|Two belts up for grabs at ATT XI|
|Written by Ben Pherson|
|Tuesday, 07 March 2017 23:01|
Two titles are on the line March 18 in Austin during A-Town Throwdown XI at the Holiday Inn.
The wildly successful A-Town Throwdown series is back for its 11th installment, and two title fights were announced this week.
Because he's turning pro after a strong amateur career, Sean Strube is surrendering his 135-pound amateur title. That means Driller Promotions is on the hunt for a new champion, and Eliot Jurries is first in line for the crown. But he'll have to get past an elite prospect from Wisconsin to secure the strap.
Jurries is set to take on James Krause-Simmons, who trains at Pura Vida in Wisconsin.
Krause-Simmons has outstanding ground skills, and he'll bring a perfect 4-0 record into the bout. He's finished three of his four opponents by submission.
Jurries brings a 4-1 mark into the fight. He's finished three of his four victories, including a highlight-reel headkick knockout in his last fight against Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt Jose Varella.
The second title fight came together recently. After three separate fighters backed out against current Driller 155 champ Juan Hernandez. But finally last week, someone stepped up. And it's going to be a banger.
Imperial standout Jay Paulson has signed on the dotted line to take on Hernandez with his shiny belt up for grabs. Paulson stepped up on extremely short notice, but he says he's ready.
Both fighters are massive 155-pounders, Paulson standing 6-foot-1 and Hernandez at 5-11.
Hernandez is 9-3 as an amateur; he won the title against Giovanni Alvarado, who's also on the March 18 card. Hernandez defended his crown against Dalton Albrent last March. His last fight was in December, but that fight was at 170 with no belt on the line.
"I'm really looking forward to defending my title; winning the belt was great, but keeping it is always tough," Hernandez said. "Jay is a game opponent, and I'm prepared for wherever the fight will go. I definitely want a finish, and I want to give people what they came to see, a helluva a show."
Paulson, like Hernandez, is a devastating striker. He's 7-8 as an amateur, but most of those losses came before 2015, when Paulson started training seriously. Since Paulson committed to MMA, he's 5-2, with four of those wins coming via knockout.
"I'm super excited for this opportunity to fight for the belt," Paulson said. "I feel like it's been years in the making. I'm especially excited to fight Juan; it's a fight that's been in the works for a long time, and I know it's going to be a war. He's a very tough, strong fighter. I'm going to have to fight smart and pick him apart and push the pace of this fight. I need to keep him working and wear him down until the point he makes a mistake that I can use to capitalize and get that belt around my waist."
A-Town Throwdown XI is Saturday, March 18 at the Holiday Inn Conference Center in Austin. Doors open at 5 p.m., with fights scheduled to start at 5:30 p.m.
Deangelo Curtis returns to MMA on this show, taking on Wisconsin prospect Jonas Flok at a catch weight of 160.