Mike Polvere is truly a gentleman and businessman, as it seems every card gets better and better under the Cage Titans banner. This time around, to commemorate the year since the passing of fighter Shayne Stephenson, Mike and the Cage Titans crew brought the fighter’s family into the cage, and displayed for the crowd a video in memorial of the tragically deceased warrior. It was a classy move by a classy organization, and definitely indicative of the style that Cage Titans holds itself to in regards to standing by local fighters. So, here we give you the analysis for the entire main card, as well as a little shot out list to the guys on the undercard that had the crowd on its feet. Well done and a great show to all who participated! So, let’s get down to it….
Campbell vs. Nordby, 135 lb Pro
Another Cage Titans event, and another fight of the night for fan-favorite Johnny Campbell. After his wild, knockdown, drag-out fight against Nordby, we are officially going to consider ourselves “Cupcake” fans, as his brawling, dodging, cardio-centric style is becoming a bit of a puzzle for local competition, and a delight for crowds.
The story of this fight was simply the gas-tank for both fighters. Nordby is as tough as they come, tagging the spry Campbell with enormous overhands and bloodying up the fan-favorite with his powerful hands, and grinding, pressuring wrestling. That said, as we saw his last fight against Robbie Leroux, Campbell’s takedown defense is rapidly improving, and he capitalizes while pressed against the fence by absolutely hammering the body of whoever might put him there. Early in the first round, it seemed like Nordby was going to knock Campbell out, it was only a matter of time. The powerful wrestler was clipping Cupcake with strong overhands and some quick jabs, bloodying Johnny up early. However, the change came when Nordby began to push Campbell against the fence in pursuit of the takedown. Campbell dropped savage elbows and hammer-fists to his body, as well as head, and after the first round you could see the damage accumulating on Nordby’s body and his breathing was becoming labored. The second round, Campbell treated the crowd to some phenomenal head-movement, frustrating his opponent, as he slipped and ducked his way through what seemed like twelve rapid-fire punches. Ever the showman, Campbell gave the delighted crowd a quick little wave and shrug, as if to say “I know, pretty cool right?” and went back to slugging it out with an increasingly exhausted Nordby.
The final round was actually somewhat interesting, as the gassed but game Nordby took Campbell down multiple times throughout the round. That said, while in the takedown, or while gaining top control, Campbell was much more active off of his back, attacking with punches, elbows and constantly fighting to stand up. In the end, it was Cupcake’s torrid pace that made the difference, as Johnny Campbell was awarded with the split decision win. Campbell is now 3-1 in his last four, and has beaten a former 125 lb champion in Nordby as well as a top 10 ranked fighter in Leroux in his past two fights, we can only imagine he is looking for a ranked opponent for his next scrap, and we are looking for tickets wherever that fight takes place.
Remo Cardarelli vs. Theo Desjardin, 125 lb Pro
Choo-choo, choo-choo, all aboard the Remo Cardarelli hype train! This kid can fight, ladies and gentlemen, and at Cage Titans on Saturday night, Cardarelli proved it with an absolutely dominant win over a former champion. Desjardin came out looking for a fight, but never got it, as the lighting-fast Cardarelli took him down almost instantly, took his back, and locked in the rear-naked for the win. Already the #2 ranked fighter at ’25, I can only imagine that after that dominant victory and improving to a 3-0 record, the Rivera Athletics fighter will be calling for his shot at the 125 pound strap.
Peter Barrett vs. Lionel Young, 145 lb Pro
Most of the crowd in attendance Saturday night were cheering for “Slippery” Pete, and if you asked most of the individuals there how this fight was going to play out, they told you it was going to be an absolute squash match for the talented Barrett. Someone must have forgotten to tell Wai Kru product Lionel Young, as he came out looking for a fight, and took it to Barrett for nearly three whole rounds. That said, Barrett responded to the pressure, and just like that…we had a contender for fight of the night.
Both fighters have a history of bringing the fight hard and fast, but the two really went after each other hard from the first bell. Young attacked Peter with a diverse array of leg kicks, knees and jabs, while the super-tough Barrett lunged forward with powerful combinations. The first round Barrett seemed to be landing and winning the fight, but before long it became pretty apparent that the leg-kicks were taking a toll. That said, “Slippery” soldiered on, and Lionel and Barrett tested each other’s ground games, reversing, attacking, and nearly submitting each other early.
The second round was a continuation, the two went after each other hard, and while Barrett seemed to have the edge standing, especially in power striking, Young seemed to be getting the better of him when the fight hit the mat. On several occasions, Young seemed close to landing a submission, but Barrett found the guts to fight his way out, reverse the position, and return the favor, dishing out some damage from the top and threatening with his own game.
When the third round came, it was clear that Barrett was the fresher fighter, and in spite of Lionel’s toughness, he ultimately fell to Barrett’s relentless attack along the fence, as he was dropped by a knee early in the third round, and the referee was forced to step in. Both fighters put on an incredible fight, and with all the smack-talk aside, showed class and respect in the cage after the fight. That was a barn-burner from two fighters who are always down to scrap.
John Downey vs. Ryan White, 170 lb. Pro
Well ladies and gentleman, like Young and Barrett these two fighters came in talking trash and looking for the big knockout win. And it came, courtesy of a thrashing by Ryan White of John Downey. Downey came out aggressive, looking to pick a fight, but White was just clearly the better technical fighter, dropping Downey with a leg-kick early, defending a takedown, and punishing Downey so thoroughly on that defense, that he was left unconscious on the mat. Great win for White who now improves to 5-2, and must be looking to battle some top ten talent with a record like that.
Davis Roast vs. Kris Motinho, 125 lb Amateur Title Fight
This one started pretty fast, as the two came at each other hard, as the two exchange early, ending with Davis scoring a beautiful takedown. However, the story of the fight eventually came down to Motinho just clearly being the stronger fighter. Roast wasn’t lacking in technique, skill or drive, but he seemed to be lacking in size and strength against the superior grappler in Motinho, who quickly reversed a Roast takedown, and the round ending with Motinho mounting Roast and taking his back.
The second round, Motinho scored early with a big knockdown, and dazzled the crowd with an excellent slam as well. Before long Roast was forced to give in to the rear naked, and Rivera Athletics kept the train rolling with another victory.
First things first, we were able to see some amazing knockouts during the undercard, but Ryan Kane and Billy Connors really rocked the house. Kane, despite fighting at 125, demonstrated some big boy power, knocking out his opponent with a savage hook. Connors, however, really stole the show with a MAYBE six second head kick knockout that left his opponent flat and out before he hit the mat. We were fortunate enough to be sitting beside Connor’s boys, who we were happy to see had their friend’s back the entire fight, great to see non-fighters supporting the MMA community.
Like the last Cage Titans, Lauzon MMA product Randy Costa picked up another stoppage victory, as an injury to the nose of his opponent necessitated a doctor’s stoppage. The Lauzon fighter is now 2-0, with a TKO and First-Round knockout victories to his credit. He was pushed pretty hard this fight, and passed his test with flying colors. I can’t see it taking too long for Costa to be fighting for a strap.
Carlos Correia and Dan Phelps put on an absolute jiu-jitsu clinic for a delighted crowd in what would become the undercard fight of the night. Transitions, takedowns, slams and submission attempts had us holding our breath cage side. Correia is an absolute terror on the matt, as his technique, strength and versatility proved to be very advanced in spite of being a relatively new fighter. Phelps impressed with some power in his hands, knocking down Correia with a savage punch and follow up. Still, Correia survived, improved to 3-0 and took home the split decision win.