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Rumble Time: Rage - Event Preview

By Matt Frazier | Knuckle Junkies

Thoughts and prayers from the St. Louis MMA community are with Rumble Time Promotion's main man and president Steve Smith, who has had an extended stay in the hospital after suffering a massive stroke a week-and-a -half ago.

Despite the absence of their general, Smoth's troops are soldiering on as they prepare for a show in Branson on Saturday followed by a pro/am two weeks later at the Ameristar Casino in St. Charles.

In the Ameristar feature bout, two of the area's top young flyweights will clash when Kendrick Latchman and Ken Porter square off in the main event for Rumble Time: Rage.

Both Latchman and Porter have tested the waters of professional boxing under Rumble Time and now the two will meet in their primary discipline, MMA.

Porter is coming off the biggest fight of his career in the co-main event of RFA 28 at the Chase Park Plaza. The win over former RFA champ Matt Manzanares improved his record to 9-2 and raised his profile nationally at an event that was broadcast live on AXS TV. A win over Latchman could setup a potential RFA title fight on the promotion's return to St. Louis after the first of the year.

Beating Latchman (3-1) will be no easy task. If there is anyone who can keep up with Porter's blistering pace it's Latchman, who may be step or two faster on the feet. Latchman's only loss came at the hands of Joey Diehl, one of the Midwest's top unsigned flyweights.

Experience could be the deciding factor with Porter having twice as many fights than Latchman, but don't count out the underdog who will no doubt want to play spoiler to Porter's quest to get his 10th win.

Hoping to rebound from an August loss on the aforementioned RFA card, Jimmy Donahue will face Ramon Barber. Donahue had Adam Osmoe in all sorts of trouble in their RFA bout with Osmoe resorting to brute strength to free himself from Donahue's triangle. Known primarily as a kickboxer, Donahue continues to improve under the guidance of Mike Rogers at St. Charles MMA and has shown a more well-rounded game in his last two fights.

Barber has had flashes of brilliance but finds himself in a bit of a crossroads having lost his last three. A loss to Donahue would even his record to 9-9.

One of St. Louis' fastest rising stars, middleweight Ty Flores, will face Geoff Neal. Flores scored a victory over Chad Williams in May (credit to Williams, who gutted out a three-round donnybrook despite breaking his arm early in the fight) and defeated Colby Tierney in August to improve to 2-0 . Flores, under the tutelage of Steve Berger, has blossomed into a gritty, hard-nosed fighter that's fun to watch. Flores' ground game has always been one of his strengths and now that his stand-up is improving he's someone to keep an eye on.

Nick Pohlmann, the former Spire amateur heavyweight state champion, will look to rebound after two straight loses to start his professional career. Pohlmann is massive with heavy, heavy punches and is hard to hold down, as evident of his grapple war with brown belt Derek Bohi a year ago.

Pohlmann will face Jacob Zogg, a big strong kid out of Illinois who fought his professional debut for Rumble Time almost two years ago. Since then he's had six fights and has only won one. This should be a good test for both as they could really use a win to get back on track.

Rounding out the pro card is Donahue's teammate Travis Draper. Draper scored a big win at RFA 28 with a victory over Joey Valadez to improve to 3-1. Draper hits hard, grapples well, and is a tough mach-up for most people. His opponent, Jonathan Akers, will have his hands full.

On the amateur side, keep an eye out for two of the top young guns from St. Charles MMA that will be on display. Luis Pena, a transplant from Arkansas who literally lives in the gym in St. Charles. showed tons of talent in his St. Louis debut victory at Fight Hard in August. Lucas Clay, a winner of the Fight Hard 170-pound belt in the August main event, is a star on the rise.

Kendrick Latchman vs Ken Porter
Jimmy Donahue vs Ramon Barber
Ty Flores vs Geoff Neal
Nick Pohlmann vs Jacob Zogg
Travis Draper vs Jonathan Akers
Aaron Harvey vs John McLaughlin

Luis Pena vs Montrel James
Lucas Clay vs TBA
Jamese Taylor vs TBA
Matthew Matterson vs TBA
JR Lonergran vs Oscar Ahutzi
Timothy Jackson vs Floyd Shahan
Mike Nyugen vs TBA
Alex Clymer vs Jace Burcham
Josh Augustine vs Zacharcy Burcham
Glen Zogg vs Ben Gray

Rumble Time: Rage
Friday, October 23rd
Ameristar Casino, St. Charles, MO