Travis Lizotte "Full Contact Writer"
Cage Titans already blew the roof off the Plymouth Memorial Hall less than a month ago at Cage Titans 53 June 4th, well somehow the roof has been reattached and will have it's strength tested yet again Saturday night as Cage Titans 54 promises its share of explosiveness! That's right! As Cage Titans Amateur Heavyweight Champion Hassan Graham (3-0) has alluded to "The Fireworks are (indeed) coming early this year!" to America's Hometown of Plymouth, Massachusetts as Michael Polvere lights the fuse on Cage Titans 54 this Saturday evening. As we have grown to expect from the Cage Titans crew we have a lineup absolutely littered with top local talent set to enter the Cage Titans cage at Cage Titans 54, let's take a little closer look at the display's itinerary.
The Rockets Red Glare. Nothing says Red, White and Blue like the "Star Spangled Banner" and the Cage Titans contingency knows how much that means to the promotion. Cage Titans 54 kicks off how many have in the past, and how many will for years to come, with the singing of our National Anthem by the late Harry Jones...
The Warning Shots. As we have seen in the past Cage Titans President Michael Polvere is a non-discriminatory promoter, if you want to fight for Cage Titans, he will have you, and celebrate your showcase of skills. Now no good fireworks display gets underway without some warning shots and Saturday night will be no different as two Amateur Muay Thai bouts kick start the action. What better way to get the crowd's attention than six minutes of all out stand up action to set the tone for the rest of the evening? A pair of Amateur Lightweight Muay Thai bouts will be included on the preliminary card at Cage Titans 54 as old friend Anthony Rivera (0-4 Amateur MMA, Muay Thai Debut, Thunder MMA) trades his Ammy MMA gloves for Ammy Muay Thai gloves as he welcomes Zach Nastasia (1-1 Am Muay Thai, Team True) to the Cage Titans cage where there will be no where to run when the pin drops on these two strikers!
Evolution Athletix's Julian Connerton (1-0, Amateur Muay Thai) put his athleticism on display in February at Cage Titans Combat Night 3 when he knocked out Steve Gaudette in just :30 seconds in Connerton's introduction to the New England Combat Sports scene. Connerton looks to prove February was no fluke as he takes a huge leap up in competition Saturday night when he meets the striking stylings of Will Asia (0-1, Amateur Muay Thai, Artistry). Asia was uber confident talking about his plans surrounding his bout with Connerton this weekend when he joined our Steve Domenico in The Room Podcast last week. Asia has his sights on the Cage Titans 155 pound Muay Thai title, then Miguel Sevasin's Cage Titans Amateur Lightweight strap before turning pro by the end of the year. For all of that to come to fruition he has to get through an exceptionally talented Connerton here, easier said than done!
Clear the Deck! The Cage Titans 54 Undercard is packed with some of the promotions most sought after amateurs, as they load the mortars with crowd pleasing aerials like Cage Titans mainstay Xavier "X" Cardona (2-2) who returns for the first time since his loss to Shane "The Dragon" Dougherty (5-0) for the Cage Titans Amateur Featherweight strap at Cage Titans 49. Cardona welcomes the Cage Titans debut of Connecticut's (CT Combat) Mike Antidormi (1-0) at a Catchweight of 140 pounds. Nostos MMA's Brody McDougal (1-0) makes his Cage Titans MMA debut after a successful promotional debut at Cage Titans 52 in the Muay Thai ranks when he dispatched Mark Murphy in the second round. McDougal looks to remain unblemished Saturday night when he welcomes the Amateur debut of Tri-Force MMA's Ben Bratko at Welterweight. A pair of standout prospects meet at a Catchweight of 160 pounds when Loco Lobo's Serge Peresunko (1-0, 1 Knockout) meets undefeated Evolution Athletix product Ben Grady (4-0, 3 Knockouts) as someone's "0" has to go in this battle of undefeateds.
Highly touted youngster and Women's Flyweight Rising Star; Erin Johnson (1-1, Controller MMA) looks to bounce back off a tough fought Unanimous Decision loss to Anna Crutchfield (2-2) at Cage Titans 52 in February when she welcomes Annabel Kelly (2-5) to the Cage Titans launch pad Saturday night in a featured Amateur bout. Erin Johnson could be the most promising Amateur Women in the New England region and her loss to Crutchfield has only added powder to the keg of a talented and determined 21 year old "War Baby." An impressive showing here against Syndicate MMA's (Las Vegas) Annabel Kelly and Johnson could make her argument for a Cage Titans Women's Amateur strap in the near future!
