Shamrock FC: 307 - Preview
It'll be a historic night for Shamrock FC on July 14th when the action returns to the Ameristar Casino. The evening will mark the 20th Anniversary of the promotion, and it has packed the show with some match-ups that promise plenty of action.
It will be the second trip for SFC to Ameristar since signing a deal with the casino late last year. Its first trip in January was an unarguable success with a full house that saw Adam Cella defeat bitter rival Coltin Cole in the main event, and Matt Hughes protege Adam Osmoe return to the victory column with a gusty, grapple-heavy performance over Shaun Scott.
Headlining SFC 307 is Garrett Gross looking to make it five in a row when he takes on Dawond Pickney.
Gross (11-6), a winner of seven out of his last 10 fights has been red-hot of late and comes into his match with Pickney putting together four straight finishes. What is most impressive about Gross's recent form is how he's looked nearly unstoppable on the feet. His mauling, wolverine-like style overwhelmed Garrett Mueller in their bout from December getting him a TKO finish on Mueller who up until point had never been stopped outside of an injury.
Pickney, fighting out of Arkansas, is one of the tougher men you'll find fighting out of the "Natural State." Most of his wins have come under Hot Springs, Arkansas' Off the Chain MMA promotion winning five of his first seven pro fights. Most of his wins have come via TKO, which should make for a good stand-up battle with Gross.
Sliding into the co-main event slot is a welterweight match-up featuring Aaron Highfill (5-3) and Robert Gidron (3-1).
Highfill is one of the area's most dynamic and exciting fighters to watch with good wrestling, and a big right hand that can stop any fight, should it connect. In his most recent bout last September, Highfill was a round and half short of winning the Shamrock FC welterweight title away from Zak Bucia. Highfill dominated the early part of their fight and was ahead on points until Bucia caught Highfill in an armbar late in the fourth round. Before that Highfill had won five out of six with wins over Dewayne Diggs, Ty Flores, and Mike Brazzle, with the KO stoppage of Flores the most impressive win of the group.
Michigan's Gidron has won three of his first four professional fights including a March decision win over the previously unbeaten Joshua Frend at Pinnacle FC in Pennsylvania. The 6 foot 1 Gidron should have some size and reach over Highfill, and has proven he is difficult to put away having gone to a decision in but one of his fights, the lone exception being a first round submission victory.
Back in action after a nearly year layoff, Sal Woods will return to take on Garrett Mueller in a bout that features two gritty, incredibly tough fighters who will be in the fight from bell to bell. It will be a reunion of sorts for Woods who's last time fighting at Ameristar was against headliner Garrett Gross back in March 2012 when Woods won that fight with a guillotine. Mueller flirted with retirement after the aforementioned loss to Gross but jumped feet first back into action in the bout with Woods.
Rounding out the main card is arguably the area's top amateur, Evan Elder. Since dropping a decision loss back in 2016 to current TUF contestant Luis Pena, Elder rattled off three straight wins, including a pair of Watson Martial Arts' teammates, Luis Felipe and Colin Parr, the latter of which earned Elder the SFC amateur title, and bragging rights as one of the very best amateur fighters in St. Louis. Parr will be back to defend his title against the "Half-Fro Samurai" Brad Ragan out of Chute Boxe/Brass Boxing in Kansas City, Kansas.
On the all-amateur prelims, Dustin Ventimiglia returns after a horrific workplace injury last June that threatened the life of the promising young fighter. The fact that Ventimiglia has fully recovered from the injuries that put him into a medically induced coma to return to fighting shape in less than a year is nothing short of miraculous and should make for an emotionally charged night when he steps into the cage to take on Dylan Hatley.
Other fights to make note of on the prelims, Dave Jackstadt takes on Anthony Oden, Clayton Whaley and Shaun Briggs will tangle, and Kyle Watson purple belt Toshi Miyatsu kicks off action on the night. Miyatsu and looked very good in his last outing in April, he'll face Chris Peterson.
All the action for SFC 307 will be streamed live on FloCombat, or you can watch live in person by picking up tickets from Shamrock FC store.
Fight card: (Card and order subject to change)
Garrett Gross vs. Dawond Pickney
Aaron Highfill vs. Robert Gidron
Sal Woods vs. Garrett Mueller
Evan Elder (C) vs. Brad Ragan (155 Title Defense)
Dustin Ventimiglia vs. Dylan Hatley
Shaun Briggs vs. Clayton Whaley
Mark Perkins vs. Patrick Keao - Kickboxing
David Jackstadt vs. Anthony Oden
Dan Herina vs. James Frick - Kickboxing
Dustin Brown vs. Tom Southerland
John Kelly vs. Jake Richards
Jessica Smith vs. Lora Campbell - Kickboxing
Devin Bobby vs. Jesse Martinelli
Toshi Miyatsu vs. Chris Peterson
Shamrock FC 307
Saturday, July 14th
Ameristar Casino, St. Charles, MO