Ohio Combat League 29

Top rising talent takes center stage at Ohio Combat League 29

Ohio Combat League 29 goes down on Saturday night in Columbus, Ohio, and the professional portion of the card is filled with some of the best prospects in the Midwest.

The main event features unbeaten lightweight Jaden Mattox, as he puts his 3-0 record on the line against Michigan’s Jeremy Henry.

Mattox is a former two-time Ohio state champion wrestler, and he wrestled briefly at Ohio State before transitioning to MMA. After winning the OCL lightweight title as an amateur, he has been dominant as a pro, with all three of his wins coming via stoppage in under three minutes.

Mattox will face late replacement Henry, who comes in with a 3-2 record. Henry is a former multi-time IKF World Classic Muay Thai champion. He also started his career with three first round finishes, but he has since dropped back-to-back fights against tough opponents.

Flyweights will square off when Asher Frederick takes on veteran Victor Guarriello at 125 pounds.

Frederick continues to climb the ranks as a prospect, with a 3-1 record including two finishes. Frederick predicted that the fight will steal the show as the night’s best matchup.

“I’m on this journey and I’m constantly evolving as a martial artist and that’s what keeps me amped really,” Frederick said when he joined the Ohio MMA Podcast.

Guarriello comes in from New York representing 3 Elements BJJ, and he has all four of his wins as a pro via stoppage. He looks to rebound from a loss in his last outing, though, as he dropped a decision to Alex Poinar in January.

The third pro bout will pit two former OCL amateur champions who are both making their pro debuts, as Max Metzgar meets Dom Johns.

Metzgar posted a 7-0 amateur record and won the OCL super lightweight title on his 26th birthday to close out his amateur career. He then signed with Bellator planning to make his pro debut, but the turmoil with the organization has caused him to not get a fight yet and he’s sat out for more than a year. Instead of continuing to wait, he decided instead to make his pro debut for OCL. Despite the layoff, he has continued to focus on training and being ready.

“It’s been a long time coming,” Metzgar said on the Ohio MMA Podcast. “15 months out of activity since my last fight, March 3rd. I’ve been active on social media recently, kind of trying to, you know, hype up the fight and kind of plan some next steps.”

“But for the longest time leading up to this fight, I’ve just been nose in the dirt, just staying diligent, staying busy, staying in the gym, like I have a fight booked. So I’ve been in camp this whole time. There’s been no span of more than two days in the past 15 months where I haven’t been treating this like I’ve been in a camp.”

Johns posted a 7-7 amateur record and won the OCL middleweight title in 2022. After an extended layoff, he returned to defend the title against Travon Eller, who topped him via submission in their bout at OCL 28 in March. Johns now drops a weight class to make his pro debut against yet another tough opponent.

OCL 29 takes place at The Columbus Athanaeum and streams live via Combat Sports Now.

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David McKinney
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.