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Fight Hard - 2/22 Event Preview

By Matt Frazier | Knuckle Junkies

Fight Hard MMA returns to the Family Arena on Saturday with another well put together all-amateur card by matchmaker Kain Royer. There will be several familiar faces in the cage as most have competed recently for the organization.

Joaquin Buckley and Bradon Karcher are tapped for the main event.

The undefeated Buckley was featured in our recent article, "Young Guns: 2014 Prospect Preview." The explosive welterweight shows great poise despite only being 19 years of age.

Posting a 6-1 record, Kacher is no easy out. His only loss came to the hard-punching Anthony Livingston at Rumble Time in August, 2013. Training under the tutelage of ground wizard Heath Pedigo, Karcher should come armed with tricky submissions. If Karcher can get the fight to the ground and neutralize Buckley's athleticism, it will go a long way towards him winning this fight.

Ira Lukowsky returns after an almost eight-month layoff rehabbing a broken hand suffered in his memorable fight with Damian Newman July, 2013. Lukowsky will take on Fight Hard journeyman, Levi Rose who's last fight was also at the July 2013 Fight Hard.

Another one of the area's very best amateurs, Aaron Highfill returns to action. Highfill will face Southeast Missouri's Kyle Kurtz in a match-up of two young, athletic welterweights. Highfill has been making the rounds of late training with several of the area's top teams and will be well prepared for Kurtz who is not afraid of tough fights having shared the cage with Livingston and Heath Hildebrand among others.

Jesse Farmer hopes to rebound from a tough loss at the hands of now-pro Scott Futrell when he takes on Wes Powers, who dropped a decision loss to Chad Williams this past December.

One match that has a lot of potential for fireworks is between Matt "KO Kid" Murphy and Cristian Santana. Santana is another one of the young prospects to watch out for with an impressive 6-1 record that includes wins over quality opponents.

Murphy looks to rebound after a tough decision loss to his arch rival Sheldon Smith in December. This will be Murphy's last fight before turning pro in March.

Another intriguing match-up is between Erik Newman, a fighter who looks to have a very bright future against a very good, and seasoned Kendrick Latchman. These two will compete at 115 pounds, and will be an exciting contest to watch.

It was announced a few weeks ago that Fight Hard had extended it's stay with the Family Arena for a minimum of three more years. It has hinted at the possibility of hosting a night of professional fights later in the year.

Here is the full fight card:

Joaquin Buckley vs. Brandon Karcher
Ira Lukowski vs. Levi Rose
Aaron Highfill vs. Kyle Kurtz
Jesse Farmer vs. Wes Powers
Derek Clardy vs. Montuelle Prater
Matt Murphy vs. Cristian Santana
Kendrick Latchman vs. Erik Newman
Fred Freeman vs. Dan Busch
Michelle Pearce vs. Ronni Lawrence
Dustin Snow vs. Josh Boyer
Jeremy Daniels vs. Korey Smith

Fight Hard MMA
Saturday, February 22nd
Family Arena, St. Charles, MO

Photo courtesy of Jimmy Range Photography

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