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Shamrock FC: Explosion - Recap

By Brett Auten | Knuckle Junkies

Kyle Kurtz gave the finger to any talk of the word 'fluke'.

Kurtz earned an emphatic win over Adam Cella in the main event of Friday's Shamrock FC: Explosion when he locked on an armbar and got the tap at 1:06 in the first round.

The two tangled a year ago this month with a Kurtz scoring second-round submission on the Bellator 138 undercard. The win thwarted any talks of retirement for the 26-year-old who gave an impassioned speech on his Facebook account leading up to the Cella fight that Fridy was possibly his last. With the win, Kurtz improved his professional record to 6-2 while Cella drops to 6-6.

Kurtz was landing early and often against Cella who looked to close the distance following a scramble. Cella ended up in Kurtz's guard where the Jackson, MO native was patient and deliberate. Kurtz started working for a triangle before moving to the arm where he would secure the victory.

For exclusive video interviews with Kurtz and other main card winner from SFC: Explosion, check back here on Monday.

ATT's Garrett Gross got back on the winning track with a dominant performance over Malcolm Smith. Gross was accurate and selective with his hands and once he gained top position on the floor, he never relinquished it. Gross (8-5) took Smith's back late in the round and got the rear naked choke at 4:59 in the first. It was a tough task for Smith (4-5), who was not only fighting up in weight due to a change in opponents but it was also his first trip back to the cage in over a year.

Scott Ettling fought smart and effective and placed the first blemish to Cort Wahle's pro record. Ettling improved to 4-1 and finished Wahle at 3:23 in the second round with a triangle.

Ettling snuffed out a first round takedown but Wahle was able to show off his improved grappling game, reversing positions and defending well. It wasn't until Ettling snared Wahle in his web-like guard, nullifying any offense from the dynamic striker for the bulk of the round.

The second was highlighted by grappling scrambles and transitions aplenty before Wahle again found himself in Ettling's guard. This time the Hillsboro, IL, product finished the deed with a triangle. Wahle (1-1) made his pro debut in January with a win over Garrett Mueller.

Fifty-year-old Susie Wyatt made her pro debut at Explosion, unfortunately, across the cage from her was 27-year-old Ronni (Lawrence) Nanney. Nanney showed much-improved footwork and boxing to win a unanimous decision. Wyatt had her best success when she able to close the distance, work the clinch, and press Nanney against the fence. Nanney's game has progressed since her jiu-jitsu-heavy amateur days and she was never in harms way instead, she repeatedly created separation and peppered away, leading to a unanimous decision win. The two fought as amateurs in 2014 with Nanney winning by unanimous decision then as well.

Dan O'Connor and Issac Badger put together one of the more entertaining rounds of the year to kick off the main card. The contrast between the 6-foot-1 Badger and 5-foot-6 O'Connor gave the strawweights (though Badger was nearly 9 pounds over) an instant pop with the crowd. Badger dropped O'Connor two times in the first round and in doing so, caused a huge lump to swell near the right eye. O'Connor could of folded up the tents a couple of times but his jiu-jitsu, a staple tool in his belt his entire career, changed the complexity of the fight. O'Connor made a near successful go at a heel hook late in the first, nearly getting the tap to the point that Badger had his hand raised but never committing.

O'Connor closed the distance from the start of the second round, immediately jumped a guillotine and got the submission victory early in the round. The win snapped a four-fight losing streak for O'Connor.

In the Shamrock FC Featherweight Title tournament, Auhston Midkiff sailed to the belt with two first round submissions.

In the title bout against Edrick Dillard, Dillard scored a quick takedown but was caught up in the guard of the long limbed Midkiff from Hahn's MMA. Midkiff patiently and diligently worked off his back before throwing up a triangle and then transitioned to an arm bar to get the submission at 1:29 in the first round.

In other undercard action:

Brandon Schehl was a whirlwind in earning TKO win in the first round over Trevon Crawford

Marye Dalton's smothering wrestling led to a second round win over Sheena Brandenburg. Brandenburg landed a nice spinning back fist to start things in the first. Dalton gave a sign of what was to come with a takedown off a double leg late in the round. Dalton started the second with a takedown, secured mount and dropped lots of ground and pound for the TKO win.

Two muscle-packed lightweights made for the most entertaining bout on the undercard.

Derik Scott caught a Patrick Sparks kick early in the first round and bull rushed Sparks to the fence. Scott eventually ended up on Sparks' back where he landed several shots. Sparks then sat out and picked up the takedown. Scott eventually reversed and worked his offense inside Sparks' halfguard where he continued to bully Sparks up. Scott came out and got the early takedown in the second. Once back to feet, Sparks executed a nice throw that led to his best offense of the fight.

The fight went back to the ground to start second. Sparks eventually landed a heavy knee before going for and holding on relentlessly for a single while Scott not only defended but tirelessly pummeled away at Sparks, getting the stop at 2:39 in round two.

In a K1 bout, Ian Zarvos from Finney's MMA got the crowd on its feet with his rollicking second round TKO of David Maness.

In their first round bout of the featherweight tournament, Bob Hinchcliffe jumped on a guillotine attempt but Midkiff fought through it, squirted free and when Hinchliffe exposed a little too much of his neck, Midkiff pounced on a choke of his own and won an nice inverted guillotine in the first round.

In the first bout of the SFC Featherweight tournament, Dillard's wrestling nullified Brandon Pearon's Muay Thai. Dillard's scored a first round takedown midway through and kept it there before Pearson eventually worked his way back to his feet. Pearson defended the takedown nicely to start the second but a persistent Dillard dropped him to his back with a double leg. Pearson fired off two knees to the body before Dillard scored again with a takedown and kept Pearson pressed against the fence.

Dillon Pousson put together one of his best outings to date as his wrestling top-game gave him a two-round tournament alternate bout victory over Justin Lankford.

Shamrock FC is back at it July 9 at the Ameristar Casino in Kansas City.

Photo courtesy of Jimmy Range Photography