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Cage Titans 27 Full Review

Jose Lugo vs Nick Mancinone

125lb Amateur

The first fight of the night started off with the pair pumping jabs, Lugo coming in with a three piece and being countered with a hook. Lugo came in with a combination and a knee that landed high, the pair working a contentious clinch where Lugo rifled a knee to the body that seemed to wobble Mancinone. The pair broke to center and Mancinone fired a two piece before being countered, dropping for a double and burning fuel to get Lugo to the mat. Lugo showed incredible balance, hopping on one leg while fighting the double, wizzering hard and framing up a standing guillotine, though he couldn’t find it. Lugo landed a knee to the body and a low knee while the pair swapped places on the cage, the fight being paused to allow Mancinone to recover. The pair clashed hard to pack as much action into the final ten seconds as possible, both landing solid hooks to close out the round.

Mancinone closed early in the second, Lugo keeping him honest with a chopping low kick that was returned. Mancinone went with a high kick and Lugo charged with a combination, trying to goad Mancinone into a fire fight and exploit his time away from the cage. Lugo roared forward with a two piece and Mancinone ducked under but was rebuked on the takedown, Lugo landing two shots in tight and another right hand at center cage. Mancinone smashed a low kick home and Lugo answered with a combination on the button, Mancinone biting down on his mouthguard and moving forward to try and control the action. A ripping left hook from Lugo landed in a flurry; moving into clinch and trying to smash the midsection with knees, though Mancinone hit a reversal in the last seconds. The pair flurried with short time and a left hand from Lugo put Mancinone on ice skates, the fighter saved by the bell and being drawn into deep water.

Between rounds Nick Mancinone was deemed unfit to continue by the doctor, giving Lugo a well-earned TKO.

Jose Lugo wins via 2nd round TKO (stoppage)

Derek Trahan vs John Douma

155lb Amateur

The pair darted around early, Douma landing a right hand and fading away from the return from Trahan. Douma again fired but Trahan shot under and planted Douma hard on the mat, though the fighter sprang up and called his foe onward. Trahan obliged and landed crisp shots in the pocket, Douma, sprawling hard on another shot and wall walking upright. Douma closed and Trahan plinked him with a pair of shots, Douma showing off a chin and landing a solid right while Trahan dirty boxed, the pair clowning and accumulating bruises early in the fight. A right to the body landed for Douma and the Tri-Force fighter showed off some head movement to avoid the counter, Trahan driving for a takedown and taking body knees, one after another, as the round closed out.

Douma closed early in the second, Trahan slipping and firing back, landing a right to the body as the pair worked within each other’s timing. A hard right landed for Douma and another, ducking under the follow-up, though his nose showed the effects of an earlier shot as Trahan drove for a takedown that he couldn’t secure. A jab from Trahan landed on the fountain of a nose sported by Douma and another, the referee calling in a physician for a quick check before restarting the bout. Douma bobbed and weaved away from Trahan’s power and shot hard, being sprawled out on as the action heated up in the second, Douma firing and slipping, smashing Trahan with a right hook in the final second of the round.

The final round started off with more smooth movement from Douma, landing minimal shots but looking impressive avoiding the monster blows of Trahan. A looping right from Douma barely missed, as did an uppercut by Trahan, the two well-attuned to each other and finding more air than face. Trahan fired from far out and pressured for the takedown but couldn’t find it, Douma circling away but Trahan hammering him with a left hook at center cage. Another left landed for Trahan and he faded away from Douma’s counter, the fight up for grabs in the final moments. The pair threw hard and Trahan put 100% into a scoop slam that smashed Douma off the mat and made a great case for taking the final round on the cards.

Derek Trahan wins via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 29-28x2)

Marty Kelly vs Aaron Paul

135lb Amateur

The pair of debuting fighter came out fast, Kelly throwing a long right and a pair of follow-ups that landed, Paul firing in the pocket and landing some knuckles of his own. An overhand by Kelly landed and Paul ate it to give back two shots of his own, the pair moving into clinch where Kelly hit a trip takedown into half guard. Kelly postured up to land left hands, Paul staying calm and attacking with an armbar that Kelly shook off, Paul following with a guillotine that Kelly avoided moving to side control. Paul dogged the guillotine and tried to spin on his back, tangling a leg with his own and wrenching the hold from bottom half guard, though there was nothing there, Kelly exploding from top and catching a no-hooks RNC as Paul moved to stand, the fighter potentially saved by the bell.

