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Prime FS: Border Wars - Preview

By Matt Frazier | Knuckle Junkies

After a successful relaunch in April, Prime FS returns on Saturday for Border Wars featuring match-ups between top Missouri and Illinois fighters.

The all-amateur card will follow the same formula previously, mixing K1 and MMA with youth grappling bouts to start the show. The promotion's new home of Matteson Square Gardens, a well known indoor roller hockey arena, will host once again.

In the main event, Illinois' Kevin Roper will face Missouri's Mark Kirkland. Kirkland last saw action at Shamrock FC in October when he submitted Josh Speaks in just over a minute. Kirland has good punching power and will want to try and keep the fight standing against Roper, who often relies on his wrestling to win fights. Roper lost a close, split-decision to Shaun Scott in March and took the much bigger Scott down throughout the fight. Roper faded late in the match with Scott, and will most likely look to end it quick.

Fresh off his dominating performance at Gateway Fighting Series 4, Johnny Cox will return to take on a tough Jake Duff. Duff is considered by several as one of the most underrated strikers in the area who is sound technically with a real toughness inside the ring. Fans who remember Duff's gutsy performance against Cort Wahle back in 2014, will recall he got dropped early and battled back to win a decision over the unorthodox Wahle. If Cox can hang with Duff for three rounds, this should be one of the best fights on the card.

Montrel James and Drew Gigax will face off in a match-up of two striking specialist. Gigax, training under Jermaine Andre, has really impressed but will have his hands full against the tall and durable Montrel James. James fought a tremendous fight against Lucas Clay earlier this year and shook off some very stiff shots from Clay. James will want to stay out of the clench of Gigax and eliminate one of his best weapons, the knee strike

In a 170-pound MMA match-up, Tavae Lewis will battle Tyler Madding. Madding, who recently turned 20 years old, revealed a surprisingly good submission game at Fight Hard in June against Jimmy Sievers. A power guillotine off of an attempted shot ended the night for Sievers and improved Madding to 5-2. Lewis, who's fought primarily out of southwest Missouri is tough to put away and has gone to the decision in almost all of his fights.

Rounding out the main card, and surprisingly enough not the main event, is a match-up between two of the best young bantamweight talents in recent memory. AOC's Eric Ellington will meet Cortavious Romious, fighting out of St. Charles MMA. This fight that has all the markings of an amateur fight of the year candidate as both are capable of rising to the occasion. Romious has shown improvements all across the board since switching his training to Mike Rogers' gym. Known for his strength and athleticism, Romious has started patching the holes in his grappling with hard rounds with the pros at SCMMA. For Ellington, he will finally face someone who can match him in sheer speed and power, something he has used to overwhelm him opponents and improve his record to a nearly flawless 11-1.

Highlights on the undercard are Brittany Cloudy facing Consuelo Cole. Cloudy (2-0) is frighteningly good despite only a couple of fights. The former Saint Louis University track star has dove headfirst into combat sports since graduation, winning a local Golden Gloves tournament and dominating her first two MMA fights having yet to see the second round.

Keep an eye on Steven Coleman vs Dion Minor. Coleman (11-2) is taking the fight on short notice but is always a treat to watch. He could be making the jump to the professionals by the end of the year and is sure to make waves there once he does.

Also fresh from grabbing gold at GFS this past Friday is Trevon Crawford who nabbed the 145 pound GFS title from Dillon Pousson. Crawford is matched up against Irfran Mulabitinovic, the little brother of professional bantamweight Fazlo Mulabitinovic

Full card that starts at 6:30 PM:

Kevin Roper vs Mark Kirkland
(K1) Johnny Cox vs Jake Duff
(K1) Montrel James vs Drew Gigax
Tavae Lewis vs Tyler Madding
Cortavious Romious vs Eric Ellington

(K1) Nora Hamilton vs Lorrie Thorpe
(K1) Jordan Meister vs Floyd Shahan
Consuelo Cole vs Brittany Cloudy
Parker Weathersby vs Isiah Milican
Trevon Crawford vs Irfan Mulabitinovic
Keith Sheilds vs Juan Molina
Dion Minor vs Steven Coleman
Brendon Seidelman vs Aaron Fahr

Prime FS: Border Wars
Saturday, July 23
Matteson Square Gardens, St. Peters, MO

Shamrock FC 300 | Fri, December 1st
River City Casino, St. Louis, MO

Ultimate Blue Corner | Fri, December 1st
Harrah's Casino, Kansas City, MO

KCFA 26 | Sat, December 2nd
Truman Mem. Building, Independence, MO

Gateway FS (Boxing) | Fri, December 8th
Lamborghini Gold Coast Center, St. Charles, MO