This Saturday’s HOOKnSHOOT event will be monumental for many reasons, including a 20th anniversary that the organization will celebrate by inducting four members into its Hall of Fame.
The Evansville Coliseum is expected to be rocking this weekend, as the small Indiana promotion that debuted in the 1990s shortly after the Ultimate Fighting Championship hit pay-per-view in 1993 continues its rich history in a small town that nobdy could have guessed would play host to some of the most important events in the sport’s history.
Promoter Jeff Osborne came to MMA after realizing that he was probably too small for pro wrestling, and he hosted some of the biggest names in the sport.
Those names included former world champions like Dave Menne and Jens Pulver, as well as all-time greats like Antonio Rogerio Nogueira (Little Nog), Jeremy Horn, Travis Lutter, and more. Former UFC heavyweight champion Frank Mir even made his pro debut on a HOOKnSHOOT card in 2001.
One of those greats will go into the HOOKnSHOOT Hall of Fame this weekend, as Chris Lytle returns to be honored alongside Scott Henze, Darron Morse, and Merritt Warren.
Osborne was also one of the first propoents of women’s MMA, and he held the first all-female show in 2011 in Evansville. He then went on to feature some of the sport’s top female fighters, including Miesha Tate, Megumi Fujii, Julie Kedzie, and Tara LaRosa.
“It was a monstrous success around the world. Horrible financially, but it was worth it,” Osborne said in a recent interview with the hometown Courier & Press. “That was all the women in North America fighting. They were all in Evansville.”
The organization has now sold its library of archives to the UFC for its streaming Fight Pass service, a testament to honoring the history that went down in Evansville.
This Saturday will be no different, with young fighters attempting to navigate the waters to eventually one day turn pro and a select few may even make it to the upper echelon of the sport.
You can read more about the history of HOOKnSHOOT in this feature piece published by MMAFighting earlier this year.
Eric Nabors vs George Byard
Eric Ellington vs Montez Jordan
Richard Tunstill, Jr. vs TBD
Dontale Mayes vs Colter Brown
Johnte Potts vs Jordan Collins
Lane Herold vs Scott Mengedoht
Jacob Kilburn vs Darrin Hardin
Ben Stuckey vs Aaron Rodriguez
Corey Brokaw vs Joshua Ross
Ricky Wiseman, Jr. vs Sam Smith
Markus Hall vs Tre Harbin
Carlos Garnett, Jr. vs Renaldo Weekley