Combat Sports

Erion Zekthi vs. Austin Bashi to Headline Shamrock FC 337

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Shamrock FC will hold their third event of 2022, as SFC 337 is expected to go down on Saturday, April 9. The evening of stellar fights will take place at the River City Casino in St Louis, Missouri where the promotion’s vacant bantamweight championship belt will be on the line. With Kasey Tanner (6-0) out due to injury, SFC veteran Erion Zekthi (6-1-0) will now face bantamweight super-prospect Austin Bashi (5-0-0).

Erion has a long history with Shamrock FC, as all seven of his professional fights have been with the Missouri-based organization. ‘The Albanian One’ began his pro MMA journey in 2016, and has torn through nearly every opponent put in front of him. Currently on a five-fight win streak, Zekthi has confirmed his talk of being a finisher with his results.

With three submission wins, and one knockout victory, there’s no doubt Erion will be looking to add to his already impressive resume. Erion has a durable chin, and impressive defense, as his only loss came via a questionable split decision. In Erion’s last outing came, he literally punched his ticket to a title shot when he ran over Justin King in just over a minute. Zekthi was able to utilize his jab early, then landed a head kick, followed by punches to end the night at SFC 333 in October of last year.

Ausin Bashi will make his Shamrock FC debut on April 9, as all five of his previous pro bouts have been inside the Hexagon under the XFC banner. There are a lot of firsts for Bashi, who is really just getting started. At the young age of twenty, Austin is set for not only his first main event but his first shot at MMA gold.

The Michigan native hasn’t fought since he erased Quinton Parks Jr. at the XFC “Young Guns” 4 event that took place in December of 2021. He does, however, keep busy competing in grappling and wrestling tournaments. If Austin is looking for suggestions on a nickname, ‘Smashi’ works, as he’s an absolute beast.

He’s an animal that has been compared to the likes of UFC legend Georges St-Pierre, with his smothering wrestling, mixed with vicious ground and pound. One look at his highlight video shows that it’s easy to see why the comparison is being made.

The Future is Here

Both Erion and Austin are as tough as they come and hungrier than a wolf. Impressive victories, hard work, and incredible skill have catapulted these fighters into a chance to wear gold. A bantamweight title in a respected organization like Shamrock FC could be what’s needed for both men to take the next step in the ever-evolving sport of MMA.

In a recent interview with MMASucka, SFC’s CEO Jesse Finney stated that he firmly believes the next step for both men could be Bellator or even the UFC. “We take a lot of pride in our titleholders and our champions. I think the next step for Erion is the UFC or possibly Bellator. I think he’s going to write his own ticket after this.” Finney goes on to say that he also believes Austin could get a call from the big leagues should he get past Erion on April 9.

Erion and Austin will go to war to determine who’s the top prospect at the moment in the always competitive bantamweight division. The scrap itself is expected to be fought at an extreme pace, and one is advised not to blink once the cage doors close. Bashi will be looking to use his heavy wresting base to force Erion against the cage, and work tirelessly to get the take down. Zekthi will no doubt be looking to keep things standing, as he’ll attempt to use his height and reach over the smaller Bashi. It’s Missouri vs Michigan to determine top dog at 135lbs, as both men look to advance to the next stage of their careers.

Other bouts that have also been announced for the main card of Shamrock FC 337 include:

Dustin Lampros vs. Ashton Caniglia
Jesse Martinelli vs. Tyler Stokes
Enrique Watson vs. Brian Imes

*All bouts are subject to change*

Featured image credit to Shamrock Fighting Championships

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