Cage Titans 44 is headlined by the return of Joe “Skeletor” Giannetti.
Cage Titans 44 takes place on Saturday, June 15, from the Plymouth Memorial Hall, in Plymouth, Massachusetts.
Rafael Adames Vs. Brett Layton (Amateur)
It is not usual to see Tri-Force MMA, and Joe Lauzon MMA have fighters meeting in the cage as opponents but that is what we have here. These two featherweights look to add experience to their young resumes.
The clinch ensues early in round one. Layton lands a takedown and looks for full guard. Adames trickily goes for an arm triangle but does not completely lock it. In an opening round controlled by grappling, Layton leads after one.
Adames opens with a big right hand and catches Layton in a guillotine, but the Lauzon product escapes. The remainder of the round is controlled by top control with Layton dominating Adames in the grappling exchanges.
Round 3 is more of the same from Brett Layton, dominating up against the cage in full guard, landing some big ground and pound. Adames is simply surviving at this point.
Result: Layton def. Adames via unanimous decision (30-27X2, 30-26)
Whitney Pyles Vs. Kristina Katsikis ( Pro WMMA 130lb.)
Pyles currently stands at 0-3 since turning pro, after a five fight undefeated amateur record. Katsikis only has one amateur bout on her resume and is making her pro-debut.
Katsikis the South Shore Sportfighting product opens with a big hook to start the fight. The two engage in a Thai clinch that Pyles controls before the two break. Katsikis lands a big right hook but quickly Pyles goes back to the clinch. Pyles lands a big knee as the clinch breaks. Pyles controlling on the ground with multiple triangle attempts. Pyles closes the round landing a big punch, and a knee at the bell.
Pyles showing some great takedown defense early, but Katsikis finally gets the takedown. Pyles landing some big time elbows and takes the back of Katsikis as this round is an ongoing grappling match as positions continue to switch. Katsikis closes round two on top with control.
Katsikis again attempts the takedown early but is stuffed. Pyles stuffs four takedowns early in the round, landing some jabs as well. Finally on the fifth attempt Katsikis lands a big and needed takedown. Pyles lands some big elbows from the bottom. This one will come down to what the judges think is more dominant, top control or damage. I have it 29-28 Pyles.
Official Result: Pyles def. Katsikis via unanimous decision(30-27, 29-28X2)
Raymond Yanez Vs. Kin Moy (Pro Bantamweight)
Kin Moy is one of those names you always know in New England MMA, including defeating current UFC fighter Andre Soukhamthath. His opponent is 5-10 on the record books but has fought all over the country and the record may be deceiving.
Moy begins with a big knee to the body. Yanez continues to attempt to bring Moy to the ground, which is an area Moy feels at home. Yanez catches the kick of Moy and lands a nice jab, but Moy winning most of the opening exchanges. A surprising TKO victory for Moy when Yanez goes down from a knee injury after taking some serious leg kicks to the leg and body.
Official Result: Kin Moy def. Yanez via TKO (Leg Kicks) Round 1 (2:01)
Rob Fuller Vs. Pat Gilbride (Pro Featherweight)
Gillbride had an opponent change on only two days notice. Fuller, of Colorado was offered the fight and took the flight over to Boston to get back in the cage. Gillbride is the fourth Lauzon MMA product of the night.
Fuller on only two days notice moves forward early. Gilbride opens the clinch and easily takes down his opponent. Gilbride has two victories via armbar in his early career. Gilbride takes the back of Fuller, and backpacks his opponent, landing some vicious shots to the head and it looks as though Fuller may be out.
Official Result: Gilbride def. Fuller via TKO (GNP) Round 1 (1:51)
Brandon Fleming Vs. Johnny Adams (Pro Lightweight)
Veteran of Cage Titans and CESmma, Brandon Fleming, who has faced top talent such as UFC top contender Rob Font looks to get a winning streak together against Adams. Fleming has fought at 170 recently, and is looking to fight at 145 in the near future.
Adams controls early with a takedown but it is Fleming who gains top control. Adams is very wild in his submission attempts, not really setting anything up but going all in on short lived attempts. Fleming landing some big elbows, that cuts up Adams in the first round. Yet another fight that ends early as this one ends with some vicious ground strikes that caused Adams to tap to strikes.
Official Decision: Fleming def. Adams via TKO (Tap to Strikes) Round 1 (2:14)
Don Shainis Vs. Stacey Anderson (Pro Featherweight)
Shainis, a winner in five of six, four of which have come via stoppage looks to make another highlight reel finish. Anderson, who has fought some very tough opponents including Randy Costa, has not had much success in his career which currently stands at 0-6 including boxing bouts.
