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Recap of A Great Night of Elite Championship Cage Fighting

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Last night I went to my first Elite Championship Cage Fighting event. You can tell that a lot of work and effort went into making this event a great experience for the fans. The attention to detail was impressive. From the fighter entrance-way to the lighting and sound system, this event was well put together. Then there was the most important aspect: the fights. It was a great night of action with some talented kids and some really good matchups. The results, with some additional commentary, are below:

-         145 lb. – Jacob Johnson (1-0) def. Nick Blake (2-1) by split decision; This was a very good matchup to begin the evening. Both fighters fought at a quick pace. Blake appeared to do some good work early on the ground. Johnson came on strong in the final frame to take a very close decision.

-         170 lb. – Timothy Marcum (1-0) def. Chris Reid (0-1) by 1st round TKO; This one was fast and furious. After a quick exchange standing, Marcum landed an explosive takedown and applied some good ground and pound to get the stoppage in the opening round.

-         185 lb. – Adam Dehart (2-0) def. Michael Alford (0-1) by 1st round TKO; After staggering Alford with a nice left hand, Dehart followed up with some more unanswered shots as referee Bill Clancy called a halt to the bout less than a minute into the first. Some fans felt that the stoppage might have been a little premature, as it appeared that Alford was still trying to defend himself. Nonetheless, a very nice job by Dehart.

-         135 lb. – Jesse Owens (1-0) def. Lonnie Price (0-1) by 2nd round Submission; I thought Price looked good early, landing a takedown and proving to be elusive by showing nice lateral movement while standing. However, Owens proved patient and did a good job of using his height advantage in this fight. Owens landed a few good knees in the match, and secured the victory by rear naked choke in the 2nd.

-         145 lb. – Bill Metts (1-1) def. Adam Ronsick (1-3) by 1st round TKO; Metts began the match by landing a nice takedown. After being stood back up by the referee, Metts landed a nice combination that dropped Ronsick. After followup shots on the ground the bout was halted, giving the win to Metts.

-         HWT- Grant Austin (1-0) def. Jeremy Shelton (1-1) by 1st round Submission; This fight began great for Shelton, who looked impressive securing a takedown and delivering some ground and pound. Austin showed a lot of toughness by weathering the storm and reversing position to deliver some shots of his own to Shelton. Shortly thereafter, Austin locked in a choke to end the fight in the first.

-         HWT - Archie Ford (1-0) def. Nathan Arnold (0-1) by 1st round TKO; Ford quickly landed a takedown in the opening seconds and delivered some unanswered shots to get the victory by stoppage in the opening round.

-         155 lb. - Scott Fierle (1-0) def. Thanh Le (0-1) by unanimous decision; In the first, Fierle secured the takedown and did some good work. The story in the second was the leg kicks of Le, who appeared to do some damage to the legs of his opponent. Both fighters exchanged dominant position on the mat in the third, but Fierle wrapped up the victory by landing the more effective shots standing.

-         155 -  Syl Bynum (3-1) def. Johnny Bonds (3-1) by unanimous decision; This was, in my opinion, the best fight of the night. These two appear to both be very talented fighters and were evenly matched. In the first round Bynum landed a nice right-hand early, followed by a takedown. Bonds would soon get back up and take the back of Bynum, only to see Bynum escape and land back in the guard of Bonds. This was a prelude of things to come in the following rounds, as both exchanged positions and showed a wide array of skills both striking and grappling. This fight was so close that the judges really had their work cut out for them. I agreed with Bynum getting the nod, but I’ll say that both of these two showed themselves to be talented lightweights that fans should keep an eye out for.

-         170 lb. - David Denlinger (2-0) def. Colin Davis Speed (0-1) by 1st round Submission; After landing some nice punches standing, Denlinger took Speed’s back and landed more nice shots. Speed showed toughness in continuing to fight back, but eventually was defeated by a nice guillotine choke. Denlinger looked relentless in this fight and applied constant pressure, never allowing his opponent the chance to recover.

-         135 lb. - Pedro Martinez (1-2 ) def. Johnny Lefevers (1-2) by decision; Okay, I’ve watched combat sports my entire life and I have rarely seen a fighter penalized two points in a single round for spitting out his mouthpiece. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a fighter overcome that point disparity and still win a decision. That, however, is exactly what happened to Martinez in this bout. Warned in an earlier round not to spit out his mouthpiece again, Martinez lost two points in the final frame. I thought that the first two rounds were fairly close with Martinez landing some nice shots, and Lefevers attempting some nice submissions. The crowd seemed surprised that Martinez got the nod considering the two points he lost in the third.

-         155 lb. - D’Juan Owens (2-2) def. Andrew Ruggles (0-1) by decision; This was another exciting fight to watch. Ruggles landed a nice takedown early and stayed active, delivering nice shots. Then Owens reversed and did some damage of his own. Owens started the second round by throwing with bad intentions, but Ruggles sunk in one of the nastiest guillotine chokes I saw all night. I have no idea how, but Owens somehow got out of that thing! I’m serious, I thought I saw the kid’s face turning blue, and then he manages to escape. Owens ended the round by landing some shots from inside the guard of Ruggles. In the final round, Owens took side mount early and landed some nice shots, particularly to the body, throughout the round. This was a good fight with both fighters showing resilience and toughness.

-         135 lb. – Scott Monish (4-4) def. Justin Zemanick (2-3) by 1st round Submission; Monish landed an early takedown and got side mount, then quickly landed full mount. He was then able to take the back of his opponent and land a rear naked choke for the victory in the first.

-         155 lb. – Jorand Rinaldi (3-0) def. Jason Heilig (2-6) by 1st round Submission; Rinaldi wasted no time in the night’s main event. After briefly circling his opponent, he landed a nice takedown and quickly obtained side mount. As Heilig scrambled to stand back up, Rinaldi took his back to quickly sink in a rear naked choke and secure a shot at the ECCF lightweight title this June in Charlotte. This was simply a textbook performance by Rinaldi, who appears to have a lot of talent.



Immediately after the evening’s main event, it was announced that Jordan Rinaldi (3-0) will face Colt “45” Howell (6-0) for the ECCF Lightweight Title on June 13th at the Metrolina Expo in Charlotte, NC. If you are a MMA fan within driving distance, be sure and mark your calendar for that fight card. The main event alone will be worth the price of admission.