Cage Titans XXXI on November 5

October 3rd, 2016

On Saturday, November 5th, MMA action returns to Plymouth Memorial Hall with a stacked fight card set to take place with many of your favorite local fighters and many new faces.

On the amateur side of things, two title fights should be the highlight of the night. The vacant 145lb belt is on the line when TriForce’s John Douma battles Juniko’s Bryan Rossi. Douma is a grinder that uses his smothering, top-heavy wrestling game to drag his opponents into the late rounds. As for Rossi, he is riding a four fight win streak with 3 of those wins coming via devastating knock-outs. This should be a fun fight with two clashes of styles, Douma most likely looking to take this fight to the ground and Rossi looking to land that one clean shot! With that being a fight of complete opposite styles, the 125lb title fight will be a match-up of almost identical opponents when jiu-jitsu aces Josh Meehan from Juinko and Will Graustuck from the UFC Gym square off. Both fighters are undefeated with all of their wins coming from submission and a combined 3 Submission of the Night awards between them. For those fans that have a love for BJJ and the eccentricities of the ground game, this is a fight you will not want to miss!

In pro action…Scott Gorgone retuns to the cage at a new weight class of 155lbs to take on 20+ fight veteran Steve McCabe. Fan favorite, Don Shainis looks to pick up his first professional win when takes on Arslan Otchiyev who will be making his pro debut in a fight that could very well steal the show. Former amateur champion, Joe Giannetti looks to make it two pro wins in a row when he battles heavy-handed Keegan Hornstra while Devin Pilkington and David Espino face-off with both of them hoping to get their elusive first taste of victory.

Be sure to follow along on the Cage Titans FC Fan Page for many more fight announcements as well as specific match-up highlights, new fights added to the card and fighter interviews, each and every day leading up the event.

(Click banner below for fight card)

Revenge – Cardarelli vs Mima

August 22nd, 2016

Revenremovsmimage is an odd concept in limbo, held to contempt for some but something that speaks to a base nature held amongst all of mankind; to revisit slights and failures and seemingly change your personal history. For Remo Cardarelli his fight history is uniquely cyclical in nature, facing exclusively top level talent and finding ways to win, even if it takes a second run at them.

This pattern of failure-turned-success began at Cage Titans, facing Billy Giovanella in the main event. The potential five round battle would begin as a highly competitive scrap, but as rounds wore on and the walls of the cage hemmed in Cardarelli’s famous footwork, tides would turn to Giovanella’s favor. The fourth round would see Cardarelli leave on a stretcher; ground and pound and fatigue having accumulated to a shut down of the body.

It’s the kind of devastating loss a fighter would work towards forgetting and never wish to try their luck again, yet that’s exactly what Cardarelli did less than a year later. This time in the Bellator cage, Cardarelli would show a different side to himself than the aggressive striker we’d watched over the years, fighting the smart fight of ripping counters, had sprawls and opportunistic grappling exchanges in the biggest fight of his career. He’d dart in with punches and dart out as Giovanella stumbled at empty space; accuracy off the charts and taking a split decision win on virtue of intelligent offense and insurmountable defense.

It was his pair of bouts against crippling puncher Andy Aiello in Cage Titans that would show the true character of Cardarelli though, revisiting the scene of a devastating KO loss in their first meeting. The buzz around the internet was that Cardarelli simply couldn’t avoid that power for three rounds, and anything short of a perfect hit-and-run match would result in another defeat, yet the Rivera fighter had something else in mind entirely. Going toe-to-toe and punch-for-punch, Cardarelli would stun the crowd by dishing it out far more than he took it in their rematch, closing Aiello’s eye with the volume and power behind his gloves.

Now the time comes to rewrite personal history yet again, but the target of his third vindication will seek to make his victory stick, as Darren Mima enters Cage Titans for the first time. For Mima, the first fight between the two, inside the CES cage, was a no-duster and rightfully placed behind him. A simple double leg slam in a twenty-seven second fight was all it took to seal the deal, Cardarelli out cold on the mat and Mima walking off with bigger fights in his future.

Fighters like Mima highlight the issues with management in MMA on the local level: ready for the ground floor of the world stage, and too dangerous for similar prospects to test themselves against.

“Everyone wants to fight Darren, but when it comes time to sign the contract or step in the cage, there is always an excuse.” Sean Rockwell, Mima’s manager tells us.

It’s a story told across every weight class as fighters become too large for the local scene and need that final push to leave, like a rocket trying to break orbit. For Mima, he’s suffered a set of revolving door opponents that make preparation tougher than the fight in some cases; keeping mentally ready when your opposition wears a different face every week.

