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Combat FC 4: The Recap

Friday night, the town of Wilmington, Massachusetts was ablaze with adrenaline as the New England MMA community gathered for Joe Cavallaro's Combat FC 4. With a total of 13 bouts on the card, including a highly anticipated Lightweight Championship main event, the atmosphere was unforgettable as the fights produced highlight after highlight all evening long.

An interesting fight took place in the Lightweight Division as Sityodtong's Leo Ladeira (2-4) met Robert Wusstig (8-13). Wusstig came into this one with a clear gameplan; eliminate the length of Laderia by way of constant pressure, and he executed that plan to perfection. Wusstig wasted no time closing the distance, initiating clinches, and harvesting takedowns in each of the three rounds. Leo Ladeira was never in a position where he could mount any offense as the pressure of Wusstig was constant and frustrating. In the final minute Wusstig found himself in full mount, and as Ladeira attempted an escape, Wusstig took his back and locked in a tight Rear Naked Choke that caused Leo to tap. After nearly 15 minutes of one way traffic Wusstig found the submission with only :45 seconds left in the contest. Robert "The Real Deal" Wusstig long last earns his first victory on the New England MMA scene as he continues to grind against some tough regional Lightweights and Featherweights.

A Middleweight bout between Stephen Stengel (6-23) and Yann Oliveira (4-0) marked the return of Oliveira after a nine year absence from the sport. Yann brought a large contingent of fans to the Shriners Auditorium, setting the stage for a memorable return to MMA competition. From the opening bell it was evident that Oliveira had not lost any of his competitive fire as he slammed Stengel to the mat in the opening minute and began to work dominantly from top position. Oliveira ended up on the back of Stengel in a scramble and sunk in a Rear Naked Choke that left Stengel no choice but to tap. A victorious Oliveira was emotional in his post fight interview calling out all 170 and 155 pounders in New England, a scary proposition from the absolutely shredded 185 pound Oliveira.

New England MMA doesn't deserve Gerry Meuse (5-0), from his choreographed walk-outs, to his submission prowess, or his post fight speeches, Sityodtong's Meuse is must see cringe TV and he embraces it. Meuse showed up on cue at Combat FC 4 as "Captain America" stole the show quick from South Carolina's Paul Teague (1-7). After a touch of gloves Gerry Meuse Iminari rolled into an Inverted Heel Hook position and quickly submitted Teague just 18 seconds into the opening frame of their Welterweight contest Friday night. Following the slick submission Meuse looked into the UFC Fight Pass camera and delivered a unique call out of Bellator's Dillon Danis (2-0). Meuse is an interesting prospect to watch here in New England as this submission improves Meuse to 5-0 overall, and 4-0 since his January 2023 return to the cage.

It wasn't long into their 140 pound Catchweight bout before Grappling sensation Jake "The Gorilla" Pilla (3-0) caught an errant kick from his opponent Daniel Gary (0-3) that allowed Pilla to get the fight to the canvas. Once on the ground Pilla took short time to set up a Straight Armbar that sent Gary to the showers early. The end came just 17 seconds after the opening bell as Pilla crept his unblemished record to 4-0, furthering his top-prospect status and increasing the intrigue behind his young career, I would imagine we will see Jake Pilla back at Combat FC 5 in September.

Dylan Lockard's (7-2) return to the New England MMA scene went better than even he could have expected Friday night as he locked horns with the "Pacific Northwest Bad Boy" Partick Benson (5-7) at Lightweight. Lockard dictated an overwhelming pace of dirty boxing and knees in the clinch to test the chin of Benson early. Halfway through the opening round Lockard landed a clean right cross, flush to the jaw, that left Benson in a heap and Lockard a Knockout winner in his Combat FC debut. Lockard is another prospect to keep an eye on as an impressive finish in his return could put him right back on the fringe of a call from the UFC in the coming months. An exciting position to be in following a four year hiatus from the cage for the once top-prospect Lockard.

The Co-main Event marked a triumphant return to the regional MMA scene for six fight UFC veteran Randy "The Zohan" Costa (7-4) who needed just 58 seconds to dismantle Floridian Carlos Espinosa (6-9) at Featherweight. Costa wasted no time asserting his dominance with precise striking that kept Espinosa in defense mode from the opening bell. Costa added knees in the clinch and a series of ill willed uppercuts to back his opponent to the fence where he unleashed a series of knees that would collapse Espinosa to the canvas two ticks shy of one minute into the first round. The crowd erupted as Costa put regional Bantam and Featherweights on notice, reminding everyone in the region why his stock, at one time, traded so high. After the fight Costa proclaimed that he would ultimately make it back to the sports highest levels and has no problem proving his talent once again right here on New England soil, until he gets that call.

In the Main Event; a highly anticipated Lightweight Championship bout took place as the Combat FC crowd was treated to a display of relentless striking as "Nasty" Nate Ghareeb (9-2) battered Jair Junior (7-5) for the better part of four rounds. Ghareeb asserted his superiority from the opening bell and although Junior yielded an ironclad chin, the strikes of Ghareeb would end up proving too much for the Brazilian to handle. Junior found himself under constant siege, spending the majority of the fight with his back against the fence. Junior was unable to mount any offence to speak of, as he spent 18 minutes in defense mode, including pulling guard on several occasions against the fence. A barrage of strikes landed Junior on the mat in the third minute of the fourth round, and when Jair refused to return to his feet, the referee called a stop to this contest, declaring "Nasty" Nate the first ever CFC Lightweight Champion. Ghareeb adds his second regional title to a convincing resume that very well could land him in the UFC before 2023 reaches it's end.

Here are just some of the highlights from Friday nights Combat FC 4 an event showcased exactly why Combat FC has been able to make a name for themselves as a top regional promotion in the United States in just it's fourth event. For in depth results of all the Combat FC 4 fights check out our live Play-by-Play article or watch the event on UFC FIGHT PASS.

Complete Result from Combat FC 4

(as reported by Travis "Full Contact Writer" Lizotte)

- Josh Smith defeats Steve Hill by Unanimous Decision

- Sean Nichols defeats Pedro Baez by Submission (Rear Naked Choke) at 1:15 of the second round.

- Tristan Wood defeats Jarrod St. Jean by Split Decision

- Yann Oliveira defeats Stephen Stengel by Submission (Rear Naked Choke) at 1:40 of the first round.

- Robert Wusstig defeats Leo Ladeira by Submission (Rear Naked Choke) at 4:15 of the third round.

- Alex Davidson defeats Jorge Vega by Submission (Neck Crank) at :48 seconds of the second round

- Gerald Meuse defeats Paul Teague by Submission (Heel Hook) at :18 seconds of the first round.

- Dylan Lockard defeats Patrick Benson by KO (Right Hand) at 2:36 of the first round.

- Jake Pilla defeats Daniel Gary by Submission (Straight Armbar) at :17 seconds of the first round.

- Sage Philippe defeats Aaron Trecell by Unanimous Decision

- Bekzod defeats Derik de Freitas by TKO in just over 2 minutes

- Randy Costa defeats Carlos Espinosa by TKO (Stirkes) at :58 seconds of the first round.

- Nate Ghareeb defeats Jair Junior by TKO (Unanswered Strikes) at 3:00 of the fourth round.

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