All that glimmers could very well be Gold! Three Cage Titans Amateur belts will be on the line at Cage Titans 54 and up first Cage Titans Amateur Heavyweight Champion Hassan "Bounty Hunter" Graham (3-0, 2 Knockouts) puts his undefeated record and Cage Titans crown on the line as he welcomes fellow Heavyweight "Action" Jack Burke (1-0, 1 Knockout, Defensive Edge/JacksonWink) to the Cage Titans cage. Graham captured the (then vacant) Cage Titans Amateur Heavyweight belt in his last affair at Cage Titans 52 by narrow split-decision over former Champion Jeff Soivilien (5-5). Graham has promised to bring the "Fireworks" in this one, so the rumble of two Heavyweights gracing the cage will remind those in attendance exactly what we are here to celebrate! Five rounds of Heavyweight action, with Graham's newly minted strap on the line!
Then, something that has never been seen before, as Cage Titans will crown it's first Amateur Muay Thai Champion and it comes amongst the ranks of the Middleweights as Cape Cod native Colin "Superman" Robinson (5-1 Amateur MMA, Valor FC Amateur Middleweight Champion, 2022 GAMMA Sliver Medalist) makes his long awaited New England debut when he meets fellow Bay Stater Lamon Payne (7-4, Muay Thai) for a brand new piece of Cage Titans hardware! Although all of Robinson's fights have come in the MMA discipline, he trains out of the best striking gym in Western Massachusetts at Team Link Muay Thai Worcester where he smashes pads with the likes of Aaron Ortiz, Mike Triana and Coach Ibere Reis. When Robinson's Middleweight MMA Title fight with Jideofor Ojukwu (4-1) never made the bill, Cage Titans turned to the next best thing, the last man to defeat Ojukwu; Lamon Payne, who defeated Jideofor by Majority Decision at No Boundary 12 in a Mauy Thai bout this April. The progression was natural, lock these two men inside the Cage Titans cage for five, two minute rounds to decide the first ever Cage Titans Muay Thai Champion, and that's just what we will be treated to when the cage door locks Saturday night in this feature!
We move to the Amateur Flyweight Division when our next belt comes up for grabs as former title challenger Joe Poirier (3-1, 3 Submissions, Lauzon MMA) meets Maine's Tyler "Butter Knife" Smythe (4-2, 1 Knockout, 2 Submissions, Evolution Athletix). Poirier bounced back off his title loss to Nate Russell at Cage Titans 49, with a first round submission of Anthony Rivera at Cage Titans 52 last time out, putting him in line for another bid at the belt. Standing across the cage this time is Evolution's Tyler Smythe who is currently undefeated inside the New England region (2 losses came at Art of Scrap in Indiana) and is the reigning, defending New England Fights Amateur Flyweight Champion. Smythe will look to become a two promotion regional champion Saturday night when he meets super talented Flyweight youngster Joe Poirier to decide the baddest Amateur Flyweight in New England!
Two featured professional bouts take us down the stretch. As our second Women's bout of the evening comes at a Catchweight of 120 pounds when former CFFC Title Challenger Hilarie Rose (6-4, 2 Knockouts, 3 Submissions) returns to Cage Titans for the first time as a professional when she meets New York's Gabriella "GDaddy" Gulfin (4-4, 1 Knockout, 1 Submission). Gulfin, like Rose, has been in the cage with some of the most dangerous women on the east coast across her professional career including the likes of Jasime Jasudavicius, Erin Blanchfield and Kylie O'Hearn. Gulfin will add Hilarie Rose to that list Saturday night as she looks for he fifth pro win. That will not be an easy task against top New England Women's prospect Hilarie Rose. Rose has bounced around between UFC Fight Pass promotions; CES, LFA and CFFC across her ten fight professional career compiling six victories to go along with five stoppages heading into her bout with Gabriella Gulfin in her Cage Titans return.
Fisticuffs head to the Lightweight division in our next bout when the "Man of Few Words" Zach "The Ripper" DiSabatino (9-2, 4 Knockouts, 4 Submissions, South Shore Sportfighting) takes on the "High Flyin' Hawaiian" Spencer Higa (7-13, 4 Knockouts, 2 Submissions). Bellator MMA veteran Spencer Higa has let his fist pay for his travel all across the United States over his 20 fight professional career, this time those fists bring him to America's Hometown once again as the upset minded Hawaiian returns to Plymouth with another tough ask ahead of him in the form of Zach DiSabatino. DiSabatino is an absolute monster who always has his foot securely on the gas pedal for however long his fights last and I still don't believe we have seen this kid's full potential. Higa in true Hawaiian Warrior Spirit should have no problems bringing out the best in DiSab as this fight should be a constant shelling from bell to bell and has potential "Fight of the Night" capabilities.