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Inside Prime FS

By Rob Francis | Special for Knuckle Junkies

This weekend Prime FS returns for its fourth show in less than a year with Saturday's Prime FS Fighting for Autism. But where did Prime FS come from and what does the future hold? I talked to Shane Rice to find out.

Knuckle Junkies: Prime FS kind of flew under the radar for its first couple of shows. Can you help give the fans some background on the promotion?
Shane Rice: We have been through lots of changes from the original promotional concept. Everything from the promoter, management and location has changed. Originally TJ Mohler (one of the original developers) was going to have Bob Jolley promoting with Kain as matchmaker.

KJ: So where did you enter the equation?
SR: I was going to handle the photography and design work. When everything was said and done I was the promoter and Kain was matchmaker.

KJ: How has the venture into promotion been?
SR: Ive had to learn as we go, but I love it.

KJ: Your debut show was in December 2014, what was that like?
SR: We debuted without any backing. We had no sponsors, no media coverage, no fans. We were debuting a new promotion in an area that had been pretty saturated. I was determined to push forward.

KJ: Your first show was in front of about 400 people, what was the mindset going forward?
SR: I knew we could fix a lot of things going forward. By the time we hit our second show we were in a much better position. Even though we didnt have sponsorships, marketing was going well. Kain Royer put together an excellent card. We had close to 1,100 fans at the second show. This was with Shamrock FC having a show the same night.

KJ: You mentioned Kain, is this where the ties to Fight Hard came in?
SR: We wanted to take on a new concept. Instead of working to compete we wanted to work to develop. I am one of the photographers for Fight Hard. Over the last couple of years Ive developed a good relationship with Kenny (Nowling). And with Kain being the matchmaker for them it just made sense. Kenny was gracious in allowing us to do some side promoting at their event and start building our fan base alongside of theirs. It really worked out well, as Fight Hard is the largest ammy show in the Midwest; Prime could be that staple point for fighters to earn a way to fight in front of 10,000 people. Again this credit has to be given to Royer and Nowling.

KJ: What sets Prime apart from other promotions?
SR: By introducing new elements like youth championship matches and giving chances to those you would not otherwise think of, such as JP Gillespie and Alex Russo. We are giving them something they will remember till the end of their days; something they will tell their children and their grandchildren about.

KJ: What are the long term plans for Prime?
SR: We strive to do things outside the box. We want to change, not only the way MMA and combat sports are looked at, but how they operate in the communities. We want to entertain and build lasting memories for the fans and fighters, as well as work hand in hand with other small businesses to help erase this stigma of the sport.

KJ: Well Prime is firmly entrenched as a promotion in the St Louis area now.
SR: Things just took off, we partnered with Fighting for Autism, which I have always been an avid fan of. We brought on new sponsors, new brands, and we were finally on our way of being known in the industry. We had a lot of people talking about how we were going to be a one night show, we would never take off well going into our fourth show almost a year later, Id say we have proven we have a place here

KJ: Are there any last thoughts you want to leave before we go?
SR: The least we can do is give back. I feel that we show this every show, and I plan to do so until the industry is done with me. Our show in August is not just about fighting and tap outs, but raising awareness to those that can't speak for their selves. It's about those people that use their actions when words can't explain. It's about the pure, raw essence of what it means to be an inspiration and an individual. So we are proud to have these people on line for us.

Prime FS Fighting for Autism has an action packed night of combat sports planned. Bring a toy for the toy drive and meet some of the fight ambassadors. Then sit back and enjoy the show.

The main event is a 155 pound Muay Thai title fight between Jason Newman and Thomas Nguyen. Nguyen trains at Seven Corner Road, a gym known for tough fighters who are up for all challenges. On paper a stand up fight should favor Nguyen, but Jason Newman has shown remarkable improvement in all facets of fighting. The team at Bergers MMA have done a good job helping Newman start reaching his full potential.

Another interesting match on the card is a rematch from the June 6th Prime show between Ace Anderson and Mike Hulsey. A case of mistaken identity saw Hulsey under attack from the crowd for anti-American remarks. Anderson pulled off submission with one second left in the first round.

Prime continues to showcase the future with their dedication to youth bouts. Dayton Shook, Dylan Mallette, Austin Cornell and Jacob Woodward all compete in youth K1. Once again Prime will feature a youth championship, as Trinity Capps faces off against Zoey Hahn.

Fight Card

K1
Dayton Shook vs Dylan Mallette
Austin Cornell vs Jacob Woodward
Jared Medley vs Juan Pardes
Justin Davis vs Max Choriev
Savannah Shahan vs Mimi Kutzin
Girls Youth Championship
Trinity Capps vs Zoey Hahn

Grappling
JP Gillespie vs Matt Murphy

MMA
Anthony Ford vs Thomas Conner
Stephen Becker vs Joey Gianino
Jake Willyard vs DaRell Fulgham
Ace Anderson vs Mike Hulsey
Matt Matteson vs Chris Gideon
Ben McCabe vs Robbie Dunham
Bobby Mendica vs Tavae Lewis
Shaun Scott vs David Maness
Rodney Cotton vs Fred Freeman

155 Muay Thai Championship
Jason Newman vs Thomas Nguyen

Tickets are available by calling 636-373-3297 or visiting www.cagetix.com/primefs

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