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Fight Hard: Roper vs Powers - Event Preview

By Matt Frazier | Knuckle Junkies

The show that draws the largest crowds in the area returns on Labor Day weekend for an all-amateur card.

Matchmaker Kain Royer has continued to raise the Fight Hard bar with competitive fights, drawing talent from around the region. The August 30th card will feature talent from Modern Combat Systems, St. Charles MMA, the Academy of Courage, Finney's Hit Squad, and Fit or Fight MMA among many others.

Headlining the card will be a middleweight title match between Wes Powers and Generation Studios rising prospect Kevin Roper. Roper has came out of nowhere to go 4-0, earning a shot at the Unified Midwest Middleweight Title. Fight Hard and MMA Sport Federation have partnered up to recognize a unified cross-promotional champion already awarding titles to Erion Zekthi at bantamweight and Brandon Lowe at featherweight.

Roper will look to stay unbeaten against a tough Wes Powers (5-1) who's only loss has come at the hands of Chad Williams, the perennial Spire No. 1 middleweight. Roper, who wrestles at Lincoln College, will want to take the fight to the ground and grind out a victory. Powers likes to trade leather, and should have an advantage in the stand-up.

An intriguing bantamweight match-up is scheduled between the hard-punching Levi Rose and the versatile and always tough Cristian Santana. Santana is looking to return to the win column after dropping a surprising loss to Matthew Nall, who is also on the card. This will be the fourth time Santana has competed for Fight Hard and he's easily one of the fan's favorites.

Rose is also a familiar face at the Family Arena having memorable clashes against Damian Newman and Erion Zekthi. Rose brings a ton of power to the cage but has had trouble with his opponent's ground games. Sanatna has four submissions in nine fights, and could give Rose fits if the fight goes to the ground.

Travis Draper and Montuelle Prater will honor announcer Dave Davis' request and let the leather fly. Both fighters throw with evil intent with the hard hitting Prater riding a 3-fight winning streak eager to welcome Draper to the Fight Hard promotion. Prater is easily the most recognizable face for Fight Hard fans having competed six times previously for the promotion. Draper looked incredible in his last outing against Indiana's Patrick Kassing, making short work of the visiting fighter with a early first round TKO. Prater is a tough out, and has shared the cage with the area's very best.

Roni Lawrence will take on Brittany Young in one of two women's flyweight title prelims. Michelle Pearce and Shawna Tyler will be the other half of the prelims. The winners of each match-up will square off at the October Fight Hard to crown the first ever Unified Midwest Women's Champion.

Two exceptional bantamweights will battle when Charles Johnson takes on Matthew Nall. Nall is riding a five-fight win streak having victories over Santana and Cody Winisterfer. This will be Nall's toughest test to date with Johnson, considered one of the area's very best. Johnson returned to action at the last fight defeating Dante Butler in the first round via submission.

Full card:
Kevin Roper vs Wes Powers - Middleweight Title
Cristian Santana vs Levi Rose
Montuelle Prater vs Travis Draper
Roni Lawrence vs Brittany Young
Matthew Nall vs Charles Johnson
Brandon Karcher vs Andrew Decker
Shawna Tyler vs Michelle Pearce
Aushton Dickerson vs Fred Freeman
Ben Huskic vs Astin Broom
Mario Hudgins vs Jason Huncovsky
Demetrius Cannon vs Brandon Pearson
David Tejeda vs Montrel James

(Please note card is subject to change)

Fight Hard: Roper vs Powers
St. Charles Family Arena, St. Charles, MO
Saturday, August 30th

Photo courtesy of Sara Levin Photography