Atlantic City, NJ – Three and a half years. That’s how long it’s been since the Cage Fury Fighting Championship’s last installment, which packed 7,300 screaming fans into Atlantic City’s Boardwalk Hall for Kimbo Slice’s MMA debut back in 2007.
But the end came about then due to money – or lack thereof – and the biggest show on the East Coast was no more. Until this past Saturday, that is.
Of course, it was a smaller – and smarter – CFFC that returned, with a judicious yet action-packed card highlighted by up-and-comers, veterans and a very bad dude who belongs in the Octagon.
Said “dude” was Victor O’Donnell. In 2009, O’Donnell introduced himself to the Northeast circuit with a crushing TKO win over then-champ Rafael “Sapo” Natal. Unfortunately, his bid to gain entry into the Ultimate Fighter house was stymied by an absolute war with Chris Camozzi in the opening elimination round – a war that left both men unable to compete in the show’s 11th season.
Since then, O’Donnell’s been handily dispatching opponents in the minor league, and his foe at CFFC – Ricardo Almeida-trained Andrew Riddles – was no exception. For a round-and-a-half O’Donnell manhandled Riddles, outwrestling him, slamming him and pounding on him, and when the end came via guillotine, Riddles already had an eye swollen shut. It was a brutal performance, but when you have a fighter more than ready for the big leagues, that’s what you get.
Elsewhere on the card, a revitalized James Meals weathered Trevor Suter’s raw aggression to snag an impressive D’Arce choke at the very end of the first round. Since joining AMA Fight Club, Meals – who was already a skilled striker – has become a dangerous fighter on the ground. Watch out for him in the future.
Team Infamous Rival’s Nah-Shon Burrell turned Craig Thieme into a bloody mess, peppering the Pellegrino MMA rep with fists until Thieme’s face resembled a scene from Friday the 13th. Referee Keith Peterson waved off the bout in the third. Workhorse John Doyle doggedly went the distance with Gemiyale Adkins, losing the decision but standing and slugging throughout. And Chris Sydnor knocked out Lewis Pascavage with a barrage of punches from the mount, wisely avoiding Pascavage’s brawling ability with some Jiu-Jitsu 101.
-Victor O’Donnell def. Andrew Riddles via Guillotine at 2:40, R2
-Gemiyale Adkins def. John Doyle via unanimous decision
-Jared Gordon def. Anthony Dagostino via submission (rear naked choke) at 1:42, R2
-Nah-Shon Burrell def. Craig Thieme via TKO (cut) at 3:34, R3
-James Meals def. Trevor Suter via D’Arce choke at 4:52, R1
-Mike Winters def. Michael Rideout via TKO (elbows) at 3:47, R3
-Chris Sydnor def. Lewis Pascavage via KO (punches) at 2:12, R1
-Tuan Pham def. Kurt Kalash via unanimous decision