Gemiylae "Hercules" Adkins looked impressive in an entertaining co-feature fight.
Cage Fury Fighting Championships made a triumphant return to the world of Mixed Martial Arts on Saturday night, hosting its first show since 2007 at Resorts Casino and Hotel in Atlantic City. Under the guidance of a new ownership group, eight fights were on tap for the event, each evenly matched with a high level of entertainment. Below is a recap of the seven bouts on the undercard, which all consisted of three five-minute rounds.
Kurt Kalash (2-6) vs. Tuan Pham (3-4) – FW
This match got underway with an exchange of strikes from the stand-up position before Kalash scored the first takedown. The fight tended to seesaw from the feet to the canvas during the first frame, eventually closing out with Pham loading up on big left hands while working some ground and pound in the top position. Pham did face a scare in the second round when he found himself within the tight squeeze of a triangle choke by Kalash, but he was able to shake loose after being within the hold for over a minute. The final frame was fairly dominant for Pham, who got the better of repeated ground scrambles. He maintained a tight leg lock around the waist of his opposition that limited any possible success by Kalash in his attempts to roll, and he ended the match in back control while tossing some loaded hooks to side of his opponent’s head. When the 15 minutes of battle concluded, Pham emerged as the victor after taking flush 30-27 tallies from the cageside judges.
Lewis Pascavage (2-4) vs. Chris Sydnor (1-3) – HW
A couple of big heavyweights went to work in this affair, opening the action with huge strikes from both competitors. Sydnor was then able to score an early slam, but Pascavage appeared somewhat comfortable from the bottom. Showing some quick elusiveness, Sydnor quickly transitioned to an arm bar attempt, but he slipped due to the perspiration on his opposition’s arm. The duo then stood it back up, after which Pascavage pulled his opponent to the canvas and tried a guillotine choke. However, he lost the hold, and Sydnor immediately postured up and started firing. He continued the onslaught until hitting Pascavage squarely on the button to turn out the lights. After the referee stepped in at 2:12, Sydnor officially had a knockout victory.
Mike Winters (4-0) vs. Michael Rideout (2-1) – WW
This match was dominated by Winters, who had to be somewhat frustrated by the strategy of Rideout. The action was taken to the canvas very early in each round, with Rideout putting his back to the floor and showing no interest in taking it to a stand-up exchange. When Winters would pull off him and give up the space for him to get back to his feet, Rideout opted to stay in the crab position and continue that way. In the final round of competition, Rideout did not show much desperation, despite being down two frames, and he kept looking for a mistake to apply a submission attempt. In the latter portion of the third stanza, Winters was eventually able to trap Rideout in a very dangerous position on the ground and began to unload a flurry of elbows. As the blows continued to mount, the referee stepped in to give him a TKO at the 3:47 mark.
Trevor Suter (2-2) vs. James Meals (6-19) – WW
The action in this encounter got started at a furious pace, soon after transitioning to the canvas with Suter in the mount. After both fighters made attempts at applying various choke holds, they moved back to their feet and again exchanged heavy strikes. After a quick clinch, the battle rolled into a ground scramble, where Meals was able to capitalize on a mistake made by Suter when he tried to reposition himself. Meals was able to grab hold of his loose arm and quickly slapped on an arm triangle in the final seconds of the frame, forcing Suter to tap out at 4:52.
Nah-Shon Burrell (4-1) vs. Craig Thieme (1-1) – MW
Burrell was an imposing figure at a stacked 190 pounds, but Thieme was a very confident fighter with UFC veteran Kurt Pellegrino in his corner. Thieme looked to start chopping down his opponent early with a series of leg kicks, but Burrell was proving to have extremely damaging hands when he countered with strikes. Thieme discovered quickly that his best chance for victory was to get the action onto the canvas where Burrell did not have any clear opportunities to work an imposing striking game. He did appear more in control when the battle went to the floor, and he did a great job in the second frame of capitalizing on that game plan. However, previous stand-up exchanges had opened a huge cut to side of Thieme’s right eye, and Burrell put a target on that location. The final round opened with some dangerous strikes from Burrell while the duo was on their feet, but Thieme was eventually able to get the action back to the ground. While he was trying to maneuver into a guillotine or rear naked choke from the bottom, Thieme slipped and was dropped on his head by Burrell. The referee then had to step in and wave off the fight after Pellegrino had seen enough and did not want his fighter to take any more punishment to a seriously damaged eye. In addition to the cut, he had also suffered an apparent orbital injury as well. The official time of the stoppage was at 3:34.
Anthony Dagostino (0-1) vs. Jared Gordon (1-0) – LW
Dagostino made two things very evident in this double pro debut, first one being 46-years-old is not too old to be shredded and second being if you use “Jump on It” as your intro song, the crowd will love you. As far as the action was concerned, the opening round could not have been harder to judge as the two combatants exchanged positions and advantages throughout. When the second frame opened, however, Gordon was able to drop Dagostino with a left hand that clearly hurt him, and he capitalized by immediately pouncing. Unable to hold off the onslaught, Dagostino then became victim to a tight rear naked choke and was forced to tap at the 1:42 mark.
Gemiyale Adkins (6-0) vs. John Doyle (9-15) - MW
Adkins, affectionately known as Hercules, showed some serious crowd appeal as soon as his intro walk to the cage for this encounter. Coming into this match with a perfect record, the 302 BJJ representative faced a tough challenge in Doyle, and he found that out in the first round. Doyle controlled the majority of the action in the opening frame, which was fought mostly on the ground, but the tide changed after those first five minutes were in the books. Doyle appeared slowed when the second bell sounded, while Adkins looked as if he was still very fresh. The duo threw some heavy blows early in the stanza, but it was Adkins who looked to get the better of some wild exchanges. In what was a dominant frame for him, Adkins finished out the round with two minutes of well crafted ground and pound. When the final frame got underway, Doyle appeared to be very gassed, but that did not at all affect the amount of effort he put forward. With the score likely even, Adkins took an intelligent approach and made sure to minimize his mistakes, but Doyle was there to match his strategy. When the waning minute rolled out, Adkins was unloading some well placed hooks from the standing position to Doyle on his back, and he then collapsed to the canvas when the final bell eventually sounded. After a very entertaining 15 minutes of action, Adkins took a unanimous decision victory by three tallies of 29-28, improving his perfect record to 6-0.
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