Updated: Sep 19, 2021
Travis Lizotte "Full Contact Writer"
We are back at the MassMutual Center in Springfield, Massachusetts tonight for Premier FC 31, Karyn Wesch has rolled out a 20 fight line up including some of the best names in the sport from across the country. Highlighting the Premier FC 31 card will be a "first of it's kind" one night, eight man, Lightweight tournament, with the winner being crowned Premier FC's Lightweight Champion. Also on the card; the king of Western Mass Pat "The Gorilla Ninja" Casey (6-4) makes his return to the premier FC cage against New Jersey's Timmy Tyler (2-6). Maine's "Jamacian Shamrock" Ras "Rasquatch" Hylton (6-5) returns to meet fellow Bellator MMA veteran Domingos Barros (6-1). New Hampshire's Tim Caron (10-3) returns to New England in serious need of a win when he locks horns with former UFC fighter Marcel Fortuna (9-4). Flyweights Tim Flores (1-1) and Brandon Neiford (Pro Debut) look to make a statement in a wide open New England Flyweight division. 15 fight Maine MMA veteran Matt "Ken Doll" Denning makes his second straight appearance for Premier FC when he meets Sage Philippe at Welterweight. In the evening's co-feasture the vacant Premier FC Light-Heavyweight title is on the line when Middleweight Champion Yu Ji (3-1) jumps up to 205 pounds to challenge London' England's George Tokkos for the Light-Heavyweight strap. Follow this article, starting around 6 pm tonight and throughout the evening as this will be the place for live up to the minute, round by round results as we see it from Premier FC 31!
Also check out the Premier FC pay-per-view on Fite Tv
D'juan Owens vs. Anthony Pike
Lightweight Quarterfinal 1 round
Results: They meet in the center and exchange, Anthony comes forward with a combination and backs Owens to the fence and gets the takedown. Owens reverses and stands but Anthony puts his back on the fence and continue to try and keep D'Juan close. Pike earns another takedown and is in a good position on top with time to work. D'Juan turns his back and Pike makes him pay with some punches but D'Juan makes it back to his feet. Pike still holds the clinch on the cage as D'Juan tries to find space with some knees to the body but Pike will not go away. D'Juan finally gets some space and senses the urgancy and looks to strike but Anthony wants no part of the stand up and goes for another takedown. Pike gets the takedown and lands some downward strikes as the fight ends. 10-9 Pike
Official Decision: Anthony Pike defeats D'Juan Owens by Unanimous Decision
Ali Zebian vs. Kody Murray
Lightweight Quarterfinal 1 round
Results: Ali sprints out from the corner and takes the center of the cage, Ali lands a Right hand and Kody clinches against the fence but Zebian reverses and has Murray against the cage now. They return to space and Kody looks for a single leg but Ali stuffs and they are back at striking distance. Murray ducks under an Ali overhand hand gets a flash takedown of Ali but Ali gets right back up and stuffs Kody back into the fence. Murray finally gets space and rushes ALi and Ali lands an uppercut that drops Murray. Ali follows looking for the finish and somehow Marray is just barely surviving. Ali is on the back of Murray now raining down punches. Murray looks to eacape and is slammed to the canvas by Ali where the fight ends. 10-9 Ali Zebian.
Official Decision: Ali Zebian defeats Kody Murray by Unanimous Decision.
Sam Watford vs. Jacob Bohn
Lightweight Quarterfinal 1 round
Results: Sam comes out behind the jab and Jacob fires a kick to get this one going. Sam now clinches Bohn on the cage as Jacob grabs the guillotine looking to defend. Bohn turns the action and puts Sam's back on the fence now as he looks for a double leg takedown. Bohn picks Watford up and slams him on mat but Watford gets right back to his feet and stuffs Bohn into the fence. Jacob i looking for a takedown or throw as Watford makes him eat some shots for his troubles. These guys go back and forth against the fence as Watford now gets the takedown but Bohn is right back up. Bohn pulls guard on a Guillotine but Sam shakes him off and returns a takedown of his own as the round ends. Close round and hard to score 10-9 Bohn.
