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Shamrock FC: 273 - Preview

By Matt Frazier | Knuckle Junkies

The underlying theme for Shamrock 273 is "Winner takes all."

Adhering to the old adage: to the victor go the spoils, Kirk Huff and Jeff Crotty are making a gentleman's agreement with all the fight money on the line. The two veterans of the local fight scene needed some extra motivation and after a post on social media, a challenge was accepted with both fighter's "show money" at stake.

After a decorated amateur career, Huff started off red-hot 3-0 as a pro, but then pumped the brakes, opening his own gym and focused on coaching for the past two years. This will be his first MMA fight in nearly two years after a failed weight-cut late last year scrapped his return to the cage.

"It was a bad weight cut," Huff said. "I had so much going on between coaching wrestling, running my own business, I was always in a 100 different spots. There were a lot of stress factors in my life while training for that fight. Also, I was drinking a lot of water and depleted a lot of salt out of my system. It really messed my electrolytes up."

In preparation of the Crotty fight, Huff has spent a lot more time training back at his old haunt at St. Charles MMA, something that was missing from December's fight camp.

"I'm training out of St. Charles more for this fight," Huff said. "Joe Mueller is back in town and helping teach classes. The first fight he was in Italy so I was teaching all his classes too. I have more experienced guys in the gym training with. I have a few guys here and when I'm here I can get some decent training in."

Huff and Mueller joined forces to open up Arnold Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Martial Arts with Huff teaching all the grappling and MMA classes and aspiring Muay Thai specialist "Skinny Joe" handling the striking.

Despite the fact his MMA record has been quiet, Huff trains year round, mixing in jiu-jitsu tournaments and boxing to stay sharp.

"Is ring rust real? Depends on your training." Huff said. "It effects others more than others. If you come from a competitive background and have the right mind set it doesn't effect you. It's all about how you train for it."

For Crotty, the stakes are even higher, claiming if he can't beat Huff he's hanging up the gloves.

Crotty made his professional debut last November after more than a four year layoff, an opportunity to fight for Bellator against Garret Gross. While the fight didn't go his way, Crotty definitely impressed losing in a very close decision in the area's biggest stage.

Wrestling is the name of the game for Crotty, something Huff is very skilled at, and I don't know that Crotty will want to mess with Huff's ground game. This could make for an exciting stand-up fight.

For more on this fight, be sure to watch the promotional video from Shamrock FC.

Runner-up for last year's Amateur of the Year, Dakota Bush will look to continue his professional journey when he takes on Chris Petty. Bush made his debut in January defeating Mateo Callazo, and will have his hands full with another 1-0 pro in Petty. Much like Bush, Petty had an impressive amateur career that he parlayed into the pros. His ammy run was highlighted by a 45 second submission of Luis Pena and a 24 second starching of Brandon Karcher at Cage Champs and Fight Hard respectively.

Petty brings lights out power and intense early pressure which contrasts well with Bush's cool and calculated approach. Training out of the Smith Pit alongside UFC-vet Jake Collier and frequent visitor Andrew Sanchez, Bush is well rounded and not easily intimidated. This has all the trappings of a great fight as someone's undefeated record will be gone.

On the amateur side, Sam Tamayo will be in action against Reggie Evans. Evans has a win over Chris Petty and is as tough as they come, fighting out of Xplosive MMA in Hillsboro, IL. Facing Evans is fellow Illinoisan, Tamayo who trains out of CMMA alongside Sal Woods and Jordan Dowdy. Tamayo has KO power in his right hand and has wrestled for most of his life. He'll need every bit of his takedown defense against Evans.

Corbin Howard fighting out of St. Charles MMA, will face Eddie Mayo in a potential show-stealing fight between two fast and exciting young flyweights. Howard, the little brother of SFC Bantamweight Champ Jordan Howard, really impressed in his recent Fight Hard clash with Nick Martin in June with lightning-click transitions and a smothering top game. Howard is a fighter to keep your eye on.

Full card:

Jeff Crotty vs Kirk Huff(Winner Take All fight)
Dakota Bush vs Chris Petty

Sam Tamayo vs Reggie Evans
Brandon Schehl vs KJ Jones
Kris Craig vs Shawn McConnell
Corbin Howard vs Eddie Mayo
Dylan Hartley vs Jason Brown
Greg Fruend vs Andrew Escobar
Tanner Thomas vs Vince Hutchison
Dayne Bogard vs Johnny Blanky

Shamrock FC: 273
Saturday, July 23
Lumiere Casino, St. Louis, MO

Cage Champs 58 | Sat, October 28th
Big Eagles Hall, Sullivan, MO

Shamrock FC 297 (XFN) | Sat, November 11th
Lumiere Casino, St. Louis, MO

FFA: MMA vs Wrestling | Sat, November 11th
Lamborghini Gold Coast Center, St. Charles, MO

Shamrock FC 298 | Sat, November 18th
Ameristar Casino, Kansas City, MO