PGFL: Grand Prix 2013 Finals - Event Preview
Right before we were set to publish this article we found out that Scott Futrell has been forced to withdraw from the fight with severe dehydration. We wish Scott a full and speedy recovery.
Proving Grounds Fight League returns to the historic South Broadway Athletic Club on Saturday as the finale of the Road to Glory Lightweight Grand Prix is held.
The June event saw Justin Lankford and Montuelle Prater advance to the finals of the Grand Prix. Although the two were set to meet in the finals, the match will not be taking place as Lankford has taken another fight later this month. Prater will instead face Joe Roye, someone he's very familiar with.
Roye bested Prater last December in a match that was lauded as one of the best of the year. In June, the two tangled again with Prater getting a quick submission victory. This will be the third fight between the two, and with bragging rights on the line, look for both fighters to come out hungry.
Another bout of interest will be between AJ Siscoe and The "KO KID" Matt Murphy. Siscoe impressed many when he went toe-to-toe with the best bantamweight in the region, Damian Newman, this past February, ultimately losing the decision. Murphy is looking to rebound after a gutsy performance against Ben Chesser this past month at Shamrock FC. Stylistically this is your classic grappler vs striker, but don't let that fool you as both fighters seem comfortable where-ever the fight should go.
The main event will feature a bout between Scott Futrell of Modern Combat System taking on Jesse Farmer from River City MMA.
Futrell had his first amateur fight at Proving Grounds 7 in January of 2012, and plans on ending his amateur career in the same venue.
"It's an honor to be able to finish where it all started," Futrell said. "I plan on getting the same ending results: a W. I refuse to finish my ammy career with an L its just not gonna happen."
Winding down his second full year of fighting, Futrell has been busy racking up over 30 amateur fights.
"I fought a lot of tough guys" Futrell said. "Every fight was a mental battle as much as physical. "Mr. Bad News" Kunz was one of the toughest fights for me because he was one of the first big names I got early in my career and he was well respected. I felt a lot of pressure building up to our first fight, but after it was all said and done I got my hand raised. From that point on I felt I could fight anybody. It gave my confidence a nice boost."
Futrell is quick to credit his improvement to his teammates and coaches at the Hazelwood-based MCS.
"Those guys push me to my end every day I get to work with all sizes from superheavy to flyweights." Futrell said. "Jared Block is a fantastic coach and friend. He has built a monster team and family and I'm proud to be apart of the movement."
In addition to his training partners at MCS, Futrell has been getting some rounds in with the pros at St. Charles MMA thanks to a recent partnership between coach Jared Block and SCMMA head coach Mike Rogers.
"Those guys are absolute beast," Futrell said. "I tell you, nothing like going and getting beat up by some of the best wrestlers and ground wizards in the area. Much respect to those guys."
Futrell understands he may not be the favorite to win in his fight against Farmer, but believes experience is on his side.
"Farmer is a respected fighter and has been fighting longer than me." Futrell said. "I feel that I'm the under dog in this fight, but what people fail to realize is I may be only almost two yrs in the game but I have a respectable record of 25-8 in that short time, and that's a lot of experience if you ask me."
Battle tested, Futrell is ready for any challenge.
"There is nothing Jesse can do to me or put me through that I haven't already seen or been through." Futrell said. "The way I see this fight ending is with my hand being raised and me getting a new pretty little trophy."
Farmer is riding a three fight win streak including wins over Daniel Schaab and Roy Davis.
Fans of the Proving Grounds are very familiar with Farmer, the young middleweight boasts an undefeated 5-0 record when fighting under the lights at South Broadway. Farmer is ready to defend his home turf, but doesn't let the comfortable settings at the SBAC serve as a distraction.
"No there is no added pressure," Farmer said. "I will go out and preform to the best of my abilities like I do in every fight. And give the fans a great show. I really want this win. To beat a great opponent like Scott will be a huge victory for me. I have been training really hard, and for a long time for this fight."
Farmer's coach, Eric Clarkson, doubles as the Proving Grounds Fight League owner, and did not pick and easy opponent for his protegee.
"I would say Scott is my toughest opponent yet." Farmer said. "He is so good at picking apart his opponents with his striking. Plus his reach is so long that I will be hard to get on the inside. But it will be a great test for me. It will be a great fight."
While Futrell's height and reach is a tough match-up for anyone, Farmer - nicked named "The Predator" - plans on nullifying the advantage by taking it to the ground.
"I see the fight eventually going to the ground," Farmer said. "I know my stand up has gotten a lot better as times goes by. So I hope to showcase some stand up. Till I get the takedown."
Will Futrell win his final amateur match before turning pro? Or will the young, hungry Farmer add another notch to his belt? Find out Saturday.
Scott Futrell vs Jesse Farmer (Scratched)
Montuelle Prater vs Joe Roye
Matt Murphy vs AJ Siscoe
Steve Barbee vs Shedon Smith
Chris Eveland vs Roddell Thomas
Zach Gerullis vs Josh Davison
PK Phillips vs Dan Uhlenbrock
Nathan Dieckman vs Jason Washausen
Jake Willyard vs Bryant Crites
Bill Smith vs Jackson Jarboe
Adrian Aldrich vs James Diep
Dylan Herrick vs Dakota Rich
Proving Grounds - Grand Prix 2013 Final Round
Saturday, September 7th
South Broadway Athletic Club - St. Louis, MO
Ameristar Casino, Kansas City, MO
Fight Hard MMA | Sat, March 9th
Chaifetz Arena, St. Louis, MO
Shamrock FC: 316 | Fri, March 15th
River City Casino, St. Louis, MO
Shamrock FC: 317 | Sat, April 6th
Ameristar Casino, Kasnas City, MO