Official Decision: Sam Watford defeats Jacob Bohn by Decision. Tough fight, could have gone either way.
Between fights Premier FC and Host David Ginsberg pay respects to the late great Sean Gannon who passed away last week following a heart attack...Rest in Peace Sean Gannon a New England MMA legend.
Estevan Payan vs. Dylan Salvador
Lightweight Quarterfinal 1 round
Results: Payan comes out with a jab and Dylan fires a series of headkicks that are partially blocked by Payan, Dylan continues to fire ill intended shots and Estevan returns fire but it lands to the cup of Salvador and Chris Burke calls a brief stop for Dylan to recover. After a couple minutes to regain his composure we are back to action with Payan looking to land some strikes on the former Kickboxer. Salvadors striking is NASTY as he is putting on a clinic against the UFC veteran Payan. Slavador fires a high knee that glances off the chin of Payan and lands two left hands to follow. Another right from Salvador is followed by a knee and clinch and some more precise strikes including another headkick are all fired in the direction of Payan. They come together again and Payan connects with the cup again and Chris Burke takes a point. That is huge in a 1 round fight, Payan must finish. But Slavador won't cruise to his victory he continues to throw shots, as the ten second clap sounds Payan goes for broke but comes up empty. 10-8 Payan.
Official Decision: Dylan Slavador defeats Estevan Payan by Unanimous Decision. Note: It's been a long time since I've been that impressed seeing a fighter in person for the first time. Salvador may be the Truth!
Anthony Rivera vs. Pastor Angel Acevedo
Round 1: Both fighters take some time to get their distance as they trade jabs for the first minute before Rivera initiates the clinch. Acevedo turns the action and trips Rivera to the ground but Rivera is able to sweep to top position. Pastor is hanging on to a guillotine but with some effort Anthony breaks free and has some space to work from the top. As the round ends Rivera is on top landing some ground pound. 10-9 Rivera.
Round 2: The second round begins with a clinch that eventually ends up with Rivera taking Pastor to the mat. In similar fashion to the first round Pastor is holding on to a guillotine as Anthony looks to escape they scramble and Acevedo ends up on top. Close round 10-9 Rivera
Round 3: Round three is a barn burner as Acevedo has found his range and is battering Rivera with heavy shots, how is Anthony surviving this onslaught...wow what a slugfest this third round has become...And just as we get excited Pastor shoots for a takedown, gets it and is going to work from top control as Rivera holds the guillotine this time as Pastor peppers the body with shots until the final horn sounds. 10-8 Acevedo.
Decision: Pastor Acevedo defeats Anthony Rivera by Split Decision.
Second round Tournament matchups have been chosen...
Ali Zebian will fight Sam Watford and Anthony Pike will take on Dylan Slavador
Cole Brackett vs. Tristan Turano
Round 1: Brackett comes out with low leg kick and Tristan fires back but is taken down by Brackett. Brackett lands some ground and pound but Turano gets back to his feet and drops Cole with a right hand. Turano hops on top but Brackett lands a double leg and they end up back on their feet slugging it out. This is turning into a War as the second round ends with a shot from Tristan that knocks the mouthpiece out of Brackett. 10-9 Turano. Wild first round!
Round 2: Turan starts round two with a couple stiff jabs to the chin of Brackett. Turano shoots for a takedown but Brackett ends up on top briefly but is swept by Turano and Turano works knees from top position. Brackett threatens a triangle the brings the action back to the feet where Tristan shoots for a takedown but is stuffed. Round two ends with Turano tripping Brackett to the mat. 10-9 Turano.
Round 3: Turano starts round three with a right hand and Brackett grabs the head and lands some knees before pulling guard on a guillotine. Turano is looking to defend and finally pops his head from the hold of Brackett and Turano is on top. While there is a lull in action it is worth mentioning that Turano is rocking some awesome daisy duke printed compression shorts in this one. Turano rides out the rest of the round on top. 10-9 Turano.
