Tony Rogers Jr. has been a fixture on the amateur scene in his home state of North Carolina.
Rogers crosses state lines for his next challenge, as he'll defend the USFFC Lightweight Title against Sean Coats at USFFC 22 on April 18 in Greenville, S.C. Fighting out of Full Circle Martial Arts in Marshall, N.C., Rogers was used to being a crowd and local favorite at earlier USFFC shows back when the promotion ran out of the now-closed Swamp Fox in Marion, N.C., but this time the Upstate South Carolina resident Coats will be the hometown guy.
Rogers (12-6) definitely has the experience advantage. He's been fighting since the spring of 2010, primarily as a welterweight before he moved down in weight classes last year. Rogers won his USFFC title this spring when he scored a quick submission win over Brandon Barrett. Rogers also won, and subsequently lost, the Fight Lab belt in the 155 division.
With so many fights on his record, Rogers has won about every way possible. As of late, he's shown a very dangerous standing guillotine choke, which he used to beat both Barrett and Marcus Fludd this year.
Coats (3-2) didn't start fighting until November of 2012. His winning percentage (.600) is comparable to that of Rogers (.667), but more importantly with regard to USFFC business, he has never lost inside the Freedom Fighter cage. Both of his prior USFFC fights have ended via knockout or TKO, including a 19-second KO of Adam Gregory last spring. Coats trains out of Precision Fight Team in the upstate, also the home gym of former USFFC Middleweight Champion and 2014 mMA-Insider Rookie of the Year Patrick Ward.
Can Coats bring another USFFC belt back to his gym? Or will Rogers retain? We'll find out in April.
Here's the current updated lineup for USFFC 22.
Tickets for this event go on sale New Year's Day.
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