The spring 2019 season will be a busy, and if CEO Jesse Finney has his way, successful, period for the St. Louis-based Shamrock FC.
Between a trio of upcoming events, title pictures coming into focus, hot prospects, streaming rights up in the air and more, it will be an eventful spring for the Midwest regional promotion. This is the Shamrock FC spring 2019 report.
Shamrock FC 316
The promotion has set dates and main events for its next three shows: Shamrock FC 316, 317 and 318.
Shamrock FC 316 takes place this Friday, March 15, at the River City Casino in St. Louis. The event will be headlined by Jordan Dowdy taking on Josh Weston in a 180-lb. catchweight bout. Weston stepped in on short notice on Monday after Ben Brewer pulled out of the fight.
Lightweight prospect Issac Purnell will look to improve to 2-0 against Cort Wahle. The main card also features Evan Elder taking on Derek Clardy at welterweight. Dakota Zimmerman vs. Nicole Smith and Justin Lankford vs. Auhston Elleby round out the rest of the professional portion.
Prospect Watch: Evan Elder
When asked if there are any prospects to keep an eye on in the near future, Finney was quick to point out Elder.
“Evan Elder is a kid who I think has the absolute whole package,” Finney said. “He is just a monster in the cage. He’s a kid who’s got it all together upstairs as well. He’s got the look, the excitement.”
Finney went on to compare Elder to former UFC welterweight and middleweight champion Georges St-Pierre on how he is both inside and outside of the cage.
“Elder’s your GSP-type,” he said. “He wasn’t a kid who wrestled in the Olympics, but he’s an overall great athlete all-around. He’s a GSP-type as far as the way he carries himself as well: a martial artist, clean cut, very well-spoken and very respectful.”
Elder is 1-0 as a pro, but went 6-1 as an amateur. His only amateur loss came to Luis Pena, aka “Violent Bob Ross” in his third amateur fight. Finney said Elder has been training at Hard Knocks 365 under Henri Hooft alongside the likes of Luke Rockhold, Kamaru Usman, Volkan Oezdemir and others.
Finney confirmed that Bobby Voelker will fight Cameron VanCamp for the vacant welterweight title at Shamrock FC 317 in April. Voelker has rattled off three straight wins since his last loss to Zak Bucia for the Shamrock FC welterweight belt.
The UFC veteran has fought exclusively for Shamrock FC since being released in 2014, going 8-1 with the promotion. He earned his second crack at the title after beating Bobby Emmons, Justin DeMoney and Darrius Flowers.
At Shamrock FC 318 in May, Ty Flores is scheduled to fight The Ultimate Fighter Season 19 alumnus Daniel Vizcaya at light heavyweight. It will mark Flores’ 205-debut after previously competing at welterweight and middleweight. Flores was discussed to fight Johnny Eblen for the promotion’s vacant middleweight title before Eblen got the call to Bellator.
“Bellator wanted Johnny Eblen so we let him go,” Finney said. “That was good for Johnny because that’s our goal. Our goal is to send those guys to the big show.”
After that bout fell through, Flores wanted to move up to light heavyweight. Finney said that he’s leaning towards making Flores vs. Vizcaya a No. 1-contender fight. He was reluctant to give Flores a title shot in a new division, but he may earn one with a win.
“[Flores] doesn’t have to start over, per se, but we have to see how he’s going to perform at 205,” Finney said.
Since May 2018, Shamrock FC has been live-streamed on Flo Combat. That could change, according to Finney. The promotion is in re-negotiation talks with Flo, but is also negotiating with a other undisclosed streaming services.
“Right now, we’re in contract negotiations with a couple of other sites as far as streaming services go,” he said. “Our contract is up with Flo [soon] and we’re exploring other options at this point. Hopefully we’ll land back with Flo, but we’ll see how things go.”