Decision: Tristan Turano defeats Cole Brackett by Unanimous Decision.
Logan Bond vs. Cordero Crenshaw
Round 1: Bond comes forward with kicks to begin this one but is taken down by Crenshaw. Bond stands and Crenshaw has his head and uses it to throw Bond to the canvas. Once on the mat Bond sweeps to top control and mounts Cordero. Cordero holds tight to Bond as Bond looks to posture but Bond is looking to take the back now as Crenshaw looks to stand. Bond fires a kick as the round ends. 10-9 Bond.
Round 2: Bond starts round two with high kicks and Crenshaw catches on and looks to dump Logan to the canvas but Bond is able to keep his feet as Crenshaw puts him on the cage. Crenshaw returns to striking distance and takes Bond to the ground but again its Bond that ends up on top. Cordero gives his back to get up and Bond takes it and flattens Crenshaw out. Logan postures up and lands some ground and pound while looking at referee Steve Rita who stops this contest.
Decision: Logan Bond defears Cordero Crenshaw by TKO (Unanswered Strikes) at 2:38 of the second round
Chih-Ki Li vs. Arnaldo Lopez
Round 1: Li comes out with some strikes and is answered with a right hand from Lopez and Lopez decides to clinch and he picks Li up and carries him over to his corner and drops him, looking to work with close tutelage from this coaches. Lopez is landing some short punches to the body but Li escapes to his feet. Lopez lands a leg kick that gets answered with a combination by Li and a subsequent return by Lopez to end the round. 10-9 Lopez.
Round 2: They start round two off quickly exchanging combinations as Li is fighting with a sense of urgency now. Li is coming forward with some serious shots and he finishs with a lead uppercut that causes Lopez to clinch. Li breaks the clinch and continues to fire shots and Lopez connects to the groin and we have a brief pause as Li recovers. More combinations on the feet from Li on the restart as these guys are standing in a phonebooth slugging it out until the horn. 10-9 Li.
Decision: Referee Chris Burke calls the doctor in to looks at the lacerated face of Li and based on the doctors recommendation Burke stops this one. Arnaldo Lopez defeats Chih-Ki Li by TKO (Doctors Stoppage) at 3:00 of round two.
Dylan Savlador vs. Anthony Pike
Lightweight Semi Final
Results: Anthony comes out looking to strike but he cant really catch his target Salvador as he is quick on the feet. Pike clinches and looks to take Salvador down as they work against the cage wall. Salvador finally gets free and they return to striking distance and exchange combinations. Salvador looks like he is finally getting going before Pike lands a combination and shoots for the takedown against the cage. Salvador looks to strike his way to distance and Pike changes levels but Salvador remains on his feet. They clinch and Salvador lands a knee up the middle that sends Anthony shooting for a takedown as the round ends. 10-9 Pike very close.
Official Decision: Dylan Salvador defeats Anthony Pike by Split Decision.
Ali Zebian vs. Sam Watford
Lightweight Semi Final
Results: Watford comes out striking looking to take advantage of a big descrepancy in length. Ali fires a kick and Sam catches it and dumps Ali but he is right back up and firing and uppercut that lands and backs Watford up and Ali lands to cup of Watford and we have another pause due to groin shot. Sam comes forward and Ali ducks under looking for the takedown but Sam keeps his feet and Ali has him against the fence. Ali ducks under a high kick from Watford and looks for the takedown again but he cannot seem to get Watford to the canvas. They break and clinch again on the fence and Ali looks deep on a double but Ali cannot get him down. Finally Ali gets Sam down but its short lived as Sam is back up but Ali slams him down and is on top landing ground and pound as the fight comes to an end. 10-9 Zebian.
Official Decision: Ali Zebian defeats Sam Watford by Split Decision. Ali Zebian moves on to fight Dylan Salvador for the Premier FC Lightweight Title.
Martin Thompson vs. Daniel Keepers
Amateur Catchweight (165 lbs.)
