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)

April 9th XXVIII Recap


April 20th, 2016

Plymouth Memorial Hall played host to an amazing night of fights as Cage Titans delivered its 7th consecutive sold-out event. The Undercard warmed the crowd up with some amazing performances highlighted by Tommy Davis’ knock-out and an epic back and forth battle between female fighters Jeannette Pomales and Caroline Wilhelm. As for the Main Card, we saw champion Richard Santiago successfully defend his title, handing his undefeated opponent his very first loss, and also the crowning of new champion Ryan Dibartolomeo, who edged out the victory on the judges’ scorecards capturing the vacant belt. And in the Main Event, the fight lived up to the hype as Remo Cardarelli and Andy Aiello battered each other from opening bell to finish. When the decision was read, Cardarelli was the one with his hand raised, avenging his loss to Aiello from back in April of 2015 and setting up a potential trilogy! Below please find results of all the fights as well as various media outlets that covered the event.

UNDERCARD FIGHTS

Fight 1: 145lb AM – Dan Shapiro (0-0, Redline) vs Matt Burton (0-0, DCNU)
WINNER SHAPIRO VIA TKO RD1

Fight 2: 205lb AM – Stephen Kimball (1-2, Nostos) vs Ron Marshall (0-0, Team Anubis)
WINNER KIMBALL VIA GUILLOTINE RD2

Fight 3: 155lb AM – Austin Schalla (1-2, Dexter MMA) vs Mike Bulger (1-0, Sityodtong)
WINNER BULGER VIA UNANIMOUS DECISION

Fight 4: 150lb AM – Quentin Harris (0-0, Independent) vs Chris Sniger (0-1, Team EVT/SBG)
WINNER HARRIS VIA GUILLOTINE RD2

Fight 5: 165lb AM – Trevor Gudde (0-0, Florian MMA) vs Donnell Ford (0-0, DCNU)
WINNER GUDDE VIA TKO RD2

Fight 6: 185lb AM – Chris Marriott (0-1-1, Team Anubis) vs Kris Silck (1-0, Hard Knocks/SSSF)
WINNER SILCK VIA TKO RD3

Fight 7: 155lb AM – Derek Peterson (1-3, Gillett’s MMA) vs Dan Bardellini (1-5, Rivera Athletics)
WINNER PETERSON VIA UNANIMOUS DECISION

Fight 8: 185lb AM – Dave Sheehan (0-0, Connors MMA) vs Tommy Lee Davis (0-0, Juniko)
WINNER DAVIS VIA TKO RD2

Fight 8: 135lb AM – Caroline Wilhelm (0-0, Nostos) vs Jeannette Pomales (2-1, Sityodtong)
WINNER WILHELM VIA UNANIMOUS DECISION

Fight 8: 170lb PRO – Alex Dolan (0-0 UFC Gym) vs. Carlos Correia (DCNU 0-0)
WINNER CORREIA VIA TKO RD1

Fight 8: 155lb PRO – Jeff Anderson (11-10 Independent) vs. Peter Barrett (Sityodtong 5-0)
WINNER BARRETT VIA TKO RD1

MAIN CARD

Amateur 125lb Featherweight Title Fight (Vacant)

145lb AM – Justin Bombardier (0-0, MAXX) vs Antoine Caparotta (1-0, SSSF)
WINNER CAPAROTTA VIA TRIANGLE RD2

135lb AM – Joe Smith (1-0 Lauzon MMA) vs. Josh Meehan (0-0 Juniko)
WINNER MEEHAN VIA TRIANGLE RD2

Amateur 155lb Lightweight Title Fight

Ryan DiBartolomeo (Team Link NH 4-4) vs. Alex Ortiz (3-1 Speed School)
WINNER DIBARTOLOMEO VIA SPLIT DECISION

Amateur 125lb Flyweight Title Fight

Champ Rich Santiago (RAC 4-4) vs. Nate Russell (4-0 FAA)
WINNER SANTIAGO VIA RNC RD1

155lb AM – Arslan Otchiyev (Speed School 3-2-1) vs. Bryan Rossi (Sityodtong 3-2-1)
WINNER ROSSI VIA KO RD2

Pro 170lb Welterweight Fight

Sean Lally ( 3-2 Juniko ) vs. Keegan Hornstra (Nostos 2-8)
WINNER LALLY VIA KO RD1

Pro 195lb Catchweight Fight

Joe Levasseur (1-1 Triforce) vs. Roger Brackett (6-4 Lakeville)
WINNER LEVASSEUR VIA ARMBAR RD1

Pro 125lb Flyweight Fight

Remo Cardarelli (RAC 5-3) vs. Andy Aiello (Lauzon 3-1)
WINNER CARDARELLI VIA SPLIT DECISION

