NFA: Kicks are for Kids - Event Preview
It's hard to argue that the Farmington-based Nemesis Fighting Alliance doesn't care about it's community.
In 2012, NFA raised over $8,000 for local charities a large portion of which went to the Fredricktown High School Project Graduation. This year alone the NFA has raised over $2,000, with their biggest show yet to come.
On Saturday, NFA will partner with the St. Francois Co. Sheriff's Department and their "Shop With a Cop" program. This program is designed to provide Christmas gifts for under privileged, needy and at risk children. Also, the program teaches children that police officers and deputies are someone they can trust and depend on in a time of crisis. With each ticket sold, $5 will will be donated to the program. If you quickly do the math, and figure they're expecting more than 1500 people at the event, this year's total should far surpass last year..
In April, local alt band The Greek Fire were brought in to entertain fans once the fighting was done. Tony Souders defeated Bil Dwyer in his last amateur fight before turning pro.
Scheduled as Saturday's main event is Spire No. 1 bantamweight, Damian Newman making the cut to flyweight for the first time to take on Matt "KO Kid" Murphy. Newman is the pound for pound No. 1 in the "all-heart division," continually providing the sport with some of its best moments.
Newman has been well-traveled this year having fought Rumble Time, Fight Hard, and twice for Shamrock marking this his fifth trip to the cage in 2013.
"I started out the year with the goal to fight the guys to put me in the top spots." Newman said. "I feel like my coaches did that for me and the different promotions put me on the shows and got me the different exposure I really needed."
Newman started the year behind Ira Lukowsky, Fierce Taylor, and Charles Johnson in the Spire bantamweight rankings.
"It was a long hill to climb," Newman said. "I finally reached the top as an amateur and I don't feel there is much left for me to do. I feel like the next step is to go pro. To gain that experience with tougher opponents. Take everything a little more serious, get over the hump, and go in for the long haul and make it a career."
It's been no secret that Newman has had his eye on dropping to 125-pounds.
"I'm a taller bantamweight," Newman said. "The muscle mass really isn't there. I usually fight guys who are a little shorter, more muscle tone, stronger and are able to control me. I feel like making the drop will give me better odds of winning."
Newman has been inspired by recent success of local flyweights Josh Sampo and Alp Ozkilic who have each been receiving national buzz.
"The flyweights on the pro scene from this area are really blowing up." Newman said. "Guys like Sampo and Alp are getting the national eyes on this area. So I feel like flyweights are one of those weight classes where I go pro, put together a couple of wins and you never know what show is going to call me."
Murphy is a dangerous opponent with great athleticism and strong boxing. Something that has given Newman trouble in the past with opponents like Lukowsky and Fierce Taylor. Cardio has been something of an issue for Murphy who was badly winded in a recent fight with Ben Chesser.
"I feel like he's going to come out with a big burst, come at me 110-miles-per-hour for the first minute or two," Newman said. "I feel like my pace and superior striking will go ahead and take care of the victory."
In a highly anticipated match-up of local featherweights Brandon Lowe from the War Room will take on Justin Lankford from Berger's MMA. Lankford and Lowe will be battling for the NFA 145 title and a Spire sectional as well. Grappler vs grappler usually means for a stand-up battle, it will be interesting to see how this one pans out.
One match that is sure to get fans energized is a K1 contest between Bill Smith and Evan Elders. This match has been talked about for quite some time, and has been scheduled several times before, but has never panned out; this time it looks like it's actually going to happen.
"They're both going to be phenoms when they hit 18." NFA's Beejay Smith said on this morning's 107.1 The Zone.
A late addition to the card of Cjay Hunter vs Montuelle Prater rounds out a solid offering from the crew at the NFA. Prater vs Hunter could easily headline most amateur shows in the area and features Hunter, considered one of the area's best ammys taking on Prater who many consider to be a rising star in the making. Obviously Hunter gets the advantage on the ground as his submissions skills are widely known, but Prater always has the equalizer in his powerful right hand.
Make sure you get there early as the first two hundred people through the door will get a limited edition Nemesis Fighting Alliance and Knuckle Junkies koozie.
Nemesis Fighting Alliance
Saturday - October 19th
Farmington Civic Center, Farmington, MO
Damian Newman vs Matt Murphy -- Main
Justin Lankford vs Brandon Lowe - Co-Main
Cjay Hunter vs Montuelle Prater
Pete Dugan vs Steve Barbee
Coty Shannon vs Mike Counts
Bill Smith vs Evan Elder
Erik Newman vs Victor Horton
Bryan Greer vs TBD
ET Oneal vs Justin Jovanovic
William Wayne vs Shawn Moore
Austin Ganzinotti vs Layth Badra