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Mecca X bringing a full day of Muay Thai and MMA to Canterbury Park Print E-mail
Written by Ben Pherson   
Friday, 08 September 2017 00:08

Mecca is back!

Driller Promotions is set to make its return to Canterbury Park on Saturday for the historic Mecca X. Once again, the show will feature professional and amateur Muay Thai and MMA. The Muay Thai portion of the card starts at 1:30 p.m. and the MMA portion of the card is scheduled to begin at approximately 5:30 p.m.

Tickets, which will be available at the door, start at $30. Fights also will be online live via FloCombat for a fee.

The Muay Thai portion of the card features the return of Minnesota's Kaitlin Young. She's taking on Djamara Vers (13-3) from the Netherlands in a world title fight. There are 17 total fights on the Muay Thai card.

The MMA portion of Mecca X features two elite prospects from out of state. Davis Williams of Illinois and Eli Garcia of Wisconsin square off in a battle of unbeaten standouts.

Williams (Fusion Fitness MMA) is 3-0 as a professional, while Garcia (Roufusport) is 4-0. They'll meet at 125.

"Both guys are on the fast track to fighting in the big show," Driller matchmaker Jeremy Bjornberg said. "Both are elite, national-level prospects. I've checked out Eli

Garcia a few times, and he's legit. He's well-rounded and obviously he trains at an amazing gym in Roufusport. This will be a huge test for both guys. It's amazing to have a fight like this, with both guys so early in their careers, and our new partnership with Flo allowed a matchup like this to happen in Minnesota."


The co-main event was scheduled to feature two ranked in-state fighters. Derek Getzel was set to rematch against Billy Christianson. But Christianson informed the promotion that he was significantly overweight this week. Getzel and Christianson were unable to come to an agreement on a new weight and how much of Christianson's purse would be forfeited, so the fight was canceled Thursday. It's unfortunate as both are two of Minnesota's best fighters.

The loss of the Getzel-Christianson bout leaves two remaining pro bouts — Chris Collins vs. Jason Huntley and Ted Worthington vs. Craig Eckelberg.

Collins and Huntley will meet at 125 pounds. Collins was an elite amateur with a strong wrestling background; he's now 2-0 as a professional. Collins trains at Warriors of the North/Apex BJJ.

Huntley is 4-4 as a pro, and he trains at the Academy.

"I'm excited for that one; Huntley is improving, and he trains very hard," Bjornberg said. "Collins is also improving; he's changed fight teams and moved around a bit, but I think we'll see him continue to improve. This will be a tough test for him against a veteran gamer like Huntley."

Eckelberg is 6-4 as a pro and he trains at Roufusport in Milwaukee. He lost his opponent recently, but Worthington stepped up on short notice.

Worthington has fought the best of the best in the Midwest, so his 36-50 record is deceiving.

"Obviously Craig is the favorite, but Worthington is another gamer, a tough dude who's fought everyone and been around the sport forever," Bjornberg said. "I'm actually excited for that one. I love watching Craig fight, so I know he'll be ready. But Worthington is tough. We appreciate him stepping up, but he's always done that, always willing to fight the best guys out there."

The amateur undercard features a middleweight title fight between Austin's Thomas Herrera and Revolution MMA's Kaleb Dingman.

Herrera is 9-4 as an amateur. He's been training in Austin with 7th Street MMA, and he also has spent time at the Mario Roberto Jiu-Jitsu Academy in Rochester. Herrera is a strong wrestler and he's been a Driller champion previously.

Dingman is making his Driller debut, and he's a well-rounded fighter.

"Dingman I've heard is very, very strong, and he's a guy who's getting better every day in the gym," Bjornberg said. "Thomas was a champion for us before, and he's a great champion. Wrestling is the best part of his game, but I know he's working to improve in all areas. It should be a good one."

Dustin Klapperick will put his undefeated record on the line, fighting outside of Austin for the first time. He's 3-0 and he's set to take on Robert Confer (2-3) at 155 pounds.

Confer is a banger, and he's never been in a boring fight. Klapperick is well-rounded, and he's also found himself in exciting fights throughout his brief career.

"This has fight of the night potential," Bjornberg said. "Klapperick is another 7th Street MMA guy from Austin. He just seems to find ways to win. Confer is one of my favorite fighters to watch. He throws everything trying to finish fights."

Eliot Jurries will look to bounce back after recently suffering a loss in a 135-pound title fight against James Krause-Simmons. Jurries is 3-2. He'll take on Ricardo Pacheco, who's 2-2-1. Jurries trains in Mankato, while Pacheco is with Pura Vida in Wisconsin.

"Another fight with big potential," Bjornberg said. "Pura Vida guys are always ready, always game. Jurries has potential for days. He's an elite wrestler, but he's well-rounded and he loves to finish fights."

Mario Roberto Jiu-Jitsu will have two other fightesr on the card in Arkady Pichurin and Fernando Moreno. Both are making their Driller debuts. Pichurin is set to face Alex Brown (2-1) at 195 pounds, while Moreno meets Jake Schorsch at 165.

Undefeated Austin prospect Robert Andrews is 2-0, and he'll face Brad Pitan, who's 2-2. Pitan trains out of Owatonna.

"That's another one that might surprise people; Andrews has looked amazing so far in his two fights for us, and Pitan is exciting," Bjornberg said.

Yamah Sadozai, who's now at Spartan, will look to bounce back after his first loss. He faces Jeremy Lucas at 160.

Other undercard fights include David Vinje vs. Jens Nestigen, Derek Gottlieb vs. Ryan Schafer, Sean Keogh vs. Coty Milhausen and Denis Montero vs. Randy Rivera-Santiago.

"I'm excited to see Milhausen fight for us for the first time; I've heard good things," Bjornberg said. "Gottlieb and Schafer should be fun, and Nestigen has lots of potential, but he'll get a good test from Vinje, who's much better than his record indicates. Overall, I think it looks like a fantastic night. Lots of fights and a few that should be amazing."



Saturday, Canterbury Park


125 — David Williams vs. Eli Garcia

125 — Chris Collins vs. Jason Huntley

170 — Craig Eckelberg vs. Ted Worthington


185 — Kaleb Dingman vs. Thomas Herrera * — title fight

155 — Dustin Klapperick vs. Robert Confer

135 — Ricardo Pacheco vs. Eliot Jurries

195 — Arkady Pichurin vs. Alex Brown

145 — Robert Andrews vs. Brad Pitan

160 — Jeremy Lucas vs. Yamah Sadozai

185 — David Vinje vs. Jens Nestigen

170 — Derek Gottlieb vs. Ryan Schafer

155 — Sean Keogh vs. Coty Milhausen

115 — Denis Montero vs. Randy Rivera-Santiago

165 — Fernando Moreno vs. Jake Schorsch