A total of five titles were on the line, including the professional welterweight crown in the main event. Hometown favorite Josiah Harrell faced the stiffest test of his career, but he passed with flying colors against the ultra-tough and durable John Ramirez.
The “Muscle Hamster” seemed to be using every trick in his bag, from multiple head kicks that landed to at least half a dozen slams. Harrell continuously attacked and remained on the offensive, forcing Ramirez to defend the onslaught. It looked like the end was coming near the end of the first round, when Harrell locked in an arm bar with just a few seconds remaining. Ramirez looked like he wanted to tap, but instead he wriggled free just in time as the round expired.
Harrell wasn’t deterred, and he continued to use his wrestling to make the difference in the fight. Ramirez looked weary after withstanding a good amount of punishment through two rounds, but the 23-year-old Harrell seemed to find another gear in the third round. Making it past the second round for the first time in his career, Harrell got the fight to the ground and eventually ended up in back mount, where the referee was forced to stop the fight after multiple unanswered strikes.
Josiah Harrell remains undefeated
The win moves Harrell to 5-0 almost exactly two years after he made his pro debut. He now has three wins via submission and two via TKO. After the fight, Harrell thanked the fans as people in the audience and interviewer Dave Bever wondered what else was left for Harrell on the local stage, and pleading for Dana White to give him a shot in the UFC.
The card also featured four amateur title bouts. The headliner was welterweight champion Alonzo Turner successfully defending his title for the first time against unbeaten challenger Tom Kizer. Kizer hung tough throughout the fight, but it was Turner’s wrestling and grappling that proved to be the deciding factor as he took home a unanimous decision win.
Speaking of grappling, Tony Tortorici used his wrestling to claim the vacant middleweight title after taking a fight against Marcus Keuchler on just two days’ notice. Tortorici was fresh off of winning a title in his natural weight class at welterweight just two weeks prior, but he looked fresh throughout the fight as he continued to press forward against the unorthodox grappling from Keuchler.
Jeremy Balboa and Jake Scott put on an entertaining back and forth battle in the featherweight title fight, with Balboa showing his wrestling experience and improved striking to take home a unanimous decision despite losing a point in the first round for an inadvertent illegal knee.
Heavyweight Matt Adams needed just 48 seconds to claim the heavyweight title, as he landed a quick takedown on Mark Gordon and finished the fight with punches from mount.
Check out full results from Ohio Combat League 18 below.
Ohio Combat League 18 results
Josiah Harrell def. John Ramirez via TKO (strikes) – Round 3, 2:23 – Welterweight Title
Alonzo Turner (c) def. Tom Kizer via Unanimous Decision – Welterweight Title
Tony Tortorici def. Marcus Keuchler via Unanimous Decision – Middleweight Title
Jeremy Balboa def. Jake Scott via Unanimous Decision – Featherweight Title
Matt Adams def. Mark Gordon via TKO (strikes) – Round 1, 0:48 – Heavyweight Title
Nikola Kacperska def. Karli Thomas via Unanimous Decision
Nick Durst def. Gavin Costa via Submission (guillotine) – Round 1, 0:43
Denzel Wallace def. Blake Jardonek via KO (punch) – Round 1, 2:02
Jeremy Henry def. Karic Cecutti via Unanimous Decision
Tasha Haley def. Abbie Worley via Split Decision
Anthoney Morris def. Adam Al-Jammal via TKO (strikes) – Round 2, 2:26
Steven Mihajlovich def. Ian Goeschl via TKO (strikes) – Round 3, 1:16
Jamar Hawkins def. Dereck Mahlenkamp via Split Decision
Knockout of the Night: Denzel Wallace
Submission of the Night: Nick Durst
Fight of the Night: Jeremy Balboa vs. Jake Scott
Performance of the Night: Josiah Harrell
David McKinney has covered MMA since he was in high school in 2008. A former co-owner of BluegrassMMA, he currently hosts the Beers and Beards and Brewery Adventures podcasts. He covers regional MMA in the Midwest with a focus on Ohio.