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Shamrock FC: 283 - Preview

By Matt Frazier | Knuckle Junkies

Capping off a successful 2016, Shamrock FC has vowed to up the ante even more with even bigger fights and better production.

The promotions first St. Louis event is a return to the Lumiere Casino on January 28th which also brings the return of one of the area's most popular fighters, Chris "Stump" Heatherly.

Last summer fight fans were salivating over the Bellator undercard match-up between Heatherly, a 2-time UFC vet, and young, upstart Joaquin Buckley in a battle between the old guard and new. Unfortunately for fans of Heatherly, the bout was stopped in the second as Buckley's stand-up started to land, ending with a second round TKO.

The bout with Buckley has lit a fire under Heatherly who has since switched camps to Pedigo Submission Fighting in Mount Vernon, IL home of jiu-jitsu wunderkind Andrew Wiltse, a multi-world champ, and Heatherly has vowed to make one more serious run before he hangs them up.

Standing across the cage from Heatherly will be Nolan Norwood out of Little Rock, Arkansas. Norwood sports a similar record at 9-3, and despite not having the high profile fights of Heatherly, has been very consistent over his 12 fight career never losing back-to-back fights. Five of Norwood's wins have come by submission.

Arnold BJJ's Coltin Cole will put on the gloves again. Cole is coming off a candidate for KO of the year last March with an impressive wheel kick KO of Brad Jones. March's bout with Jones was Cole's first fight in three years, and after the inspiring win, Cole (3-4) vowed to be more active. Cole will face Sean Woodson, a fighter who has struggled with injuries as of late.

Woodson (1-0) made his professional debut at RFA defeating Kevin Brown in the first round in September. A rib injury forced him out of a follow-up performance in November.

A leading candidate for St. Louis' Amateur of the Year, Eric Ellington will make his pro debut against Nick McClean. Ellington ran roughshod over the local competition in 2016 posting a 6-0 record winning titles in both St. Louis and Kansas City. The bout in KC won Ellington a pro contract with Shamrock FC, and a guaranteed three-fight deal. Ellington is an imposing force at 135 and will be a tough match-up for the smaller McClean who has competed at flyweight.

Local fight fans will remember McClean's war of words with another outspoken flyweight Dan O'Connor in December of 2015, a fight McClean would go on to win by a second round TKO. Since then the undefeated McClean (2-0) has been on the shelf, the bout with Ellington will be his first in over a year.

Rounding out the main card will be amateur bouts featuring Greg Freund and Dylan Fuda, as well as Watson Martial Art's Luis Felipe returning to take on Jeff Glover. Felipe has impressed in his handful of fights with good dirty boxing, and a strong ground game.

On the undercard, keep your eye on the War Room's Dustin Ventimiglia, a second generation fighter and accomplished amateur wrestler who finished third in state his senior year in high school sporting a 46-3 record at Class 3A out of Belleville West. Ventimiglia smothered the competition in his first two fights, cruising to victory over Travis Perry and Perry Nesbit. Ventimiglia could make waves in the amateur division in 2017 if he stays active.

Here is the full card; (Subject to change)

Chris Heatherly vs Nolan Norwood
Sean Woodson vs Coltin Cole
Eric Ellington vs Nick McClean
Greg Freund vs Dylan Fuda
Luis Felipe vs Jeff Glover

Dustin Ventimiglia vs Dylan Hatley
Marye Dalton vs Shannon Goughary
Kevin Mueller vs Staton O'Dell
Tim Eischenfelder vs Jordan Meister
Thomas Coghill vs David Jackstadt
Amber Jones vs (TBD)
Aidan Woods vs Matt Stasiulaitis
Avoran Graham vs Steve Becker

Shamrock FC: 283
Saturday, January 28th
Lumiere Casino, St. Louis, MO

UFC Fight Night 124 | Sun, January 14th
Scottrade Center, St. Louis, MO

Gateway FS (MMA) | Fri, January 19th
Lamborghini Gold Coast Center, St. Charles, MO

Shamrock FC 301 | Sat, January 20th
Ameristar Casino, St. Charles, MO

Shamrock FC 302 | Sat, February 3rd
Ameristar Casino, Kansas City, MO