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Jerry Chavez | Chavez Photography

Shamrock FC: Ambush - Recap

By Alex Silvius | for Knuckle Junkies


The cold weather has come to Missouri and the Holiday Season is upon us. Shamrock FC: Ambush came prepared with seasons beatings and an electric card that kept the fans engaged throughout the night.

The main event between William Joplin vs Horacio Escobar lived up to the main billing in a terrifically exciting fight. This was no small feat as the bar had previously been set high by several standout performances including an epic war between Raul Romero and Johnny Marigo.

The previously undefeated, Escobar came out explosively, getting the best of the stand-up, looking to land a big shot. Joplin waited for the right opportunity and time takedown perfectly, taking the fight where he is most comfortable. From the top, Joplin worked stayed busy threatening the entire round with chokes.

"That first round between Joplin and Escobar was one of the most exciting rounds I've seen in 17 years of promoting," Shamrock FC President Jesse Finney said."Joplin leaves it all in the cage every time. That's the best Horacio I've ever seen. Hopefully he can learn from that fight, work a little more on his wrestling. I'm more proud of him in that loss than his other wins that he's fought for us."

The first round got the crowd into the fight and cheering for more.

"We knew he was going to come after me, man." Joplin said. "We knew he going to attempt to knock me out even though his corner knew that probably wouldn't happen. The gameplan was to let him do what he wanted to do, wait for an open shot, take him down and keep him there."

Joplin came out the second round stalking Escobar with the intent to get the fight to ground early, and does just that dumping Escobar with a double leg take down. Escobar never gave in, but wasnt able to generate much offense from his back, as he was forced to defend the constant ground assault and choke attempts by Joplin.

"I've always been a slower starter." Joplin said. "If i'm pushed hard at all I'll probably seem a little tired, but the longer I go the better I feel. I was staying calm, listening to my corner and doing what they told me to do step by step. I was really surprised he got out of the rear naked choke. It was pretty tight because I heard him gurgling. He didn't tap and muscled out of it, so I'll give him props for that."

The third round had Joplin dominate on the ground again, securing his victory. Joplin worked relentlessly to finish the fight, but Escobar proved he was more than game forcing the decision victory.

The win over Escobar was the fourth of the year for "The Armadillo" out of Glorry MMA and Fitness in Lee Summit. He improves his record to 14-11 (4-1 in 2015.)

In the other action, heavyweight prospect Kevin Woltkamp was stopped early by "Bad News" Bo Kunz the Tank Abbot-like slugger from St. Louis. The fight started with both men cautiously looking for opportunities. Kunz, who is known as a fearless brawler, was uncharacteristically patient as he picked his spot landing his shot right on the button. Woltkamp stumbled down and Kunz jumped in, finishing the fight at 1:43 of the first.

"I just kind of waited," Kunz said. "I knew he had a lot of power. I figured he would try and fight me out of the clench. I did a little tape watching, but not too much. My corner prepared me for what we were waiting for out of him."

Kunz found received the call from SFC matchmaker Rob Donaker earlier in the week and found out he was needed.

"I came in on a late notice," Kunz said. "He was making his pro debut and had two fights drop. They called me and I said 'lets do it'. My record is starting to get up there. I'm going to have to get to training and really taking this serious so I can get ready for the guys at this next level."

With the win Kunz notched his third pro win of the year after a year and a half layoff. He improves to 3-2.

"Kevin Woltkamp, he'll be back." Finney said. "He played into Bo Kunz's game. He tried to prove a little too much. This is the pros, you need to go out and get the W and buy into to the hype of what someone might try and do."

The legend grows for Robin Hood Aaron Poston, the fighter who donates his earnings to charitable causes. Again Aaron Poston brought extra meaning to his fight with Joe Brewer.

"I was fighting for Camelia White." Poston said. "Her husband is a co-worker of mine at Turner Middle School. She's a two-time breast cancer survivor. She was recently diagnosed with cervical cancel and the doctors told her she wouldn't live past this past summer. She's beaten that, I talked to her after the fight and she's doing well. She's living on prayers and miracles and she's beating it. Hopefully she can keep it going."

Inside the cage, Brewer took the fight to the ground quickly and worked an arm-in guillotine. Poston ultimately escaped and ended the fight with a rear naked choke of his own midway through the first.

"He was going for an arm-in guillotine," Poston said. "I felt him putting everything into it. I heard him grunting trying to finish it off. I kept good position, didn't let me sweep me knowing his arms would get tired. I felt it a little bit, I won't lie, but every time he started getting the tightness I would adjust and kept making him wear his arms out."

Poston thrives on battling for special causes in the ring and at his day job. As a Special Education teacher for troubled teens, Poston works as their advocate and encouragement. His next mission is boxing match in two weeks with the proceeds going to another teacher fighting cancer.

"Anytime I fight a cause like this, I want to put all the training I can get into it and make sure I'm ready." Poston said. "I feel if I don't show up in-shape and ready to fight I feel it's disrespectful to the people I'm fighting for, the fans, the promotion, everybody."

Poston's teammate at American Top Team HD, Marques Jackson picked up his first win as a pro when he made short work of Jeff Sveum.

"My plan was to be aggressive. My cardio was really good this camp, and I just needed to get that 'W' and stay in his face," Jackson said. "He came in eight pounds over weight and I knew he being out of shape and that would be a factor. I was patiently aggressive, I picked my spot and got the win."

The finale for the under card was a fight of the night contender with Raul Romero taking on Johnny Marigo. Marigo had size, height, and reach on Romero but Romero had heart. Romero kept coming forward and Marigo kept throwing knees. In the second round Marigo gashed Romeros head with a knee. In the third round, with blood in his eyes, when both men were exhausted, Romero kept pushing the pace. This relentlessness earned the respect of the crowd and even though neither had ties to KC, the KC fans were loud and raucous. Marigo won the split decision much to the chagrin of the crowd. The fight was very close with both earning fans this night.

"The two best fights of the nights went to a decision. Marigo and Romoero, that was back and forth." Finney said. "That was like Bonnar and Griffin. Those guys were non-stop. That's what we do, we try and put on good, hard, and fair match-ups. We proved tonight we didn't have the Rudy Bears, the Bobby Voelker's the big names, and we almost sold out.. People are starting to catch-on that we're here for many, many years, we're here every other month. We're committed to this market, and we look to bring another big organization into the market in 2016."

Kansas City got an early MMA gift with Shamrock FC: Ambush to start the holiday season and Jesse Finney says more gifts for KC are on the way in 2016. Shamrock FC returns on January 16th to the Ameristar Casino in Kansas City.

Full Results:

Joplin DEF Escobar Unanimous Decision
Kunz DEF Woltkamp TKO 1:43 1st
Jackson DEF Sveum RNC 1:21 1st
Ruby DEF Roades RNC 3:16 1st
Poston DEF Brewr RNC Midway 1st
Marigo DEF Romero Split Decision
Nguyen DEF Thrall Unanimous Decision
Thatcher DEF Kelsey RNC 1:59 2nd
Manion DEF Gist TKO 1:13 1st
Reeves DEF Whitman Arm bar 1:16 1st

Photo courtesy of Jerry Chavez Photography

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