Travis Lizotte "Full Contact Writer
Happy Birthday America! This July 4th weekend was definitely one to write home about for me. What culminated with a Fireworks display of the traditional variety last night, opened with Fireworks of the Fisticuffs variety Saturday night at Cage Titans 54 in Plymouth, Massachusetts and sandwiched in between; 63 Nathan's Famous Hot Dogs and buns. That's right ladies and gentlemen, on one broken wheel and while fending off a stage bound protester, 37 year old Joey "Jaws" Chestnut ingested 63 Hot Dogs and buns Monday afternoon in Coney Island, New York to gobble up his record building 15th Mustard Belt at Nathan's Famous July Fourth Hot Dog Eating Contest.
Bring the Belts, Hold the Mustard... Cage Titans 54 also had their fair share of their "Condiment Free" Belts up for grabs Saturday night as our first Title Fight took place between two guys unlikely to turn down a plate of Hot Dogs at the family Barbecue when Heavyweight Amateurs Hassan "Bounty Hunter" Graham (4-0) and Jack "Action" Burke (1-1) threw down for Hassan Graham's Cage Titans Amateur Heavyweight belt. As you would imagine this fight was explosive for as long as it lasted, with Burke coming out with a barrage of strikes before being steamrolled to the mat where the Champion Graham used his power to employ a vicious squeeze on a Scarf Hold that caused Burke to tap at just :49 seconds into the fight. It goes without saying; Hassan Graham is a bad man and he sits firmly atop the New England Amateur Heavyweight division with a perfect 4-0 record and the Cage Titans crown around his waist. The only trouble? Who is going to sign up to fight this man? Graham has now collected bounties on 4 different New England Heavyweights and welcomes all challengers to try their hand at unseating him from his Cage Titans and New England MMA throne.
Cage Titans would hand out a belt of a new variety Saturday night at Cage Titans 54 as Cape Cod native Colin "Superman" Robinson (1-0, Am Muay Thai) and Georgia's Lamon Payne (7-5, Amateur Muay Thai) met at a fight weight of 185 pounds to crown the inaugural Cage Titans Amateur Muay Thai Champion. The veteran Payne came out in the first round behind his length, including a long jab and some timely leg kicks to keep Robinson guessing, but as the fight wore on Robinson's gameplan and athleticism took over. Down the stretch Robinson began to counter the lengthy strikes from Payne with sharp power shots that really began to add up. Cage Side officials took close looks at Payne between rounds 3 and 4 and then again between round 4 and 5 but the fight would continue to the judges table where we saw scores of 48-47, 49-46 and 49-46 all for your winner by Unanimous Decision, AND NEW Cage Titans Amateur Muay Thai Champion Colin "Superman" Robinson.
Robinson caught up with our Steve Domenico following the fight and talked about what it was like to finally fight in front of a Hometown crowd at Plymouth Memorial Hall after beginning his combat sports journey in Tennessee as the Valor Amateur Middleweight Champion (MMA) and picking up a Silver medal overseas at GAMMA (MMA) Worlds earlier this year. Robinson now brings the Cage Titans Muay Thai title with him back to Team Link Muay Thai in Worcester, Massachusetts to add next to his Valor Middleweight title and right beside that...a spot for the Cage Titans Amateur MMA Middleweight title, which Colin hopes to finally challenge Jideofor Ojukwu (4-1) for later this year.
Finally the Cage Titans vacant Amateur Flyweight title would come up for grabs in a fight that would not only crown a new Cage Titans Champion, but would ultimately decide just who is the regions best Ammy 125'er. In one corner, 25 year old former Cage Titans Flyweight title challenger Joe Poirier (3-2) and standing across from him 24 year old NEF Flyweight Champion; Evolution Athletix's Tyler "Butter Knife" Smythe (5-2). And this one would go exactly how Tyler Smythe had envisioned it when he warned Joe to "pack a lunch" as Smythe stymied title hopeful Poirier with overwhelming grappling and continuous pressure. Smythe would go on to outwork Poirier in all facets of the fight, ultimately leading to a third round submission via Rear Naked Choke that would crown Maine's Smythe a multi-promotional Champion and secure his spot as the regions Amateur Flyweight King!
