Travis Lizotte "Full Contact Writer"
Cage Titans makes it's 2022 premier this Saturday night from their home at Plymouth Memorial Hall in Plymouth, Massachusetts as Michael Polvere presents Cage Titans 51! It's another night and another sold out show for Cage Titans as they bring another full tilt of fisticuffs to a thirsty coliseum of fans Saturday night at the historic Memorial Hall. Eleven fights make the bill for this weekend's event, one Muay Thai bout, followed by ten MMA scraps capped off by three big title fights. Unfortunately for fighters and fans alike, Cage Titans 51 has suffered the loss of two professional Lightweight bouts in the waning moments of fight week as, New York's Jake Hixenbaugh suffered an injury in the final days of training camp and was forced to withdraw from his pro debut against Robert Ovalle and due to issues with medicals Louisiana's Marcus Andrusia was forced from his bout with fan favorite Zach "The Ripper" DiSabatino.
However, we still have 11 high octane matchups in store for Saturday night and as always Cage Titans has a healthy mashup of up and coming prospects combined seasoned professionals on the cusp of greatness rounding out their first card of 2022. In the main event, one of the more polarizing yet sucessful fighters in Cage Titans history; Joe "Skeletor Giannetti puts his newly minted Lightweight title up for grabs against 18 fight professional, Challenger Jacob "Jaguar" Bohn out of New York. The co-headliner is full of intrigue as "The Bad Guy" Joe "The Party" Penafiel gets his first shot at Cage Titans gold as the Cage Titans interim Bantamweight title (Champion Jay Perrin currently signed with CES) is up for grabs when "The Party" meets New England MMA mainstay and currently streaking; Lionel "Boogz" Young.
Saturday's feature bout takes place in the amateur Bantamweight ranks as the vacant Cage Titans amateur Bantamweight title is up for grabs when former Champion Arthur "The African Assassin" Mpofu looks to regain the belt that once resided around his waist as he meets fast rising Lauzon MMA prospect Andrew "The Gladiator" Valdina with the Cage Titans Amateur belt on the line! Below is the full breakdown of Saturday nights Cage Titans 51, be sure to follow along with NewEnglandMMA.org throughout the weekend for all your Cage Titans 51 news and notes!
Mike Albert (Skeletor MMA) vs. Carter Whitty (Regiment Training Center)
Amateur Muay Thai (143 pounds)
Breakdown: Although the MMA world has not been so kind to Skeletor MMA's Mike Albert, 3 first round submission losses, his striking was exciting to watch in the cage. This time out Albert takes the threat of submission out of it, as he trades the MMA gloves for the Muay Thai gloves and shin guards when he meets Regiment's Carter Whitty in a caged Mauy Thai bout to kick off the evening.
Josh Telemaque (0-1, Go USFC) vs. Chris McDonnell (1-1, South Shore Sportfighting)
Breakdown: South Shore Sportfighting's Chris McDonnell returns to the Cage Titans arena for the first time in four years, following his decision victory over Justin Stevens at Cage Titans 37. SSSF teammate and fellow Cage Titans 51 combatant Brendon Boates tells us that Chris has been an absolute beast in the gym as he prepares for a successful return against the winless Josh Telemaque.
Phil LoCigno (0-1, Sityodtong) vs. Danny Wahlburg (0-0, USMMA)
Breakdown: Sityodtong Boston's Phil LoCigno entered a back and forth war with fellow gunslinger Jake Caskey (1-1) at Cage Titans 50, ending up on the wrong side of a judges decision, but leaving an impression on the Cage Titans contingent. LoCigno makes it back to back starts for Cage Titans this Saturday as he welcomes the Amateur debut of USMMA's Danny Wahlberg at Featherweight.
Jonif Tucker (0-1, Go USFC) vs. Sean Costello (0-3, South Shore Sporfighting)
Breakdown: Second of the four South Shore Sportfighting fighters entering the cage Saturday night, three fight Cage Titans veteran Sean Costello ends a 34 month absence when he returns to the cage against Jonif Tucker. Don't let the record fool you, Costello has been in some very entertaining fights and certainly has the skill to walk away from the cage with his first win at Cage Titans 51. Looking to disrupt that narrative, Queens, New York's Tucker makes his first New England appearance in search of his first career win.
Brandon Demoura (1-1, Team Soulless) vs. Carlos Vespaziano (1-2, Loco Lobo)
Breakdown: Kris Moutinho's Team Soulless disciple Brandon Demoura came out of the gate hot in the summer of 2019, stopping Andrew Hagen in the second round at Cage Titans 44. Demoura returned five months later against an "on the rise" Andrew Valdina at Cage Titans 46 coming up short on the judges scorecards. Enter Covid-19 and 20 year old Demoura has now been sidelined for over two years when he enters the cage Saturday night against Loco Lobo's Carlos Vespaziano. Vespaziano will be looking to put an end to a personal two fight losing skid at Cage Titans 51 as he ends a lengthy absence of his own, nearly five years, when he meets the upstart Demoura at Bantamweight.
