Originally slated to face Serbian boxer Dragan Bakula, Duane “Bang” Ludwig is still headlining Saturday night’s Ring of Fire fight card in Broomfield, Colo., but will now be facing German fighter Mario Stapel. Bakula broke his hand in training.
“As always, there are some last minute changes. But after seven years in the industry, I now expect it to happen,” said the event’s promoter, Sven Bean. “This a sport where the demands on the athletes are very high, especially in training. These guys and girls are breaking their bodies down daily and injuries are bound to happen.”
A veteran of several promotions, notably Shooto and Cage Warriors, Stapel brings a 13-8 professional record into the fight with Ludwig.
“I was getting ready to face a stand up guy, but Mario is much more well rounded,” stated Ludwig. “He is more of a true MMA fighter. I changed my game plan accordingly.
“For this fight, I tightened up my game by training at Xtreme Couture in Las Vegas. The training was great and I feel prepared for whatever happens. I love fighting at home and can’t wait for Saturday.”
Ring of Fire Light Heavyweight Champion Eliot Marshall, in his first title defense, was slated to face UFC veteran Rob MacDonald. Marshall, however, was the victim of a severe staph infection to his knee. According to Bean, the infection was so bad that his knee grew to the size of a grapefruit and doctor’s had no choice but to deem him unfit to participate.
“It’s really depressing. Training was going great. I was looking forward to fighting Rob and defend my belt,” said Marshall. MacDonald will still make the trip from Canada to attend the show as plans are being made for this match to happen on the next Ring of Fire event.
One of the stars of the recent Oxygen Channel series Fight Girls, Michelle “The Karate Hotty” Waterson returns to mixed martial arts competition at Ring of Fire 30. She has been training recently with the ever-expanding camp at Team Jackson’s in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Waterson’s opponent for this 115-pound fight is Jaime Cook. Holding a 2-0 record in MMA, Waterson is 1-1, Cook is a training partner of Bodog fighter Shayna Baszler.
UFC veteran Chad Reiner hopes to bounce back from a 2-fight skid in the Octagon. He will put his 13-3 record on the line at Ring of Fire against gritty Denver fighter Chilo Gonzalez. Gonzalez is 7-1 (with 1 no contest) in his last 9 bouts.
Ring of Fire 30: Domination
Saturday, Sept. 15
Broomfield Event Center
Duane Ludwig vs. Mario Stapel
Shane Carwin vs. Rick Slaton
Michelle Waterson vs. Jaime Cook
Chad Reiner vs. Chilo Gonzalez
Jacob Hey vs. Jeff Striley
Brandon Thatch vs. Doug Saiez
Kenneth Seegrist vs. Anselmo Martinez
Seth Bregman vs. Jesse Henley
Ralston Baker vs. Brad Fox
Sean Doherty vs. Miguel Martinez
Jason Ramstetter vs. Alfredo Corona
* Card subject to change. For more information go to www.rofmma.com.