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Boxing matches headline Strikefest 5 card

Jeff Birchfield • Updated Mar 6, 2019 at 10:44 PM

Johnson City fighters Dustin Long and Roy King Jr. headline Thursday’s Strikefest 5 card at OT Sports & Social which features boxing, kickboxing and mixed martial arts with a bell time of 7 p.m.

Long will face Nick Jewell in an eight-round cruiserweight boxing match in the main event.

Both Long and Jewell have more extensive backgrounds in MMA, but it makes for an interesting matchup of youth versus experience.

Jewell is a stout 22-year-old from Beatyville, Kentucky, who had a successful MMA amateur career but will be making his debut in the boxing ring. Long, 35, will be in his fifth professional boxing match. At 6-foot-4, he has a four-inch height and significant reach advantage.

“My last boxing match was against a guy with 55 fights” Long said. “I wasn’t planning on fighting. It was funny when the matchmaker talked to him, I was like, ‘I’m going to be here anyway so I might as well fight.’ It’s good because I’ve put in a full camp with my cousin Brad (Austin) and have got to focus on boxing.”

Always before, Long split his time between boxing, kickboxing and MMA. A victory could set him for a more lucrative payday with a chance to fight on an MMA card in Atlantic City and a different style of fighting in Philadelphia.

“My cousin wants me to start boxing more because the training isn’t as rough on my body,” Long said. “It’s not that it’s an easier sport or this is an easy fight. Jewell is a multiple-time muay thai champ so he’s use to standing up. I also want to take this fight because I’m trying to get called up for a bare-knuckle fight and reality show in Philadelphia.”

King (10-2-1) will face Judd Brown, another accomplished MMA fighter who isn’t as experienced in the boxing ring, in a six-round light heavyweight bout. Brown can’t be overlooked after battling Long to a draw in a May 2018 fight.

For King, it’s a chance to get back on track after losing a unanimous decision to Travis Henshaw for the World Boxing Federation Intercontinental Title last July.

Among the other top fights, Preston Schick of Johnson City will face Brandon Grimmett in a Mixed Martial Arts bantamweight contest. Schick, nicknamed “Ice Pick” with his lanky 6-foot frame, has a 7-0 amateur record. He is a foot taller than North Carolina martial artist Grimmett, who will no doubt try to take the fight to the ground.

There are two muay thai title fights. CJ Baker will face Gavin Walker in a super heavyweight fight and Aaron Phillips takes on Zack Fox for the super middleweight title.

Baker is a tough matchup for anyone with long legs and standing an imposing 6-foot-8, while Walker is a former football player. Outside of combat sports, the 6-foot-2 Walker has also competed as a bodybuilder.

Phillips, from Johnson City, will try to even the score with Fox, another Kentucky fighter, after losing to him in on a card in January.

There will be an awards ceremony and a musical performance after the fights.

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