Fight Hard: Zekthi vs Lanzone - Preview
Next Saturday Fight Hard MMA Champ Erion Zekthi will return 14 months after capturing the Unified Midwest Bantamweight belt.
Zekthi defeated the much beloved, and recently departed Levi Rose in a gritty three-round battle that saw Zekthi control the fight and cruise to victory.
With a few boxing matches to warm-up, the scrappy and athletic Zekthi out of St. Charles MMA has taken an extended breather and returned focused on MMA with a fire in his belly.
"As an individual i'm just naturally competitive.." Zekthi said. "To see all these guys fighting, and to say the bantamweight division is theirs when it rightfully belongs to me it drives me crazy. I'll dominate anybody."
Facing Zekthi will be Trevor Lanzone, a familiar name to many local fight fans. Lanzone trained at several of the local gyms like MCS and Destruction MMA before moving to Kansas City and his new home Glory MMA and Fitness formerly KCL Grindhouse, the home of UFC vets James Krause, Tim Elliot, and Zach Cummins.
"I think I'm going to knock him out in the first round," Zekthi said. "I've seen his fights and I know what he is. I don't think he can handle my pressure, my intensity. I think if the fight stays where he wants it to it could be a bad night for me. If I come in and give him a high pressure, high intensity fight, he'll break."
Lanzone has turned it around winning his last three after losing his first few fights. He looked to be much improved the last time we saw him in July with a second round TKO over Rodney Cotton.
This bout will come down to who can control the action. Zekthi's wrestling is the x-factor in this and he should be able to take the fight to the ground should he decide to, but has made it clear he wants to show off his striking. Lanzone is tough and has a lot of heart. This should be a great fight.
One of the featured co-main events features the big boys, a light heavyweight bout between recently crowned Fight Hard champ Julius Anglickas and Seth Golay.
Golay has been a force to be reckon winning his first 6 MMA bout with four 1st round stoppages. Anglickas recently won the St. Louis Golden Gloves, and a three night MMA tournament defeating the very experienced Daniel "Red" Mclendon in the finals to improve to 4-0.
Golay will plays the part of the immovable object to Anglickas' irresistible force. It's going to be fun to see these two titans clash. Whoever wins this match could make a strong case for being the best light heavyweight ammy in the Midwest.
One bout that could definitely steal the show is between flyweights Erik Newman and LC Hamid. Newman and Hamid faced off in a controversial K1 bout last December. There was some dispute regarding the competition gear and words were said all over social media. These two will be hungry to get at each other once again. Hamid has a mean streak and has been polishing his skills at St. Charles MMA alongside Zekthi. Newman is a part of what promoter Kenny Nowling has labeled "The Newman Dynasty," a nod to his older brother Damian who earned thousands of fans in memorable matches at Fight Hard. The younger Erik has been getting mat time at Berger's MMA alongside his brother Jason.
Fresh from a scrapbook worthy headkick KO in a K1 match, Dusty Chandler will return to take on Joe Norris. The 24-year old Chandler needs to right the ship to snap the current losing streak, and Norris is the perfect opponent for that. Chandler is athletic and moves very well for his size, and is a fun fighter to watch.
Carl "The President" Jefferson will face recently awarded IBJJF World Silver medalist Brandon Karcher out of the Pedigo Submission camp. Karcher last saw action a year ago at Fight Hard and scored a victory over now pro Kyle Kurtz. Karcher, a new dad, has had a busy couple of months, and was scheduled to face Jordan Dowdy late last year, but a severe stomach flu caused an 11th hour cancellation.
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Photo courtesy of Sara Levin Photography
Full fight card: (Subject to change)
Erion Zekthi vs Trevor Lanzone - 135 Title
Donte Butler vs Justin Williams
Seth Golay vs Julius Anglickas - 205 Title
Carl Jefferson vs Brandon Karcher
Joe Norris vs Dusty Chandler
Erik Newman vs LC Hamid
Jordan Leggans vs Miguel Lisboa
Marques White vs Dan Uhlenbrock
Joe Mueckenheim vs Eric Wililams
Ronnell Mays vs Eloy Pluma
Cody Weeder vs Cody King
Keith Gorden vs Delante Blanks
Fight Hard: Zekthi vs Lanzone
Saturday, June 13th
Family Arena, St. Charles, MO