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Shamrock FC: Demolition - Event Preview

By Staff | Knuckle Junkies

Last year was an impressive showing for Shamrock FC. They delivered their most ambitious schedule to date. This included seven events at Lumiere Casino, two marquee shows at River City Casino, expanded to Kansas City for two shows at Harrah's Casino, partnered up with Gun 'n Hoses at Scott Trade Center, and even hosted an invite-only event at the Ritz Carlton. On Saturday they kick off 2014 which promises to be even bigger.

One year ago, Rob "The Beast" Washington stepped into a cage against Zach Freeman. That fight won our fight of the year. Washington returns on Saturday for another January throwdown, this time against Jeremy Castro.

It was a bit of a rough year for Washington in the cage. He started 2013 with the emotional loss to Freeman in January, a fight that many thought Washington could have won. In June, Washington had a heart-wrenching knockout loss to Luis Palamino at CFA, before returning home in October and back to the win column with a victory over Charron Spain. "The Beast" from East St. Louis will look to continue his winning ways against Castro, a journeyman fighter from Illinois.

Castro (11-12) has shared the cage with UFC-vets Charlie Brennemann and TJ O'Brien but hasn't been able to put together a solid streak of wins. With over 20 fights to his credit (mostly in Iowa) Castro has just about seen it all. He'll need to reach deep into his bag of tricks to outsmart Washington who also has over 20 fights including bouts in Canada, and other parts of the US. Castro has a puncher's chance, but look for Washington to take the fight to Castro and score a victory on his home turf.

"Jeremy has a wrestling background and has fought quite a few tough guys," SFC's Rob Donaker said. "This fight could be standing or on the ground. They both mirror each other pretty well with the only difference being Robert is right handed and Jeremy is left handed."

After not having fought in nearly two years, Joel Blair showed up to the River City Casino in December and gave us one of the craziest displays of heart we've ever seen. Blair went three rounds with Jake Buehler, and while Buehler looked to be close to finishing the fight, Blair hung in there and eventually won a decision. Blair will need to be on point on Saturday when he takes on Scott Futrell from Modern Combat Systems.

Futrell has continued to improve every time we see him. Despite a loss to Aaron Highfill, Futrell had a near perfect year, rattling off wins over Jesse Farmer, Clay Mitchell, Travis Courter, and Chris Harris. Futrell is a tough match-up for almost everyone with height and reach. If Futrell can keep Blair on the end of his jab, Futrell should coast to a victory. That said, don't count out the heart of Blair and his ability to hang around in the fight.

Check back tomorrow for more on Futrell.

Tom Baker didn't choose an easy opponent to make his pro debut against. Marc Godeker is about as tough and physically fit as you will find at light heavyweight. As the strength and conditioning coach for the St. Charles Chill hockey team, you know Godeker will come to the cage in shape. Godeker is a very tough grappler with devastating arm submissions, but should the fight go to the ground, Baker will be ready. The scrappy Baker is a blue belt under Rodrigo Vaghi and has been wrestling since the age of five, Baker now trains with the crew at Finney's MMA, and is eager to get back to action after an injury kept him on the shelf for most of last year. You can read more about Baker in our excellent profile by Sam Catazano.

"Marc has an excellent kimura," Donaker said. "That's his thing. This fight will come down to who will be able to implement their game plan."

The "Professor" Ben Chesser will be making his pro debut against Malshon Ball. Ball is a long, scrappy flyweight and will be an interesting test for Chesser. Chesser has won most of his fights by submissions, and will want to close the distance on Ball who has a significant height advantage. Ball (2-1) has only lost to Trevor Ward. Chesser has been a little inconsistent at times, but when he's dialed in he's very tough to beat.

"If Blair and Futrell isn't fight of the night then this could be it," Donaker said. "These guys go non-stop."

The all-amateur undercard is loaded with hungry fighters looking to make a name for themselves. This looks to be another solid offering from Shamrock FC.

"This is the first card of the year and we wanted to set the bar pretty high with this show," Donaker said.

Full card:

Rob Washington vs Jeremy Castro - ME
Joel Blair vs Scott Futrell
Tom Baker vs Marc Godeker
Malshon Ball vs Ben Chesser
Sharita Fane vs Nikki Smith

Daniel Jefferson vs Demagio Smith
Brandon Pearson vs Daniel Scaggs
Jobe Washington vs Dale Stolte
Richard King vs Kris Craig
Jasoh Hobbs vs Dennis Cole
Kyle Datillo vs Micah Livingston
Henry Hofman vs Brandon Dillick
Staton O'Dell vs Sebastian Grant

Shamrock FC: Demolition
Saturday, January 18th
Lumiere Place Casino - St. Louis