SFL - A look back at over 40 events
It's the day before the final official Sport Fighting League event and Knuckle Junkies asked me to reflect on some moments that stand out to me.
One of the things that has always been important for the SFL was to help get the top amateurs a Pro start. Steve Smith and Scott Wright have played a big part in helping with the leap to the Pros.
In 2011, many of the regions top amateur got their Pro debut on SFL events. Including: Zach Freeman, Nick LoBosco, Yohance Flager, Steve Dittrich, Dave Callow, Cody Cook, Jeremy Freeman, Shane Saunders, Garrett Gross and Lori Dunnavant. So far in 2012, Dan O'Connor, Chris Heatherly and Corey Barreiro have made their Pro debuts.
Many of the areas regional fighters have benefited from the 30 Pro bouts that the SFL has helped with in the last 18 months. Top world ranked locals like E J Brooks, Josh Sampo and Barb Honchak have all competed as on SFL events. We've also been able to bring in quality opponents like WEC veteran Mike French and UFC/WEC veteran Will Campuzano.
With only 18 months of doing Pro/Ams, I'm very excited about were it will go now with the Rumble Time Promotions partnership and all their broadcasting connections.
Some of the best Pro fights I remember:
1. Josh Sampo vs Will Campuzano at Rumble Time MMA: May 2012
2. Josh Sampo vs Mike French at Wright Fights 2.
Hands down the two best live fights (in over 800) that I've ever seen.
3. Sal Woods vs Marcio Navarro. A three round war at Wright Fights 2. Both athletes looked like they were in a knife fight when it was done. Two super tough guys.
4. Eric Irvin vs Mike Glosser. The three round battle at Wright Fights 4 was decided by a razor-thin split decision.
The Amateurs have always been the backbone of any future plans for the SFL crew as we merge with Rumble Time. The Featherweight, Lightweight and Welterweight tournaments stand out as a high point.
When we do a Amateur Hall of fame, here are a few of my votes (all fought four or more times on SFL events.)
Travis Draper - Featherweight Champion, Gateway to the top tournament winner
Brandon Knight - Lightweight Champion
Hugh Pulley - Welterweight Champion, Gateway to the top tournament winner.
Shane Saunders - Welterweight and Middleweight Champion
Im sure I've forgotten many great fighters and moments.
I also have had a strong supportive crew and staff through out. The SFL will live on as Rumble Time grows.
Thank you to all those who trained and fought on the SFL.
Scottrade Center, St. Louis, MO
Shamrock FC 312 | Sat, December 8th
Ameristar KC, Kansas City, MO
Fight Hard MMA | Sat, December 8th
Chaifetz Arena, St. Louis, MO
NFA Fight Before X-mas | Sat, December 15th
Casa Loma Ballroom, St. Louis, MO