By: William Holmes
Cage Fury comes back to the Resorts Hotel with Cage Fury Fighting Championships 9, featuring lightweight prospect John Cholish. Cage Fury 9 will have a tough act to follow, as for Cage Fury 8 was a very exciting card.
Shedrick Goodridge (0-0) vs. Ariel Sepulveda (2-5); Middleweight
Shedrick Goodridge makes his pro debut against veteran Ariel Sepulveda. Fight starts off with both fighters trying to find range, and Goodridge starts off with an immediate takedown into a guillotine choke. Sepulveda breaks the hold and Goodridge lands up in top control in full guard. Goodridge lands some soft ground and pound from top position but can’t seem to improve his position. Sepulveda attempts a triangle but Goodridge is able to avoid the submission attempt and land in half guard. Sepulveda is able to reverse and land in top position. A scramble ensues and Sepulveda attempts a cement mixer on Goodridge that fails. Sepulveda lands some decent shots on Goodridge against the fence only to be taken down by Goodridge again. Fight ends with Goodridge in top position on the ground. 10-9 Goodridge
Second round starts off with Goodridge landing a few jabs and leg kicks. Goodridge attempts a takedown but fails and winds up in a front headlock. Goodridge is able to overpower it and end up in half guard position. Both fighters wind up on their feet only for Ariel Sepulveda body slamming Goodridge on the mat like a 1990’s WWF move. Goodridge winds up on top position in full guard but is unable to make any type of effective offense. Sepulveda is attacking Goodridge’s arm from the bottom position but is unable to pull off a submission. Another tough round to score, but I’ll score it 10-9 Sepulveda based on the crowd pleasing slam and submission attacks from the bottom.
Fight is up for grabs as the third round begins. Sepulveda lands the first significant strike of the third round with a nice high kick. Sepulveda lands another high kick, only to be taken down by Goodridge right after. Sepulveda is able to improve his position as Goodridge hangs onto his leg. Goodridge works hard for a takedown again and is able to land back into top position in full guard. Goodridge needs to do something with the advantageous position on the mat, as he really hasn’t landed many significant strikes from top. Fighters are stood back up and Goodridge attempts a takedown only to give up his back to Sepulveda. Sepulveda attempts to lock in a rear naked choke and it appears to be deep with only 30 seconds left in the round. This might win him the round and the fight. I scored it 10-9 for Sepulveda.
Official scorecards 29-28 Goodridge, 29-28 Sepulveda, 29-28 Sepulveda. Split decision victory for Sepulveda.
Artur Rofi (1-0) vs. Nihad Rosic (1-0); Lightweight
Albanian Artur Rofi has a sizeable contingent in the second fight of the night, and fights out of team Renzo Gracie. Fight starts off with Rofi immediately shooting for a takedown and pressing Rofi against the cage. Rofi is finally able to take Rosic down and ends up in full mount position with plenty of time left in the fight. Rofi switches into an armbar and gets the submission victory. Impressive showing by Rofi. In the post fight interview the announcer mentions that Rofi is signed to a three fight contract with Cage Fury.
Roger Zapata (0-0) vs. Mike Wade (0-1); Welterweight
Third fight of the night includes another fighter making his pro debut in Roger Zapata. Both fighters are locked against the fence, with Zapata having his back towards the fence. Zapata is doing a good job of avoiding the takedown and the ref forces the separation after Wade is unable to take Zapata down. Fighters are again pressed against the cage with Wade unsuccessfully looking for a takedown. Wade finally gets the takedown and ends up in half guard position. Wade is attempting to improvie his position and takes Zapata’s back. Zapata is able to escape the precarious position and reverses position to wind up in full guard on top. Tough round to score, but due to Zapata landing more strikes in the clinch I’d score it 10-9 Zapata.
Wade lands a nice two punch combination to start the round, and Zapata answers with a combination of his own. Fighters are stuck in a clinch against the fence with Zapata’s back against the fence again. Wade deep on a double leg but Zapata is able to fight it off and lands some hard body shots. Wade is finally able to take Zapata down. Wade has Zapata against the fence and his him full mount position. Wade appears to be going for a choke and has it momentarily cinched in. Zapata is fighting for his life to survive the round and avoid the various submission attempts. Both fighters back to their feet and Wade goes for a standing guillotine. Both fighters back to their feet and Wade has Zapata pressed against the fence again. 10-9 round Wade, and would understand if some judges scored it 10-8 due to the tight submission attempts by Wade.
