BETHALTO — Brandon Lowe’s first love is wrestling, but mixed martial arts (MMA) could make “QuickDraw” a household name.
Lowe’s first professional main event fight — Shamrock FC 303 — happens Friday; with professional MMA fighters weighing-in Thursday. Lowe made his pro debut in 2015 fighting for Bellator.
Shamrock FC 303 takes place at the River City Casino against Trevon Crawford in the weight class of featherweight (145 pounds). Thursday’s weigh-ins are free, but Friday’s main event tickets cost from $50 to $200. The event is for all ages. Weigh-ins also will be giving away free prizes.
<p><strong>If you go:</strong></p><p><strong>What:</strong> Shamrock FC 303, featuring MMA pro fighter Bethalto’s Brandon “QuickDraw” Lowe in the main event</p><p><strong>When:</strong> 7:30 p.m., Friday</p><p><strong>Where:</strong> River City Casino, 777 River City Casino Blvd., St. Louis</p><p><strong>Info:</strong> Thursday’s weigh-ins are free; doors at 5:30 p.m. Friday’s main event tickets cost from $50 to $200. Both Thursday and Friday’s events are for all ages. Weigh-ins also will be giving away free prizes.</p>
“Fighting as a pro definitely gets you more recognition,” Lowe said of his transition from an amateur. “People see the main event on a big professional organization, and it will definitely help out my name recognition even more. If all goes well, I’ll be hoping to be fighting for a title at the end of the year.”
He loves MMA fighting due to its competitive aspect, but also because of its similarity to wrestling.
“It’s a one-on-one sport and it’s the closest thing to wrestling,” Lowe noted.
Lowe, 27, originally from Wood River, now of Bethalto, started practicing mixed martial arts 10 years ago.
The East Alton-Wood River High School graduate is back in the game since his last fight in September, when he took a beating in the first round due to several leg kicks, but won.
The Bethalto resident took one month off to train after that fight, coming out ahead, to take on his first main event as a professional. He’s fought in main events before, but as an amateur.
“The wear and tear is not easy,” Lowe said Tuesday to The Telegraph. “I wrestled four years before MMA, so after 14 years, you get used to it. I’m sore a lot. It’s something you have to deal with. Luckily, now, there’s more science behind training.”
For relief, he relies on self motivation, as well as traditional salt bath soaks, which help with inflammation; saunas; and, hot tubs; in addition to newer remedies, such as cryotherapy, which is local or general use of low temperatures in medical therapy, and NormaTec Pulse Recovery System, which helps faster recovery between workouts by reducing muscle soreness and improving circulation.
“I feel really good, confident,” Lowe said about Friday’s main event, from which his original opponent backed out.
“It’s an appreciative feeling to be noticed,” he said. “The last fight was ‘Fight of the Year’ and put me on a steamroller, continuing the momentum.“
Lowe’s professional MMA record is 3 and 1.
Last Sept. 22, Lowe beat Malcolm Smith for Shamrock FC 295. This fight was awarded “Fight of the Year,” by KnuckleJunkies.com. Lowe won in the second round by TKO, or technical knockout, earning him his third straight win.
Lowe recently signed a three-fight contract extension with St. Louis-based Shamrock FC. The professional company’s vice president is Rob Donaker and its owned by Jesse Finney, chief executive officer. Shamrock FC 303 will be Lowe’s first fight of the said contract extension.
Lowe began MMA fighting when he was a high school senior when he took his first amateur fight.
In 2013, he fought for Bellator.
“I would like to really get back with them,” he said. “Shamrock has a deal with Bellator, so I have a good chance.”
Lowe also loves his full-time job at World Wide Technology as a lab technician.
He works straight days Monday through Friday and trains at night at the War Room in Wood River, Head Nod Squad in Pontoon Beach and, sometimes, at the Hit Squad in Granite City.
“I tried full-time fighting for a while, but it doesn’t pay enough,” he said.
Lowe’s brother, Ty Bechel, is his manager.
“Brandon has loved this sport for years,” he recalled. “I have watched him mold himself into a superb, professional athlete in the sport of MMA. We have plans of working toward getting him to Bellator MMA (second largest MMA promoter) or the UFC (largest MMA promoter).”
Lowe’s amateur MMA record is 11 and 5; and, he won four different title belts (Former PCL Lightweight Champion, NFA Featherweight Champion, Spires Featherweight Regional Champion, Unified Midwest Title Featherweight Champion).
Lowe’s sponsors are DCS Cleaning and Handyman Services; Whole Street Productions; Damsel In Defense; Rep. Jenn Hausman; Totally Trips Travel Agency; HW Armory; Head Nod Squad; Grand Piasa Body Art, with Tattoos by Kirby; Sherer Chiropractic Center (Godfrey); and, Celsius Cryotherapy.
Follow Lowe at www.facebook.com/brandonquickdrawlowe, Twitter @quickdrawmma1 and Instagram @quickdrawmma.
Reach Jill Moon at 618-208-6448 and Twitter @jill_moon.