Shainis is coming off of a ten second KO in his last appearance, looking for some similarity in this one. Shainis catches Anderson with a big right but it was eaten. Shainis lands a takedown but the two return to the middle of the cage. Shainis catches his opponent with a big knee that stiffens him up. Anderson, now all bloodied up, caught again by Shainis with a right hand. Shainis has been swinging all night and catching Anderson who showed us some toughness. It is late in the round when the ground and pound of Shainis coming off of the clinch that ended this one.
Official Decision: Shainis def. Anderson via TKO (GNP) Round 1 (3:27)
Arthur Mpofu Vs. Jeff Joy (Amateur 135lb. Title Fight)
Mpofu from Straight Blast Gym (East Coast) and Jeff Joy both are undefeated in their respective amateur careers. Mpofu is the current champion at the amateur bantamweight ranks.
Joy and Mpofu both open with body kicks, Joy closes the distance on his opponent. The Champion looks to attempt a kimora while in the clinch battle with Joy. Jeff Joy does get the takedown, but Mpofu is quick to get back to his feet. Joy catches the champion with a combo and finishes it with a combo. Mpofu quickly scrambles successfully to end the three minute round.
Joy opens the second round with a big left hook. Mpofu continues throwing faint kicks followed by real kicks. Mpofu lands a big head-kick but seemingly doesn’t stun Joy. Mpofu and Joy start swinging at will and landing on each other as the crowd is on their feet.
Mpofu opens round three with a takedown but the two stand up immediately. Now Joy lands a takedown of his own and take the back of Mpofu who is now fighting the hands of Joy and succeeds. Mpofu ends round three with a beautiful counter left.
Championship rounds open with kicks from both fighters. Mpofu beginning to counter beautifully with his left hand. A huge right hand from Joy drops Mpofu but the champion gets right back up from the big shot. We will see a fifth round.
It could very well be 2-2 heading into the fifth round of this amateur championship bout. A glove touch from both, Joy gets caught with a big right, but shows immense toughness. Joy looks for the takedown but it is stuffed by Mpofu for a while, but eventually Joy is successful in the takedown. Mpofu with a big sweep and back to his feet. Both men ending the round landing some shots and we go to decision. Judges scores are interesting to say the least.
Official Decision: Joy def. Mpofu via unanimous decision (49-47, 49-46, 50-45)
Peter Barrett Vs. Zach DiSabatino (Pro Lightweight)
After Barrett started his career 8-0, he has gone 1-3 since, but is looking to turn his losing streak around back to his winning ways. DiSabatino also began his career at an undefeated 5-0 but suffered his first career loss in his last appearance.
Round one opens with some nice jabs from Peter Barrett. DiSabatino lands a few of his own. Barrett lands a big left, DiSabatino goes for a takedown and is successful. As the two continue to their feet, Barrett lands a huge knee to the head which nearly stops the fight, somehow DiSabatino is responding and lands another takedown. Barrett escapes an unsuccessful submission attempt, Barrett lands an insane amount of damage with two separate knees to the head and three head kicks, finally ending the fight due to stoppage.
Official Result: Barrett def. DiSabatino via KO (Headkick) Round 1 (4:16)
Joe Giannetti Vs. D’Juan Owens (Main Event)
The Ultimate Fighter Alum who has been training with Daniel Cormier at American Kickboxing Academy (AKA) is looking for his chance to get back to the UFC. Owens has fought some tough opponents in his career including PFL and CES’ Nate Andrews.
We open with D’Juan flying into the face of Giannetti and immediately enter the clinch with Giannetti. Owens lands the eventual takedown but in an area Giannetti feels at home, on his back. Skeletor holds a body lock from the bottom and is throwing more punches from the bottom. Owens seems content to control from the top and land when he can, but stay in this position.
Round two starts with a stand up between the fighters. Owens lands a nice oblique kick on Giannetti and clinches up with his opponent. Giannetti lands the takedown from the clinch, but Owens lands a big sweep and gains top control. Similar to the first round, Owens content with controlling on top.
As of now It would be hard to argue that Giannetti needs a finish to win this fight. The final round of the night, Owens catches a kick and the two clinch. Owens lands an inside trip leading to half guard. Owens seems to be looking for an arm triangle and it seems deep but Giannetti gives the thumbs up. With ten seconds left Giannetti seems to be locking up a shoulder but not enough time as the round ends.
Official Result: D’Juan Owens def. Giannetti via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28X2)
A Boston native, lover of sports (yes Boston Sports) and MMA. Covering the Northeast regional scene. A contributor with myMMAnews, Cageside Press and Fancied MMA