Travis Lizotte/Lars Borssen
We left southern Maine this morning and drove straight into Winter Storm Landon, destination; Plymouth Memorial Hall by noon. Nearly three hours of driving, including a 20 mile escort down 95 South by plow trucks four wide doing 20 miles per hour, and we arrived in Plymouth, Massachusetts at 11:58 sharp. Many had already gathered inside as the weather outside was clearly impacting arrival times for some of the fighters and officials. After about an hour delay in the programming, Cage Titans president Michael Polvere finally called the fighters to the stage for the ceremonial weigh-ins and faceoffs. As a hush came over the room one thing was immediately evident, we were still missing some pretty intrical members of tomorrow night's fight card.
Missing from the room, one half of the Cage Titans 51 co-main event and interim Bantamweight title challenger; Lionel "Boogz" Young as well as Cage Titans Lightweight Champion Joe "Skeletor" Giannetti, who was scheduled to defend his Cage Titans strap for the fight time against Challenger Jacob "Jaguar" Bohn. As the promotion's live stream began to roll, "Boogz" and his team finally arrived, checked in with the doctor and made it to the stage to face off with his opponent Joe "The Party" Penafiel. Rumor started to swirl that Young still had some work to do to make weight so following the faceoff with Penafiel, Lionel headed back stage to continue his weight cut.
"Boogz" had a daunting task in front of him, the already extremely lean Young still needed to cut 10 pounds to make the contracted 135 pound Championship weight. As the ceremonial weigh-in show concluded Giannetti was still no where to be found and fighters began to file out of the Memorial Hall. Several minutes later "Skeletor" arrived in full sweat suit and stepped on the scale; and officially weigh in at 162.5 pounds. Giannetti's opponent; Jacob Bohn who had driven 7 hours from New York to challenge Joe for his Lightweight strap now had some decisions to make. Bohn and his team conferred and decided to give the champ until 3pm to make the contracted weight in effort to save tomorrow night's main event.
Two hours passed as Giannetti made an effort to cut the final several pounds for the contracted Lightweight title fight, but to no avail. At the 3pm deadline Giannetti stepped to the scale once again; 160 even. Bohn's team decided to take the fight at a 160 pound Catchweight, in return Giannetti relinquished his entire "show purse" to the challenger Bohn, the Main Event is still on but Giannetti's Lightweight title will no longer be on the line.
Minutes later Lionel Young returned to the scale, following careful deliberation about cutting off his signature dread locks to get closer to Championship weight, 140 pounds. Although Lionel has an impressive head of hair there is no way shaving his dreads would have put him close enough to the 135 pound Bantamweight title limit. "Boogz" stopped cutting weight as his opponent Penafiel decided to take the fight regardless of the weight discrepancy. The fight will go on for the vacant bantamweight belt Saturday night, but only Penafiel will be able to walk away as the champ if he is victorious.
Aside from these two big missteps all other fighters made weight ahead of tomorrow night's event but that did not mean the rest of the card was free from controversy. 44 year old debuting amateur, and NEMMA writer, Brendon Boates who was scheduled to fight Gabe Looby in a preliminary Lightweight bout will have to wait a couple more weeks to finally enter the cage, as a last minute phone call from the New York State Athletic Commission determined that Looby was still under a medical suspension. Despite the best efforts of the promotion, commission and Boates' camp the fight would be scrapped. Rumor is that Boates will finally get a chance to get his hands on Looby later this month at Cage Titans Combat Night III, although the fight is not yet official.
Check out our entire weigh in video below, as well as some of our favorite photos from a very eventful weight in day here in Plymouth, Massachusetts at Cage Titans 51.