Updated: Apr 5
The NEMMA team made the trek down to Philadelphia Thursday to catch our first live MMA show in 13 months, and although it was a 7 hour drive, it turned out to be well worth the effort. #1 ranked ammy bantamweight, Jeff Joy, ended up joining us on the trip as well to get a taste of the action, and potentially line up his pro debut with CFFC in the coming months.
After checking into the hotel we made our way over to the 2300 Arena, and after getting our temperatures checked and grabbing our tickets, we made our way into the venue. Man did it feel good to see, hear, and smell a live fight night again! We felt right at home and we were ready for some violence.
There were 4 undercard bouts aired on CFFC's Facebook page, and the one that deserves recognition is the featherweight battle between Joey Tizzano and Malik Mahmoud. These two threw down in a gutsy brawl over the course of the majority of 3 rounds before Tizzano was able to lock up a submission late in the 3rd round. It was a classic fight where both guys got drug into deep waters, while both had the cardio to continue to throw combinations with technique. It was a back in forth battle that saw a diverse range of strikes being thrown at each other. Definitely the fight of the night!
The first fight that aired on UFC FightPass at 8 PM pitted New England's adopted son, but Rochester, NY resident, Jonathan "War Hawk" Piersma (2-0), against one of CFFC's highly touted prospects, Tommy "Hot Sauce" Majeski (2-1). Majeski, Hailing from New Jersey, had a large following, and was making his 5th walk to the cage for CFFC (2 amateur, 3 pro). Majeski was coming in as a slight favorite on the betting lines, but that didn't deter Piersma from implementing his gameplan.
A grappling only first round saw both guys threaten with submission attempts, and Majeski finished on top, delivering soft strikes from back mount. It was a tight first round, but I would give the slight edge to Majeski based on the few strikes landed, and a positional advantage later in the round.
The 2nd round started with Piersma throwing a few leg kicks, and then attempting a high-kick that was blocked as Majeski turned it into a takedown. As both fighters hit the mat with Piersma on bottom, "War Hawk" looked to lock up a triangle, but Majeski defended it well. Piersma then transitioned into an omoplata, which proved to be the fight-ending move. Majeski was wrapped up like Christmas gift, and was forced to verbally tap to the rarely-executed omoplata.
With a very impressive win in the books for "War Hawk" attention would turn to an OG of the New England MMA community as Nick "JC" Alley (7-4) made his CFFC debut against CFFC prospect Solomon Renfro (7-1). We knew heading into this one that Renfro would be a tough mountain to climb for the ten year MMA veteran Alley, and Renfro wasted little time showing us just why there is so much hype surrounding the talented 170 pounder.
Alley was able to weather the early storm, but Renfro's offense became overwhelming and despite Alley efforts to stave off the surging Renfro, strikes started to add up and Alley ended up fighting uphill for 95% of the first round before the referee had seen enough and stopped the finght in the final minute of the first round. Hats off to Nick Alley for continuing to test himself against the best that promotions have to offer, when you take tough fights, your fight some tough dudes and Alley shys away from no man!
In one of the craziest injuries you'll ever see in this sport, Khetag Pliev, a former olympic wrestler and pro boxer had his finger nearly severed completely off. Pliev blocked a kick in the 1st round which dislocated his left ring finger. He went back to his corner between the first and second rounds with the finger still dislocated, but continued on. At some point in the 2nd round there was a grappling exchange where Pliev's opponent, Devin Goodale, grabbed his glove and tore Pliev's dislocated finger almost clean off his hand. Pliev made it to the bell and walked back to his corner where the doctor saw the gruesome injury and called a stop to the fight.
Initially they could not find where Pliev's finger was, but after some searching around the cage, they realized that the finger was actually folded over and still in the glove. Pliev was rushed to the hospital where he underwent emergency surgery to reattach the finger to his hand. Below are a few graphic images of the before and after of Pliev's injury. It is worth noting that Pliev wanted to continue into the 3rd round, but the ringside physician wasn't letting that happen. An injury that I've never seen in this sport and has garnered some serious headlines over the past 18 hours.