Anna Crutchfield (1-2, SBG East Coast) vs. Erin Johnson (1-0, Lauzon MMA)
Amateur Women's Flyweight
Breakdown: SBG Alabama's Anna Crutchfield has been a name to watch amongst regional amateur women since her debut in 2016, a solid striker with a wealth of experience in the combat sports world, Crutchfield should be a great litmus test for Lauzon MMA prospect Erin "War Baby" Johnson (#5 Pound for Pound Amateur Women in New England). Erin made her MMA debut at Combat Zone 74 in January 2020 with a first round Armbar of Crystal Nadeau and has stayed sharp on the local Muay Thai scene, including a Decision victory at last month's No Boundary Muay Thai. We should learn a ton about both of these women Saturday night when these two prospects collide in an Amateur Flyweight contest on Erin's birthday.
Gage Lobby (0-8, Go USFC) vs. Brendon Boates (0-0, South Shore Sportfighting)
Breakdown: If you can kick a ball you can kick an ass; 44 year old South Shore Sportfighting membership holder and traveling soccer coach; Brendon "Motor" Boates has a date with destiny Saturday night when he looks to not get his ass kicked quite as bad as he does in the training room at South Shore Sportfighting. Boates makes his triumphant MMA debut at Cage Titans 51 with one goal in mind; not leaving on a stretcher, as he meets eight fight MMA Amateur veteran Gage Looby at 155 pounds. Depending on how you look at it, experience is definitely on the side of Looby here as he takes the cage for the 9th time. Life experience, however, will favor Brendon Boates as he enters his mid-life crisis years by checking off a bucket list item. In this, his fifth decade on earth, he enters the cage for the very first time, trying not to look like a complete asshole! Mid life Crisis, Member of Isis, Louis Dreyfus, Living Vicarious, I don't give a damn! Motor Boates by Submission!
Brendon explains his decision to throw caution into the wind and make his MMA debut on this episode of "The Room Podcast" with Steve Domenico.
Michael Taylor (1-3) vs. Jeff Joy (2-0)
Catchweight (140 lbs.)
Michael "Titan" Taylor
Fighting out of: Cortland, New York
Record: 1-3 (1 Knockouts)
Last fight: Second Round Knockout loss to Jacobo Apito at Cage Titans 43. (4/6/19)
"It's Ya Boy" Jeff Joy
Fighting out of: Bourne, Massachusetts
Affiliation: Loco Lobo
Record: 2-0 (2 Submissions)
Last fight: First Round Submission (Rear Naked Choke) of Jason Rine at Cage Titans 50. (11/6/21)
Breakdown: In his seventh walk to the Cage Titans cage, well eighth if you include an amateur Muay Thai bout, Bourne, Massachusetts' Jeff Joy is undefeated, including two first round Rear Naked Choke finishes since turning pro. Joy meets the toughest test of his pro career Saturday night when he takes on a rather talented New Yorker in Michael "Titan" Taylor. Taylor was dominant in his pro debut against Jessie Pires at CES 46 before falling victim to Jose Lugo, twice and Jacobo Apito all by finish. Taylor finds himself across the cage from yet another New England MMA stud prospect Saturday night when he locks horns with Jeff Joy at a fight weight of 140 pounds.
Arthur Mpofu (4-3) vs. Andrew Valdina (3-1)
Vacant Amateur Bantamweight Championship
Arthur "The African Assassin" Mpofu
Fighting out of: Wareham, Massachusetts
Affiliation: SBG East Coast
Record: 4-3 (4 wins by Decision)
Last fight: First Round Doctor Stoppage loss to Willis Green at B2 Fighting Series 143. (12/18/21)
Andrew "The Gladiator" Valdina
Fighting out of: Bridgewater, Massachusetts
Affiliation: Lauzon MMA
Record: 3-1 (1 Knockout)
Last fight: Second Round Knockout of Randy Francis at Cage Titans 50. (11/6/21)
Breakdown: There may not be a more red hot Amateur Bantamweight prospect in the region than Lauzon MMA's Andrew Valdina (#2 Amateur Bantamweight in New England). Valdina made it three straight wins inside the Cage Titans cage at Cage Titans 50 with an impressive second round knockout of multi promotion Amateur Featherweight Champion Randy Francis. It's back down to his more natural weight of 135 Saturday night as "The Gladiator" takes on former Cage Titans Amateur Bantamweight Champion; Arthur Mpofu (#4 Amateur Bantamweight in New England) with the currently vacant Cage Titans Amateur Bantamweight belt on the line. The Last time we saw SBG's Arthur Mpofu in New England he relinquished his belt to Challenger Jeff Joy at Cage Titans 44. Since then Mpofu had made a pilgrimage to B2 Fighting Series in the Southeast where he added one win against two losses. If Mpofu hopes to return to Cage Titans and regain his Bantamweight title he will have to do so against the overwhelming striking of the surging Andrew Valdina. This fight should be an absolute banger and is my early favorite for "Fight of the Night" honors.
