Shamrock FC: Assault - Recap
It is a good time to be a sports fan in KC.
Successful seasons by both Royals, Chiefs, and Sporting Kansas City has hometown fans expecting exciting events as the norm. Shamrock FC delivered in 2015 in a big way and started off 2016 right with SFC: Assault on Saturday night at the Ameristar Casino.
"These fighters here are extremely loyal to us." SFC President Jesse Finney said. "We have a good thing going here with the fighters. Kansas City really appreciate the efforts we put into marketing us. They appreciate what we do, the production level, the fights, how we try to market them as well."
In the main event local favorite Vicious Bobby Voelker started out slow versus Raymond Gray, but the UFC and Strikeforce veteran dug deep and got it done in the end.
In the first, the hometown crowd held their collective breathe as Voelker absorbed successive liver kicks from Gray and was knocked to the mat. Voelker fought back to his feet and refocused, surviving the round.
"He kept a good distance, was throwing those liver kicks, and it was keeping me at bay," Voelker said. "Whenever I saw a chance to step in, he was in out and out. He knew his range so well. I couldn't close it until my corner finally told me 'just attack and do what you do best', and I was able to sneak out those last two rounds."
With direction from his corner to be more aggressive rather than wait to be kicked, Voelker pushed forward. The second round was close but Voelker seemed to get the better of the fight along the fence.
Voelker came on in the third clearly winning the round and putting an exclamation point on the fight with strong ground and pound before the bell, as Gray desperately tried to win the fight with a submission.
"I was on top and kind of slipped off, and he got me in a kind of a kimura," Voelker said. "I just put my head down and rolled with it and ended back on top, and just ground and pounded him. I went for a choke but couldn't get under his chin."
After the fight went to the judges, it was Voelker taking home the win. An elated Voelker was quick to thank his opponent and was respectful of Gray who took the fight on short notice.
"He took it on short notice." Voelker said. "He was probably stronger than normal, but his gas tank wasn't there. After the fight I said to him 'go get a full camp in and let's do it again, you deserve it.' He definitely deserved it, I think he busted his foot on my hard head. His style brought my kryptonite tonight. Were gonna go look at tape and see what we need to fix to prevent that from happening again."
The unanimous decision victory was the fourth win in a row since exiting the UFC, and improves his record to 28-12.
"Wow, that was one of the most exciting fights I've seen in a while." Finney said. "Bobby almost got stopped in the first thirty seconds and gutted it out for the rest of the round. I give the second to Bobby, but if you gave it to Raymond I wouldn't have argued it. Obviously Bobby dominated. So the fight really game down to that second round Amazing fight. I don't think I've ever heard this place this loud."
The co-main event was a slow starter with Cody Peterson expecting Oscar Valdez to be more aggressive. Peterson was disciplined and patient in the striking as he moved in and out after combinations.
"I knew I needed to keep throwing strikes out there and he wanted to take me down." Peterson said. "I don't mind going to the ground, but I know the fans love seeing a stand-up fight. It does throw you of when they keep running from you."
Valdez came out in the third more aggressive but wasnt able to gain the upper hand. Peterson won every round in the 30-27 decision.
"I started to weather down a bit in the third round." Peterson said. "He knew he had to either knock me out or submit me to win the fight and he wasn't going to do either. I should have been a little more aggressive, I'm trying to impress the right people and get into Bellator. I'm going to try and be more aggressive while staying smart about it. Big shout out to LC Davis for helping me through this journey and Jason High and Austin Ford."
Dustin Kramer was able to get inside on the long and lanky Issac Badger dropping elbows from full mount in the first and secured the victory with an arm triangle early in the second for his third win as a professional.
"I knew he was tall and would have some reach one me." Kramer said. "Right off the bat he caught me with a snap front kick, caught me in the lip and nose, it really caught me off guard. I knew I needed to put him on the floor quick. I got him down and dropped some elbows and things turned around for me pretty quick."
Jacob Akin out of American Top Team HD was quick and efficient in his win over Jordan Hernandez. A blistering fast knock down into a rear naked choke at 1:08 of the first was all it took. After the fight, Akin was just as quick to challenge William Joplin to a third bout in a post-fight ring announcement.
"I meant what I said. I beat him and he beat me, I think it's only fair we do another one," Akin said. "Plus it's something the fans want to see, so let's make money and give the people what they want."
Tyson Hicks defeated Trevor McKenzie to win the Shamrock FC Amateur 155 belt in a close fight. Hicks won the third round and possibly the fight with his spinning back kick. The fight went to the judges who returned a split decision in favor of Hicks.
"I didn't want the fight to go to the judges, but if it did I wanted a guaranteed win." HIcks said. "I started slow, but as the fight got going I got into rhythm and caught him with a few things. Hats off to him, he's a tough opponent, I've got to respect him for that, but I wasn't walking out of this cage without the title."
Hicks fighting out of Rob Kimmon's Perservence MMA improves to 9-1 and is one to watch.
After the show Finney broke the news of a summer debut of Shamrock FC's very popular mixed combat event.
"We do a Shamrock FC Xtreme that we host four times a year in St. Louis." Finney said. "It's a mixed event in the ring where we do professional boxing, kickboxing, and for MMA we do it "Pride Style" with a fifth rope. We're kicking around the idea of bringing it to Kansas City this summer. It's been a big hit in St. Louis. Our February event is already sold out a month away."
Shamrock FC returns to Kansas City on March 5th, and look for the KC debut of Shamrock FC Xtreme some time this summer.. For more information on Shamrock FC or to register to compete on one of their shows visit http://shamrockfightingchampionships.com/
Bobby Voelker DEF Raymond Gray Unanimous Decision
Cody Peterson DEF Oscar Valdez Unanimous Decision
Dustin Kramer DEF Isaac Badger Arm Triangle choke 0:23 2nd
Jacob Akin DEF Jordan Hernandez Rear Naked choke 1:08 1st
Tyson Hicks DEF Trevor McKenzie Split Decision
Dominic Garcia DEF Thomas Thatcher Unanimous Decision
Austin Cunningham DEF Stephon Ragan Triangle 2:15 2nd
Frank Manion DEF Mile Williams Guillotine 0:33 2nd
Ray Whitman DEF Caleb Johnson RNC 0:56 1st
Jewel Ettingburg DEF Chris Heavner TKO 1:49 1st
Austin Werner DEF Jasin Kiser Triangle 1:23 1st
Photo courtesy of Jerry "Chavo" Chavez Photography