“Remo is ranked right below Darren in all the rankings, and the fighter who is ranked ahead of him won’t take the fight.” Continues Rockwell. “Say what you will about Remo, but at least he has the testicular fortitude to step back in there with The Mean One.”

While rerunning a former victory isn’t in the play book for reaching the next level, the prospects of a steady opponent help motivate the elite Flyweight, as does the bauble up for grabs on August 27th; the Cage Titans Flyweight Championship.

With revenge, propulsion to the big leagues, and a coveted title all within grasp, we can expect one of the best title tilts in Cage Titans history.

~ Mike Hammersmith

mcandrewsvsgasdiaMartial arts are rife with paradox; preparing for war with a peaceful mind, honoring life while harnessing skills to end it, your best friends and brothers-in-arms the people you deal injury to on a daily basis. It is from places genuine warmth and peaceful existence that our two welterweight competitors emerge; ready to lay it all on the line for a chance at amateur title glory.

For John McAndrews, his story starts as the prototypical “fat nerd”, a long-haired 240lb man with a love of Dungeons & Dragons and fantasy worlds. It was from the tales of swords and sorcery that McAndrews found himself interested in making games of fancy a reality, learning combative sword fighting in the modern age. A thirst for true martial combat saw McAndrews make the transition to small circle jiu-jitsu, taught by New England legend Nuri Shakir, with McAndrews edging closer to MMA, starting his amateur career at the age of 29.

The reality of the situation was never lost on McAndrews; the time to go to the UFC and gain international stardom was over before he’d even started, yet he’d enter the MMA world with a hunger and determination few had ever encountered. Facing top-ranked fighter Sean Evans in a debut that would see the pair land well over a hundred strikes in an amateur bout, the tone was set for his career.

Size being a determining factor in his debut loss, McAndrews would begin shedding weight and honing his body into that of a true fighter, working his way from 240lbs to a fight weight of 170, but bringing that heavyweight power with him. His fights in the Toe 2 Toe organization in Maine would see him chew up local talent piece by piece while his Combat Zone bouts saw him flatline his first opponent in under a minute; his second bout seeing him dispose of a growing talent from SYT in an ugly fight that highlighted his penchant for punishment. Now riding a five fight win streak and holding the Combat Zone 185lb title, McAndrews walks into his Cage Titans debut looking for another belt.

For Bobby Gasdia, the persona of a ruthless fighter is oddly balanced by an infectious smile and bright personality. Having started his MMA career during school vacation, Gasdia’s MMA journey oddly began by defeating McAndrews’ training partner in his debut, scoring a submission win and showcasing his hybrid wrestling/BJJ skills. While his fight schedule is based around his school, Gasdia has found ways to work on his skill sets, whether it be the obvious advantages of wrestling at the college level, or the less obvious gains of taking ballet for a semester.

“I thought I had good hips before I took ballet. I was wrong.” Gasdia quipped on the mats of his home at Southshore SportFighting “I got an A though!”

Despite a cherubic face and a mind for inventive academics, the thirst for victory runs deep in Gasdia and he’s never been afraid to spill some blood to achieve it; be it his competitors or his own. Against Angelo Richardson, Gasdia felt the pressure of a close fight; battling out from under his gargantuan opponent and lining up punishment on the feet, scoring a split decision and keeping the young man’s win streak alive. If Richardson was a grind in the CT cage, his next fight was anything but, landing a KO off a counter right and a pancake sprawl on Scott Sullivan, having his opponent flat out in sixteen seconds.

The defining moment for Gasdia would come in a jump up in division as well as opposition, taking on the devastating striker in Sean Bettencourt for Cage Titans 185lb amateur title. In a vicious display the two tore into each other with relentless power punching, Bettencourt getting the best of the match-up but having his rump hit the mat several times in the fight; whether by power double or a sneaky counter left that had him staggered.

A family to support on McAndrews end, and school bells in Gasdia’s imminent future, the two gentle giants will set aside some time on August 27th to square up and contest for the Cage Titans 170lb amateur title.

~ Mike Hammersmith

Cage Titans XXX August 27

July 21st, 2016

On Saturday, August 27th Cage Titans returns to Plymouth Memorial Hall for an epic night of live MMA action. Marking the 30th event in company history, this will be an extra special night with one of the most stacked cards ever put together!

