As with any regional fight card, there are bound to be some late changes when it comes to matchups, and the Cage Titans 48 card scheduled for next weekend is no different. Regardless of how bad these fighters want to get back in the cage to compete after a long layoff, it's inevitable that the MMA gods will deliver unexpected injuries just weeks prior and force a promotion's hand. Unfortunately the injury bug has effected to top of the card, with Don Shainis (8-2) receiving a new opponent, and Jay Perrin being left out in the cold with no one to fight.
Massachusetts' Shainis was scheduled to take on Darius Estell (7-3) for the vacant Cage Titans featherweight championship, a fight that was originally scheduled prior to the pandemic, but as fate would have it, Estell suffered a broken foot during training about 2 weeks out from the bout, forcing him to pull out. Enter "Nasty" Nathan Williams (12-7) from Atlanta, Georgia. The 33 year old firefighter/EMT is 3-1 in his last 4 fights, competing in the southern part of the country, and will pose a stiff test to the rising Shainis.
It may be a new opponent for Shainis, but he will still have the same deadly intentions when he steps back into the cage in front of his hometown fans at Plymouth Memorial Hall next Saturday. Shainis has spent the last several months training at Glory MMA & Fitness in St. Louis under the tutelage of one of the sports best coaches, and current UFC fighter, James Krause. With Shainis only a win or two away from getting the call to the big leagues, there's a lot riding on this fight with a dangerous and experienced foe like Williams.
The other major shakeup on the card saw Jay "The Joker" Perrin (9-4) announce this morning that he will not be fighting on the card due to an injury to his opponent, Lauzon MMA product, Andy Aiello (5-3). Without a worthy opponent willing and able to step up to face Perrin on a weeks notice, Mike Polvere was forced to pull the fight from the event.
It's an unfortunate situation for Perrin, who recently moved to Las Vegas to train at one of the top gyms in the country; Syndicate MMA. Perrin has been on a roll of late, owning a 6-1 record in his last 7 fights, and also possessing the Cage Titans bantamweight belt, but this fight wasn't meant to be, so "The Joker" will watch the event from the crowd and enjoy some libations with the New England MMA community as he plots his next move.
As the great Kevin MacDonald would say, "Some times these things happen in MMA". It's part of the game. Guys get injured and fights fall off, and I'm pretty confident that this won't be the last card shakeup before the first bell tolls on Saturday night at 6 PM in Plymouth. Regardless of these two unfortunate casualties to the fight card, it is still an amazingly stacked card that Mike Polvere and crew have put on for us. The energy in the building on Saturday night will be palpable! New England MMA fans haven't seen live action in a year and a half, so don't expect a late arriving or sleepy crowd next weekend.
Tickets for the event sold out in a week - a Cage Titans record, so the only way you'll be able to follow along is to either follow NEMMA for live updates on our blog, or you can purchase the PPV for $25 via the link below. You won't want to miss this one!