While the highly anticipated UFC 202 pay-per-view (PPV) event is taking the majority of the headlines this weekend in combat sports, GoFightLive.tv is set to feature a handful of intriguing regional events on both Friday and Saturday evening. Once again, as a gift to MMAmania readers, GFL is offering 20 percent off any event, using the exclusive coupon code GFLMania.
Without further ado, let's take a look at the Top 5 fights to watch on GFL this weekend:
Rashad "The One" Ganaway vs. Hylon "Lil Ced Kid Cosmo" Williams, Jr. is a Boxing bout featuring two fighters who only a year or so ago were highly touted prospects. Ganaway started his career at 10-0 and Williams at 15-0. Strangely enough, both fighters seemed to lose their momentum at the same time. After both men took a year or so off to determine the direction of their careers, they decided they want to make one more run at reaching the apex in the Super Lightweight Division.
Ganaway has won his last three fights convincingly, giving two of those three fighters their first losses. He beat Karim Martinez in May when the then 16-0 Martinez decided not to come out for the ninth round in a 10 round bout. Prior to beating Martinez, Ganaway had two unanimous decision victories including beating Leon Spinks III, who was 11-0 at the time of the bout. At 17-5 with 11 wins by knockout, Ganaway is known as a fierce puncher with the speed and power to finish opponents.
On the other hand, Williams has a record of 16-2 and is known more for his tactical skills and speed then his power. Since taking time off he has come back to face two highly rated fighters. He fought the 29-3 Jason Litzau to a draw and narrowly lost to 24-1 Yuriorkis Gamboa by decision.
Neither fighter has been knocked out in their careers which span a collective 40 fights. That means both fighters can take a punch and have the stamina to go the distance. Both fighters need this win in order to stay relevant in the Super Lightweight division. Ganaway who currently holds the WBC United States and NABF Super Lightweight titles seems to be the favorite fighting in his hometown of Little Rock Arkansas. However, Williams has fought many successful rounds to get to 16-0 against many experienced fighters.
This is a classic match up that should be well worth the price of admission. With so much on the line, I see this bout going the distance, so you can expect a lot of punches to be thrown and landed. It is difficult to envision Ganaway losing this bout unless he is knocked out, which would be his first and Williams's fourth in 19 bouts.
Striker's Cup 17 brings together another exciting evening of kickboxing action. The main event features a highly anticipated fight between two veterans in the junior heavyweight division, Andy Greenspan and Kenny Jones, in a battle of New Jersey against Philadelphia.
New Jersey's Greenspan of TSMMA North Plainfield goes against Philly's own Kenny Jones of Stay Fly Muay Thai. Jones, who agreed to the match on barely a week's notice will look to improve upon his already successful amateur fight career, which includes holding Strikezone Promotion's Ultimate Striker Championship title.
Standing in Jones's way will be a very game Greenspan, who hails from a Tiger Schulmann MMA team that is no stranger to triumphs in the ring. This is a bout featuring a true brawler in Greenspan versus a skilled technical fighter in Jones. The crowd will look to see if Greenspan's toughness and great hand speed will be enough to surmount the kicking and kneeing prowess of Jones.
Ryan MacDonald is a blossoming prospect at 4-0 as a pro, and 11-2 in the cage with 8 straight wins if you include his amateur bouts. The young gun is putting his undefeated record on the line this weekend against a tough and experienced Chad Obermiller (7-5). There are some clear distinctions in this match up. MacDonald is 23 years old and 5'6" whilst Obermiller is 36 years old and 6"0", having retired twice leading up to this bout.
This bout has been subject to a lot of debate, discussion and trash talking. Some consider MacDonald a point fighter and Obermiller a finisher. That said, MacDonald has finished two of his four fights as a pro. Both fighters are on winning streaks; Macdonald's four wins in a row as a pro and Obermiller winning his last two bouts after returning a second time from retirement.
Obermiller has been outspoken in stating that MacDonald has not fought anyone as tough, stating that he "wants to see how tough MacDonald is" and that he was going to "bully him around the cage." MacDonald is less vocal but in an interview made it clear that he has sparred and fought fighters more aggressive than Obermiller and that trash talk has absolutely no affect on him. "Unlike some fighters I don't need to hate the fighter across the cage to beat him" stated MacDonald.