AWARDS

Amateur SUB of the Night

Antoine Caparotta

Amateur Fight of the Night

Jeanette Pomales vs Caroline Wilhelm

(T)KO of the Night

Tommy Davis

——————————————————————-

MEDIA

Photos – Courtesy of Crossface Productions

Reviews

Combat Sports Nation – Review and Results AMMY     Review and Results PRO

WesternmassMMA.com – Review and Results

Mass-MMA.com – Review and Results

 

barrettvsandersonThere can form within one person a duality; a fracture of identity where such extremes exist that different personalities are required to keep sanity in check. In this way, one personality can divorce itself from the thoughts and actions of its counterpart, like oil and vinegar sharing the same bottle. While this compartmentalization of life may seem in itself crazy, this is a coping mechanism for people who, by necessity or desire, must exist in two worlds. For most people, this boundary is intangible, brought on by circumstance, but for undefeated professional fighter Peter Barrett, the boundary is very much physical. Three steps, a door, and a wall of chain links that keep Slippery Pete safely away from spectators, and keep his victims within arm’s reach.

“I have a dark side. I deal with impulses all the time.” Peter Barrett shared with me, speaking on the inception of his alter ego.

Unlike the ad nauseam Beast Mode mentality of the average athlete, who gets fired up in the weight room and simmers down before the sweat has even dried on the dumbbells, Barrett’s switch is one easily thrown but having a tendency to get stuck in place, courtesy of some good old-fashioned American practice.

“My friends would joke that you couldn’t compare your partying to mine because I was wired differently. I would always go bigger and harder and longer with everything. Slippery is the side of me that was forged in my party years and has been refined to a cage fighting, bad MFer.”

If Slippery were a plant, being liberally watered during college in Colorado, his roots thirst for whiskey, having been raised Irish Catholic like much of the Boston area. Though his parents divorced when he was young, the split did little but grow a massive family of step brothers and sisters; remaining connected with his father, though living with his mother and two brothers. The Irish have never been known for their easy hand or outward displays of affection, and Peter worked in the family restaurant even as a boy, earning spending money one washed dish, peeled shrimp, or emptied trash can at a time. It’s a work ethic that has carried him far, not just with his meticulous gym routine, but in his day job, working as a buyer for a whole sale company.

It’s a life that Barrett balances well, yet his ability to walk this razor’s edge came from watching his father slip and fall many times in his formative years, costing the elder Barrett nearly everything.

“My dad’s been in and out of rehab since I was in junior high. Thankfully he’s clean now, but it cost him his business, that my grandfather built.”

The best method of learning isn’t necessarily through experience, but through watching others and avoiding those mistakes yourself. With the prospects of frequenting those same bars; having those same issues with the law; brooding over the same regrets, Peter would make the decision to aim higher, attending a private school to keep his nose in books, rather than bottles, and ultimately earning a dual degree at a Jesuit college. These years would see Peter bloom, not just academically, but also athletically, wrestling in high school before turning to the equally brutal sport of rugby in college.

Life outside of college wouldn’t suddenly cool down however, and Barrett saw himself pulled in an interesting new direction that spoke to that caged killer within.

“I got into fighting because I live and die on the extremes. Fighting is my escape. It lets me tune out and tune in, and it turns out I’m really good at it”

Sporting a sterling professional record of 5-0 with all finishes, and the majority in the first round, it’s hard to argue with Barrett’s assessment of his skills. Splitting time between Daniel Gracie’s Juniko schools as well as the legendary Sityodtong Boston, Barrett is constantly sharpening the axe, and has some plans for his opponent on April 9th. What’s in store for Jeff “Candyman” Anderson?

“Highly-calculated violence.” Barrett answers. “Everything I can control is in place, all the details have been covered, and now I get to go do what I do. Knock MFers out.”

As that win column swells, there is a certain expectation in the fight world to do more: Take bigger fights, and dish out more punishment. Rather than a vice on his mind however, that pressure of all-eyes-on-Slippery acts more like a wind at his back.

“The only pressure there is, is to continue to perform in the same way I’ve been performing. You know, people come and expect me to show up and decimate my opponents, and I embrace that pressure. I love that stress added into my fights.”

While it’s Slippery doing the dirty work in the cage, plain old Peter Barrett has as critical of an eye on himself as his opponents.

“Every time we get back in the gym after a fight, I work on my weaknesses, because martial arts are all about learning and evolving; by reflecting on my fights and seeing what I like and what I don’t like about my performance. While there’s stress externally to maintain that record, a lot of my motivation comes from internal forces that push me to be the best I can be, and to continue to grow.”

If Slippery Pete gets his way in the cage, the biggest growth will be the pool of blood forming under another vanquished adversary; six down and the entire fight world to go.

~ Mike Hammersmith