by Rob Francis
A crowd of over 1700 people filled the River City Casino events center on Saturday night. St. Louis’s premiere fight promotion offered up a trio of championship fights to finish up another stellar year.
Luis Felipe made an impressive debut against David Willyard. Both fighters came out aggressive, but Felipe had the advantage with some good leg kicks. Felipe got the takedown from a clinch. Once the fight got to the ground he wasted little time. From side control to mount and Felipe finishes the fight with a tko at the 2:10 of the first.
Jace Burcham and Ben Brown had a very competitive first round. There was lots of back and forth action, with Brown securing a pair of takedowns to maintain a slight advantage. Burcham came out strong in the second. Some heavy strikes set up a takedown, where Burcham controlled most of the round. Round three started off toe to toe again. Brown is dropped from the volume of Burcham’s output combined with his power advantage. Burcham swarmed from the top picking up the tko at 2:50 of the third round.
Martell Washington won his fight against Chris Moore by tko in less time than it took to write this. An uppercut drops Moore and another shot end the fight in eight seconds of the first.
Steven Coleman ground out a decision in a tough fight against Bob Hinchcliffe. Coleman had multiple takedowns in each round, but Hinchcliffe showed a good guard constantly looking for submissions. The final scores were 30-27, 30-27, and 29-28.
Cortavious Romerous provided the highlight of the night in his featherweight title defense. In what has to be considered knock out of the year, Romerous landed a wheel kick to finish challenger David Evans in just 0:24 of the first round.
Ashley Samples knew she didn’t want to go to the ground against Susie Wyatt if she was going to be victorious. Samples showed solid takedown defense and used her reach and striking advantage to keep the fight standing. Wyatt did pull guard, but Samples immediately got back up. A hard knee to the body stunned Wyatt, and lead to the tko finish with one second left in the first round.
The rematch between champion Shaun Scott and Jason Christenson didn’t happen, as Christenson was forced out of the fight with an injury. Sam Tamayo moved up a weight class and took the fight on short notice. Scott pressed from the start using his size and strength advantage to muscle Tamayo against the cage. Tamayo got a takedown but Scott defended. Tamayo attempted another takedown, but Scott’s balance from years of gymnastics paid off, causing him to end up on top in mount. Tamayo did a good job and got out of the round. Tamayo found some rhythm with his striking, and secured a takedown. Scott showed poise, waiting for the opportunity to reverse. Once the positions were reversed, Scott went to work. Scott took Tamayo’s back, and eventually sank the rear naked choke at 1:40 of the second to defend his middleweight championship.
Lee Burns wasted little time in his pro debut. Two big knees hurt opponent Marc Godeker, dropping him to the canvas. A flurry of punches and the fight is stopped 0:29 in the first round.
Aaron Highfill had a dominant performance against Kevin Brown. Highfill had a huge slam in the first, and landed some good elbows and knees on the ground. More of the same in the second. Highfill’s smothering pressure on the ground gets him the rear naked choke at 3:46 of the second.
Matt Murphy stepped up on short notice to take on Yohance Flager. Murphy proved the adage that ‘fighters fight”, moving up weight classes to face the very tough Flager. Murphy survived a couple of early takedowns in the first. Flager got Murphy down in the second and got the mount, but once again Murphy showed good defense. Flager, back in Murphy’s guard, softened him up with short punches and elbows to the body. This opened up the submission game of Flager, who got the tap to shoulder lock at 4:40 of the second.
Nick McClean talked a lot of trash in the weeks leading up to his fight against Dan O’Connor. The bad blood was evident from the start, with both fighters forgoing the touching of the gloves. McClean got a takedown, but didn’t do much, as O’Connor kept working his guard looking for submissions. The second was more of the same, with McClean getting a takedown. O’Connor seemed to be defending well when a blow got through cutting him open. McClean got a better angle and picked up the pace toward the end of the round. A string of unanswered punches caused the referee to halt the fight at 4:49 giving McClean the second round tko.
Kendrick Latchman was victorious in the co-main event. Latchman turned his fight against Trevor Ward into a kickboxing affair, refusing to engage on the ground. The first round was fairly close . Ward was able to use his reach in the early portion of the round. Latchman took advantage when he did get inside Ward’s reach. Latchman figured out his range and timing for the second round. A difference in the fight was Kendrick’s leg kicks. Ward was visibly hurt in the second round. With Ward slowed, Latchman was able to press his stand up advantage. Ward, hoping to get the fight to the ground kept dropping to the mat, but Latchman would have none of it. Eventually Ward calls it quits at 4:33 of the third round giving Latchman the tko.
The Shamrock FC heavyweight championship was on the line in the main event. Bobby Brents and Fred Brown were both throwing bombs at each other. Brents got an early takedown, but couldn’t keep the fight on the ground. Brents scored with a hard knee in the clinch, and got a second takedown. Brown did good to get the fight standing again, but he appeared to have injured his shoulder. Brents put on the pressure and the referee stopped the fight at 4:35 of the first giving Bobby Brents the title.
Shamrock FC will be back with two shows in January 2016.