Cage Wars continues to elevate their standards of excellence and ingenuity. The upstate New York promotion returned to the Rivers Casino and Resort in Schenectady, NY for Cage Wars 37, which hosted 13 bouts, including five title fights.
Cage Wars 37 streamed live on FITE TV Saturday night, selling a record number of Pay-Per-Views. The amateur MMA promotion delivered an event with professional quality production. The weekend began with Facebook Live weigh-ins Friday night from the lobby at the year-old Rivers Casino and Resort.
In the main event, Jake Davis (5-0) successfully defended his Cage Wars Welterweight title in front of a sold-out crowd against Shawn Clow. Cody Zappone (5-0) proved why he’s a top New York State featherweight as his beautiful artwork was displayed through his hands inside the octagon. Mike “The Gentleman” Martinez (5-1) impressed everyone inside the casino as he captured the vacant Cage Wars bantamweight belt against former Champion, Adam Barrett (5-3).
The main card held five title fights fought under advanced amateur rules. The undercard was a collection of eight entertaining action-packed bouts fought under USMTA’s (United States Muay Thai Association) amateur novice rules (shin guards and no Ground-n-Pound to the head). Nine of the thirteen bouts on the fight card didn’t require a full three rounds to determine the winner.
Jake Davis vs. Shawn Clow:
Jake Davis (5-0) and Shawn Clow (2-2) II headlined the fight card. Clow challenged Davis for his Cage Wars welterweight title. Davis successfully defended the belt with similar results of the first occurrence from two years ago. The champion dominated all positions in the fight before eventually pouring down heavy ground-n-pound on a defenseless Clow.
Veteran referee, Alexius Phoenix saw enough at 2:54 of the first round to call an end to the championship match giving the undefeated fighter another TKO on his resume. Davis improves to 5-0 as an amateur mixed martial artist and continues to prove his dominance in the New York welterweight division.
Cody Zappone vs. Brice Burns:
The co-main event featured two talented featherweights, Cody Zappone (5-0) and Brice Burns (8-7). Once the cage doors closed fireworks lit up the full house as talent strikers began exchanging immediately. Zappone though displayed elite level striking and accuracy as he connected significant strikes that damaged Burns early. Zappone displayed a veteran mentality as he backed off the dazed Burns, not becoming an overzealous amateur and continued with his striking.
The Mohawk Valley MMA fighter, Burns, landed a solid uppercut in between Zappone’s assaults. Zappone pressed forward unleashing a barrage of powerful strikes to the skull of his foe. Burns’ eyes rolled back as he fell against the fence out cold on his feet. Zappone claimed the TKO victory and the Cage Wars championship featherweight crown at 0:44 in the first round.
Mike Martinez vs. Adam Barrett:
In a highly anticipated featured bout between to highly skilled Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu practitioners, Mike “The Gentleman” Martinez (5-1) and Adam Barrett (5-3), Martinez of Atlas BJJ WOW’d the crowd as he locked in a leg triangle after a seamless transition. Barrett brought the fight to the ground with a body lock within the opening seconds of the bantamweight title fight. Martinez, nearly 20 years younger than Barrett locked up the winning submission.
The two fighters entered the cage coming off title losses and competing Saturday night for the vacant Cage Wars bantamweight belt. Martinez, a Purple belt in BJJ executed a flawless transition into a finishing leg triangle at 0:30 in round one. Martinez impressive victory was the talk of the Cage Wars after party.
Corey Butts vs. Paul Parent:
In the lightweight title fight between Corey Butts (2-0) and Paul Parent (6-3), an unusual occurrence happened as Butts accidentally poked the right eye of Parent in round two, which paused the fight momentarily. The doctor entered the cage to asses Parent’s eye, and the title fight resumed. Butts continued finding success circling around Parent landing a variety of combinations.
Round one Parent scored big points with the judges as he landed ground strikes from top control. After being warned more than once for holding the fence, the referee deducted a point from Parent. Butts though found his stride at the end of round one and into round two. After the eye poke and the second round ended, the doctor re-evaluated Parent’s eye and once it was determined Parent couldn’t see, the fight was called. The underlining issue with the stoppage was Parent technically didn’t answer the bell entering round three, but the referee called the fight, so the USMTA was trying to figure out how the fight should be determined. After a lengthy deliberation, they went to the judges’ scorecards, which awarded Butts the victory 19-18, 19-18, 19-18, crowning him the Cage Wars lightweight champion. Fans can likely expect a rematch in the future.