Third round starts off with a high kick landed by Wade, who then shoots in on a double leg and presses Zapata against the cage. Zapata is able to fight off the takedown attempt and land some hard body shots again. Wade is finally able to drag Zapata down to the ground but eats some more hard body shots from Zapata. Wade is unable to do any offense from the top position. Wade transitions into a guillotine but pulls Zapata on top of him and doesn’t have the leverage necessary to finish the move. Both fighters are back to their feet and Zapata lands a nice short elbow and a few more punches. However, Wade again takes him down. Wade has top position but again has not landed any significant shots. Even though Wade got the two takedowns he didn’t do much with it. I score it 10-9 for Zapata.
Official scores are 30-27, 30-27, 29-28 for Mike Wade again showing that stopping takedowns is very important in the eyes of the judges.
Trevor Suter (1-2) vs. Steve Perez (1-0); Lightweight
Perez starts off the fight with some hard strikes and a takedown. Perez winds up in side control and spins to his back. A brief scramble ensues but Perez is able to maintain the advantageous position. Perez lands some short elbows and Suter scrabmles to his feet. Perez lands a hard body kick to Suter switches levels to take Suter down again. This round is very fast paced. Perez has Suter pressed against the cage and lands some hard strikes. Perez is showing off some very nice takedown ability. Both fighters throwing haymakers at each other and brings the crowd to it’s feet. Perez lands a hard uppercut and shoots for another takedown that Suter stuffs. Perez is able to get full mount position with 10 seconds left, but is unable to finish the fight. Action packed round, score it 10-9 for Perez.
Second round starts off with a bang as both fighters exchange haymakers again. Perez connects with some solid shots and presses SUter against the cage. Perez with a hard takedown and lands in half guard. Perez again has Suter’s back, with plenty of time left in the round. Perez has double hooks in and lands some hard shots, then slips in the rear naked choke to get the tapout. Perez looked very good in this fight.
Drew Puzon (1-3) vs. Vagner Fernandes (0-2); Middleweight
Fight starts with Puzon attempting a takedown, but Fernandes is able to stuff it. The fighters are pressed against the cage with Puzon’s back to it. Fighters separate from the clinch, and Puzon lands two hard punches. Puzon again backs up Fernandes with some punches. Puzon is doing a very good job at stuffing Fernandes takedown attempts. Fight goes to the ground and Puzon gets the full mount position then transitions to take Fernandes back. Puzon sinks in the rear naked choke to get the tapout.
Igor Gracie (3-2) vs. Quinton McCottrell (4-6); Welterweight
Igor Gracie takes on Quinton McCottrell in the co-main event of the fight. Renzo Gracie is in Igor’s corner. A poke in the eye of Igor Gracie stops the action. Fight restarts and Igor appears to be blinking in his eye. Igor lands a solid combination. McCottrell backs Gracie against the cage and is engaged in a clinch. Gracie now goes in for the takedown and drags McCotrell down. Gracie attempts an armbar/triangle and is clearly schooling McContrell on the ground. Gracie eventually finishes McCottrell with a perfectly executed Darce choke.
John Cholish (6-1) vs. Jameel Massouh (22-8); Lightweight
Highly coveted prospect John Cholish faces off against WEC veteran Jameel Massouh in the main event of tonight’s Cage Fury card for Cage Fury’s lightweight title. John Cholish is another Renzo Gracie trained fighter. It is obvious as soon as the fight starts the Cholish has the height and reach advantage. Cholish lands a few hard shots to the head of Massouh. Cholish is trying to bait Massouh in to land a counter. A jab by Cholish rocks Massouh’s head back. Massouh lands a hard leg ick but doesn’t appear to faze Cholish. Cholish looks extremely calm in the cage. Massouh goes for a takedown and is able to land some knees to the body from a body lock position. Both fighters back to their feet and Cholish lands some shots. Massouh lands a hard uppercut coming in on Cholish. Fighters pressed against the cage with Massouh landing some knees to the legs of Cholish. The hard uppercut at the end of the round by Massouh might have won him that round 10-9.
Cholish is met with some body shots as he goes in for the clinch at the start of the second round. Massouh’s experience at bigger promotions appears to be paying off from him this fight, as he has weathered the attacks of CHolish so far. Cholish lands a hard shot to Massouh that knocks him down, and then sinks in the guillotine choke to get the tap from Massouh. Nice victory by Cholish.
Stars of the Night:
1. Steve Perez looked very impressive in only his second professional mixed martial arts fight. He stayed aggressive throughout the fight and executed some solid combinations followed by some very powerful takedowns.
2. Despite getting poked in the eye, Igor Gracie lived up to the family name and quickly submitted Quinton McCottrell in the first round. He was unsurprisingly dominant on the ground.
3. John Cholish fought WEC veteran Jameel Massouh and landed a hard shot on him in the second round and followed up with a tight guillotine choke. He takes CFFC’s lightweight title, and it will be interesting to see who he fights next.