For the past few weeks the city of St. Louis has been anticipating more than just the arrival of Donald Trump at our doorstep. The Shamrock Fighting Championships promotion has been promising that Saturday’s Mayhem card would be one to remember. They did not disappoint. In the main event Kevin Engel finished Kyle Kurtz early in the second round with a KO, while the co main even saw Eric Irvin put together one of his better performances to earn the victory over Josh Weston . The night was filled with finishes and saw two pro contracts handed out to the amateur title winners. All in all it was a very satisfying night for the top mixed martial arts promotion in the St. Louis area.
Kevin Engel (5-0) is a finisher and with precise and powerful boxing set the pace early against Kyle Kurtz (5-1). Kyle was set on delivering kicks to the body of Engel which he had no issue of countering with shots to the head. The first round ended with the momentum clearly in Kevin’s favor but Kyle still continued to press forward. The testy Kurtz was at a boxing disadvantage but that did not stop him from having a decent start to the second round initially frustrating Kevin against the cage. Engel had enough and set in a vicious combo with a left hook that found the chin of Kurtz and sent him to the canvas. It was a devastating KO to say the least and it looked as if Kevin had some choice words for promotion owner Jesse Finney. Possibly wanting a title fight, but only time tell.
The co main event was a good scrap between Eric Irvin (11-4) and Josh Weston (4-5). Irvin found his groove with the grappling early and never allowed Weston to get comfortable. In the second round Eric revved up the striking with a flurry of punches and front kicks that found Weston often. Josh was clearly down heading into the third round but gave his best performance matching Irvin at every turn. Even though he won the round the fight clearly belonged to the more skilled Irvin who took home the victory.
One of the more anticipated match ups on the card was between Rashard Lovelace(2-0) and Garret Gross(7-5). We knew the speed of Lovelace would be quite a task to handle but if anyone was up to the challenge it would be Gross. The two came out in a frantic pace and traded blow for blow. After an exchange in the middle of the cage Lovelace threw a spinning back fist that missed but his elbow caught Gross and stopped him in his tracks. Rashard continues to finish anyone placed in front of him increasing his ceiling capacity even more.
Matt Helm (1-1) not only said this would be his last fight but he would go out with a finish. He kept his word on both accounts with a devastating knee to Tyler Claussen(2-2) in the clinch. After the fights were over I spoke with Helm about his victory and he said he was “surprised” Tyler went down so easy. Helm withstood a bevy of body shots from Tyler before returning to the clinch for one final time to seal the deal with the finishing blow.
Coltin Cole(3-4) used the “I don’t get paid by the hour mentality with a quick first round finish of Brad Jones(5-4). Jones was the aggressor but after a round house kick that sent Jones flailing Cole followed up with another then poured on the punches for the finish. Jason Christenson (1-0) staved off a possible returning injury to his knee in his fight with Clay Mitchell (1-1). It looked as if Jason tweaked it early in the fight and went to his wrestling while he let it recover. He ended the round on top but it was Mitchell who could not return for the second round. Lee Burns(2-0) takes care of Jake Zogg (1-9) in the first round while Erion Zethki and Shaun Scott capture and retain the amateur titles that were on the line. Zethki didn’t get the finish he promised us but he and Scott both received a 3 fight contracts from the Shamrock FC promotion.
Up next for Shamrock FC is Shamrock FC “Retaliation” from the Ameristar Casino in Kansas City, Missouri on Saturday March 19th.