By Rob Francis
Professional mixed martial arts returns to the St. Charles Family Arena this weekend. Gladiator MMA will make their promotional debut on Saturday, November 21st. Gladiator MMA is the professional division of Fight Hard MMA. Fight Hard has steadily became the largest amateur promotion in the Midwest, but they got their start promoting exciting professional fights right here in St. Charles.
To say Matt Murphy is in a bad mood is an understatement. Murphy was scheduled to fight last weekend, but his fight at Xtreme fight night was cancelled just four days before the show. Murphy was looking to avenge a previous loss. Instead he will be taking his anger out against Gary Becker.
Chris Beal and Ryan Sutton will both be looking to get back in the win column.
Josh Epps looks to add to his three fight winning streak. Epps is facing David Waters.
CJay Hunter and Zach Fears are both sitting at 3-1 in their young professional careers. Hunter, known as the “Groundshark” has an excellent ground game, but his stand up is often overlooked. Two of his three victories have come by TKO. Fears is a well rounded fighter, with his victories evenly divided between submission and knock out.
Lucas Gwaltney is no stranger to the Family Arena. His battles with Jimmy Donahue, Abel Trujillo, and Robert Washington are some of the best fights to take place in St. Charles. Facing Gwaltney will be Chris Manuel. Manuel has nine victories, with the most recent being by submission in June.
Doug Jenkins is a veteran of over twenty fights. In fourteen victories he has only went the distance one time, and his last loss was almost two years ago. Yuri Silva started his career 6-0. He is looking to get back in the win column after losses in Strikeforce and the UFC.
Two veterans will battle when Sal Woods takes on Lucas Lopes. Woods and Lopes have both fought in the Fight Me cage before. This should be an interesting match up. Woods is a tough and gritty wrestler, who is moving up in weight to take on the Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt, Lopes. Adding to the intrigue is the fact that the two fighters were training together before this fight came up.
The General Scott Futrell returns to the cage after an eight month layoff to face Andrews Nakahara.
Undefeated prospect Carrington Banks faces Shane Crenshaw.
The evenings co-main event will feature Victor Moreno taking on Valdir Araujo. Moreno is a veteran of over 50 professional fights with 15 victories by knock out. He is currently in the middle of a 5 fight winning streak. Araujo has eleven finishes in fourteen victories. He has fought in Bellator, Legacy, WSoF, and recently on the Ultimate Fighter
Marcus Sursa is coming off a loss in his last fight, but it is his only loss since 2012. He steps into the cage in the main event to take on Thiago Silva. Silva is a twelve fight veteran of the UFC. Silva is vicious in the cage, with twelve of his victories coming by knockout.
In news just released, the remaining general admission tickets are now free with the following coupon.
Fight Card subject to change
Gary Becker vs Matt Murphy
Chris Beal vs Ryan Sutton David Waters vs Josh Epps
CJay Hunter vs Zach Fears
Chris Manuel vs Lucas Gwaltney
Doug Jenkins vs Yuri Villefort Silva
Sal Woods vs Lucas Lopes
Scott Futrell vs Andrews Nakahara
Shane Crenshaw vs Carrington Banks
Victor Moreno vs Valdir Araujo
Marcus Susa vs Thiago Silva
Doors open at 5:30pm with prelims starting at 7pm
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