|FFC ready to rock Black Bear|
|Written by Ben Pherson|
|Wednesday, 11 August 2010 17:54|
Wisconsin-based promotion Fearless Fighting Championship will hold its fifth ever event on Saturday, returning to Black Bear Casino near Cloquet with FFC 5: "All or Nothing."
The event will feature a whopping 25 fights, including five professional bouts, a 145-pound title fight and a matchup of two ranked Minnesota 205-pounders.
American Top Team of Savage's Austin Judge will look to continue building his belt collection Saturday. Judge, who is returning to the cage after a broken foot, will take on Wisconsin veteran Derek Griffin. This is a rematch of a fight that happened back in 2006, when Griffin topped Judge with a unanimous decision.
Judge has promised a different result on Saturday, and matchmaker Rob Mrotek believes it will be an outstanding main event. The winner will take home the FFC 145-pound strap.
"I think Derek is like 9-5, and Austin is 10-5-1, I believe," Mrotek said. "Derek trains out of Green Bay, and he's an outstanding wrestler. I've seen
him fight on a few shows, and I know they both wanted a rematch. Austin has strong jiu-jitsu. I think he's already got like four belts now, so he's looking for another one."
In the evening's other marquee matchup, Tommy Meadows will face off against Cully Butterfield. Meadows, who trains with Predator MMA in Jordan, is ranked No. 6 in Minnesota at 205 pounds, while Butterfield, who now trains with Duke Roufus in Milwaukee, is ranked No. 9.
Butterfield will bring a 5-2 mark into the fight. He's a former Itasca Community College wrestler. Meadows is 2-0, and he collected an impressive win over fellow ranked 205-pounder Jeff Doyle the last time FFC came to Black Bear.
"I know Cully fought last weekend and won," Mrotek said. "I'm a big fan of Tommy Meadows. I really enjoyed his intensity in his last fight. He had some great reversals, and he showed a great top game. And Cully is a really good wrestler. Last time, Tommy fought a guy with great jiu-jitsu, and this time he's fighting a great wrestler. I'm really excited for this fight. It should be a fantastic matchup."
Two of Austin Judge's American Top Team of Savage teammates will be in action Saturday night as well. Mitch Jackson and Mike Jiang will step into the cage during separate professional bouts.
Jackson, who is 12-1, will square off against Jason Ehresmann. While Ehresmann does have a losing record, he holds a knockout victory over UFC veteran Chad Reiner.
Jackson has been ripping up his competition, and several fighters backed out of this bout.
"It was really tough finding someone willing to fight Mitch," Mrotek said. "Nobody else wanted to fight him. I know Jason trains in South Dakota. Mitch is a great wrestler, so I'm thinking Jason will need to keep it standing to have a chance."
ATT of Savage's Mike Jiang will look to pick up another victory since his return to the cage. He knocked off Randy Ronchi just two weeks ago during Combat on Capitol Hill 2 in St. Paul. At a catch weight of 140, Jiang will take on Seth Marquez (9-8) on Saturday.
"Seth is training at a good gym down in Madison with guys like James Warfield, Pat O'Malley, Ron Faircloth and Damien Decorah," Mrotek said. "He's only 9-8, but his record is deceiving. He'll fight anybody. There is no shame in any of the losses he's got on his record. Seth is a very tough wrestler, and I know Mike is great on the ground, so it's an interesting matchup."
The night's only other pro matchup will feature Anytime Fight Club's Bobby "The Bully" Ferrier against Jacob Grabowski.
"They were supposed to fight on another show, and it didn't happen," Mrotek said. "Grabowski's original opponent for this one backed out, so Ferrier stepped up and wanted the fight."
Mrotek also has put together 20 amateur matchups. He said three of those matchups in particular are noteworthy.
Mrotek expects the fight between Marzett Turner and A.J. Arntz to be a war at 185 pounds.
"A.J. wrestled for eight years at Virginia, Minn., and he's fighting one of my students," Mrotek said. "Marzett wrestled for two years, then he joined my gym. He's a very tough kid. Honestly, I think this could be one of the most exciting fights of the night."
Mrotek also is anxious to see Jeremy Johnson square off against Mitch Grahovaca and Andrew Null against Steve Shaw.
"Mitch vs. Jeremy is a rematch," Mrotek said. "Mitch is like 5-2, and he's from the UW-Eau Claire Martial Arts Club. Jeremy is one of my guys and he's 3-2. The first time, Jeremy was dominating the whole match, and with 12 seconds left in the round, he got caught in a rear-naked choke. That was last September. ... I really just want to see that (Null vs. Shaw) fight because Steve Shaw is 6-foot-10. He's fighting out of the Crystal Fight Club. I don't know if I've ever seen a fighter that tall."
FFC 5 is scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m. Saturday (doors open at 5). Tickets are available through ticketmaster.com.
FEARLESS FIGHTING CHAMPIONSHIP 5
"All or Nothing"
Saturday, Black Bear Casino, Cloquet
Fight 1: Max Thompson vs. Steve Keinath
Fight 2: Mike Kari vs. David Garza
Fight 3: Ryan VanPuymBrouck vs. Jason Benson
Fight 4: Donald Kunze vs. Pat Nelson
Fight 5: Nick Spina vs. Dwayne Carter
Fight 6: Ryan Miller vs. Jake Welna
Fight 7: Scott Follett vs. Dane Thorstenson
Fight 8: Nick Myer vs. Jimmy Dale
Fight 9: Robert Murphy vs. Ryan Sweezer
Fight 10: Lane Halverson vs. Zac Buck
Fight 11: Marzett Turner vs. AJ Arntz
Fight 12: Jeremy Johnson vs. Mitch Grahovac
Fight 13: Justin Trangsrud vs. James Peterson
Fight 14: Jerome Nelson vs. Flavio Ibarra
Fight 15: Nick Paron vs. Victor Tobias
Fight 16: Mark Bailey vs. Kevin Skadshiem
Fight 17: Joe Rogge vs. Blake Menard
Fight 18: Andrew Null vs. Steve Shaw
Fight 19: Cole Davis vs. Jimmy Nelson
Fight 20: George Carlos vs. Seth Sanftner
Fight 21: Seth Marquez vs. Mike Jiang
Fight 22: Robert Ferrier vs. Jacob Grobowski
Fight 23: Jason Ehresmann vs. Mitch Jackson
Fight 24: Cully Butterfield vs. Tommy Meadows
Fight 25: Derek Griffin vs. Austin Judge