Updated: 5 days ago
Nate Russell (5-1) and Tyler "Rookie" Randall (6-1) are nip and tuck at 1 & 2 in our flyweight rankings, but Russell got the slight nod due to fighting a higher level of competition. He grabs the #1 position in our among the 125'ers after he took a 3 year hiatus away from the sport, but he returned in epic fashion by beating 6th ranked Jake "The Bull" Bagley (3-2) for the AMMO flyweight crown back in July of last year. The Fighting Arts Academy product is looking to stay active once fights commence, but it doesn't look like he'll get the desired matchup against Randall, as "Rookie" plans to enter the pro ranks in Florida in the near future.
Randall's recent temporary move to Florida was spurred by the state's willingness to allow MMA events to take place, but don't be surprised if you see Randall back on the New England scene once local shows start to open their doors again. Maybe we'll see these two square off in the pro ranks, but don't hold your breath behind that mask if you were hoping to see them bang it out as amateurs.
Undefeated 21 year old Caleb "Dr. Feelgood" Austin (4-0) has found a home in our 3rd position, as he's rattled off 4 wins in a row fighting at home in Maine with New England Fights. Austin has shown some serious wrestling chops, but we don't know much about his striking game at this point, and until we do it's tough to tell how high his ceiling is. It's time to start upping the level of competition that he sees in the cage, as he's got 3 victories over debuting fighters (one of those being a controversial victory), and in his last bout he took down an 0-3 Dillon Henry. Austin is a mystery to many, but regardless, he still has that zero intact and is a young prospect to keep an eye on.
Our 4th and 5th ranked fighters were set to square off at the last Cage Titans card, but the "grandma killer" that we call Covid-19 swooped in and changed those plans. 4th ranked Joe Poirier (2-0) only has 2 fights under his belt, but he's looked very impressive in those two 1st round stoppage victories. In his last fight he made it look easy beating a very tough Brandon Neiford (2-3) by RNC in the 1st round at Cage Titans 47. Poirier is super tall for the division, and is a physical specimen. He presents serious issues for anyone in the division on the feet due to his length, but he's shown that he is well-versed on the mat as well, dominating grappling exchanges when the fights went there. If there is one fighter in our rankings that I could say has a legit shot at being successful at the UFC level, then it's Joe Poirier. Keep your eye out for this 23 year old SBG East fighter to continue tearing through the flyweight division in the region.
Poirier was scheduled to take on Underdog MMA fighter Dave "The Spider Monkey" Durao (3-2) this spring, but as mentioned previously, that card was scrapped. Hopefully we'll still be able to see these two bang it out, as Durao has vocally said he wants the fight to happen in recent weeks. It will be a serious test for the 30 year old Durao, but nothing that's unfamiliar, as "The Spider Monkey" has fought the best of the best in the division since breaking onto the scene 3 years ago. His only two losses have come to #4 ranked pro bantamweight "Killa" Mitch Raposo (4-0), and he has victories over the aforementioned Neiford, and a very talented Ebrahim Aziz (1-2). Durao is a gamer, but he'll have his hands full with Poirier if this fight gets booked again.
They'll be some shakeup in these ranks now that Randall is going pro, and it should be fun to watch Russell, Austin, Poirier, and Durao jockey for the #1 position over the next year.