Shamrock FC: 279, 280 - Mega Preview
Shamrock FC is loading up in early December.
The St. Louis-based promotion has two shows back-to-back, one in St. Louis and the other in its home away from home, Kansas City.
"What a crazy weekend for us, we're setting up the cage in KC on Tuesday," Shamrock FC President Jesse Finney said. "I'm really excited for the challenge to do something like this."
First up is SFC 279 on December 2nd at the River City Casino with the main card filled with well-known names.
Steve Mann, who runs as hot and cold as anyone, faces three-time UFC vet Matt Veach in the main event. Veach is a 3-time UFC vet out and was Matt Hughes wrestling partner at the HIT Squad while he was still competing.
"Still to this day, Veach has the best blast double I've ever seen," Finney said. "Mann is the most talented fighter in St. Louis, he's a tremendous athlete, but which Steven Mann shows up, we never know. "
The 35-year-old Veach, who is a native of Springfield, IL, will give Mann all that he can handle and more. Veach is 13-5 and is a former protegee of Hughes and Robbie Lawler Notably, Veach lost to Frankie Edgar in the finals of The Ultimate Fighter: Heavyweights in 2009 as a replacement for an injured Kurt Pellegrino. He has lost three of his last four.
"We all know Mann will end up on his back at some point," Finney said. "From there we don't know what will happen. Has the game passed Veach up? He hasn't fought in two-three years. Can he contend with a big 170-pounder? He's competed mostly at lightweight. Veach is still one of the best wrestlers in MMA and he throws bombs, you just never know."
Mann (12-4), originally from Iowa, shook off 2015's three-fight losing streak to win two-straight including a 25-second TKO of Mike Estus at Bellator 157.
In the co-main event, Erion Zekthi (1-0) will have his second pro - and fourth overall - of the year when he faces Demetrius Wilson. Zekthi went 10-0 as an amateur. The two bantamweights have spared no expense when it comes to promoting their bout via SFC promotional videos and media of all type. Wilson is 3-1 and is looking for his third win of the year.
"I'm super impressed with Erion," Finney said. "This kid, inside and outside the cage has really impressed me. I think this is a great fight, both guys are very similar, good wrestlers and good stand-up, both extremely strong. I don't know many people that are in as good as shape as Erion. It's going to come down cardiovascular. I wouldn't ever bet against Erion when it comes to cardio, then again Demetrius Wilson took a boxing match-up with a world class boxer and stood there for four rounds and almost beat him. A lot of people are sleeping on Wilson's wrestling. He can wrestle, but then again so can Erion. This comes down to who wants it more, number one, and then jiu-jitsu and cage experience second."
Emotions will runneth over when AJ Siscoe walks to the cage. Siscoe, a recent cancer survivor, will look for his first win in his third pro fight. Siscoe (0-2) takes on Chris Reed (2-3), who has won two-straight. Siscoe, a blue belt under JW Wright, will have an army of fans behind him when he steps onto the canvas on December 2nd.
One of the bright, young lightweights in the St. Louis area is Luis Pena. Pena takes on Brandon Schehl and looks to improve to 2-0 in Schehl's pro debut. Pena out of St. Charles MMA erased an old amateur loss when he stopped Chris Petty in September at Fight Hard in his professional debut. Pena systematically broke Petty down before getting the finish near the end of the first round.
Andrew Ebers, a Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt under Keith Robinson, who also serves as one of the head coaches at the Wolves' Den home of Zekthi, Ashley Cummins, and others makes his pro debut against Dan Busch. The hard-nosed Busch is fresh off a unanimous decision victory over Derek Clardy at the September Fight Hard show.
Kicking off the main card is the 'Mama Beast' Susie Wyatt who faces Francis Hernandez.
After that Friday night, SFC moves on down Interstate 70 West to the Ameristar Casino in Kansas City on December 3rd.
"Here's our schedule for the week," Finney said. "Monday we have a full staff meeting with everyone that's going to both shows. Tuesday the cage gets setup in Kansas City with full lights and production. Wednesday we set up full production in St. Louis, lights, production, and cage. Thursday, the weigh-ins are streamed live from St. Louis with pre-productions meetings and walk-through. On Friday are weigh-ins that will be streamed live from Kansas City at 6pm, then fights kick off at 7:30 sharp in St. Louis, fights will be over by 11."
From there it gets a little fuzzy.
"We go from there to KC," Finney said. "But we're still figuring out the logistics of when and how we're getting there, but we still have pre-production meeting and walk-through Saturday morning at KC, then later we kick the show off at 7:30. That's how we're going to end the year."