Obermiller has also stated that "I can promise you he has not faced the talent I have - I am in the cage to hurt people." When confronted by this statement, MacDonald calmly smiled stating that he doesn't know any fighter who gets in the cage without the intention of hurting the guy across from him.
Obermiller does not seem to have fought the same caliber of fighter as Macdonald, making it tough to see him winning this fight. Talking does not win bouts, though it can affect a fighters mindset - I don't buy into MacDonald being affected at all by Obermiller's trash talking.
Jacob Kozorosky will be defending his PA Cage Fight Lightweight championship and putting his undefeated 6-0 record on the line when he faces a talented fighter in Eddie "Shuperman" Shupe. Kozorosky most recently defeated Brandon Dolan in the second round via rear naked choke to win the PA cage fight amateur title this past March.
Since winning his first four bouts via decision, Kozorosky has finished his last two opponents via rear naked choke. It appears the undefeated prospect is honing his skills as he prepares to make the transition to the professional ranks. He is ranked the top amateur lightweight in Pennsylvania (out of 105) and ranked 3rd out of 516 lightweight prospects in the entire Northeast.
His opponent, Edward Shupe, has an uninspiring 6-6 record, but he is riding a two fight win streak heading into this title bout. This will be his fourth fight in 2016, with his only loss coming to an undefeated Jonathan Cruz.
Both fighters have gone the distance a combined 10 times over 18 bouts. These fighters are technically skilled, so don't expect this fight to end with a quick knockout. Shupe is the more experienced fighter, however, Kozorosky is a very tough opponent who currently holds the title that Shupe is seeking. With a big victory, Kozorosky could be headed to the pros with the potential for a quick assent in the lightweight division. If you like to watch two fighters with solid technical skills this has the makings for a great bout.
Additional Note: The promotion added a four man Heavyweight (265lb) Tourney with the winners competing at PA Cage Fight 26. Derrick Babcock will face off against Michael Erb and Lance Moore with battle Daiqkwon Buckley. Erb and Babcock are each seeking their first win. Moore is 1-0 and Buckley is making his debut. Heavyweight tournaments are always fun to watch.
To celebrate Combat Games' 50th MMA event, the promotion will be hosting an eight-man one-night 150 lb. Bantamweight Tournament with $10,500 in prize money. The initial match ups were drawn last Wednesday night, so fighters were given just 10 days to prepare for their opponent.
The tournament winner will hold the Combat Games' Bantamweight title.
Below are the initial bouts include:
BOUT #1 Ardany Mora vs. Patrick Benson
BOUT #2 Dustin Winter vs. Eduardo Torres
BOUT #3 Jadon Johnson vs. Omar Avelar
BOUT #4 Rico Rough vs. Eric Cronkhite
Some key matchups to watch includes the first fight of the night in which Ardany Mora will battle Patrick Benson. Though it is not listed in any of the records, it appears these fighters fought as amateurs a few years back, with the bout being voted fight of the year by Washington State fans. We reached out to Patrick Benson and he predicted the victor in this first bout will ultimately win the title.
Ardany Mora has a history fighting deep into the rounds, ending with either a TKO by way of punches or losing via decision. Benson, on the other hand, has never gone the distance and has only twice made it out of the first round.
Benson is 2-1 having fought three fighters with winning records, losing to Brett Malone at WSOF 32 in July. Both fighters are coming off tough losses and will be looking to get back on track. A few wins in this tournament could propel them to bigger and better fights. This will be a great bout to watch and I hope the winner has something left for the second round of the tourney.
Eduardo Torres out of Yakima MMA is lead by trainer Rich Guerin. He is a sparring partner of Julian Erosa of recent TUF and UFC fame. Torres is a very talented fighter and the top seed in the tournament. His 7-5 record is deceptive having lost twice by decision and once by disqualification. He has the most experience of any of the fighters in this tournament and a great team around him.
Eric Cronkhite (3-1, 3 finishes) and Dustin Winter (3-2, 2 Finishes) have the ability to be spoilers, though they do not have the experience of Torres, Benson and Mora. The rest of the field: Omar Avelar (8-11), Jadon Johnson (0-1), Rico Rough (0-2) do not seem to be in the same class as the aforementioned challengers.
I wish more promotions would bring back these types of tournaments, they bring a lot of excitement to the sport.
That's a wrap!