Lionel Young (10-17, Citadel) vs. Joe Penafiel (8-3, Fusion X-cel)
Interim Bantamweight Championship
Lionel "Boogz" Young
Fighting out of: Brockton, Massachusetts
Record: 10-17 (2 Knockouts, 8 Submissions)
Last fight: Second Round Submission (Arm Triangle) of Andres Rodriguez at Cage Titans 50. (11/6/21)
Joe "The Party" Penafiel
Fighting out of: Orlando, Florida
Affiliation: Fusion X-cel
Record: 8-3 (1 Knockout,1 Submission)
Last fight: Unanimous Decision victory over Bruno Dias at Cage Titans 50. (11/6/21)
Breakdown: Here we go! Two of the hottest Bantamweights in the New England Ranks meet in the center of Plymouth Memorial Hall Saturday night as someone's streak has to stop when Joe "The Party" Penafiel (3 fight win streak vs. Pat Gilbride, Richie Santiago and Bruno Dias, #3 Ranked Pro Bantamweight in New England) and Lionel "Boogz" Young (back-to-back wins vs. Pat Gilbride and Andres Rodriguez, #7 Ranked Pro Bantamweight in New England) collide for the Intirim Cage Titans Bantamweight title. Penafiel has enjoyed a notorious climb up the Cage Titans Bantamweight ladder, coming in the underdog to Gilbride, Santiago and Dias, and coming out, the winner of all three fights. Florida's Penafiel gets a well deserved shot at Cage Titans gold Saturday when he meets New England MMA legend; Lionel "Boogz" Young.
"Boogz" looks to be in the prime of his career at 37 years old, finishing prospects Pat Gilbride and Andres Rodriguez on his climb into Cage Titans title contention. "Boogz" has fought the who's who in New England during his 13 year professional career and although his record may not indicate it, you'd be hard pressed to find a more seasoned Bantamweight competitor in the region. New England Lightweight Nate Andrews told me following "Boogz" submission of Andres Rodriguez at Cage Titans 50 that "Boogz is the toughest roll in the gym at Bantamweight," going on to praise the physical strength and awareness he displays on the mats. The Cage Titans fans are in for a treat Saturday night as it only seems fitting that these two top Bantamweights duke it out for the interim Cage Titans Bantamweight strap!
Joe Giannetti (10-4, American Kickboxing Academy) vs. Jacob Bohn (10-8, Bohn MMA)
Champion: Joe "Skeletor" Giannetti
Fighting out of: Whitman, Massachusetts
Affiliation: American Kickboxing Academy
Record: 10-4-1 (3 Knockouts, 6 Submissions)
Last fight: Second Round Knockout of Daruis Estell at Cage Titans 49 (8/28/21)
Jacob "Jaguar" Bohn
Fighting out of: Le Roy, New York
Affiliation: Bohn MMA
Record: 10-8 (2 Knockouts,4 Submissions)
Last fight: Unanimous Decision loss to Justin Montalvo at Bellator 272. (12/3/21)
Breakdown: Still at just 26 years of age Whitman, Massachusetts' Joe "Skeletor" Giannetti (#1 Ranked New England Lightweight) has made it clear that he only wants fights that are going to put him back in the UFC's spotlight. Joe returned to his home at Cage Titans with that in mind last time out when he captured the Cage Titans Lightweight strap with a second round Knockout of Darius Estell at Cage Titans 49, a title that had somehow eluded Giannetti in his first run with the promotion. With the Cage Titans belt now around his waist it should be no problem getting himself into some high profile fist fights. Giannetti returns at Cage Titans 51 Saturday night looking to take that next step, defending his belt for the first time against Northeast MMA Lightweight veteran; Jacob Bohn (#7 Ranked New England Lightweight).
New York's Jacob "Jaguar" Bohn made his Bellator debut last time out at Bellator 272, suffering a decision loss to highly touted striking prospect; Justin Montalvo. Not all was lost for Bohn at Bellator 272 however, Jacob showed the heart of a champion, taking every shot the talented Montalvo had for him and keeping himself in the fight. Jacob will make his Cage Titans debut Saturday night as he looks to show why he is still one of the top 155'ers in the region when he challenges the "Hometown" Giannetti for his Lightweight crown in the 5 round Main Event at Cage Titans 51! A great Main Event to cap off an exciting beginning to 2022 for one of the country's top regional promotions; Cage Titans FC.