In the Main Event, the two very best pro flyweights in New England, Darren Mima and Remo Cardarelli, square-off in a title fight that will crown the first ever Cage Titans Champion at that weight. Then in the Co-Main event, undefeated Manny Bermudez (6-0) battles eight year professional veteran Rodrigo Almedia (13-3) in a fight that is sure to turn heads.

In other pro action…Two UConn alumni take the spotlight when stand-out wresting stud, Brendan Battles takes on former Dallas Cowboys’ fullback, Deon Anderson. Next up, ‘The Unpredictable One’ Sean Lally and Joe Levasseur return to the cage to battle it out at middleweight with hopes of going on a run in that division. Then in a grudge-match, ‘The Peruvian Prince’ Fernando Perez and Johnny ‘Cupcakes’ Campbell rematch in a bout that saw Cupcakes win via split decision back at Cage Titans XX. And in what may end up being fight of the night, ‘Mad’ Max Barrett will go toe to toe with the always exciting Devin Pilkington.

On the amateur side, newly crowned middleweight champion, Sean Bettencourt, defends his title against undefeated challenger, Morgan Dean. Then two vacant belts will be up for grabs when undefeated Jason Peppe takes on Jose Campos at heavyweight and then in the long awaited showdown at welterweight, John McAndrews and Bobby Gasdia face-off.

Be sure to follow along on the Cage Titans FC Fan Page for those fight announcements as well as specific match-up highlights, new fights added to the card and fighter interviews, each and every day leading up the event.

(Click banner below for fight card)

Cage Titans returns to Plymouth Memorial Hall on Saturday, June 18th for its 29th event. At the top of the card, one of the brightest prospects in New England, Manny Bermudez, will be looking to keep his undefeated, professional record intact against the always game and former title challenger, Taylor Trahan. Overall, this is a great match-up between two guys that are submission wizards and combined over their pro and amateur careers, 8 out of Trahan’s 11 wins have come via submission and 10 out of Bermudez’s 12 wins have been via submission. For those who love the intricacies of BJJ, you are definitely in for a treat when these two enter the cage on fight night!

In other pro fight action, Joe Giannetti will take on Frank Falso. Falso is a tough brawler who has taken the past 2 years off to fill some holes in his ground game while getting rejuvenated with a new team and camp. As for Giannetti, he leaves behind his perfect record and Cage Titans amateur title to turn pro, with hopes to make a statement here in his professional debut. So on fight night, will it be Falso who shows the division he is back with vengeance or will Giannetti continue to shine and put the pro ranks on notice!?

Next up, Don Shainis will battle Jeremy Davis. Shainis is also a former Cage Titans amateur champion and after going undefeated in those ranks, he will be making his long awaited professional debut. As for Davis, the Florida native is a former amateur champion in his region as well and is 2-0 so far in his pro career, with both of those wins coming via guillotine. One thing is for sure, you can bet that both guys will be bringing everything they have on fight night because Shainis most certainly doesn’t want to start out his pro career in the loss column and Davis is not flying in to blemish his perfect record!

Then in what may be one of the more exciting fights of the night, Max Barrett takes center cage against Florida’s Tommy Mills. Mills is a former professional boxer who has transitioned nicely to MMA compiling a 2-0 record with 2 first round finishes. As for Barrett, he is a great standup fighter in his own right and turned heads in his pro debut, earlier this year, by dropping his opponent in the first round. In this match-up one thing is certain, both guys love to throw hands so it could be over quick, and don’t be surprised if it ends with one of them looking up at the ceiling!

And finally, the vacant flyweight amateur title will also be up for grabs when Miguel Trinidad and Jose Lugo fight it out for the belt. Trinidad is a submission machine and is undefeated with all his wins coming via first round guillotine chokes. His coaches have dubbed his submission ‘The Miguilotine’ and he is looking to bring the first ever Cage Titans title to his team. As for Lugo, his only loss so far was to Trinidad but since then has gone undefeated while picking up a title with another promotion. In addition, the last 2 fighters to hold this specific Cage Titans title have been his teammates so he will surely not only be looking to avenge a loss but also keep the belt within his gym.

In other action, Danielle Hindley returns to the cage against newcomer Adina Beaudry, Scott Gorgone takes on tough veteran Fernando Perez and two amateur fights with future title implications occur when Brendon Marotte battles Antoine Caparotta and Chris Mehu faces off with Derek Peterson. Be sure to follow along on the Cage Titans FC Fan Page for those fight announcements as well as specific match-up highlights, new fights added to the card and fighter interviews, each and every day leading up the event.

(Click banner below for fight card)