Updated: Sep 21
Travis Lizotte "Full Contact Writer"
Saturday night September 23rd the lights go down on Micheal Polvere's Cage Titans 61, and the stars come out, as this weekend's fight card puts the region's top talent center stage. Sixteen fights make the bill at Cage Titans 61, capped off by a HUGE pair of Cage Titans Professional Title Fights in the Main and Co-Main events, both literally and figuratively. Our first of two title fights brings the literal sense, as newly crowned Cage Titans Heavyweight Champion Ras "Rasquatch The Jamaican Shamrock" Hylton (10-7, ATT Tampa) makes his first defense of his Cage Titans crown, against the man responsible for the first defeat of his professional career in New York's Jahsua "ShruggMaster" Marsh (5-6, Carlson Gracie). Our main event brings the figurative sense as we move to the Lightweight division when reigning, defending, Cage Titans Lightweight Champion; Joe "Skeletor" Giannetti (14-4-1, American Kickboxing Academy) puts his belt on the line once again by welcoming Quebec, Canada's Michael "The Canadian Badass" Dufort (11-4, H2O MMA) for five rounds of 155 pound Championship action.
As always Cage Titans displays a healthy balance of the region's most highly regarded professionals, along with the region's most exciting up and coming amateur combatants, and Cage Titans 61 will bare no exception. We begin our journey through Saturday Night's fight card in the Amateur ranks as festivities will begin with two Lightweight Muay Thai bouts. Tri-Force MMA's Josh Robertson (1-0) meets Team Burgess' Connor Luby (1-0) and Regiment Training Center's Mike Salazar (0-0) makes his combat sports debut against Citadel's Paul Huber (1-1) in big gloved action, before moving to the MMA portion of our evening.
Mixed Martial Arts action begins with a pair of debuting Amateur Lightweights when Lauzon MMA's Ryan Kennedy (0-0) tangles with North Andover Jiu Jitsu's Breyin Nichols (0-0). Next at Bantamweight, Regiment Training Center's Brandon Demoura (2-3) looks for his third promotional victory when he steps in with two fight Cage Titans veteran and absolute gamer; Ash Rao (1-0-1, Broadway BJJ). Brother of the aforementioned Breyin Nichols; Blaize Nichols (1-0, North Andover Jui Jitsu) makes his second walk to the Cage Titans cage in 2023 Saturday night, when he meets MMA newcomer Carter Whitty (0-0, Regiment Training Center) who trades in his Muay Thai gloves for 6 ounce MMA gloves.
Next we have what is sure to be a banger at amateur Featherweight as undefeated Cage Titans vets Danny Jefferson (2-0, Broadway BJJ) and Travis Soulard (1-0, Tri-Force MMA) meet with their unblemished records on the line. Then two of the most exciting fighters on the amateur Cage Titans roster; Phil LoCigno (2-3, Sityodtong) and Xavier Cardona (2-3, Lakeville MMA) collide in search of their third amateur victories. And finally Broadway BJJ sensation Timmy Melvin (2-0) enters the Cage Titans cage for the third time looking to notch his third consecutive Knockout finish as he prepares for an exciting scrap with BTT Taunton's Jayden Curley (1-0, 1 Knockout) scheduled for three rounds at the Welterweight limit of 170 pounds,in the final Amateur contest of the Cage Titans 61 undercard.
The Cage Titans 61 professional clip opens up with the first of two Heavyweight confrontations of the evening as Hassan "Bounty" Hunter Graham (1-1, Chapman's) and Max Lombardo (1-1, Cage JSA) meet in a rematch of an Amateur contest that saw Graham leave the victor by third round knockout. With the New England Heavyweight division so thin and these two guys looking to stay active, they lock horns once again Saturday night as both men hope for a successful bounce back after being finished in their previous bouts. An impressive showing here for New England's #6 ranked Heavyweight Graham could put him right back into the discussion for the most dangerous "Big Men" in the Northeast, while a successful first trip to the Cage Titans cage for #8 ranked Lombardo would turn a lot of heads in the region's Heavyweight division. Either way these two have a score to settle Saturday night as they kick off the Main Card at Cage Titans 61.
