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Shamrock FC: 278 - Dowdy vs Kurtz

By Brett Auten | Knuckle Junkies

MMA in a boxing ring.

For old school fans of the sport, it's an image that hearkens to the wild days of Pride.

For the modern-era viewer, it's more like WTF?

The general consensus is the ring benefits the strikers. You have four 90-degree angles to corner a guy off and the wrestlers and grinders can't sink an underhook, put their head under the chin, and press, lean, knee, and footstomp their way up against the cage. With the possible, and eventual, entanglement in the ropes, even more, onus is on the referee in charge.

Two of the area's top welterweights will square off in the ring as they headline Saturday's Shamrock FC: 278 at the Lumiere Casino. Kyle Kurtz and Jordan Dowdy sit atop a bill as the only MMA contest on a night filled with pro boxing and amateur kickboxing.

Both were eager to get fights in before the end of the calendar year and Shamrock was happy to oblige.

I think you talk to 10 people, five would pick Dowdy, and five would take Kurtz, Shamrock FC president Jesse Finney said. Overall, I think Dowdy has more ways to win. Dowdy is an '8' at everything but you can never sleep on Kurtz.

When his home gym of CMMA in Pontoon Beach, IL shutting its doors earlier this year, Dowdy, 30, was part of the pilgrimage to the revamped HIT Squad in Granite City. Under new ownership and with the able mind of Luigi Fioravanti taking over the MMA program there, the HIT Squad is experiencing a resurrection of sorts.

I'm working with the top welterweights in the area and it's great, Dowdy said. We push each other, with respect.

Dowdy (3-2) started his career 2-1 with his only loss being to Adam Meredith at Bellator 145 in 2015. He rebounded with a TKO of Raymond Grey this April but is coming off a summer loss at Bellator 157 to Guilherme "Bomba" Vasconcelos (8-3). Though known for always known for being in top condition, Dowdy has never been out of the first round as a pro.

I expect he will come out like a bat out of hell, Dowdy said. I have to stay long, stay technical. There is no point going to his strengths. He has a tricky guard. I'm going to stay where I have the advantage.

This will be Kurtz's fourth fight of the year, with second-round losses to Kevin Engel and Bobby Voelker. In between those fights, he submitted Adam Cella in June. In September, Kurtz was at the epicenter of a legal dispute between Shamrock FC and Fight Hard MMA. Kurtz, 26, had been named (and promoted as) the main event opponent for Lucas Gwaltney for Fight Hard MMA's September 17 show. SFC had released its card for SFC: 276 (set for September 24) in Kansas City a week prior with Kurtz vs Bobby Voelker as its main event. A St. Louis County Judge granted SFC a temporary restraining order prohibiting Kyle Kurtz from fighting on Fight Hard card. Kurtz eventually fought Voelker and despite getting finished, fared better than many predicted against the multi-time UFC veteran with the reputation of being one of the roughest, toughest in a good way competitors to come out of the Midwest.

Kurtz had dominate positions in that fight, even mounting Voelker at one point, unable to finish. He had multiple flashes of success all despite being in what could only be described as a rambunctious crowd cheering on their hometown favorite who were all aware of the uncertainty of the fight even happening

Because of all that went on, Bobby wanted to kill him and the fans wanted to kill him, Finney said. It was the loudest, most hostile crowd in Shamrock history.

Voelker got the TKO in the second round but Kurtz came away with both positives and negatives.

I want's my usual, aggressive self, Kurtz said. I was very smart. I was not going to strike and brawl. I was in good positions but I was not relentless when I was in those good positions. I got my takedowns when I wanted them, I just wasn't adamant about my strikes. I learned a lesson. Jordan has a lot of good qualities. He's calm, collective, with good technique but I'm truly the more well-rounded fighter, I've fought tougher guys and I've worn out tougher guys, and I've gotten the better of tougher guys.

Full card (subject to change):

Jordan Dowdy vs Kyle Kurtz - MMA
Raymond Handson vs Troy White - Boxing
Jordan Maxey vs Jacob Zogg- Boxing
Juzzton Hill vs Eean Chappell- Boxing

Amateur - Kickboxing
Gaston Marabatto vs Brandon Breault
Lillie Storey vs Marye Dalton
Colin Parr vs Perry Nesbit
Adriene Brusco vs Phillina Zimmerman
Luis Felipe vs Olly Cunningham
Ruben Sola vs Steven Stevenson
Averon Graham vs Shawn McConnell
Lamone Davis Vs Jordan Miester
Jarod Medley vs Eric Schmidt

Shamrock FC: 278 - Extreme 9
Saturday, November 5th
Lumiere Casino, St. Louis, MO

Photo courtesy of Jimmy Range Photgraphy