NFA: A Warrior's Welcome - Event Preview
Last year was arguably the biggest year yet for the Farmington-based Nemesis Fighting Alliance. The promotion hosted two huge shows at the Farmington Civic Center, one of which featured alternative rock band The Greek Fire, and a second show in October that wasn one of its strongest fight cards to date. It also partnered up with the Fredericktown Senior Class for a charity event that raised money for Project Graduation.
It's now been just over nine months since the last NFA show which has fans wondering why it's taken so long.
In April, NFA's Beejay Smith answered this question and teased with his plan for 2014.
In preparation for this event, Smith saw Arnold as the perfect spot to expand his brand.
"Coming to a new venue is both exciting and stressful," Smith said. "St. Louis city and St. Charles are use to MMA. Arnold isn't really. Yes, it's not far from downtown, but it's still a different area where I have to worry bout traffic, fans, etc. "
The fight card is chalked full of fighters from the Arnold and Fenton area. Something that Smith placed a priority on when building the fight card.
"Half of the card literally is from this area." Smith said. "It's not only good for us but it's good for fighter exposure. These guys should be proud to show their friends, family and fans what they have worked so hard for."
Smith is quick to point out that the hometown heroes will not have it easy.
"Like always whether you are a "home" player or a "visitor" it's still a fight and anything can happen." Smith said. "No freebies from us. A challenging fight makes a win that much more satisfying. Hometown boys want to win in front of their crowd and the visitors want to beat the odds and overcome adversity."
Saturday also marks the return to the cage for Tommy Sthair, who will be fighting one year to the day of his last contest. Sthair faced Adam Adcock last August in an incredibly close fight that saw Sthair lose a split decision and the first blemish on his young MMA career.
Sthair, a highly regarded grappler from Fox High School in Arnold trains at Steve Berger's Fit or Fight and has recently been installed as the team's wrestling coach with the recent departure of Nick Zona. He has won three of his last four with Adcock being his toughest opponent to date.
Tommy Shair's last four opponents:
Adam Adcock - Split Decision (Loss)
Dakota Nelson - Submission (Win)
Gary Rhoades, Jr. - TKO (Win)
Rod Miles - Submission (Win)
Taking on Sthair is Nikko Glasper, a big, athletic kid from Southern Illinois with good striking and a well balanced offensive attack. Glasper (4-2) has won three of his last four with his last fight being in November of last year.
Nikko Glasper's last four opponents:
Scott Liggett - TKO (Win)
Cory Roush - Submission (Loss)
Stephen Power - KO (Win)
Tyler Lee - Submission (Win)
Glasper should have a noticeable size and reach advantage on Sthair, but Sthair's grappling could negate this. Sthair's toughness and tenacity can be the difference maker in the fight, but don't count out Glasper who is known to pack a punch.
In the co-main event, cruiserweights Jon Stotler and James Evans are set to tangle. Stotler is big and athletic. Evans favors the stand-up and is tailor-made to fight Stotler. If these two come out guns blazing, this fight could produce fireworks.
Tyler Flores might be the next big thing out of the Fit or Fight camp. With three submissions in three fight, he looks to have a great ground game, but questions still remain regarding his stand-up. Flores' opponent Toby Gvillo has a mixed record with the bright spot being a 1 minute submission of Cody Collins.
Hometown kids Erik and Jason Nemwan are both looking to pickup wins on the night. Their brother, Damian, is well known in the MMA circles and was the main event at the last Nemesis event in October. Erik (3-1) looks to have the same killer instinct as Damian and treated fans to an incredible fight with now pro Kendrick Latchman.
"I have became good friends with the Newman's as well as other fighters that fight for us." Smith said. "Plenty of times we have had hometown guys fight on our Farmington Cards and the Newman's are the "visitors" this time it's the complete opposite."
Much like the local fighters on the card, Smith and company are looking to make a big splash.
"You only get one chance to make a first impression." Smith said.
Full fight card:
Tommy Shair vs Nikko Glasper
Jon Stotler vs James Evans
Matt Saller vs John Bucholtz
Erik Newman vs TBA
Tyler Flores vs Toby Gvillo
Pete Saller vs Brian Borden
Cody Winistoerfer vs Bryan Greer - K1
Justin Jovanovic vs Ien Coleman
Troy Kayser vs Jesus Garcia
Jason Newman vs Kevin Mueller
Mike King vs Kyle James
Summer Davis vs Jael McRobertson - K1
NFA: A Warrior's Welcome
Saturday, August 2nd
Arnold Eagels Club - Arnold, MO
Doors @ 6 - Fights @ 7
Independence Event Center, Independence, MO
Shamrock FC: 322 | Fri, September 6th
River City Casino, St. Louis, MO
Sub 5 | Sat, September 21st
Nemesis Fighting Alliance | Sat, October 5th
Casa Loma Ballroom, St. Louis, MO