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Updated: Cage Titans 48 Breakdown: Pat Gilbride vs. Joe Penafiel

Travis Lizotte "Full Contact Writer"

Pat Gilbride (3-0) vs. Joe Penafiel (5-3)

Catchweight (140 lbs.)

Age: 29

Fighting out of: Boston, Massachusetts

Affiliation: Lauzon MMA

Record: 3-0 (1 Knockout, 2 Submissions)

Last fight: First Round Submission (Rear Naked Choke) victory over David McClendon at Cage Titans 47. (01/25/20)

“The Skinny”: Boston’s Gilbride was on an absolute tear, jumping out to a 3-0 record with three first round stoppages to open his professional career before Covid-19 cut the steam on the 145 pound locomotive. Following a Knockout of Rob Fuller in his pro debut at Cage Titans 44, Gilbride has embraced his grappling in his last two bouts, dispatching Anthony Pagliaro and David McClendon by first round Submission, gaining momentum the entire way. The Lauzon MMA product receives a step up in competition from Cage Titans matchmaker Michael Polvere as he transitions to Bantamweight this time out and draws 8 fight pro; Joe “The Party” Penafiel (5-3) at a Catchweight of 140 pounds. Gilbride’s stock would shoot through the roof if he could make yet another example of an opponent inside the Cage Titans cage July 10th in front of the hometown crowd at Plymouth Memorial Hall.

Add Gilbride to the slew of prospects being turned out of the Lauzon MMA factory, training on a daily basis with some of the top fighters in the region should have Gilbride more than prepared for a step up in competition as he looks for a signature win against the 34 year old Veteran Penafiel. Penafiel should serve as an excellent litmus test for the progressing career of Gilbride, who could start to receive national attention with an impactful win against the fighting Floridian at Cage Titans 48, in Pat's own backyard.

Age: 34

Fighting out of: Orlando, Florida by way of Guayaquil, Ecuador.

Affiliation: American Top Team

Record: 5-3 (1 Submission)

Last fight: Third Round Submission (Rear Naked Choke) loss to Da’Mon Blackshear at CES 62: Paiva vs. Smith. (04/30/21)

“The Skinny”: Florida’s Joe “The Party” Penafiel has found himself on the New England MMA scene somewhat by default in each of his last two bouts, last time out at CES 62 in Penafiel’s backyard in Orlando, Florida; Joe threw down with top bantamweight prospect Da’Mon Blackshear (9-4) hanging tough with the JacksonWink MMA (Albuquerque, New Mexico) transplant before submitting to a third round Rear Naked Choke. This time out Penafiel will make his official New England debut as he enters a sold out Plymouth Memorial Hall at Cage Titans 48 with 99.9% of the contingent rooting against him. Penafiel is no stranger to big spots, having fought for Titan FC, Island Fights and CES in the past but it’s hard to imagine a tougher welcome to the region than a packed Plymouth Memorial Hall in full throat.

Breakdown: We have a classic matchup of striking vs. grappling here, Gilbride is what you would imagine a prospect training under Joe Lauzon to be like, consistent forward pressure and dominant top control on the mat leading to a wide arsenal of submissions. Gilbride’s grappling has led him to all three of his professional wins coming by stoppage but now it is time to up the ante as PJG takes a big step up at Cage Titans 48 and welcomes the official New England debut of Joe “The Party” Penafiel. Penafiel is a slick striker with a rangy frame for someone who stands just 5’7”, Joe will be best served keeping the distance and countering Gilbride’s shots with angles and counterstrikes.

Penafiel showed decent grappling and submission defense last time out against Da’Mon Blackshear at CES, proving that it is going to be a chore for anyone to get “The Party” out of there early. This just looks like a really close fight on paper, it's going to come down to who can control the fight and execute their gameplan. If this one stays on the feet, I’d give the advantage to Penafiel, if Gilbride can close that distance and make it a dogfight, I would hand him the edge. I honestly think this is one of the closest matchups on the Cage Titans 48 professional card, and I would not be the least bit surprised if this fight goes to a judge's decision, but it should be a banger from bell to bell!

Article has been updated to reflect a change in weightclass from Bantamweight to Catchweight (140 lbs.) per request of the Gilbride camp. See the video below for Joe Penafiel's response to Michael Polvere...

Photo Credit (Pat Gilbride Photo) once again to Martina Giannetti of MRG Photography.

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