On Aug. 9 the Barry County Fight Club took it group of fighters to the Benson Center in Clinton to compete against some very strong competition.
When the night was over, not all of the local fighters could claim another victory for their record, but each fighter involved most certainly walked away with a sense of pride and personal victory from yet another fierce contest in the mixed martial arts arena.
Among the local fighters who went to test their skills was BCFC founder, J.D. Hunter. Hunter took on the ambitious challenge of fighting Mid-Missouri Heavy Weight Champion, Brandon "The Tank" Jolly.
After accepting the challenge only 10 days before the scheduled fight due to the withdraw of the scheduled contender, Hunter stepped into the ring for a bout that lasted three rounds before Jolly was finally declared the winner by technical knockout one minute and forty seconds into the final round.
While some might see this merely as a loss, Hunter did stand against an opponent that was a four-year championship wrestler at Clinton High School and a three-year championship wrestler in college at Missouri Valley.
It should also be noted that after the fight, Jolly balked on their initial agreement for a rematch to be scheduled for a later date. Still, Hunter is modest after taking on such a seasoned fighter.
"I should have done better," said Hunter. "I needed more conditioning going into the match."
Although Hunter went home without another win, Jessie Beck, of Cassville, was very successful. Beck fought an opponent from Sedalia named Ray Turner.
The very confident Turner gained a new level of respect for Beck and the BCFC after he fell one minute and 20 seconds into the first round due to a triangle submission at the hands of Beck.
"Beck had practiced this particular move very diligently before the fight and was able to use it successfully to gain another win," said Hunter.
Beck's record is now 6-2, one of the top records in the amateur ranks. Beck will compete for the Combat Sports State Title in the 205-pound weight class on Oct. 4 at Joplin. Barry County will have a total of 10 fighters competing at that event.
Chris Dreozinski, another Barry County fighter, was unfortunately denied the opportunity to fight at Clinton as his opponent reportedly backed out of the match at the last minute during the weigh-in.
The BCFC welcomes the community to attend training sessions and upcoming matches at Joplin in October and Pierce City in September.