Friday night at the Rail Event Center in Salt Lake City, two Ogden MMA professional 170-pounders are featured in co-main events. Undefeated Shawn Conroy, 4-0, fights fellow Utahn Carl Dieckmann, 5-1. In the other co-main event, Ogden's Justin Roberts, 3-1, battles undefeated Wyoming Kani Correa, 2-0. The fight card, which starts at 7, is promoted by SteelFist.
Both Conroy and Dieckmann have scored impressive wins over well-regarded veterans. On June 30 in Ogden, Conroy defeated Cole Rose in the first round. In September, Dieckmann stopped Steve Walser in the first round.
"I don't know a lot about (Dieckmann) except that he's supposed to be a really tough, game opponent. I've been told he has a wrestling back ground and is somewhat of a brawler," said Conroy, who focused on grappling and take-down defense while training for the fight. The undefeated Conroy hopes to stay in MMA a long time. "For me, it's about the camaraderie that comes from punching and getting punched in the face, whether in training or in competition," he added.
Roberts is looking for his third sraight win against Correa, who has ended both his bouts in round 1. "I've trained hard like always," said Roberts. His training includes strength and conditioning three times a week and MMA sparring twice a week, with technical training as well.
Both Conroy and Robert train and spar together often. Roberts' philosophy is to take his career one fight at a time. "I love this sport, I love all the people involved. And I love to push and test myself," he said.
The Rail Event Center Card, SteelFist's 12th event, is located at 235 N., 500 West. Thirteen fights, a mixture of professional and amateur contests, are scheduled. Three of the MMA bouts are women fights. One of those fights features Top of Utah amateur Aubree Thompson. The 140-pound Thompson, who is deaf, is 1-0 in her amateur career. She meets Jesse Engler, who is making her debut. Another featured bout watches two well-regarded professionals, Utah's Jared Hatch, 6-1-1, versus Idaho's Colton Vaughn, 3-1.
For more information on the card, go to http://steelfistfight.com/Steel_Fist_fights/HOME.html. General admission tickets are $25.