As we recover from a heavy weekend of combat sports, New York’s MMA scene was just as hot as the weather it had. Flex Fight Series had the 4th volume of their Battle Ground PPV series, kicking off the weekend’s action with one thing guaranteed: Whether you’re watching from home via PPV or you’re at the venue, Flex Fights is bringing back MMA via an old twist with a new spin, and it sure is fun to watch. Flex Fights’ fresh face in the MMA scene sets itself as the platform to showcase the best MMA scene in New York while providing a new experience for MMA fans in the New York Region.
Building Up to Battle Ground Vol. 4
It was a hot summer day on the Thursday of August 26. It reached 95° F in the Burgerology by Patchogue, where all the fighters for Flex Fight Series Battle Garden Vol. 4 would be weighing in and facing off. The summer heat made everyone sweat, but it spelled good luck, as all fighters made weight for their bouts.
The face-offs transpired smoothly, with each fighter doing their best to represent and build the intensity for their fights. Finally, MyMMANews had the chance to sit down with the main event of Gustavo Granados v. Devin Dickins.
Gustavo was feeling great, finally debuting in his natural weight class of 170, and was excited for what it had to offer. A man dedicated to the craft of on Wednesday MMA for nine years has transitioned it from a hobby to a career. Granados was coming off a 2nd round RNC win in his Flex Fights debut. He described that moment as intense and indescribable. The cherry on top was Gus wasn’t even trying to sink in that exact choke but was instead presented to him. Granados was looking to showcase his striking since all his previous opponents always seem to take him to the ground (which he has no problem with).
The second half of the main event was coming back to action after a near 5-year layoff. 26-year-old Devin Dickins had his friend Paul “The Neighborhood Butcher” Thimote constantly nagging him to return, and Devin kept pushing it off with distractions. Paul was a striking coach and was down to help Devin with his stand-up. Finally, once he worked out 5-6 days a week, he realized that he was ready to come back, having 2-3 sessions a day. Devin was approaching the fight like investing stocks, which was not putting it all in one basket.
Devin is prepared to take the fight anywhere and ready to provide fireworks wherever. Devin told us he used to be the party’s center but now leads a more reserved lifestyle. Gaming used to be an obsession at one point for him, leading him to even calling out of work. But, Dickins finally cut it off and passed the obsession to his younger brother, as a hero passing his mantle on to the next generation.
A Flex Fights Bangapooloza
Flex Fights was a different vibe when it comes to an MMA show. Stereo Gardens had a long bar situated on the side and a whole lot of space for fans to go in, refresh themselves and settle in for some hot MMA action.
The prelims were off to a hot start, as the Indian prospect Iqbal Siddique won his kickboxing bout via doctor’s stoppage! The rest of the prelims highlighted Ben Kohn winning his pro-debut on his birthday (who doesn’t love winning), Ciovel Cuevas upsetting LAW gym prospect Tim Collery, crowd-favorite Brianna Nightingale winning the crowd, and her fight via TKO in the 3-minute mark of the first round. Finally, Rugby Hall of Famer Phaidra Knight (who also happens to be friends with MMA superfan Halle Berry) won her MMA debut via the legendary Ezekiel Choke. Knight really showcased how one could transition into another sport and debut with finesse.
As we headed into the main card, we were treated with some fireworks to start it off. Marco Berreondo faced off against Naquan Calderon. A sly-no-class fake glove touch treated Berreondo, and that was all Marco needed to seal Calderon’s night. Berreondo put on a one-sided clinic on Calderon and sealed the deal with an armbar submission victory. Cole Bernard picked up the only TKO when his opponent Amro seemed to injure his shoulder during a striking sequence badly. The next fight resulted in a draw between Jonathan Matos and Daekwon Malone; the fight was fast-paced and a fair assessment from the judges.
The Flyweight Co-Main Event featured Sergio Rivera taking on the young Bengal tiger in Niyaz Ahmed. The fight was as fast-paced and quick as any flyweight bout. But, unfortunately, the budding Bengali prospect couldn’t seem to convince the judges. But, at the same time, Sergio Rivera had shown the judges he had indeed earned their votes with his superior grappling when it came time to choose the victor.
Now going into the main event, there was one question being asked. Was 5 years too long a time away from MMA for Devin Dickins? He faced off against a familiar face in Flex Fights, Gustavo Granados. The easy and simple answer was no. Devin dominated Granados with his grappling game, emulating his inner-Khabib and smashing at every opportunity he got. For everyone who might’ve critiqued the 26-year-old MMA prospect, he gladly showed them why they were wrong. It will be interesting to see how he builds off this victory and where he goes.
The Flex Fight Series scene is something all MMA fans will enjoy. It transforms the “Go to a bar to watch a PPV’ into being at an amazing bar & grille type setting and watch the fights live with people who go just as crazy as you. Check out the full results below!
Flex Fights Series: Battle Garden Vol. 4 Results
Iqbal Ah Siddique def. Mark Ricketts (KO/TKO, 2:50 R2)
Ben Kohn def. Nick Stasio (Unanimous Decision)
Giovel Cuevas def. Tim Collery (Unanimous Decision)
Brianna Knightingale def. Lindsey Valentine (KO/TKO, 2:59 R1)
Cole Bernard def. Adam Amro (KO/TKO, 2:30 R2)
Phaidra Knight def. Jennifer Hlubik (Sub, 1:28 R2)
Marco Berreondo def. Naquan Calderon (Sub, 2:57 R2)
Daekwon Malone vs. Jonathan Matos (Ends in a Draw)
Anthony Alfiero def. Nick Ortiz (Unanimous Decision)
Eli Guzman def. Kyle Troyan (Unanimous Decision)
Sergio Rivera def. Nyaz Guzman (Unanimous Decision)
Devin Dickens def.Gustavo Granados (Unanimous Decision)