Follow Knuckle Junkies

Staff | Knuckle Junkies graphic

Gateway Fighting Series 1 - Preview

By Matt Frazier | Knuckle Junkies

Action returns to the Heart of St. Charles banquet center on Friday.

With longtime area promoter Jim Jenkins taking a sabbatical last year, many wondered what would become of the the popular venue in St. Charles?

Questions will be answered on Friday when Gateway Fighting Series under the lead of Jared Daniels-Block, holds it's inaugural event. Daniels-Block, the head coach at Modern Combat Systems and longtime assistant matchmaker at Rumble Time Promotions, is looking to fill the void of MMA in St. Charles left by the passing of Steve Smith and Jenkins' exit from the sport.

"I felt like it's time to promote," Daniel's-Block said. "We have more and more amateur fighters in the area, and the whole point behind this one was to develop a show for the fighters. The aim is to focus on basic promoting, individual posters with names and pictures. Just bring back a competitive K1 and Muay Thai market as well as display some finer matched MMA fights."

Daniels-Block has put together a big first offering featuring K1, MMA, and Muay Thai with 13 bouts on the card.

Special rules will be put in place for the two Muay Thai title matches in the main and co-main event bouts and should definitely spice things up for fans of the striking arts.

"These will be modified K1 matches without headgear and shin guards," Daniels-Block said. "Also a five second clinch is allowed followed by a strike."

In the evening's top billing, Dirk Jones out of Watson Martial Arts will take on Jamese Taylor out of MCS. The two will challenge for the inaugural GFS 155 pound Muay Thai title. Jones is no stranger to these modified K1 rules as he won similar hardware back in October for Prime FS when he defeated Jason Newman.

"I think Jones is probably the more technical of the two in the Muay Thai aspect," Daniels-Block said. "Taylor is the more technical and powerful with the boxing aspect. Both are very lean and very long. We will either see a sniper fight or it could get down and dirty."

In the night's other Muay Thai match, Nick Pipitone and John Madaus will face off.

"Madaus trains under Andrew Ebers at Wolves Den MMA," Daniels-Block said. "His opponent trains various places around St. Louis and is a veteran like Madaus. I think speed is going to be the factor here."

In one of the four MMA bouts scheduled Dan Busch, the Fight Hard lightweight champ, will take on Zach Burcham. Busch was nominated for a St. Louis MMA Award for his fight with Buddy McGinnis last January and on paper should have no trouble with Burcham who failed to find the winner's circle in 2015.

Cristian Santana, out of Seven Corner Road will face one of the area's hottest amateur prospects, Cortavious Romious, in a K1 match-up.

Romious burst onto the scene in 2015 and notched a 4-1 record. He put a giant exclamation point on his first year in the sport by scoring a vicious spinning wheel kick KO of David Evans at Shamrock FC in December. Santana has pretty decent hands, but will need to find an answer for Romious' kicks if he's going to win.

With four MMA, two Muay Thai, and seven K1 matches on the card, there's a little something for everyone.

Here's the full card:

Dirk Jones vs Jamese Taylor - Muay Thai
Nick Pipitone vs John Madaus - Muah Thai
Mimi Kutzin vs Katelyn Jesse - K1
Lorrie Thorpe vs Jennifer Higgins - K1
Dan Busch vs Zach Burcham - MMA
Timothy Jackson vs Keith Gorden - MMA
Cristian Santana vs Cortavoius Romious - K1
James Cowan vs Jayson Pohlmann - K1
Montrel James vs Daniel Jefferson - MMA
Kody Willyard vs Donnie Greenlee - K1
Christopher Peterson Jr vs Joey Gianino - MMA
Jamey Kroesen vs Kasey Wade - K1
Orel Dahan vs Jimmy Timmerberg - K1

Gateway Fighting Series 1
Friday, January 8th
Heart of St. Charles, St, Charles, MO