New England MMA has been pretty fired up the past few weeks with Cage Titans announcing that they'd be the 1st event back in New England with fans in attendance since the pandemic began more than 14 months ago. Mike Polvere and crew dropped some more knowledge on us last night in announcing the originally scheduled date of June 19th at Pinz in Kingston, MA was being pushed back to July 10th, and will now be held at a full capacity Plymouth Memorial Hall.
The 3 week shift in date was directly related to Massachusetts governor Charlie Baker announcing that the state would essentially be "open for business", with no social distancing or capacity limits in place. Polvere quickly shifted gears and scheduled a meeting with Cage Titan's long term home venue; Plymouth Memorial Hall. Polvere was able to lock up the first date the hall had open after their roof repairs were completed. Plymouth Memorial Hall is easily the best venue to see a live regional MMA event in New England, and quite possibly, one of the best in the country. The venue holds 1,500 people, but still has a very intimate atmosphere. The multi-leveled stadium seating doesn't allow for a bad view in the entire place, and also promotes some seriously loud crowd noise. If you're an MMA fan, a banger of a fight at Plymouth Memorial Hall will without a doubt bring goosebumps to your skin.
Cage Titans 48 will be the first event held at the Hall since the pandemic began, and will be the first live MMA event that fans can witness in person since Premier FC 30 on February 29th of 2020 in Springfield. CES did put on an event last October in Warwick, RI, but that was held under strict state guidelines, and fans weren't allowed.
Polvere has announced a few bouts to date, but expect many more to come flowing in over the next few weeks. On last night's Table Titans podcast Polvere made mention of a 2nd event being held on July 31st, just 3 weeks after CT 48, and this event would be a combined pro/am card, unlike the July 10th event that will strictly be a pro event.
We have knowledge of 4 fights that have been booked so far, with a main event of "Slippery" Peter Barrett (11-5) vs. Ali "VIP" Zebian (5-2) at 155 pounds. Barrett is looking to make his way back to the UFC after recently being cut by the organization, while Zebian is looking to continue his winning ways after coming off a big Bellator MMA win back in November. Zebian is 4-1 in his last 5 fights, and the last time he made an appearance under the Cage Titans banner he was upsetting local favorite Brandon Flemming (7-4) in a 3 round war. This fight is a clash of two studs that are on different trajectories, which makes for an interesting story line on top of the talent that will be displayed in the cage.
The highly anticipated pro debut of Jeff Joy (4-0 AM) will also be a featured fight on the card, as he takes on Rob Fuller in a 140 pound catchweight bout. The #1 ranked amateur bantamweight in New England is looking to build off of his undefeated amateur record, and take it to Colorado native Rob Fuller (1-11). Joy hasn't fought MMA in almost 2 years, but he did have a Muay Thai bout at Cage Titans 47 back in January of 2020. Regardless of the layoff, Joy is looking to make a statement and quickly climb the pro bantamweight ranks in the region before setting his sights on the bigger stages in the country. In full disclosure, Full Contact Management (a subsidiary of NEMMA) represents Jeff Joy as a management firm.
Also announced last night was a banger of fight between Sean Lally (8-5) and Billy Goff (3-2) at welterweight. The heavy-handed Lally is looking to make one more run at the big show, and this will be the first time seeing Sean Lally 2.0. He'll be taking on a young up and comer coming off a massive win under the Bellator banner. Goff, the 22 year old Connecticut native, beat Robson Gracie Jr. via TKO in the 2nd round back in December. Both guys' styles matchup nicely. The likelihood of a firefight is almost a guarantee, so make sure you're in your seats for this one.
In disappointing news, it also looks like the highly-anticipated rematch between 2 of New England's best bantamweights (and shit talkers) will not be featured on the card. There has been rumors swirling that #1 ranked New England bantamweight, Jay Perrin (9-4), would be stepping in to take on his arch-rival, Johnny "Cupcakes" Campbell (21-13) in a rematch of their razor-thin bout back in August of 2018 at Cage Titans 40. Both fighters put those rumors to bed yesterday as Perrin went full HAM in calling out Campbell on social media. Campbell slapped back, but in a tamer manor than we typically see from Campbell. It seems as though they couldn't come to terms, and Campbell's relationship with Bellator MMA looks to be the focal point of why the bout won't get inked. This is a quick turn for Campbell, as he went pretty aggressively after Perrin on The Room Podcast with our own Steve Domenico last week, lobbying for the rematch. Things change quickly in this game, so you never know....maybe this comes to fruition at some point.
Regardless of Perrin/Cupcakes 2 not happening, this will still be a banger of a card, with some of New England's best lined up to secure a spot for July 10th in front of the most raucous crowd we've ever seen for a New England MMA event! The energy in the building will be palpable after a year and a half hiatus. This is not an event that you want to miss! NEMMA will be on site and covering the event from every angle, so make sure you check back for updates as fights get announced.