Tomorrow night at the Aladdin Shrine Center in Columbus, Ohio Luke Zachrich, Bellator and TUF veteran, will square off against Marcus Finch, XFC veteran. The two will meet in the main event of UVC 23: Invasion which kicks off at 7p ET.
This match-up has been a year in the making as the two were originally slated to fight last summer. Zachrich was returning to the cage from a two-year layoff and had a fight scheduled for August. He told everyone that he was looking for a “warm-up” fight before his big bout against a tough opponent. That’s when Zachrich said everyone was throwing names at him, Finch’s name had come up several times. The two were slated to fight at an event in June but for reasons the fight fell through.
Fast-forward to this past March, the fighters finally came to an agreement to face one another at the Arnold Classic event. Leading up to that fight Zachrich has sustained an injury during his training camp and was subsequently forced off the card. It was an unfortunate turn of events for both fighters as the so-called “heat” was rising between the two.
Once the injury was healed the two negotiated and came to terms to fight on tomorrows card. The fight was officially announced at the Arnold Classic event and the two seemed cordial between the two fighters. Not much tension between the two, at least not visible to the crowd. Then a few weeks ago at an event in Northern Kentucky the two met once more for a stand-off.
This time though things weren’t so nice and friendly between the two. As they eyed each other down inside the cage and the fight was announced to the crowd a shoveling match broke out between the two and words were exchanged. Both fighters had accompanying entourage inside the cage that quickly broke things up before it escalated to the next level. All of this adversity will come to an end once they step inside the cage tomorrow night.
Finch has been on a roll recently knocking out his last two opponents in less than a minute into the fight. Of the two his first one came just 00:14 seconds into the bout when he connected with a shot that dropped Josh Franklin down to the ground for the knockout finish. His latest came inside the XFC cage when they rolled into Nashville, Tennessee this past December. He stopped Dustin West in just 46 seconds when he laid down a fury of punches that forced the referee to step in and call the fight.
It will the toughest test to date for Finch who has never faced someone of Zachrich’s caliber before. He came close once when he lost a unanimous decision to Matthew Masterson almost two years ago. One of the things that sets Finch apart from others is that he is “one tough son-of-a-b***h”. He has never been knocked out in his 13 professional fights. He once lost by way of TKO but that was the closest and that was third professional bout about three years ago.
Finch has gone the distance six times in his professional career. To say he does not have the stamina or cardio would be a blatant lie. He will be tested in that area as well as Zachrich as only been outside of the first round on three separate occasions out of his 13 professional fights.
Zachrich took a two year leave of absence from fighting when he lost his last fight, third overall, against Eric Schambari inside the Bellator cage. He made his return this past August for his UVC debut when he went the distance for the first time in his career.
He will be returning to the UVC cage, this time he’ll be facing Finch who has become very confident with his hands. Zachrich has only been stopped once in his career by way of strikes. Zachrich also runs the Ronin Training Center in Columbus, Ohio and has been hard at work not only in his training camp but also doing the media rounds promoting his fight and the event. This event will also feature a slew of Ronin fighters competing on the card making it even harder to concentrate for Zachrich.
He came on BluegrassMMA Live! this past Tuesday and talked about his camp, life outside the cage, and what the future holds. One of the things that he mentioned was that he was teaching his students an important lesson about this fight. He basically stated that it didn’t matter if you win or lose inside the cage as long as you prepared for it properly. Of course winning is the goal unfortunately it does not always happen that way. Training properly for him includes spending time inside the gym getting ready for your upcoming fight. Nutrition is also a key fundamental as well. Proper nutrition is a necessity to ensure you are physically and mentally ready to step inside the cage.
This is a fight that you will not want to miss as both of these warriors are looking to finish strong. Zachrich to still stay relevant on the national scene and Finch to get the jump that he needs over a name like Zachrichs to propel himself to the next level.
Tickets are still on sale, but limited, and can only be picked up at the door.