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Shamrock FC: Onslaught - Event Preview

By Matt Frazier | Knuckle Junkies

Shamrock FC returns to their home away from home Saturday.

Marking their third trip to Kansas City this calendar year, Shamrock FC comes loaded with a fight card featuring arguably KC's biggest name, Bobby Voelker.

"It's a great fight town, sports town. I've been doing shows for 10 years with Blue Corner." Shamrock FC President Jesse Finney said. "We brought Shamrock to KC this year and response has been incredible."

The 1,500 seat Star Pavillion at the Ameristar Casino will once again play host. Ameristar KC is no stranger to MMA having hosted the all-female Invicta FC on multiple occassions.

"(Ameristar) is on the same lines of production as River City (in St. Louis)." Finney said "Will be doing the same quality of show. It's an amazing venue."

Because of the tremendous response, Shamrock FC has made a firm commitment to the market.

"Everywhere from 7-10 weeks we'll be doing shows up here." Finney said. "We're consistent in this market. That's the big thing. I have invested in that market, 100%. Just like we have in St. Louis and look for big things in the market."

It was announced last week, that in in addition to Shamrock FC, Finney will be working with Scott Coker, the newly hired President of Bellator. Bellator looks to bring three-to-four shows to Missouri in 2015 that will be split between St. Louis and Kansas City.

Saturday's card looks to build up on the memorable main event from "Impact" where KC stalwart Rudy Bears headlined in a spectacular slugfest with Zak Bucia. Click here for the full results.

Shamrock looks to continue featuring Kansas City's very best as Voelker, fresh out of the UFC and Strikeforce, returns to action in the main event.

"We're going to run with him on this one." Finney said. "He wants to get back to the UFC or Bellator, and this is his road back."

Voelker is in the midst of a four-fight skid that has seen him fight some of the UFC's very best 170s.

"We thought he won that fight against Cote." Finney said. "The fight with Lawler was short notice. Ten fighters turned down the fight, and the UFC called and begged us to take the fight."

Voelker will not have an easy match-up taking on journeyman Cedric Marks, a veteran of over 50 fights.

"Always exciting fights." Finney said. "Cedric comes out and swings for the fences."

Wayman Carter will face Keith Smetana in the co-main event slot. Carter is fresh from a victory over Wayne Cole at Titan 28 in May. Smetana, out of Terre Haute, IN, was trained by jiu-jitsu ace Jack McVicker and three of his seven wins have come by way of submission.

Professional martial artist Jakob Akin will take on William Joplin in a catch-weight bout. Joplin, trains out of Glory MMA and Fitness (Formerly K2L Grindhouse), and has won seven of his last eight fights with trips to Titan FC, RFA, and Victory Fighting Championships to his credit during this run.

Akin has been staying busy taking fights as a pro boxer, winning his last two bouts.

One of the bright spots on the main card will be between St. Louis's rising star Hugh Pulley, and a fixture of the KC amateur scene making his pro debut, Chad Williams.

Williams has long been considered one of the very best amateur prospects in the state, and a fight between Pulley and Williams has been teased numerous times.

"This fight came came about with me just calling out anyone." Pulley said. "I don't like long layoffs. Chad Williams stepped up, we both took the fight."

Pulley fought most of his amateur career at welterweight before deciding to make the cut to lightweight in his first three pro fights.

"I just want to get in there and fight." Pulley said. "I want to see if I can still fight at 170. I'm pretty sure I can do it. I'm a little bit faster, a little bit smaller, so I'll be a little bit more agile."

Part of the decision to bounce between weight classes was a frustration in finding opponents.

"Since it was hard to find fights," Pulley said. "Most of my fights are at 155. I thought it would be easier to go up a weight class, and finding fights at 170. I started off my career at 185. It won't be any problem for me, a fight's a fight."

While weight does not seem to be an issue for Pulley, Williams has often struggled with making the 170 pound weight limit.

"If he comes in overweight," Pulley said. "It just means his mental wasn't there enough to get to the weight. I want him to take this fight serious. Without him taking it serious, it won't be a fight."

While Pulley respects his opponent, he sees the fight with Williams as just a part of a bigger plan.

"A fight's a fight, I wanted to get my career going, I had a set goal to be 6-0 by the end of this year." Pulley said. "Chad Williams is the only person that would step up. He's the only one to step up to fight me, that's the only good thing I have to say about him right now."

Pulley is proud to represent his hometown, and will be crossing the state to face Williams in hostile territory.

"I have friends in KC," Pulley said. "I'm not afraid of Kansas City. All I know is that St. Louis people are tougher than Kansas City people. I know he's from St. Louis, but I think he got a little soft. "

Pulley has been splitting time between his home gym at Modern Combat Systems and traveling to several local St. Louis gyms.

"I respect all fighters and put in the work." Pulley said. "Hopefully he'll do the same thing. I believe I am the best in the Midwest right now."

Here is the full fight card:

Professional main card
Bobby Voelker vs Cedric Marks - Main Event
Wayman Carter vs Keith Smetana
Jacob Akin vs William Joplin
Chad Williams vs Hugh Pulley
Horacio Escobar vs Blayze Rodgers
Dustin Kramer vs Jordan Hernandez

Amateur under-card
Anthony Lyoa vs LJ Hermerec
James Brittelli vs Will Johnson
Kevin Woltkamp vs Troy Depriest
Israel Ortiz vs Devin WEbber
John Littlejohn vs Matt Mahon
Dejaun Harper vs Jamese Taylor

Shamrock FC: Onslaught
Saturday, September 27th
Ameristar Casino, Kansas, MO