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Shamrock FC 316 - Preview

By Matt Frazier | Knuckle Junkies

While universities students start to head south for Spring Break, Shamrock FC will be back for their annual March event at River City Casino.

Jordan Dowdy returns to the SFC cage to take on Ben Brewer in the evening's scheduled main event at SFC 316. Dowdy has won three out of four since April of 2017 and seems to have patched up some of the holes that plagued the early part of his fighting career. Dowdy was recently promoted to purple belt under black belt Nick Sanders and took home the gold in the adult purple belt division at the Missouri BJJ State Championships.

We last saw Dowdy in action at Bellator 197 where he set the Bellator welterweight record for fastest submission with a rear naked choke on Jeff Crotty. With Dowdy tightening up his ground game, and the fact his opponent, Brewer having won 7-of-his-last-11 fights via submission, we could see a bit of a ground battle take shape.

"I expect him to come out hard and ready to roll," Dowdy said. "I think he's a tough, experienced, and durable opponent. Don't really have anything bad to say about the man."

Brewer hasn't been in action since February of 2017, a sizable lay off for a fighter who had his first 7 professional fights inside a calendar year.

"I never look to anticipate ring rust," Dowdy said. "I think the best bet is to always assume they are training as consistently as I am. I give everyone that respect. It most likely is not true, layoffs generally happen for a handful of reasons, but I always have this sense of needing to stay on top of my training and it's best to assume others are also doing the same in the professional ranks. If it is an issue for him and I notice that, it will be a welcome one that can be exploited. However, I will not be banking on that happening."

In the co-main event, Isaac Purnell will strap on the gloves to face a resurgent Cort Wahle in a featherweight bout. Wahle had a heck of a 2018 winning in spectacular fashion at Bellator 197 with a one-armed guillotine over Joe Roye in just 31 seconds. He would follow that up in the fall with a first-round TKO of Trevor Crawford at SFC 309. A traditional martial artist turned MMA fighter, Wahle has always been known for his creative stand-up, something he honed into perfection under Brad Jones and Jon Menke at the War Room in Woodriver, IL. In the match-up with Purnell, Wahle might have finally met his match in terms of stand-up skill.

Purnell, a product of the Benny Voyles stand-up system at 21st Century Martial Arts, has some of the nastiest kicks we've ever seen. With all but one of his amateur bouts ending via TKO, Purnell and Wahle should bring the fireworks come March 15. Training injuries and fight cancellations have seen Purnell be mostly inactive since his last ammy fight in March of 2017 and a pro debut a year later. A win over Wahle and momentum could finally be back on his side.

In a lightweight fare, Evan Elder looks to pick up his second pro victory with a win over Derek Clardy. Elder capped off a tremendous amateur run with a successful, albeit brief professional debut last fall. Elder packed three amateur victories, a SFC title belt, and a professional debut into a busy 2018. With youth, and talent on his side, we're excited to see what Elder can accomplish in 2019. Clardy was once considered one of the better amateurs in the area. With sneaky power and a no-quit spirit, Clardy will be a good test for this young pro.

Former training partners Dakota Zimmerman and Nikki Smith will be the feature match on the main card. Zimmerman jumped straight into the deep end of the pool making her pro debut against Keri Melendez at Bellator 206. Zimmerman gave Melendez her toughest challenge to date, narrowly losing a split decision, and earning a ton of new fans along the way. Zimmerman who trains alongside Kirk Huff will have plenty to work on at Huff's sandbox at Arnold BJJ in preparation for Smith. After winning her debut, Smith has been on a bit of a slide losing three straight including a high profile match-up with Ashley Cummins at Bellator Dynamite 2.

Rounding out the main card is a featherweight bout between Justin Lankford, making his professional debut, and Aushton Elleby. With Lankford, you know what you're going to get, a hard punching guy who will look to wear you down with his wrestling. If Elleby can stop the takedowns and keep the fighting standing, he has his best shot at winning this one. Elleby, who's had more name changes than Enterprise Center, is a former SFC amateur titleholder, winning a single-night featherweight tournament in June of 2016 besting Edrick Dillard and Bob Hinchliffe along the way..

In preliminary action, Adam Cella will take on Evan Beeson in a friendly, special exhibition match. The two have traded jabs on social media with Beeson getting the best of Cella in that regard. Two women's amateur kickboxing matches highlight the otherwise all-amateur undercard with Sarah Christianson taking on Shannon Robinson, and Jessica Lasater facing Melissa DeRousse.

Tickets are available at the River City box office or visiting the Shamrock FC store. The entire fight card can be streamed via FloCombat.

Full fight card (Subject to change)

Jordan Dowdy vs Ben Brewer
Isaac Purnell vs Cort Wahle
Evan Elder vs Derek Clardy
Dakota Zimmerman vs Nikki Smith
Justin Lankford vs Auhston Elleby

Oscar Ahuatzi vs Laree Hutch
Sarah Christianson vs Shannon Robinson - Kickboxing
Jesse Martinelli vs James Bailey
Cory Tinnon vs Jacob Jewel
Gabe Corson vs McKye Simmons
Jessica Lasater vs Melissa DeRousse - Kickboxing
Ian Zarvos vs Chris Wetherington
John Kelly vs Josh Mitchell
Jack Reif vs Toby Gvillo - Kickboxing
Kyle Warren vs Michael Faulkner
Bryan Duncan vs Will Monroe
Special Exhibition: Evan Beeson vs Adam Cella

Shamrock FC 316
Friday, March 15th
River City Casino, St. Louis, MO