Next, Carver, Massachusetts' "Biggest Flyweight in the World" Joe Poirier (3-0, Lauzon MMA) the #3 ranked Flyweight in New England moves back up to 135 pounds Saturday night as he enters a Bantamweight clash with eight fight professional Chris Caterino (4-4, Caterino Martial Arts). Poirier has been absolutely "red hot" since turning pro at Cage Titans 58 in March, scoring three first round stoppages (2 Knockouts, 1 Submission) on his way to this meeting with Caterino. Poirier welcomes the biggest test of his career, in this, his fourth bout of the 2023 campaign, when the cage door locks on his encounter with Caterino. Nashua, New Hampshire's Caterino has tested himself against some of the region's toughest Bantamweights ( including Cage Titans veterans Jay Perrin and Lionel Young) over his eight years as a professional. Caterino will have another tough task ahead of him at Cage Titans 61 as he stands across from explosive Prospect; Joe Poirier.
Fighting Arts Academy Connecticut's Sam "Super Saiyan" Watford (4-5) makes his second straight start for Cage Titans after a grueling war of attrition with Pat Casey (10-7) at Cage Titans 60 lead to a Decision victory for the veteran Watford. Watford makes the two month turn around here at Cage Titans 61 as he welcomes another tough customer in Undefeated Cam "Carnage" Resnisky (2-0, Cage JSA). The 25 year old Resnisky will be making his highly anticipated Cage Titans debut looking to improve upon a perfect 2-0 record and begin his professional career with his third consecutive finish when he meets Watford. I'll take the words right out of the mouth of Watford for this one as the "Young Hungry Lion" (Resnisky) meets a "Ruthless Older One" (Watford) in what should be a one hell of a Welterweight feature Saturday night.
Action moves to a Catchweight of 160 pounds next, as former Cage Titans Amateur Lightweight Champion; Miguel "M'er F'in" Sevasin (Pro Debut, Lakeville MMA) forgoes a decorated amateur career at Cage Titans 61 when he punches his pro ticket against New York's Oscar "God of War" Vera (0-6) Saturday night. Don't let the 0-6 behind Oscar Vera's name fool you, this dude has stood toe to toe with some absolute beasts in his professional career, including beginning his career in Bellator with fights against Robson Gracie Jr. and Khonry Gracie. The tough sledding doesn't get any easier Saturday night when he shares the cage with Miguel Sevasin and his all out forward pressure. Sevasin's gas tank is notoriously full of life and win lose or draw, Sevasin's opposition will know they have been in a fight. If Miguel can come out in vintage fashion and take the fight to Vera, the waters will get very deep, very early, for Vera who looks to put an end to his six fight skid and disrupt the professional debut of Miguel Sevasin.
The plot thickens as another pair of Welterweights hit the cage in our next contest between the often undersold Sage Philippe (3-4, Underground MMA, #7 ranked Welterweight in New England) and veteran Bobby Flynn (5-4, Pro Elite). When you look at New England fighters who's records do not reflect their level of talent; Springfield, Massachusetts' Sage Philippe has to be part of the discussion. That mantra rang true last fall when Philippe came up just short, in a narrow split-decision loss to Marty Navis at Cage Titans 56 in Philippe's promotional debut. Sage returns to Cage Titans Saturday in search of his first promotional victory, and his third straight victory since that loss to Navis. Philippe draws nine fight veteran and Cage Titans alumn; Bobby Flynn out of Sandwich, Massachusetts. Bobby Flynn has not competed in MMA in almost seven years, since a first round Knockout loss to Micah Terrell at CES 39, which oddly enough took place at Plymouth Memorial Hall and was the first fight card I, the "Full Contact Writer" covered with live play-by-play. Flynn returns to Plymouth Memorial Hall Saturday night in hopes of adding to his four career submission victories and five wins overall when he meets the streaking Sage Philippe in a Welterweight showcase.
It takes some real cahones to show up at Plymouth Memorial Hall with your eyes set on one of the Cage Titans promotion's biggest names and prevail, but that's just what Florida Firefighter "Nasty" Nate Williams (14-12, ATT Lima) did just two years ago, taking out Don Shainis by Decision on just a weeks notice at Cage Titans 48. Since then, the well traveled Williams has managed just one win in six caged appearances, albeit against some fiercely tough competition, for some of the biggest promotions in the country. Williams speaks highly about his experience with the Cage Titans promotion, and hopes his return Saturday night against another Cage Titans stalwart in Zach DiSabatino (11-3, SSSF) will mark another step in the right direction as he looks to one day challenge for the Cage Titans Lightweight belt.
