|Driller heads back to Canterbury for Mecca IX|
|Written by Ben Pherson|
|Wednesday, 01 March 2017 00:34|
Driller Promotions is headed back to Canterbury Park for a massive show Saturday night.
Mecca IX is set to kick off at 3 p.m. sharp on Saturday. The show will feature both Muay Thai fights and MMA. The Muay Thai portion of the card starts at 3 p.m. More than 20 Muay Thai bouts are scheduled, including the return of Minnesota great Kaitlin Young.
Driller's Jeremy Bjornberg said he expects the Muay Thai portion of the event to wrap up at about 7:30 p.m., with MMA starting around 8 p.m.
"Sales have been great; people seemed pumped for our return to Canterbury, and we have great fights on both the Muay Thai card and the MMA card," Bjornberg said.
Tickets for the show can be purchased the door until they sell out, and they'll be available through cagetix.com, again, until they sell out.
The main event of Mecca IX features the return of Minnesota legend Travis "Carefree" Perzynski. He's set to square off against Derek "The Pretzel" Getzel.
Perzynski was close to reaching a major promotion years ago before taking a break from MMA. He officially is listed at 14-7, but he has about 10 unrecorded fights from his days of competing before commissions came into play.
Perzynski has a wrestling background, but he is well-rounded. He's been training regularly for the last few years with Tom Schmitz at Spartan.
Getzel is 8-6 as a pro, and he's always been a dangerous lightweight. Getzel has dropped two of his last three, but the win was against Billy Christianson. Getzel is ranked No. 6 in Minnesota at 155, while Perzynski is No. 3.
"What a main event; two guys who've been around forever and fought the best of the best," Bjornberg said. "Perzynski has always been tough. He has a good chin and he's tough to finish. He's also getting better and better working with the guys at Spartan. Getzel is very dangerous, too. He's craft on the ground and he has good striking. This is a great fight, two tough guys who always put on a show."
This show also marks the return of Cully 'The Mason" Butterfield. The big-show veteran is set to take on veteran BJ Lacy in a 185-pound showdown.
Butterfield brings a 13-5 professional record into the bout. He trains with Duke Roufus in Milwaukee. Butterfield has a strong wrestling background and a good ground game.
Lacy has been around the Minnesota MMA scene since the beginning, and he has a 20-21 record. But don't let the record fool you ... Lacy is a well-rounded fighter who can go toe-to-toe with the best of the best.
"I've loved this fight since it came about; BJ is much better than his record indicates," Bjornberg said. "If people look at that record and think he's a pushover, they're in for a rude awakening. Cully is a guy we love to work with. He's fought at a high level for a long time, so I'm sure he's not taking BJ lightly. We're glad to get Cully back over here fighting in Minnesota."
Minnesota's Matt Larson is competing in the night's other pro bout. He'll take on Tom Krenzel at 185 pounds. Larson is 5-5 as a pro, while Krenzel is 1-0.
"Matt Larson will always be one of my favorites; he brings it every single time, brings a crowd and carries himself like a pro," Bjornberg said. "I think this is a good, even fight. I expect fireworks honestly."
The co-main event is an amateur title fight between Jesse Hernandez (8-5) and Charles Anozie (8-4). They'll fight for the 145 crown.
Anozie is an outstanding ground fighter, and Hernandez also has a strong ground game.
"Anozie wanted to turn pro, but this opportunity came up," Bjornberg said. "Jesse Hernandez is tough, too. Not sure how this one will go. Anozie looked incredible in our tournament at Canterbury last time."
There are five amateur undercard fights on this show. Helen Peralta (2-1) squares off against Jordan Nickelatti (1-0) in the night's lone female MMA bout.
Willie Budhram returns to the Driller cage for the first time since winning his debut, and he'll take on veteran Alphonse Weah, who's looked good recently. Weah is 3-3 overall, and this fight is at 145 pounds.
At 185, David Vinje (0-2) will look for his first win against newcomer Arkady Pichurin, and Sam Khom is back in action against Brad Pitan (1-1). Kohm is 3-10. Finally, the big boys will kick off the show. Josh Moody (1-1) meets Gary Spears (0-1) in a heavyweight tilt.
"This card came together nicely, and people seem pretty excited about all the Muay Thai fights," Bjornberg said. "It's a smaller card for MMA, but I love the fights we have. That Getzel-Perzynski fight is worth the price of admission alone. It'll be a long but fight night of fights, for sure."
155 - Derek Getzel (8-6) vs Travis Perzynski (14-7)
185 - BJ Lacy (20-21) vs Cully Butterfield (13-5)
185 - Matt Larson (5-5) vs Tom Krenzel (1-0)
145 - Jesse Hernandez (8-5) vs Charles Anozie (8-4) 145 * - Title Fight
130 - Helen Peralta (2-1) Jordan Nickelatti (1-0)
145 - Willie Budhram (1-0) vs Alphonse Weah (3-3)
185 - Arkady Pichurin (0-0) vs David Vinje (0-2)
145 - Brad Pitan (1-1) vs Sam Khom (3-10)
265 - Josh Moody (1-1) vs Gary Spears (0-1)