28 Event Preview

By Matt Frazier | Knuckle Junkies

The team from Fight Hard are bringing forth one of the strongest amateur cards we've seen in quite some time. Fight Hard Preisdent Kenny Nowling promised big things at the end of the October event, and it looks like he's prepared to deliver.

Fans will remember another December fight card almost two years ago to the day in Desoto that has a similar grouping of talent. Gateway Fight League 7 included names like Alex White, Adam Meredith, Jake Buehler, Malcolm Smith and the memorable clash of Tom Baker and Tony Souders. Only time will tell if this show will stand up to his predecessors. Ironically, CJ Hunter will have competed in the main event of both fight cards.

When Hunter and Bernard Thomas step into the cage on Saturday, it will be for all the marbles. Both fighters have bragging rights with a win over the other. Thomas won a decision back in August of 2012. The two would rematch a month later with Hunter not wasting any time and getting a first round submission.

It's obvious that Thomas is a sore subject. Hunter touches on the topic in our pre-fight interview:

Thomas (15-3) is a relative unknown to many of the local fans having fought mostly in Columbia and KC. His grinding style is evident by the fact half of his victories have come by way of decision. If the fight goes to the ground, you have to give the edge to Hunter.

One of the area's best amateurs will have a stern test. Jake Roberts from St. Charles MMA will put his undefeated 7-0 record on the line vs Curtis Eller in the co-main event. Roberts has looked unstoppable mixing aggressive stand-up with an exceptional ground game. Roberts' submission skills will be tested by Eller who's submitted almost every opponent he's faced including a one minute dismantling of KJ Jones at the October Fight Hard event. Robert's reputation won't phase Eller who has traded punches with some of the area's top talent including Aaron Highfill and Anthony Livingston.

In the night's other grudge match, Sheldon Smith and Matt Murphy will face off. The two have exchanged barbs on Facebook and genuinely don't like each other. Both fighters have a similar athletic style, and both have competed in the bright lights of the Family Arena.

Another fight to watch for is Joe Roye and Christian Santana. Santana has looked very good, and will need to be on his a-game to win over the always dangerous Joe Roye.

We would be remiss to not mention Chad Williams. He's somewhat of an enigma to fight fans. The tall welterweight from Kansas City came out of nowhere to become the area's best amateur, having gone 15-0 before losing three straight and looking almost human. He'll look to return to his winning ways when he returns to the city of his birth and takes on West Powers. It won't be an easy night for Williams as the very dangerous Powers has won all five of his fights in the first round, and looked scary in doing so.

Here is the rest of the card:

CJ Hunter vs Bernard Thomas - Main
Jake Roberts vs Curtis Eller - Co-Main
Matt Murphy vs Sheldon Smith
Wes Powers vs Chad Williams
Brandon Karcher vs Zach Fears
Wayne Collier vs Joaquin buckley
Montuelle Prater vs Mark Chappell
Erik Newman vs Dustin Snow
Joe Roye vs Christian Santana
Tyler Hubbs vs Aushton Dickerson
Jamese Taylor vs Sammie Willborn
Jonathan Heatherly vs Fred Freeman
Mark Kirkland vs Mike Offer
Da'Rell Fulgham vs Aaron Harvey
Anthony Ford vs Edrick Dillard

Fight Hard
Saturday, December 28th
St. Charles Family Arena, St. Charles, MO

Photo provided courtesy of Jimmy Range