Matt Boyce vs. Mike Alessi:
Matt Boyce (9-10) defeated Mike Alessi (5-5) in round two of the heavyweight championship fight. After a first round full of leg kicks and flurries between two true heavyweights, Boyce landed two powerful overhand rights on Alessi that put dropped him against the cage. Boyce won the heavyweight title via TKO at 0:57 of round two.
See posts, photos and more on Facebook.
Derek Ellis (1-1) started the night off with a First Round Submission victory over Josh Brennan (0-1) in a featherweight matchup.
John Vincent (1-1) and Dan Calixte (0-2) grinded out three full rounds at welterweight. Vincent controlled the first two rounds and in the third round, Calixte caught a second wind appearing to be the fresher fighter as he captured the final round. All three judges scored the fight 29-28 in favor of Vincent by unanimous decision.
“My back mount is something I work really hard on. The body triangle is a huge weapon I use to keep the position. Once I get that I’m usually pretty good there. I could hear the struggle he was having and when I got one arm I knew I had it. I tend to get more one arm Rear Naked Chokes more than two arms.” Said Nick Johnson (1-0), who defeated Isaiah Able (0-1) by way of first-round submission. Johnson showed patience inside the cage as he worked transitions into full mount and eventually taking Able’s back. The Rear Naked Choke came at 2:54. “It felt great. I’ve been training and trying to fight for years so it was a huge relief to have it happen. The whole process of making weight to walking in that cage was just amazing.”
Nyein “Naymo” Maung of MVMMA battled Jaimeir Smith in a three-round novice amateur war. Smith came out strong but once Naymo started landing his leg kicks it crippled the base of Smith. Naymo controlled the fight standing and on the canvas through the first eight minutes of the nine-minute bout.
In the final minute, Smith excited the crowd as he locked up a tight leg triangle choke on Naymo. The MVMMA fight, also known as the happiest fighter inside a cage, was snagged a second time in a secure leg triangle choke. The final bell sounds bringing the fight to the judges’ scorecards. Maung defeated Smith by unanimous decision 30-27, 30-27, 29-28.
Maung vs. Smith was one of two bouts nominated for My MMA News’ Fight of the Night.
Andrew Geisler (2-0) scored the knockout of the night with his straight right landing flush on Caleb Sebast (1-1). Geisler landed the walk-off KO eight seconds into the second round. Sebast instantly dropped to the canvas. In my decade of covering MMA, I have never seen a more flush knock out than this one.
Billy “The Kid” Tasker (1-1) showed off his Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu purple belt as he finished Antoni Tedesco via Submission in their bantamweight fight. The fast-paced fight included several highlights reel moments. Tedesco swung Tasker into the fence while trying to fight off an armbar. He also lifted and slammed Tasker to shake loose from the armbar. Tasker remained calm throughout the scrambles until he scooped his arm under Tedesco’s throat tightened the guillotine choke, applied leverage, courtesy of his height advantage, and squeezed until Tedesco tapped at the 2:21 mark of the first round.
Curtis Doolen and Devin Jacksland is the second fight nominated for fight of the night. These two warriors made their MMA debut at Cage Wars 37 and went to battle. Trash talking on social media continued into the cage as they were barking at each other while exchanging punches. They wasted no time meeting in the center swinging and through the entire fight, Doolen relied on his overhand right.
Though Doolen found much success with his punches, Jacksland forced Doolen backward with his jab, leg kicks, and pressure as the fight progressed into the later rounds. Jacksland earned a unanimous decision victory by a score of 29-8, 29-28, 29-28.
Jonathon DiLorenzo mauled Frank Mazepa in a catchweight 175-pound Fight. It took DiLorenzo less than a minute to submit Mazepa with a leg triangle choke. DiLorenzo defeated Mazepa at 0:42 in the first round.
My MMA News Awards:
Fight of the Night: Maung vs. Smith
Knockout of the Night: Andrew Geisler
Submission of the Night: Mike Martinez
Rivers Casino & Resort:
Rivers Casino and Resort in Schenectady is located at 1 Rush Street, Schenectady, New York 12305.
The $300 Million dollar casino was opened in 2017 adjoined to The Landing Hotel. Cage Wars 37 was the Promotions second event held at Rivers Casino and Resort, and also their second consecutive sold-out event.
Cage Wars returns on September 15, 2018, for their thirty-eighth installment of mixed martial arts action. Tickets went on sale Sunday, July 15, and can be purchased at www.cagewarsny.com.