The second started with Paul throwing power at center cage, Kelly winging his overhand and trying to put his foe’s lights out, but not finding purchase. A snappy jab landed for Paul and Kelly landed an overhand, both giving out punishment as Kelly drove for the clinch and hit an outside trip into half guard. Kelly passed to a contentious mount and dropping punches, Paul kicking off the cage and having his back taken in the transition. Kelly patiently worked for the RNC and transitioned to an armbar, Paul gutting out a near armbreak, going belly down and sliding out with some protest from Kelly . Paul swarmed his adversary in the confusion and closed out the round in control, though it appeared his arm was less than perfect sitting in the corner.

The final round began with a sharp left from Paul as Kelly tried to hit his money punch, settling for a chopping inside leg kick. A counter right hand from Kelly snapped his foe’s head back and another landed hard, though Paul came forward in the face of fire. An absolutely blistering kick from Kelly smoked his opponent’s leg and the young man went for blood, landing two rapid follow-ups that had his opponent’s knee in tatters; hitting the mat where Kelly swarmed for the finish.

Marty Kelly wins via 3rd Round KO (leg kicks)

Sean Murrin vs Aaron Hughes

145lb Amateur

The duo came out fast, Murrin throwing a right hand and tagging Hughes, who did his best Dominick Cruz impression, darting around the outside of the cage. Murrin pressured and fired away with ripping hooks to the body and head, Hughes smartly covering before circling out to the left. Hughes dropped his glove while circling into Murrin’s power and paid the price, the debuting fighter toppling him with a monster right hand, Murrin pouncing for the finish.

Sean Murrin wins via 1st Round KO (right hand)

Chris Marriott vs Sean Bettencourt

185lb Amateur

Bettencourt closed with a jab and nasty leg kick, a one-two hurting his opponent as Bettencourt bounced away and line up a kill shot. Marriott threw a low kick that crashed into the cup, pausing the action momentarily. The pair restarted with Bettencourt firing a long right and flicking a jab, finding his opponent’s face more often than not. The pair traded low kicks and a one-two landed for Bettencourt, another right behind it. A long shot from Marriott saw him grab the legs, but he was immediately reversed, Bettencourt fighting inside the guard as Marriott looked for a leg lock from an awkward position. Bettencourt punched through the hold and the referee came in to halt the action, though the damage inflicted was minimal.

Sean Bettencourt wins via 1st Round TKO (ground and pound)

Matt Alger vs Alex Dolan

155lb Amateur

Alger threw a head kick and spinning heel kick to start the fight, Dolan landing a leg kick as Alger came in for the takedown. Alger postured up form half guard and dropped punches, spinning for a guillotine as Dolan stood and taking the back in a transition. Dolan stood with his foe on his back and jumped to slam him on the mat, but Alger hung on, sinking the choke and getting the tap.

Matt Alger wins via 1st Round Submission

Jon Gruber vs Gary Watson

265lb Amateur

The two big men started their bout with Gruber pawing a jab and landing a body kick, Watson circling rapidly and shooting for a takedown that Gruber halted with a guillotine. Watson snatched the single the second time and jumped to mount, throwing left hands as Gruber locked him up and rolled his foe off before standing. Watson threw a jab and Gruber bounced a mid kick off the rib cage, Watson hitting a leg drag but Gruber powering out and taking top position; dropping hammerfists from side control. Watson tried to kick off the cage but couldn’t budge his foe, Gruber pinning the far arm and raining down big left hands, forcing the referee to intervene.

Jon Gruber wins via 1st round TKO (punches)

Marty Navis vs James Collins

175lb Amateur

A savage leg kick landed for Collins to start, followed by another, Collins landing a right hand and Navis countered hard with a two piece. Collins charged to get his head back in the game, and in a truly fucked moment in MMA, the cage door exploded open, the pair flying out the door and onto the hardwood.

