This Saturday at the Clark Country Event Center in Ridgefield, Washington, the fighters from Art of War MMA (Eugene, OR) will be looking to bring home the glory as four of their toughest fighters step in the cage at Prime Fighting 10. Art of War has become a staple inside the Prime Fighting cage, thanks to their proclivity for fight of the night performances. At Prime Fighting 9, Art of War also had 4 fighters competing but they went home with a 2-2 split. While the result was not what they had hoped for, their performances left the crowd standing. Kevin Boehm and Adam Fugitt had particularly excellent performances, explaining the call back from the Vancouver based fight promotion. The matchups for Saturday night promise to be no different. Let’s take a second to breakdown the fights.
TJ Koehler (Gracie Barra) vs. Adam Fugitt (Art of War) –
This fight is for the vacant welterweight title so there is already some added excitement built in. Fans will expect a lot from Fugitt since his last performance for Prime was a 3 round domination of Koehler’s teammate, Hamza Salim. Fugitt is a tall, rangy fighter who uses his length and power to out strike his opponents. In his matchup with Salim, he was not only able to out strike his opponent, he was able to control him against the cage, which stopped all momentum for his opponent. This ability to use strength for control will be paramount when he takes on TJ Koehler. Koehler is a dominant wrestler with solid submissions and power to boot. He is on a 3-fight win streak and according to coach Fabiano Scherner of Gracie Barra Portland, Koehler has looked exceptional during his training camp. This fight is the classic striker versus grappler matchup. Look for Fugitt to use his length as a way to fight off takedowns as well as a way control the distance in the cage with his strikes.
Sean Gee (ALIVE MMA) vs. Chris SanJose (Art of War) –
This bantamweight matchup is an intriguing one. SanJose is one of the most promising up and coming bantamweights in the northwest. His Muay Thai is excellent and his ability to set up takedowns from his strikes appears almost effortless. SanJose fought at Prime Fighting 9 and displayed a dominant performance, which has afforded him a step up in competition at Prime 10. He will be squaring off with Sean Gee, a dangerous knock out artist with a wealth of experience. Gee has 6 professional bouts to his credit, three times that of SanJose. While Gee has the advantage in experience, he has been very up and down in his fight career, having alternated wins and losses since his professional debut. While he has proven inconsistent, the one thing that he has always been able to depend on is his power. He has proven he can end a fight with a single punch and this will certainly test SanJose. While SanJose has yet to suffer defeat, he could be risking a loss if he keeps the fight standing. Expect to see SanJose take this fight to the mat and keep it there.
Gunnar Metzger vs. Isaac Shelton (Art of War)
Isaac Shelton is slowly becoming a fixture inside the Prime Fighting cage; Saturday night will be his third fight with the promotion. He will be taking on a Washington State champion wrestler in Gunnar Metzger. Metzger has shown huge promise in his young career without the backing of a major fight camp. It will be interesting to see if he can out work Shelton and use his wrestling to control the fight. Shelton has traditionally used wrestling to set up his positions and wins but he will have a tough time out wrestling the former state champion. He is one of the fastest rising prospects in central Oregon and a win on Saturday will put him in position to demand a matchup with a top ranked opponent. This fight is truly a “show em’ what you’ve got” matchup and will go a long way in providing some insight into to noteworthy prospects. This fight will almost certainly take place on the ground, the only question is – who will be in control of the top position?
Brandon Cromartie (Gracie Barra) vs. Kevin Boehm (Art of War)
Cromatie and Boehm are two very strong featherweights. You would be hard pressed to find anyone at 145 pounds who would have a strength advantage over either of them. Thanks in part to that strength battle, there is a chance that these two forego taking this fight to the ground and actually just stand and trade. Cromartie is a wrestler with good boxing skills, as well a powerful kicker. Having recently joined the fight team at Gracie Barra Portland, it will be interesting to see how his game has evolved. Boehm is a wrestler with a solid Muay Thai game to boot. Boehm’s true strength, however, lies in his ability to adapt in the cage. Boehm will mix it up from any position at any time. He is known to throw a variety of strikes from compromising positions and works his ground and pound much like a young Rich Franklin. Kevin Boehm has never been in a boring fight in his life and it is unlikely he will let that start this weekend. This fight promises to be a war and is my pick for fight of the night.