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Driller invading Shooting Star Print E-mail
Written by Ben Pherson   
Friday, 29 September 2017 19:09

Driller Promotions is returning to the North Country for the first time since 2016.

Minnesota's largest promotion recently inked a deal with Shooting Star Casino, and Saturday night marks the first show in that new deal. Driller is presenting "No Mercy VI" at Shooting Star in Mahnomen.

The event features five professional fights and nine amateur bouts. The show also features a heavyweight title fight.

"It's been a great relationship so far with Shooting Star; they're very organized and just a professional organization from top to bottom," Driller's Jeremy Bjornberg said. "Shooting Star is an incredible venue, too. I think the potential to do bigger and bigger shows here is awesome. I'm pumped to get things started."

Fights are scheduled to begin at 5:30 p.m. today, and tickets are available at the Shooting Star box office. The event also is being streamed live (for a fee) at flocombat.com

The night's main event took a left turn recently when northern Minnesota standout Brian Heden suffered an injury and had to pull out. But the new main event looks fantastic on paper.

Minnesota's Maurice Greene is set to fight Parnell Davis for the interim Driller heavyweight title. Greene is ranked No. 2 in Minnesota at

heavyweight, behind only Heden. Greene brings a 3-1 record into the bout.

 

Iowa's Davis brings a 7-3 mark into the bout. He's won three of his last four.

"You know, you never like to lose your main event close to fight night, but I love what we ended up with," Bjornberg said. "Heden would love to be in there, I know that. But I expect this to be a war. Someone is getting knocked out. These are two big dudes who can throw down, and both are capable of finishing any heavyweight. It'll deliver for the fans, I have no doubt."

Fan favorite Mariah Prussia also was scheduled to be on the card. But her opponent, Carolyn Biskup of Michigan, pulled out this week. She pulled out so late it gave the promotion very little time to find a replacement.

"That one hurt; I was excited to see Mariah fight, but the late pull-out made it basically impossible to find someone and get them licensed before the show," Bjornberg said.

The night's co-main event features UFC veteran Chico Camus taking on Andrew Whitney.

Camus is a nine-time UFC veteran, going 3-4-1 for the sport's biggest organization. Since leaving the UFC, Camus has been rolling through competition while competing for LFA/RFA. He's 3-0 since leaving the UFC.

Whitney is 14-5 as a pro, while Camus is 17-7. Whitney is a longtime Titan veteran, going 5-2 for that organization.

"This is a main event on any card in Minnesota, with two big-show veterans, both on the verge of getting either title shots or bumping back up to the UFC," Bjornberg said. "Chico loves to grind out a decision; he's so tough on top. Whitney can finish all over, but he's also strong on top and capable of grinding it out. It'll be interesting to see where this fight takes place."

Northern Minnesota favorite and former standout high school wrestler Collin Huckbody is making his Driller debut tonight after fighting for King of the Cage in his previous bouts.

Huckbody will face Duke Roufus product JP St. Louis at a catch weight of 180.

Huckbody is 2-0 as a pro, but he's stepping up to his biggest challenge yet.

St. Louis is 2-1 as a pro, with his lone loss coming against elite Wisconsin product Tim Hiley (Pura Vida).

"I absolutely love this fight; both guys wanted a stiff test, and I think they're going to get it," Bjornberg said. "St. Louis is a finisher. Huckbody is a fantastic wrestler and all-around athlete who's improving every day in the gym. This one should be great."

Fikret Saric is looking for his first pro win tonight after starting his pro career with a loss last year. Saric was an accomplished amateur. He's set to take on Eric Kemper, who's 1-4 as a pro, at 125 pounds.

"Fikret is never in a boring fight; he's one of my favorite strikers to watch because you never know what he's going to throw," Bjornberg said. "Kemper has stepped up so many times. He's tough, better than his record. It's a good, fair fight for both guys."

The final pro fight involves another northern Minnesota favorite in Eli Finn, who's mostly fought for KOTC throughout his career to this point. Finn squares off against Josh Marsh at 145 pounds.

Marsh is 1-1 as a pro, and he fights out of Wisconsin. Finn is 4-2 as a pro; he has dropped two of his last three. Finn stepped up and took a fight in RFA last year, falling in the first round to Matthew Lopez. His only other loss is to Ben Pierre Saint.

"Eli Finn I'm excited to see him fighting for Driller for the first time; I've always heard great things, and I know he's a very strong fighter who doesn't back down," Bjornberg said. "Marsh is tough, too. Should be a solid scrap."

The featured bout on the amateur portion of the card involves another northern Minnesota product in Henry Pendleton. He's taking on Joey Hart at 170 pounds.

Hart made his debut in Austin earlier this year and took home fight of the night honors. Pendleton made his debut the same night and also looked sharp in winning.

"Maybe the most exciting fight on the card," Bjornberg said. "Both have bright futures if they are serious about training and the sport. Both very talented young guys."

There's one female bout on the card, with local Abby Kalina taking on Laura Sanchez.

"I've heard great things about Kalina, and Sanchez is a former Division I basketball player who trains with Duke Roufus," Bjornberg said.

Locals Britton Kleeb and Zach Morrison also will be in action, and Aaron Shaw stepped up on short notice to face northern Minnesota product John Ivaniszyn.

Kleeb meets Javier Corondado of Wisconsin, while Morrison faces of the Academy.

Other amateur bouts include Ricky Ortiz vs. Noah Hawkins, Avery Yann-Estrada vs. Jeremiah Harper, Gary Spears vs. Keefer Bender and Saul Stevens against former title contender Kai Brunk of Iowa.

 

NO MERCY VI

Saturday, Shooting Star Casino

PRO

285 — Parnell Davis vs. Maurice Greene * — title fight.

135 — Chico Camus vs. Andrew Whitney

180 — JP St. Louis vs. Collin Huckbody

125 – Fikret Saric vs. Eric Kemper

145 — Josh Marsh vs. Eli Finn

AMATEUR

170 — Joey Hart vs. Henry Pendleton

155 — Abby Kalina vs. Laura Sanchez

145 — Javier Coronado vs. Britton Kleeb.

145 — Willie Budhram vs. Zach Morrison.

155 — Ricky Ortiz vs. Noah Hawkins.

195 — Aaron Shaw vs. John Ivaniszyn.

115 — Avery Yann-Estrada vs. Jeremiah Harper.

285 — Gary Spears vs. Keefer Bender.

125 — Saul Stevens vs. Kai Brunk.