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Carolinas Fight Scene Update: Allman & Buck Prepare For SportFight X Event This Saturday

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Jacob Allman is primed and ready for his pro debut. But unlike most accomplished amateurs making their pro debut, his first fight in the paid ranks will not be against weak opposition. It will be against another debuting pro with stellar amateur credentials. The event will be the SportFight X lightweight tournament in Atlanta, Georgia on July 10th. Some of the best young debuting lightweight fighters in the Southeast will be competing for bragging rights. Allman, a 24-year-old native of North Carolina, comes from a strong wrestling background. Having wrestled at The Citadel, Allman began training in mixed martial arts and has earned an impressive amateur record of 7-0 and is currently ranked as the # 1 amateur lightweight in the Carolinas by And it isn't just that Allman has gone undefeated. He has faced some solid amateur competition during that time, having faced opposition with a combined career winning percentage of 60%.  We recently caught up with Allman to get his thoughts on his upcoming fight in the first round of the SportFight X Lightweight Tournament:

Rich Wyatt: You've had a lot of success as an amateur. What made you decide to enter this tournament?

Jacob Allman: I guess, I didn't want my debut to be against a 1-3 guy. For a couple reasons. I've competed up to my level of competition. If you put me against a better fighter it makes me look better, and the opposite is true. After 400 wrestling matches that's what I've found to be true. Any tournament in MMA, the winner will be known. If I beat a 1-3 guy, no one knows me but if I win this whole tournament people will know my name in this region. I like the way the fights are spaced out. It looked good. I want everyone to know I'm okay to go in there with a bunch of badasses because I feel like I'm on their level.

More after the jump:

Rich Wyatt: Who will be your opening round opponent and what do you know about him?

Jacob Allman: I don't know a lot about him. I know he's a kickboxer with decent jiu-jitsu skills. I know he's undefeated and I think only been the distance once. I don't really follow the sport super closely. Whoever I'm fighting next I'll learn about and figure out their style. I look at it like this is my job. No need to get worked up about what he does. If I focused too much on him I get away from my offense and my gameplan. I want to make sure I stick to my gameplan. I don't get too worked up about his record or finishes. It's all about that night and I'll stick to the plan. You won't see me throwing head kicks and stuff. Wrestling helped me learn to not psyche myself out. It's a different sport but wrestling really helped me get my head straight for fighting.

Rich Wyatt: What are your thoughts on this type of multi-show tournament format that SportFight is offering on July 10th.

Jacob Allman: I like it because I like being involved in tournaments. Ideally for me, it would be to my advantage if it's one day. Wrestlers and, sometimes, jiu-jitsu guys are accustomed to one day tournaments. There are ups and downs to tournaments but I'm happy with this tournament setup over 5 months. It gives just enough time to heal up, relax briefly and then . Cardio rolling over from one fight to the next is good. Plus, you don't see tournaments much anymore in MMA so it's kind of neat. So far it looks like it will be a good show on the 10th for the fans.

Rich Wyatt: So what is your prediction for the fight? How do you see this one going?

Jacob Allman: I think the fans can expect a war. He's 8-0 and I'm 7-0. The only prediction I'll give is a victory. I never go into a fight thinking I"ll lose. I'm planning on going to war and I imagine he is too. I think it'll be a competitive fight but I couldn't give a predicition how. I'll take the win however I can get it.

A training partner of Allman (and another former wrestler from The Citadel), Johnny "Buck Nasty" Buck, will also be competing on the SportFight X card on July 10th in Atlanta. This 25-year-old from Asheville, North Carolina has compiled a professional record of 6-6. He has, however, won three of his last four bouts and has faced some stiff competition, having faced opposition with a combined career winning percentage of 61%.   Buck will face experienced veteran George "A-Dog" Allen of Norcross, Georgia. Allen is coming off a decision loss to Cortez Coleman and is looking to rebound with a win here. Buck has some solid wrestling skills to go with a tenacious attitude that has him always looking to finish his opponent. He has finished his opponent in every one of his wins and has yet to see a fight go to the scorecards as a professional.

Rich Wyatt: You've performed well in your last four fights. How have you improved as a fighter over the past year?

Johnny Buck: The biggest thing for me came from a straight wrestling background in college. Trained 2 months before taking 1st fight. Working striking a lot with Phil at Renegade Boxing. The biggest thing is my patience and my cage strategy. We have a simple gameplan but I used to rush too much. Relaxing in their and not forcing anything, taking my time. I've become more patient with the cage strategy aspect.

Rich Wyatt: Your next fight will be on the SportFight X card in Atlanta on July 10th. That will be your fifth fight thus far in 2010. Do you find that keeping an active schedule is beneficial to you?

Johnny Buck: Yeah, I do. It's not so much something everyone can do. I come from the college wr mentatlity where you can have 2 matches in a wee, then fly to Vegas and wrestle and fly back and do it again. I'm used to the fast pace. To me the schedule is not too outrageous. Taking time off has helped me work on my game and breaking my game apart. You don't get better sitting at home playing video games. You've got to get in there and get cage time. I think keeping an active schedule is important.

Rich Wyatt: Your next opponent is George Allen, a very experienced opponent. What do you know about him?

Johnny Buck: I don't watch video. I don't care to. My coaches watch it and help me gameplan. I keep the same gameplan day in and day out. I won't to take him down, get side control and get him out of there with elbows or take mount. Nobody fights the way I do and I don't think anything like what I bring to the cage even with all his experience.

Rich Wyatt: So what is your prediction for the fight? How do you see this one going?

Johnny Buck: If he's lucky he'll get to the second round. I'm training and healthy. Cardio, striking grappling are looking good. I've been working wrestling and my cardio is up to a high level. Probably tapout to strikes. Not too many guys like the elbows. Don't think it'll go well for Grandpa Allen.