Schell's debut part of SFC Fury
If five years ago you would have told Brian Schell that he would one day be fighting on the main card of a sold-out MMA event, he'd a looked at you like you were nuts.
But that is exactly the case as Schell makes his pro debut when Shamrock Fighting Championships brings Fury to a sold-out Lumiere Casino on Saturday.
Schell will take on Marc Godeker in a light heavyweight bout to kick-off the pro fight main card. At 41-years-old, Schell isn't your typical cage combatant.
"I like to test myself," Schell said. "Where all of this goes, who knows? This may be my last fight or I do it for two or three more years."
It wasn't that long ago when Schell was a bodybuilding enthusiast and fitness model. But Schell said his love for all of that simply fell apart.
He segued to Royce Gracie's Three Rivers Martial Arts Academy in Paducah, Ky with simple aspirations.
"I had a goal to get a blue belt," Schell said. "Four years later, here I am a purple belt. This is not the road I thought I would be on."
Schell is making the jump to the pros after a solid amateur run that saw him go 7-3-1. Along that way he fought many of the area's rough and tough customers; Chris Heatherly, Kain Royer, and Bo Kunz (twice).
He will tussle with another powerhouse opponent on Saturday in Godeker.
"(Marc) is always there to fight," Schell said. "He is a big strong guy who is going to come at me."
Schell moved his training to the Finney's HIT Squad a few years ago and credits the work he has done with BJJ black belt Lucas Lopes for pushing him further.
Though he doesn't wear it as a badge, Schell has proven that age isn't – and shouldn't- be an issue.
"Some of the younger guys like to ask when I'm going to give it up," Schell said. "But I didn't get into this with any intentions other than being inspired by BJJ. I wanted to try one MMA fight to prove to the lay person that MMA isn't what they think."
Schell spends his days working as a shift supervisor at the department of corrections. He is coming off a groin injury back in April. During his time off he honed his basics.
"I am getting more confident with my striking. I expect to be a different fighter," Schell said. "I have added more tools and I'm looking forward to the opportunity to see if they work."
Joining Schell on the main card will be teammate Ryan Sutton, who will face Rakim Cleveland. Joe Freeman will take on Jake Almeter and in the main event, Steve Mann faces Danny Andrews. Look for a feature story on Mann later this week.
The amateur undercard will feature 10 fights with several intriguing matchups. Among the highlights will be Aaron Highfill vs. Scott Futrell. Futrell is one of the more dynamic up-and-comers in the area and Highfill is more than capable of derailing Futrell's momentum. Dustin Fischer is one of the Finney's MMA's top amateurs and he returns against Cory Hauter. Andrew Berger will take on Damian Newman of the South Side Fight Club. Newman is known for his toughness and grit and is a tough out for any fighter.
There will be two women's fights with Nikki Smith taking on Krystal Clark and Susie Wyatt facing Melissa Shepard.
Shamrock FC: Fury
Professional main card:
Steve Mann vs Danny Andrews
Joe Freeman vs Jake Almeter
Ryan Sutton vs Rakim Cleveland
Brian Schell vs Mar Godeker
Aaron Highfill vs Scott Futrell
Cory Hauter vs Dustin Fischer
Nikki Smith vs Krystal Clark
Andrew Berger vs Damian Newman
Susie Wyatt vs Melissa Shepard
Kamaal Chilton vs Montuelle Prater
Ben Chesser vs Taten Griffin
Jeff Rittenhouse vs Tony Miller
Bob Hinchcliffe vs Dustin Lampros
Cody McCallister vs Kaleb Nadler
Casa Loma Ballroom, St. Louis, MO
KCFA | Sat, August 24th
Independence Event Center, Independence, MO
Shamrock FC: 322 | Fri, September 6th
River City Casino, St. Louis, MO
Sub 5 | Sat, September 21st