New England MMA's #7 ranked Lightweight; South Shore Sportfighting's Zach "The Ripper" DiSabatino (11-3) has similar aspirations of one day hoisting the Cage Titans Lightweight crown above his head, a title currently held by DiSab's former teammate at SSSF; Joe Giannetti. It appeared that DiSabatino was in position to make a run at that very title, before his incredible six fight win streak came to a halt last time out, losing a Unanimous Decision to savvy veteran Jacob Bohn at Cage Titans 59. DiSab's campaign for a title shot could, however, gain serious traction Saturday night with an impressive showing against a very talented and dangerous Nate Williams. It seems as though DiSabatino is destined to one day don the Cage Titans Lightweight crown, having competed his entire career for the Plymouth, Massachusetts promotion. However, Zach's unwillingness to take easy fights will make that destiny just a little more difficult to achieve.
Batten down the hatches as the Heavyweight co-main event gets underway next, pitting newly minted Cage Titans Heavyweight Champion; Ras "Rasquatch The Jamaican Shamrock" Hylton (10-7, ATT Tampa/ Choi's Institute) who continues his Cage Titans title reign against former foe; Jahsua "ShruggMaster" Marsh (5-6, Carlson Gracie). Yes, New England MMA fans, we've seen this before, as New York's Marsh handed Hylton the first defeat of his professional career, some five years ago in Marsh's home state of New York. A lot has transpired since the result of that one, as Marsh has dropped three of his last five contests, including a first round knockout at the hands of Brendan Battles (at Cage Titans 55), the very same man Hylton knocked out in May to capture the Heavyweight strap.
With Battles the common denominator, and some history between these two giants, a rematch between these two behemoths only seems right for Hylton's first ever title defense. Since Ras' loss to Marsh in their first meeting, Hylton has added eight wins to his resume, including seven by way of Knockout en route to capturing the Cage Titans crown. Hylton hopes to prove that his long arduous climb to the top has seasoned him to for a long reign as the Cage Titans Champion. Getting one back against Marsh Saturday night in the Cage Titans 61 Co-Feature would further prove that "Rasquatch" is a constantly evolving martial artist and a Cage Titans Champion with some serious staying power.
Finally the Cage Titans 61 lineup gives way to perhaps the biggest title fight in Cage Titans promotional history as Cage Titans reigning Lightweight Champion; Joe "Skeletor" Giannetti (14-4-1, American Kickboxing Academy, #1 ranked Lightweight in New England) puts his belt on the line once again, against the man who very well could be the toughest test of Giannetti's title run; Canada's Michael " The Canadian Badass" Dufort (11-4, H2O Gym). The rivalry between these two men began at Cage Titans 60 when Dufort showed up to Plymouth Memorial Hall sporting a Montreal Canadians sweater for the announcement of this Lightweight Title tilt. Dufort didn't make many fans in New England on that night, but he fully expects to turn some heads on Saturday night when he sets his crosshairs on Abington, Massachusetts' own Champion; Joe Giannetti.
The most decorated Champion in Cage Titans history, Joe Giannetti has captured two Cage Titans Championship belts (Lightweight & Welterweight) over the last two years, Saturday night he will attempt to defend his 155 pound Lightweight title for the third time against quite possibly the most legit threat he has come across during his Cage Titans reign. Giannetti has even silenced some of his biggest critics over the last five fights, earning finishes in four of those fights. As always, Giannetti hopes that his performance Saturday night will be the one he needs to catch the eye of "the powers that be" in the UFC and solidify his trip back to "the big show.""Skeletor" fully intends to represent Beantown with authority Saturday night by sending Dufort and his funny red sweater back to Canada battered, bruised and empty handed.
Cage Titans 61 goes down Saturday, September 23rd from Plymouth Memorial Hall with an opening bell due to sound at 6pm local time. For tickets visit the following link:
To purchase a pay-per-view stream of the event visit SpectationSports.com be sure to enter your favorite fighter's last name in ALL CAPS at checkout for the fighter to receive credit for PPV sales.