On Saturday, April 8th Cage Titans will return to Plymouth Memorial Hall for its second show of 2017.

Headlining the event will be New England’s undefeated finisher Manny Bermudez (8-0) taking on All-American wrestling standout Tony Gravely (8-3) in a bantamweight showdown. Bermudez of South Shore Sportfighting is unbeaten since October of 2012, dating back to his amateur days, and after winning six consecutive amateur fights (all by submission, 4 in the first round) made the move to the professional ranks in June of 2015. Since turning pro he has continued to enjoy that same success and in less than two years time has gone undefeated racking up 8 wins, with 6 first round finishes by submission. As for Gravely, he enters the match-up with a impressive wrestling pedigree as a two time NCAA Division 1 Southern Conference Champion and two time National Qualifier at Appalachian State University. Transitioning to MMA and now training at Tech MMA, he had an equally as impressive amateur career going 6-1 before turning pro in 2015. Competing an amazing 11 times over an 18 month span he has now amassed an 8-3 pro record and established himself as one of the top fighters in his home state of Virginia with plans of coming to Massachusetts to hand Bermudez his first loss.

As for the rest of the all pro, 9 fight Main Card, it will feature the highly anticipated return of Frank Sforza, after a two year lay-off, who is taking on Hawaiian Spencer Higa. Also in action, Cape Cod’s Brendan Battles takes on Maine’s Crowsneck Boutin and the always exciting Johnny ‘Cupcakes’ Campbell battles Ohio’s Raymond Yanez. Next up, fast-rising prospect ‘Skeletor’ Joe Giannetti puts his unblemished record on the line against Virginia striker, Gary Sheppard followed by former amateur champion Ryan DiBartolomeo taking on Quincy’s David Espino. And finally, rounding out the Main Card will be fan favorites, Jimmy ‘The Tooth’ Manning, Sean Bettencourt and Jeff Perez all in match-ups soon to be released.

As for the undercard, it will be highlighted by two amateur title fights. Up first will be a battle to crown the first ever Cage Titans women’s flyweight champion when LaNeisha Vinson travels up from South Carolina to take on Plymouth’s Kylie O’Hearn. Then the vacant lightweight title will be up for grabs when Brazilian Top Team’s Brian Cosco faces-off with undefeated Zach DiSabatino.

Be sure to follow along on the Cage Titans 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)

Cage Titans kicks off 2017 with its first event of the year on Saturday, January 28th at Plymouth Memorial Hall. An exciting card is scheduled to take place with the long awaited pro debuts of two former Cage Titans amateur champions, Sean Bettencourt and Jeff Perez, as well as crowd favorite ‘Slippery Pete’ Peter Barrett taking on his toughest test to date in Bang Muay Thai product, Vince McGuinness in the Main Event. In addition, the undercard will showcase some of the areas best, up and coming amateur fighters and the main card will feature five professional bouts with a staggering 6 former Cage Titans amateur champions competing now as pros with hopes of continuing to climb those rankings.

In the Main Event, hometown fighter Peter Barrett looks to improve upon his perfect 7-0 record against skilled striker, Vince McGuinness, who is coming up from Florida with aspirations of putting an end to the hype train. McGuinness, the product of world renowned Muay Thai trainer Duane Ludwig is not traveling over 1400 miles to be just another notch on Barrett’s belt and will look to showcase his vicious stand-up and go home as the first man to defeat him. To do that though, it is easier said than done as Barrett has been on an absolute tear since turning pro, rattling off 7 straight finish victories, with 5 of them coming within the first round.

As for the undercard, it will be stacked with a total of 10 amateur fights and two in particular to keep an eye on, due to future title implications, is Tim Flores taking on Will Graustuck in the flyweight division and Jurrell Laronal verse Zach DiSabatino at lightweight. Graustuck was unsuccessful in his bid for the title in his last outing and hopes that taking out Flores here will get him right back in the mix. As for Flores, he has been away from the cage for almost three years and looks to pick-up where he left off when he was a winner of 3 straight back in 2013/2014. As for the lightweights, both Laronal and DiSabatino come into this match-up with perfect, undefeated records and know that a victory will push them to the top of the rankings and one step closer to the Cage Titans belt.

In other pro action…As already mentioned, a total of six former Cage Titans amateur champions (Jimmy Manning, Joe Giannetti, Ryan Dibartolomeo, Jeff Perez, Sean Bettencourt and Peter Barrett) are competing on the card. First up, Jimmy Manning, who was a belt holder at 155lb, looks to keep his undefeated pro record intact when he takes on newcomer David McClendon.  Then two former champs battle it out, when Jeff Perez makes his pro debut against Ryan DiBartolomeo, who is looking to pick up his first pro win as well. Next up is a rematch from the last event when Joe Giannetti hopes to prove that the first time was not a fluke when he takes on Keegan Hornstra once again. And finally, Sean Bettencourt leaves the amateur scene behind along with his middleweight belt to make his pro debut against Florida’s Aaron Goodwine.

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)

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