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Jon Stotler set to take on Tony Souders for 205 title
- Updated: December 28, 2011
With the New Year starting we may have an early candidate for amateur fight of the year already. January 14th, newcomer to the 205 division Jon Stotler of the River City Warriors will take on Local favorite Tony Souders of No Remorse MMA for the Proving Grounds 205 Title.
This week we take a look at an upcoming bout set for the January 14th Proving Grounds 7 card. When I heard this bout between Jon Stotler and Tony Souders was in the works i about lost my mind. Both of these guys are fantastic amateur talents and I have personally enjoyed watching both them fight in some of my favorite local MMA events.
Stotler, who is a newcomer to the 205 division, is certainly not a newcomer to the MMA scene. When asked about making the change from Heavyweight to Light Heavyweight for this title Stotler said: “I think this is an awesome, well deserved opportunity. Ive racked up quite a few wins at Heavyweight, and I’ve worked hard to drop to Light Heavyweight where i hope to continue to win”. Stotler first left a lasting impression on me for his bout at a previous Proving Grounds event at the Heavyweight division against local Juggernaut Steve “the Yeti” Rustemeyer. Stotler is the only fighter to have gone the distance with Rustemeyer, and he lost a close decision. Rustemeyer has been able to demolish every other opponent he has stepped up against quickly, with the exception of Stotler. The reason I found this loss relevant is that his opponent Tony Souders is known for his heavy hands, and Stotler showed in his bout against Rustemeyer that its going to take alot more than heavy hands to beat him. Stotler maintained control against Rustemeyer for a majority of the bout and displayed an ability to take hard hits and control even the strongest of opponents. Stotler (now 6-1) has his hands full with Souders but I believe he has the stuff to win this bout. While most would tag Stotler as the underdog in this one, I’d have to say this is one of the most evenly matched bouts I’ve seen in ages. I asked Stotler what some of his thoughts were as he prepared for this bout and he said ” I think this bout is going to be Tony’s toughest fight to date. I have a lot of respect for Tony Souders, I think He’s a tough guy but I don’t see him being able to beat me. I mean He’s always got “punchers chance”, which is why my game plan is to control the fight, and keep him from executing his plan. Whatever it may be”.
Tony is certainly a fighter that has impressed me on many occasions, He is currently undefeated and has beaten some TOUGH guys like Bo Kunz, Will Miller, Danny Wright, and of course his latest victory in what is widely being called the best fight of 2011 against Tom “Taz” Baker. Tony is a guy that has shown he has some of the deadliest hands in this 205 division and has proven he is able to take advantage of a submission given the opportunity, and most importantly He has shown he can go the distance in has last bout that went 5 rounds full of slobberknocking haymakers most men would have been KO’d from in the first round. Tony is a prolific young talent that is only proving to be becoming better and better. Tony is always looking to learn not just lean on his strengths which is incredibly valuable at the amateur level. When asked how he was going to approach this bout with Stotler he replied: “He is a wrestler, and that’s where im going to challenge him. I think he will come out more aggressive than normal, and I’ll tire him out and hopefully take the win.”
Proving Grounds promoter Eric Clarkson said “We feel that this is an incredible matchup because both Jon and Tony have been tearing through their respective weight classes. Now that Mr. Stotler has decided to take on the 205 division, it only made sense to set up the fight. These guys are both great fighters, as we all know, but they are also both really nice guys and good ambassadors to the sport. We feel either would make a great Champion!”
One thing is certain, I couldn’t agree any more with Eric, both of these guys are fierce competitors and worthy Champions, if you’re a fan of local MMA it would be a shame to miss this bout on January 14th!
For those who don’t know alot about Stotler or Souders here are some fights to catch you up:
Photo Courtesy of Chris Oth of Knuckle Junkies, GFL 7 DeSoto Mo, Copyright 2011