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Romeros highlight KOTC Black Bear Print E-mail
Written by Ben Pherson   
Thursday, 08 June 2017 19:40

King of the Cage is set to rumble back through northern Minnesota on Friday night, bringing "Fire Starter" to Black Bear Casino near Carlton.

Tickets for the show are still on sale and can be purchased through the Black Bear website. Fights are scheduled to begin at 7 p.m.

The show features the husband-wife combination of Tat "Mean Bean" Romero and Ashley Romero. Tat Romero is the top-ranked 170-pounder in Minnesota, and he brings a 27-6 record into Friday's bout.

Romero is set to take on Aaron Hedrick of California. Hedrick is 9-7 as a pro, but he's fought just once since 2014 and twice since 2013. He's dropped two straight. Hedrick is 35 years old, while Tat Romero is 37. Tat brings a three-fight winning streak into the bout, finishing all three opponents.

Tat's wife, Ashley Romero, is making her MMA debut. She's set to square off against Rachel Ervin at 125 pounds. Ervin trains out of Michigan, and the 39-year-old also is making her MMA debut.

In addition to Tat Romero's main-event bout, there are three other professional fights on the card.

Minnesota's Chris Collins looks to move to 2-0 as a professional as he locks up with Jon Smith of Indiana. Smith comes in 0-1 as a pro, but he was 5-3 as an amateur. Smith lost his

debut in February, suffering a knockout setback in just 18 seconds. He will be down at his natural weight for this fight, though, at 125 pounds.

Collins was an elite amateur, and he made quick work of Devante Kyse in his debut in March.

Minnesota's Jesse Rogge looks to climb back into the win column in a catch-weight bout against Erson Yamamoto of Japan. Rogge has dropped three straight and is 1-4 as a pro. Yamamoto is 1-2, but he's fought for the biggest promotion in Japan, Rizin. He's coming off a loss to the legendary Hideo Tokoro, who fought to a draw with Royce Gracie and beat Royler Gracie.

Yamamoto is the nephew of UFC vet Kid Yamamoto.

In an all-Minnesota showdown, elite wrestler Collin Huckbody squares off with Tom Krenzel of The Cellar.

Both Krenzel and Huckbody are ranked as pros, and this fight will take place at a catch weight of 180. Krenzel is 1-1 as a pro, and he's ranked No. 10 at 205, while Huckbody is 1-0 and No. 8 at 170. Huckbody is coming off a win over veteran Travis McCullough in his pro debut in March. He also had an impressive win over Josh Kohler to close his amateur career last year.

On the amateur portion of the card, Minnesota's Michael Jokondo (4-3) meets Jon Bird (5-2) at 125 pounds. It figures to be one of the best fights on the card, with both fighters bringing a fast pace.

Minnesota's Noah Landrus is set to make his amateur debut against Mitch Conner of Wisconsin. Both fighters are stepping into the cage for the first time.

Wisconsin's Josh Hautajarvi figures to be in a solid scrap against Wisconsin's Casey Goulet at 160. Hautajarvi is 4-6-2, while Goulet is 1-0.

Newcomer Garrett Olson (not the pro Garrett Olson) is making his debut at 230 pound against Christian Herbeck, and Cooper Hayes is taking on Brandon Hunt. Hayes is another Cellar product, and Olson also hails from Minnesota.

KOTC: Fire Starter

Black Bear Casino • Friday


170 — Tat Romero vs. Aaron Hedrick.

125 — Chris Collins vs. Jon Smith.

140 — Erson Yamamoto vs. Jesse Rogge.

180 — Collin Huckbody vs. Tom Krenzel.


125 — Michael Jokondo vs. Jon Bird.

170 — Noah Landrus vs. Mitch Conner.

125 — Ashley Romero vs. Rachel Ervin.

160 — Josh Hautajarvi vs. Casey Goulet.

185 — Cooper Hayes vs. Brandon Hunt.

230 — Garett Olson vs. Christian Herbeck.