Who you trying to get crazy with ese? Don't you know I'm Loco?.. We have seen it in the past and this man is no exception, as Loco Lobo continues to unleash savages out of his Cape Cod basement and on to the New England Combat Sports scene. Like Kylie O'Hearn, Jeff Joy and many others before them, Sergei Peresunko (2-0 Amateur MMA, 1-0 Amateur Muay Thai) is a breed all his own. "There is something different about this kid." Coach and Cornerman Josh Belanger explained when talking about his promising Lightweight contender Peresunko, before Sergei even entered the cage Saturday night to take on fellow undefeated prospect Ben Grady (4-1). Well Mr. Belanger, you were right...Peresunko dominated Grady everywhere for the better part of three rounds before finishing him with Hammerfists in the third. What's next for Loco Lobo's Peresunko you ask? See for yourself here as Sergei calls for a shot at Miguel Sevasin's Cage Titans Amateur Lightweight title in a post-fight interview with our Steve Domenico.
100% American...110% Psycho!.. If his walkout to the cage or the look in his eyes during pre-fight introductions didn't tip you off to the psychotic nature of Nostos MMA's Brody "The American Psycho" McDougal (2-0) then maybe the vicious one punch knockout of the debuting Ben Bratko at Cage Titans 54 had you wondering. New Hampshire's McDougal looked nearly unstoppable in a one sided drubbing of Bratko Saturday night, finishing Bratko with a knockout punch just :35 seconds into the second round of their Welterweight contest. And if you were still wondering about the psychotic tendencies of the Nostos Welterweight, he cleared up all discussions in his post-fight interview with Johnny "Cupcakes" Campbell calling out the Reigning, Defending, Cage Titans Amateur Welterweight Jack "The Gentleman" Congdon (5-0) if the Champion decides not to turn pro following his title defense against Shane Dillehay at Cage Titans 53 last month. Take a little behind the scenes look at "The American Psycho's" Cage Titans 54 experience courtesy of this video by Nostos MMA's Carol Linn Powell.
Barrett and Bohn put on "Grand Finale" for the ages in Lightweight Main Event WAR! As I had predicted in my Cage Titans 54 preview last week Cage Titans 54 had some absolute bangers atop Saturday night's July 4th celebration. As it turned out the Lightweight bout between Cage Titans OG "Slippery" Peter Barrett (13-6) and New York's Jacob "Jaguar" Bohn (10-10) got bumped up to the main event slot Saturday evening and these two New England MMA veterans did not disappoint in the Headliner, producing what I saw as Cage Titans 54's "Fight of the Night." What a bloody brawl this was, both men staining the canvas with their opponent's blood over a brutal first two rounds. But it was apparent late in the second round that failed takedown attempts and constant pressure was beginning to take it's toll on the "Jaguar" as Barrett was too "Slippery" for Bohn to contain. Barrett stopped the back and forth WAR early in the third round with Unanswered Strikes, putting an end to Saturday evenings "all gas, no brakes" main event and claiming his second straight Knockout win as he attempts to pave his path back to the UFC.
New England MMA Performance of the Night Awards
Fight of the Night: Peter Barrett defeats Jacob Bohn by third round TKO (Unanswered Strikes).
Submission of the Night: Gabriella Gulfin first round Submission (Rear Naked Choke) of Hilarie Rose.
Knockout of the Night: Brody McDougal second round Knockout (Punch) of Ben Bretko.
Cage Titans returns to Plymouth Memorial Hall in Plymouth, Massachusetts Saturday August 27th for Cage Titans 55. For full Cage Titans 54 results and play-by-play click here. And for quick results check out the poster below, bout Winners are highlighted.
American Treasure Joey "Jaws" Chestnut