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Jim Range | Knuckle Junkies

Xtreme Fight Night 5 - Recap

By Jordan Dowdy | Knuckle Junkies

Shamrock FC, the busiest promotion in the Midwest, is fresh off their efforts of helping to bring Bellator back to St. Louis last week. Closing out the year with three shows in about 22 days with Xtreme Fight Night 5, Shamrock FC: Ambush, and Shamrock FC: Ultimate, the promotion look to end 2015 with a bang.

Shamrock will also partner up with St. Louis Backstoppers once again for th annual Guns N Hoses event November 25th at the Scottrade Center that features Firemen and Police Officers fighting it out in exhibition boxing and MMA matches.

On Saturday night at the Lumiere Casino, Xtreme Fight Night 5 looked to put on an event of all striking bouts as no MMA matches were scheduled on the card. One intriguing kickboxing match-up was unfortunately scratched from the show at weigh-ins between Jake Constant and Fazlo Mulabitinovic, who was victorious at last weekend's Bellator. After Constant missed weight, an agreement of how much purse would be penalized could not be reached and the bout was cancelled.

After a stellar night of combat, the co-main and main events were to be Professional Boxing bouts, but due to a ring malfunction, those bouts had to be scrapped. The support under the ring had suffered some damage possibly during an earlier bout when two fighters went into the ropes hard and appeared to shake the ring. Matt Greer vs John Turlington and Raymond Handson vs Kevin Brown will be rescheduled to a later date.

One of the top ammy female fighters in the area, Tara Walker, has kept busy this year. Making her third appearance on XFN in 2015, Walker took on Kenia Rosas for the Shamrock FC 125lbs kickboxing title.

Rosas came out early throwing nice combinations and ending with kicks but Walker kept stalking her down and bringing her own pressure. Both fighters had turns of landing good shots, and as the round went on it seemed like the pressure of Walker was starting to take its toll on Rosas.

The second round was very competitive, Rosas had some success in landing punches over the top as Walker responded with her own offense and looking to land knees to the body. The final round saw Walker looking fresh and on her toes, but Rosas was still landing effective combinations despite fatigue. When it went to decision Kenia Rosas won the decision, making her the Shamrock FC 125lbs Kickboxing Champion.

A match-up between Wes Powers and Matt Ray would already have been interesting on its own merit, but leading up to the fight things got even more interesting with social media promotion and banter leading up to the fight adding fuel to the fire.

Right out of the gate the energy was high on this one. A very competitive back and forth first round was stunted when Ray accidentally landed a knee to the groin of Powers. Powers recovered and then started trying to control more distance with leg kicks.

The second round saw a lot of Ray landing kicks and circling from the outside as Powers patiently measured and looked to find effective combinations. In the third, Powers checked a kick that immediately hurt Ray, he fell to the mat and was unable to continue after trying to bear weight on it. It appeared to have caused an injury to his foot. The stoppage made Wes Powers the winner by TKO in the third.

Mike Offer scored an early knockdown of Eric Williams in their match, and upon Williams standing back up Offer kept pressuring him around the ring looking to target and unload a heavy cross that found its mark a couple times. A more competitive second round was ended when Offer landed a solid body shot that sent Williams to a knee and caused the end of the fight, declaring Offer the winner by TKO 0:59 seconds into the second round.

Josh Krejci targeted the lead leg of Steve Barbee early on with round and inside kicks as Barbee also was finding some good punches to land in return. The second round was a bit more back and forth as Krecji and Barbee traded off moments of success on the feet, Barbee adjusted and kept a little more distance in order to avoid eating more kicks. The third had a handful of moments of clinch work as Barbee looked to land and close the distance while Krejci looked to land solid knees to his body from that position. Josh Krejci was declared the winner by unanimous decision in the end.

Kris Craig scored a quick first round TKO against Kevin Harvey. Craig found a moment to pin Harvey against the ropes and land some heavy shots, causing the 10 count and then stoppage.

Katelyn Jesse was landing the better of strikes early on against Watson's Kara Vaninger. But Vaninger kept calm and composed as the first round ended. Apparently Vaninger was patiently reading her opponent and gathering all the information she needed in the first round. She came out in the second stalking Jesse around the ring, landing multiple kicks to the body and bullying with pressure. The third round was more of the same as a very fresh looking Vaninger kept in pursuit, but a tough Jesse would not relent and she lasted until the end. Karan Vaninger was declared the winner by unaminous decision.

One thing that cannot be denied is that Aaron Kuhl has shown toughness and heart in his fights so far this year. This time Kuhl took on Jason Brown. During the entire fight Brown was landing good solid combinations that Kuhl was able to shake off. While Brown found some success landing some very solid shots on the button, Kuhl just kept pushing back until the match ran out of time. Jason Brown was declared the winner by decision in what was a very entertaining fight for the crowd.

Nazeer Holmes, at 40 years old, was looking for a way to test himself in his debut fight. He took the center of the ring quickly and to turn up the pressure on opponent Tairq King in the first round of their match. Holmes landed good shots and solid kicks, with some straight kicks to the body were finding their way home for him as well.

The second was more of the same as Holmes landed a solid head kick that seemed to stun King. King was able to recover and continue as Holmes continued to stalk him around the ropes. After the third round was completed, Nazeer Holmes was declared the winner by decision.

Olly Cunningham was the longer and crisper fighter in a fight with Patrick Kead. Kead would not be put away however and found some good moments as he toughed out the fight up until the last bell. In the end Olly Cunningham was declared the winner by unanimous decision.

Cody Leas went to work on Brad Hagedorn's lead leg early in their contest, creating a noticeable limp by Hagedorn. After catching an accidental kick to the groin, Hagedorn completed the round but was unable to bear enough weight on it to continue, earning Leas the win.

Connor Huck won his debut kickboxing match against Dan Boyer by decision. In the second round after Boyer landed a kick that seemed to injure his foot, Huck swarmed and was able to earn a standing 10 count that made the difference in judges scoring outcome.

In the first match of the evening AOC's Steven Coleman chopped away at Eugene Swartz with some solid kicks and combinations, earning him the first round TKO victory.

Photo courtesy of Jimmy Range Photography

Shamrock FC: 291 | Fri, July 7th
Ameristar Casino, Kansas City

Gateway FS (Boxing) | Fri, July 14th
Moolah Shrine Center, Creve Coeur, MO

Gateway Fighting Series | Fri, July 21st
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Shamrock FC: 292 | Sat, July 29th
Lumiere Place Casino, St. Louis, MO