No Contest

Rich Santiago vs Ryan Kane

125lb Amateur Title

Our battle for the vacant flyweight title began with nuclear heat as the fighters waited to engage; staring daggers across the cage. Kane threw a sharp right and Santiago a high kick, both missing. Santiago landed a left hand and took a kick to get a takedown, passing to side control briefly, Kane locking up a guillotine and getting his guard back as Santiago tried to pass. Santiago landed short strikes from a butterfly guard and passed to half guard, Kane rocking underneath and looking to sweep, but being mounted. Kane kicked out of the position and moved for an armbar, Santiago staying tight and passing from side control to mount again, dropping huge hammerfists as Kane tried to power his way up. Kane gave his back in an attempt to stand quickly and Santiago climbed to the back like a spider monkey, inching a choke under the chin. Kane struggled against the body lock and pried at the hands, but air was more precious than gold in that moment, Kane relenting the title to the RAC fighter before his lights went out.

Rich Santiago wins via 1st round Submission (RNC)

Jose Rivera vs Joe Giannetti

155lb Amateur Title

Our bout started with Rivera light on his feet, Giannetti landing a low kick to take some of the pep out of his footwork, though Rivera’s two-three showed he was very much there to fight. A cyclone kick from Rivera bounced of the gloves and he came in with a one-two, Giannetti countering with a head kick and taking a left straight on the jaw. Giannetti shot a double and got it, Rivera looking for his guillotine but being toppled, Giannetti mounting and punching from top. Rivera made a quick move to stand and Giannetti nearly took the back, but Rivera was up, swinging leather and catching Giannetti with a guillotine as he shot, the two breaking to center. Giannetti shot and hit the double again, Rivera climbing to his feet quickly and Giannetti trying to take the back standing, instead hitting the double again into half guard. Rivera moved to stand and Giannetti took the back with short time, the horn cutting off any offense the SSSF fighter had planned.

Rivera threw a mid kick to start the round, Giannetti shooting and hitting the takedown into a back take that Rivera bucked off and stood. Rivera threw and Giannetti shot again, getting the double and mounting quickly, Rivera climbing the fence and being taken down with an outside trip. Rivera looked to stand again and Giannetti tried for an RNC with no hooks, getting one hook as Rivera rolled, seeking a quick exit from the mat game yet again. Giannetti punched from the back and dropped for a guillotine, transitioning for an anaconda and taking the back with a body triangle in the scramble. Rivera defended himself patiently and Giannetti looked to snare the neck, the round expiring with Rivera no worse for wear.

Giannetti worked forward on the feet and shot a single, Rivera sprawling and trying for an anaconda but Giannetti found the trip yet again into guard. Giannetti stood up and dropped bombs, catching the neck as Rivera rolled and going for the anaconda again, writhing on the mat as Rivera looked to extract himself, working out of the Dubuqueger spot to land in side control. Giannetti worked to roll out of the position and hit an inverted triangle but Rivera was wise to it, going north south and staying heavy to avoid the notoriously tricky grappler. Rivera stood as the clapper sounded, swiping at Giannetti from guard and walking away unimpressed.

The first of two championship rounds, Rivera came out looking to stay upright against the relentless shooter, landing a one-two and another hard two that saw Giannetti wobbled on the cage in clinch. Giannetti disengaged and dodged a hook as the two returned to center, Giannetti throwing a straight and taking a nasty one-two that had him rocked, Rivera coming on hard and looking to decapitate his foe. Giannetti shot from far out and Rivera sprawled, but was taken down with an outside trip, Rivera rolling for a knee bar and flipping over to his knees to stand. Giannetti looked to take the back and sank one hook in as Rivera stood, Rivera going for a big slam that he botched, Giannetti taking the back with a body triangle and looking for an armlock but again running low on time, sending the fight into a final round with everything on the line.

