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Chris Oth | Knuckle Junkies

Rumble Time - Main Card Preview pt 1

By Brett Auten | Knuckle Junkies

Rumble Time Promotions is back at it Friday night at the Ameristar Casino.

Yesterday we took at look at the amateur card of the event while today we dive into the main card.

What better place to start than at the top of the bill; the main event.

Alp Ozkilic out of St. Charles MMA is slated to tangle with Ohio's Josh Robinson in a flyweight showdown.

Robinson is 7-5 and has taken on and defeated some of the top prospects in the weight class. He has wins over topnotch talent Dustin Ortiz (10-2) and Tim Goodwin (7-3). He is coming off a loss in December to Nate Williams (21-11). Robinson is currently ranked 58th in the world according to FightMatrix.com.

Robinson, out of Evolution Martial Arts and Toledo Grappling Academy, prides himself on being brassy inside the cage and that sits well with Ozkilic.

"If he wants to be flashy that's fine with me," Ozkilic said. "Flashy fighters, they lose more than they win. We will see what he brings. He has solid standup and I like that. I'm prepared for anything that can possibly happen."

The 26-year old Ozkilic has a record of 6-1, and was in the Rumble Time cage in October where, thanks to his superior wrestling skills, secured a unanimous decision victory over Ray Grindstaff.

"That fight didn't really teach me much," Ozkilic said. "It was a local fight that had to happen. He was a brawler and I'm glad that it's over."

Ozkilic will take on a different kind of nemesis before actually stepping into the cage. This will be his first appearance at 125.

"Things are going really good," Ozkilic said. "Before, I never really dieted. But this time I have and I've lost the weight no problem."

Ozkilic knows that he is dipping his toe into hostile waters for his first flyweight trip.

"People were saying that I should have taken an easier fight," Ozkilic said. "I had a lot of options but I have really wanted to fight a high-ranked opponent."

Ozkilic was a Greco-Roman national champ and two-time All American while wrestling at nearby Lindenwood University.

Robinson, 27, has dealt with high-level wrestling many times in the past and he feels he has the perfect antidote.

"I have developed a strategy to keep off my back," he said. "I have vicious elbows from there. After that, people are pretty cautious about taking me down."

This will be Robinson's third fight at 125.

"I will be looking to push the pace and tire him out," Robinson said.

Robinson, who went 15-3 as an amateur, embraces the Road Warrior spirit and he will be joined on this trip to Missouri with two other teammates on the card.

"I try to fight out of state as much as possible," Robinson said. "It's too much stress fighting at home with ticket sales and everything else that goes into it. I don't prepare as well with all of that on my shoulders."

Robinson admits that he was just an average wrestler in high school where he also dabbled in karate. After school, he still had an intense competitive drive and so he and some friends decided to give mixed martial arts a try.

"From there I was hooked," he said. "My first fight was in a barn with a canvas floor. From then I just started fighting like crazy."

O'Connor adjusts to change

In the night's co-main event, Dan O'Connor has had to make do with a last-minute change in his opponent.

The flyweight out of Berger's MMA was scheduled to face Quinn Broomfield but an ankle injury forced him to pull out.

Enter Oklahoman William Stimmel to fill the void.

"I went from a 5-foot-9 striker to a 5-5 wrestler," O'Connor said. "They couldn't be any more different. I've had to face this a lot over the years. I'm going to put on a show regardless."

Stimmel has lost his only professional bout, and was 2-2 as an amateur; winning both fights by submission.

"I think this is going to be a more entertaining fight," O'Connor said. "He's a tough kid and he comes at you more. He just fought in January so you know he is going to be in shape."

The 30-year-old O'Connor is 2-1 and last fought in October under the Rumble Time banner where he submitted a high-end grappler in Carson Gainey.

O'Connor thrives on the mat and will look to gain yet another highlight reel submission.

"He is going to be tough to submit," O'Connor said. "He does leave some little openings. He throws every punch as hard as he can."

O'Connor is throwing game planning out the window and is just going to do what he does best.

"The plan is usually get them to the ground where I am usually head and shoulders above my opponent," he said. "People really haven't seen my striking other than my dirty boxing. I only have one fight of his that I have seen so I'm going to see what he gives me and go from there."

O'Connor is comfortable at 125 but is looking at changing weight classes.

"I have made 115 before," O'Conner said. "I am nowhere near the size of some of the 125'ers. That might be my next step. We just need to find the fighters who can make the weight."

Doors open at 5 p.m. with the first fight slated for 6:30 p.m. Tickets are available at the Ameristar gift shop, at tickets.com and also rumbletimepromotions.com

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