Not since the American Civil War has Lake Charles, Louisiana seen such a battle. On Friday, June 17, 2022, Bishop Fights Promotions and American Kombat Alliance bring AKA 21 to the Lake Charles Civic Center. Undefeated Bellator veteran and Louisiana native Jesse Roberts faces his most dangerous task to date. Across the cage will stand Craig Grove. With both fighters set for their debut in the main event slot, this is an important battle headlining fite.tv. The winner can easily find themselves in the thick of the title talk. AKA will also crown a new AMMY Bantamweight champion when Denzel Rosaroso and John Garza meet in the center of the AKA cage.
Lightweight Main Event Showdown
Jesse Roberts (3-0) brings his perfect record into the AKA cage to headline. This will mark Roberts’ first main event spot. Ending his amateur career with a victory over current UFC fighter AJ Fletcher, Roberts went straight to the big leagues, making his professional debut for Bellator. Debuting at Bellator 214, Roberts would take on multi-time world BJJ champion AJ Agazarm. After three rounds of action, Roberts walked away with the split-decision victory. Since then, Roberts has not let off the gas, securing two more victories, this time in the AKA cage. At AKA 15, Roberts used his great counter-striking to take the unanimous decision in May 2021. In his most recent outing, Roberts wasted little time proving he can get the finish on the big stage, locking in a submission for the first-round victory at AKA 17 in August 2021.
Known for his dangerous striking in the amateur ranks, Craig Grove (4-3) has shown to be just as deadly on the mat with three of his four victories coming by submission. Not one to leave it to the judges, all four of his victories have come by the finish. 2-2 prior to his AKA debut as a professional, Grove came in hot winning back-to-back contests by submission at AKA 13 and AKA 15. Neither victory was a breeze. Grove defeated world-class BJJ ace Chris Crosby aby AKA 13 and the lengthy, dangerous Jesse Henry at AKA 15. Coming into AKA 21 looking to avenge a loss at AKA 18, both fighters have a lot on the line. This lightweight showdown could provide a potential title-challenger.
A Champion Will Be Crowned
With the vacating of the amateur bantamweight title by Dimas Chapa a void has now been left in the division. Insert the undefeated Donzel Rosaroso (4-0) into the frame as a potential replacement. Defeating a very young and talented prospect in Braydn Lowery at AKA 19 in January 2022, Rosaroso made a name for himself immediately with the AKA brass. Prior to his AKA debut, Rosaroso had already collected three victories, two of those by finishes. Representing 4.0z Fight Club out of Houston, Rosaroso would love nothing more than to bring the AKA belt back to the “Lone Star State.”
Also wanting the AKA title to come back to the “Lone Star State,” John Garza (3-2). Garza would rather the title land in the city of Dallas. Having an active year, this will mark Garza’s third appearance of the year and first ever for AKA. After dropping his first ever bout, Garza turned it around quickly earning knockout wins in his next two bouts. Earning a shot at the Empire Fighting Championship amateur bantamweight title, Garza dropped the contest to Gage Gill before rebounding in April 2022 taking a unanimous decision win over D’John Greer. Being no stranger to the championship stage, Garza will look to bank on that experience to help him walk out as the AKA champion.
P.E Training Center Homecoming
PE Training Center (Performance Evolution) will be out in full-force for AKA 21 on their home-turf of Lake Charles. PE has many of the best talented young stars in the state of Louisiana in their camp. The team is under the tutelage of former Bellator veteran and Karate Combat champion Josh Quayhagen. The Lake Charles area was devastated by hurricanes in August and October of 2020. The PE Training Center facility may have sustained severe damage, but the team inside was built to weather any storm.
Sure to also be in attendance is one of the shining diamonds PE, Austin Soileau. Soileau, the former GCMMA flyweight champion and AKA bantamweight champion in the amateur ranks, has recently made the jump to the professional ranks. Not doubt we will see Soileau in the future shine on an AKA card. A handful of teammates will be participating on the Lake Charles card.
Currently, five PE members are set to show off their skills on their home-turf at AKA 21 in Lake Charles. Those consists of Nevan Driehuis (flyweight), Colin Richard (flyweight), Hunter Smith (welterweight), Keegan Williams (welterweight), and Jason Slaydon (heavyweight).
I am a life-long MMA fan who has been a fan since UFC 1. I was born in Illinois but raised in South Louisiana, home of many great mixed martial artists. I started martial arts at the age of 4 and continued into my adult years where I served nearly 10 years in law enforcement. I feel my job is to convey the stories of the MMA fighters we enjoy to watch and share their stories with the world.
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