Rivera pumped a jab and landed a massive one-two to start, slinging a right hook that hit the body and another that cracked the jaw, Giannetti hitting a single that was short lived. The pair clinched and Giannetti looked to keep tight to avoid Rivera’s murderous volleys, being reversed on the cage as Giannetti was tripped to the mat, but sweeping into Rivera’s guard. Rivera went for a leg lock but couldn’t find purchase as Giannetti shifted his leg out and mounted, trying to take the back but being shaken off as Rivera moved to power to his feet again. Giannetti punched from the back ride and tried to roll his foe backwards, Rivera struggling to rise and being pinned to the cage where Giannetti dropped for the double and planted him one last time; Rivera coming to his feet but unable to attack before the final horn.

Joe Giannetti wins via Unanimous Decision (49-46x2, 48-46)

Don Shainis vs Kris Moutinho

145lb Amateur Title

Our featherweight title tilt started off with Shainis coming forward hard, Moutinho dazing him with a combination and landing a power slam into Shainis’ guard. Shainis stood and tried to hit a guillotine, Moutinho spinning out and attacking with a single, the pair landing hard shots, punctuated by a front kick by Moutinho that snapped Shainis’ head back. Shainis hit a single and Moutinho spun for a fast armbar, the hold missing as the two came to standing against the cage, where Moutinho framed up a standing kimura to keep Shainis from trying anything crazy. Shainis managed to slip his foe to the mat, spinning around and hitting a crucifix as Moutinho looked to stand, extracting himself into bottom half guard with the two coming to their feet and trading at the horn, ending a sizzling first round.

The second stared with Shainis shooting low, Moutinho sprawling and landing an uppercut that knocked Shainis over on his haunches, the champ swarming into half guard. Shainis bucked and rolled Moutinho, trying to clamp down on an arm-triangle that saw Moutinho roll and give up his back. Shainis followed and found himself in mount, dropping punches as Moutinho pivoted from bottom and sought to escape, counter shooting and getting a double leg into guard. Shainis came up and the two clinched, Shainis looking for a slam but settling for knees to the body, Moutinho looking for a switch as the round ended.

Shainis came in hard and landed a lunging punch, Moutinho countering and trying to keep the bout upright for a change, the two landing power shots that Moutinho got the better of. Shainis went for an outside trip and Moutinho reversed, landing in side control and framing up his arm triangle, though Shainis spun out and was caught in head and arm. Moutinho worked for a guillotine and couldn’t find it, Shainis powering forward and hitting a double against the cage, punching to the body as Moutinho stood and reversed. Shainis went for the outside trip and Moutinho reversed again, the two bouncing up quickly, Shainis hitting a double leg and unloading punches as he worked to take the back, Moutinho rolling to his back and Shainis attacked with an Americana and straight armbar as the round expired.

Three rounds down, the fourth began with Shainis lunging forward, hitting an outside trip into Moutinho’s butterfly guard, Shainis remaining heavy and working opportunistic punches to keep his perch. Shainis settled into half guard and tried to pass, Moutinho locking down the leg but not able to get anything going from bottom in full defense mode. Shainis smash passed into mount but couldn’t hold it long, landing left hands as the round closed out.

The final round with score cards that had potential to be all over the place, the duo closed rapidly, Shainis landing a leg kick and going for a trip with double underhooks, Moutinho staying upright and going for a switch. Shainis completed the takedown but Moutinho locked up an inverted triangle, squeezing for all his worth with the hold looking tight. Finding the space to keep alive in the fight, Shainis fought out and looked for a gator roll as they came to standing, missing the hold and finding himself with Moutinho in his guard. Moutinho threw power shots from top and mounted with short time, taking the back, with Shainis spinning out in the final second of a non-stop battle.

Majority Draw (48-47 Moutinho, 48-47 Shainis, 47-47)

David Espino vs Max Barrett

145lb Professional

Espino shot immediately to start the fight, unable to ground Barrett, who whizzered while taking blistering knees to the leg. Espino spun hard for a takedown and managed to drive Barrett to the mat, sitting in an awkward mount and hammering away as Barrett tried to stand. Barrett tucked his head and worked to go through the back door, escaping the back mount and sprawling on the reshoot from Espino. Barrett punched under the armpit and seemed to wither Espino, who came up and blocked knees and elbows from the newly minted pro, calling Barrett forward. Espino threw a front kick and Barrett responded with a shovel hook to the liver, dropping his adversary with one sharp blow.