Headlining the Kansas City event on December 3 is St. Louis' Adam Meredith (5-1) taking on Lawrence, Kansas' Zak Bucia (15-8).
"For Meredith, this is his shot to make it," Finney said. "Meredith is one of my favorite guys we have under contract, the way he carries himself and the way he works at the sport. We focus a lot of people outside the cage because the way they represent our brand. Meredith and Bucia are two that represent the brand of Shamrock well. When you move on to the next stage you represent us."
Meredith is coming off an injury that sidelined him for most of 2016. After a win at Bellator 157 last November, Meredith suffered a torn labrum in his shoulder in training and a win in December could make five in a row. Bucia has lost his last two after a four-fight winning streak that includes a memorable KO of Robert Washington in May of 2015 at the Ameristar.
"We were ecstatic when we re-signed Bucia," Finney said. "He's fought, anybody and everybody. Meredith is probably a better wrestler, but Bucia is a better striker, and jiu-jitsu it's pretty close. That's why it's a great fight."
In the co-main event slot is one of our favorite fighters Aaron Poston. The KC special education teacher, Poston, donates his entire fight purse to a local cause. Poston will not have an easy night in the cage taking on Garrett Mueller (2-2). If it weren't for a broken foot, Mueller might have given the undefeated Rashard Lovelace his first loss at Bellator 157 but was forced to retire between rounds, in a very close fight up until then.
Meredith's teammate from St. Charles MMA, Julius Anglickas (1-1) will also make the trip west to take on Mike Doss (2-1).
After a dominating performance in his professional debut, Anglickas second scheduled fight fell through allowing for the opportunity on a Victory FC show. After winning much of the first half the fight, Anglickas succumbed to Cameron Olson's (6-2) arm triangle late in the third round evening his record at 1-1. Since the fight, Anglickas has increased his strength and conditioning training and received his blue belt in jiu-jitsu from Mike Rogers and Rodrigo Vaghi.
"Julius looks like a Greek god," Finney said. "He's a big imposing guy and hits hard. Seems like a very humble guy, and that goes a long way in this sport. Doss is supposed to hit like a truck and has good wrestling and good stand-up. Should make for a great fight"
If any of his previous fights are an indicator, Kevin Woltkamp's fight with David Hammonds should be exciting. Woltkamp, win or lose, is an exciting fighter to watch and leaves every bit of himself inside the cage. After defeating BJJ ace Derek Bohi in May of 2014, Hammonds has lost two straight including a loss Kyle Noblitt at Bellator 150, he will be hungry for a win.
Also on the bill is a heavyweight battle between Anthony Garrett and Matt Uhde that will surely get the crowd fired up.
"Garrett and Uhde, two big heavyweights that like to stand and bang," Finney said. Everybody enjoys that."
Both events will be streamed live on Shamrock FC internet PPV, but if you want to see the events in person you might want to hurry.
"KC is actually selling better than River City right now," Finney said. "We have less than a 100 seats left at River city. We still having some standing room available, but less than 100 actual seats."
For ticket information go to cagetix.com/shamrockfc
Here are the full cards for both events:
Shamrock FC: 279 - December 2
Lumiere Casino, St. Louis, MO
Steve Mann vs Matt Veach
Erion Zekthi vs Demetrius Wilson
AJ Siscoe vs Chris Reed
Luis Pena vs Brandon Schehl
Andrew Ebers vs Dan Busch
Susie Wyatt vs Francis Hernandez
Derik Scott vs Gaston Marabotto
Joe Kelso vs Kevin Roper
Elmar Umarov vs Nathan Stearns
Ian Zarvos vs Cody Leas (Special Attraction Kickboxing)
Tony Lanzarini vs Vince Hutchens
Dylan Hadley vs Freddy Kostjerevac
Edrick Dillard vs Sebastian Grant
Shamrock FC: 280 - December 3
Ameristar Casino, Kansas City, MO
Zak Bucia vs Adam Meredith
Aaron Poston vs Garrett Mueller
Mike Doss vs Julius Anglickas
Steven Graham vs Raul Romero
Kevin Woltkamp vs David Hammonds
Anthony Garrett vs Matt Uhde
Thomas Thatcher vs Derrik Darling
Trevor Johnson vs Ryan Garrison
Justin Scott vs Albert Cochrane
Alex Lima vs Ernie Drake
Zack Scroggins vs Stephen Thompson
Terrence carter vs Eric Caraballo
Tommy Thurber vs Troy Depreist