Round 1: Marty looks like he is having trouble with Keepers length early as Keepers hinds a home for a left hand that drops Thompson to the mat. Thompson clinches to avoid further takes this fight to the mat where he works in Keepers half guard landing some heavy ground and pound. Marty steps over the half guard of keepers and locks in an arm triangle as the first round comes to a close. 10-9 Thompson.
Round 2: Marty starts the action in the second with a lead left hook that just misses its target. Keepers pops back with a Jab and Thompson changes levels but Keepers stuff the takedown attempt. Marty fires a left high kick that hits the chin of Keepers but Daniel doesn't even blink. Marty comes forward with hooks and then follows with a low kick. When the clapper hits Marty shoots for a thunderous double leg and the round ends. 10-9 Thompson.
Round 3: Daniel leads the dance with feints to start the third and Marty fires a right hand to answer. They clinch and Thompson has Keepers on the fence looking for another double leg. Marty takes Keepers down with a thunderous slam as this one ends. 10-9 Thompson
Decision: Marty Thompson defeats Daniel Keepers by Unanimous Decision.
Max Lombardo vs. Hassan Graham
Round 1: Hassan looks to draw first blood with a jab followed by a right hand and Lombardo clinches before they return to range and Max lands an upper cut. Max lands another lead uppercut that causes Hassan to clinch Lombardo against the cage. Max appears to be bleeding from the mouth but he find a home for some more uppercuts that once again get Graham to clinch as the round ends. Close round 10-9 Graham.
Round 2: They come together and trade shots to start round 2 before Hassan clinches and is turned by Lombardo. Max finds a home for some right hands against the fence as Lombardo is working heavy head pressure in close. Hassan finally gets off the cage and Max starts to land heavy shots that wobble Graham. Lombardo finishes the round with Hassan on the fence burying body shots. 10-9 Lombardo.
A body shot from Lombardo seems to have Graham hurt.
Round 3: Max comes forward and meets a combination from Graham but Max creates space with a jab and lands some heavy shots of his own. Graham lands a left hand that hurts Max badly as Max backs to the cage Hassan jumps on and burries this one for the finish. This was a pretty damn good Amateur Heavyweight fight.
Decision: Hassan Graham defeats Max Lombardo by TKO (Strikes) at 1:50 of round number 3.
Matt Denning vs. Sage Philippe
Round 1: Denning comes forward with a superman punch attempt at the opening bell and looks to jump on a guillotine but Sage escapes. Denning shoots for a takedown and is stuffed by Philippe and Sage has Denning against the fence. They split and Sage comes forward with a combination that ends with a leg kicks and he is again answered by Denning who returns a combination and forces Sage to clinch. Sage returns to striking distance with a low kick and a right hand a Denning grabs the thai plum and Philippe connects with the cup of Denning. They return to action and Sage clips Denning with a right hand but it does not stop Denning from firing back. Sage lands a huge slam and follows Matt to the ground with some ground and pound for the referee stoppage.
Decision: Sage Philippe defeats Matt Denning by TKO (Ground Strikes) at 4:43 of the first round.
Tim Flores vs. Brandon Neiford
Round 1: Brandon comes out fast firing a spinning kick that is off its mark and Flores clinches and lands a knee before putting Neiford on the fence. Neiford circles out and lands a low leg kick and is returned with pair of head kicks from Flores and Neiford shoots for the takedown but Flores end up on top. They return to striking range with Neiford landing some kicks. Flores looks for another headkick and Brandon ducks under and the clinch on the fence before Flores gets the takedown. Flores takes the back as Neiford tries to escape and sinks in a deep Rear Naked Choke for the tap.
Decision: Tim Flores defeats Brandon Neiford by Submission (Rear Naked Choke) at 3:23 of the first round.
Ras Hylton vs. Domingos Barros
Round 1: Ras comes out with a combination as he looks to test Domingos early but then Domingos clinches and has Ras against the fence. Ras is landing knees inside as Barros is hav