Shamrock FC: 275 - News and Notes
Shamrock FC made its River City Casino debut on June 15, 2013.
On that night, Adam Cella made his welterweight debut with a thumping KO and the card featured the likes of Josh Weston, Ken Porter, a 19-year-old Joaquin Buckley and a then-unknown gymnast named Shaun Scott.
The 1,600-seat venue, with its LED screens and stadium seating, has now become the commonplace location for SFC's stacked Pro/Am cards in St. Louis. In 2014, Cella and Lucas Gwaltney put on possibly the greatest MMA fight in our town's history there. That year also saw the stunning (in the wrong kind of way) pro debut of Aaron Highfill. When 2015 came around, SFC introduced its first pay-per-view format at River City, streaming the live action on its website. That PPV-debut night was memorable thanks to the performances of Buckley, Eric Irvin, and Jordan Howard. Mid-year saw the first Bellator contracts awarded to Shamrock FC fighters as Howard and Rebecca Ruth both inked deals after their River City fights in September of that year. So far this year, River City shows have all been about the highlight reel finishes. SFC: Mayhem, led by Kevin Engel's dramatic KO of Kyle Kurtz, with Rashard Lovelace, Matt Helm, and Coltin Cole all adding spectacular stoppages to the Shamrock vault.
On Friday night River City will once again host a banging card, this time for SFC: 275, Shamrock's second-to-last card of the year at the venue as it closes out the year there on December 2.
Atop the bill sits Mike Brazzle, entering off of a four-year-layoff, against Highfill, who replaced an injured Jordan Dowdy after Dowdy sustained a nasty cut.
"Highfill is a little more polished and Brazzle has the wrestling advantage," SFC President Jesse Finney said. "But other than that, I think they fight identically. Neither is much of a BJJ-guy."
Brazzle (3-1) side-stepped away from the game in 2012 but is now back training under Engle and longtime wrestling coach Rocky Vercher. Brazzle went 7-0-1 as an amateur. In his first pro fight, he lost to Sal Woods by DQ when Brazzle landed a knee to Woods when Woods had three points of contact. Brazzle started wrestling in the sixth grade and finished his career at Francis Howell Central, where he met Vercher
"Brazzle is a wrestler who likes to bang," Finney said.
After a disastrous pro debut, Highfill has won two straight, with his toughest opponent of late being injuries. He last fought in December of 2015.
"Aaron is an old-school guy," Finney said. "I think he has all of the potential in the world. He has one pace, and that's coming forward, and sometimes that can lead to injuries."
The co-min event sees a trapeze artist of a fighter in Cort Wahle taking on the bruising and brawny Seth Basler. Basler is another SFC: 275 fighter who is coming off a long layoff. Basler (0-2) last fought in June 2014.
"Seth comes out and throws bombs," Finney said. "He fights a lot like Kyle Walker."
Basler has been splitting training time between Southern Illinois and Hahn's MMA in Arnold. This will be a bantamweight bout.
Two talented bantamweights, Trevor Ward and Erion Zekthi, will meet for bragging rights. Read more on this match-up HERE.
"You can't sleep on Trevor Ward at '35," Finney said. "He's had about half of his fights there. Trevor has gone from primarily self-trained to the best camp in the world. Can Erion take him down, lay on him, and do some damage?"
Finney has spouted off high praise for Lee Burns, a heavyweight, who takes on Justin Grant. Burns is short on cage experience but long on athleticism. Burns trucked through all of his opponents until he ran into Byron Stevens at June's Bellator event, where he suffered his first loss.
Shaun Scott was the SFC amateur middleweight champion, and for his pro debut, Scott is making the trip down to 170-pounds. Scott's opponent, Kevin Brown has stepped in to replace Sean Woodson. Brown has made a name for himself through boxing and kickboxing at SFC events, taking on the likes of striking specialist Elmir Kulosman and Raymond Handson.
The undercard will have the SFC lightweight amateur title up for grabs. Derik Scott, the brother of Shaun and a local attorney, will face Issac Parnell. Parnell, out of Pacific's 21st Century MMA, is one of the most exciting strikers in the region while Scott has the right mixture of brains, brawn, and fortitude to squelch any of Parnell's frilly footwork and combinations.
"Either Scott's going to wear him down or it will be an extremely fancy knockout," Finney said.
For tickets to SFC:275 or to watch it on-line visit www.shamrockfcstore.com
Mike Brazzle vs Aaron Highfill
Cort Wahle vs Seth Basler
Erion Zekthi vs Trevor Ward
Lee Burns vs Justin Grant
Kevin Brown vs Shaun Scott
Sam Tamayo vs KJ Jones
Derik Scott vs Issac Purnell (Title)
Joe Kelso vs Merril Williams
Marye Dalton vs Linsey Williams
Patrick Sparks vs Jeff Glover
Tyler Madding vs Carl Jefferson
Nick Pipitone vs Vince Hutchison - K1
Edrick Dillard vs Jace Burcham
Dee Barron vs Jason Stevenson
Dave Jackstadt vs Chuckie Brooks
Shamrock FC 275
Friday, September 9th
River City Casino, St. Louis, MO