Max Barrett wins via 1st round KO (body shot)

Dan Dubuque vs Manny Bermudez

145lb Professional

The duo met at center, Dubuque pawing and trying to line up some heat, a low kick answered by a hook. Bermudez grabbed a body lock and hit a hip toss to the mat, landing in half guard and setting up one of his many tricks on the mat, Dubuque rolling and trying to keep tight. Bermudez looked to use a chicken wing from a contentious back ride, transitioning into an armbar and triangle that toppled Dubuque, turning the hold to an armbar that the fighter slipped. The two came to standing and Bermudez ducked under a punch to power his foe to the mat, taking the back yet again as Dubuque turned. Dubuque rolled and Bermudez followed and went for the mounted triangle, missing it as they came to standing, Bermudez going for a flying triangle and missing. Bermudez jabbed and shot again, Dubuque taking the back as they toppled to the mat, Bermudez turning into half guard and framing up another triangle. Dubuque kept tight as possible and pulled out, drawing the fight to standing again, Bermudez throwing a right hand and Dubuque answering with a one-two as the horn sounded.

The second started with Dubuque pumping a jab and landing a round kick, charging in with a two piece that saw Bermudez shoot for a double. Bermudez locked up the legs and took mount, punching as Dubuque turned to stand and sweeping his leg to take the back. Dubuque turned out and moved to stand, Bermudez hanging on the body and dipping for a double, settling for a standing body lock on the back of his foe. Bermudez spun Dubuque to the mat and tried to take the back with hooks, staying pat while looking for an odd armlock from a deteriorating back control. Bermudez sank hooks but Dubuque patiently extracted himself, standing over Bermudez and trying to capitalize on a dominant position with every move thus far proving dangerous. Dubuque tried to pass to side control and opted to stand rather than contest another triangle, throwing a head kick and two piece that Bermudez shot under, stalling out against the cage.

Bermudez came forward with a sharp hook and body knee, turning on the pace as Dubuque looked for smart counters and pinpoint offensive striking, sprawling on a shot by Bermudez and reversing on the cage. Bermudez went for a hip throw but Dubuque shouldered his foe to the mat into half guard, keeping tight and stacking his adversary. Bermudez closed the guard and looked to frame up the triangle or sweep, spinning for a leg lock that gave Dubuque space to escape to the feet, though Bermudez was on him like glue. Dubuque spun to escape the body lock but couldn’t peel away the arms, Bermudez framing up a standing arm triangle before being reversed into the cage. Bermudez hit a trip and rolled into Dubuque’s guard, the DCNU fighter looking for an armbar and punching from bottom as Bermudez passed and went for a banana split armlock combo, closing out the round in top side control.

Manny Bermudez wins via Unanimous Decision (30-27x3)

Keenan Raymond vs Peter Barrett

155lb Professional

Raymond started with a head kick and fast footwork, showing off his blazing speed, Barrett returning fire with a head kick of his own. A left straight from Barrett landed and Raymond shot into Barrett’s guard, the savvy grappler going for a short armbar before Raymond bounced out and snatched a body lock standing to take his foe down. Raymond went for hooks on the back but couldn’t establish anything as Barrett powered upwards, throwing a one-two that seemed to stun Raymond; shooting and grabbing a body lock to clear the cobwebs. Raymond kneed to the body and threw Barrett down with a body lock, though he sprung up in a hurry, shirking the body lock to strike. Raymond appeared to have torn his groin, wobbling and wincing as he moved, though he was still light on his feet and throwing side kicks; Barrett circling to pin him to the cage with shots. Raymond landed a crisp left hook as they closed and kept to throwing the side kick, Barrett cautiously moving in but eating a two strike combo from Raymond. Barrett slammed home two body kicks that had Raymond smiling, Raymond fading from Barrett’s offense but taking a head kick and straight shot at the end of the round.

Between rounds, Raymond decided against continuing, giving Peter Barrett the TKO win.

Peter Barrett wins via 1st round TKO (retirement)

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