Article by James Cahilellis
Getting the term “Homecoming” because of founder’s Terry Trebilcock’s trip back to his homestate of Michigan, King Of The Cage proved once again why it has been able to hold an elite position in the world of MMA by putting on another top notch show. The card featured a middleweight title rematch as Brandon Hunt defended his title against Angelo Popofski. Also notable on the card was Jason “The Irish Tornado” Ireland and fast rising Heavyweight Christos “The Mad Greek” Piliafas.
***MIDDLEWEIGHT TITLE FIGHT***
Brandon Hunt (Champion) vs Angelo Popofski (Challenger)
The main event between Hunt and Popofski yielded the same result the first time these two met a year ago. Within the first minute, Popofski attempted a takedown that ended up with himself on the bottom, but after a slick omaplata attempt, found his way back on top and controlling the fight. Popofski’s dominance didn’t last long as Hunt showed why he was the KOTC Middleweight champion by rolling back on top and raining punches that quickly halted the fight at 2:10 of the first round.
Brad Burrick vs Chad Herrick
This catch-weight fight proved to be in my opinion the Knockout of the Night. Burrick, giving up considerable size advantage, looked to be the smaller, weaker fighter. Herrick used his size early to throw Burrick to the ground, attempting a guillotine and eventually securing Burrick’s back until the end of the round.
The second round started bad for Herrick as he was hit with an inadvertent low kick to the groin. Herrick went down in obvious pain and needed the full 5 minute break to recover. Still in obvious pain, Herrick looked to try and take his aggression out by standing and exchanging leather with Burrick. His decision cost him as it only took one shot from Brad “Bad” Burrick to drop him and finish the fight via TKO 45 seconds into the second round.
Mike Musslewhite vs Jason Ireland
Ireland had the crowd on his side since the opening bell. Within the first few seconds Ireland instinctively shot and secured a takedown. After a vicious ground and pound session, Ireland showed why he is called “The Irish Tornado”, finishing his opponent via TKO in only 1:40 of the first round.
Dom O’Grady vs Victor Torres
Round 1 quickly showed O’Grady as the quicker, better stand up fighter as he picked Torres apart with crisp boxing and sharp leg kicks. Torres showed great heart and a rock hard chin by absorbing O’Grady’s blows and bringing the fight to a second round.
In round 2, Torres turned the tides and off set O’Grady’s crisp boxing by securing a takedown early in the round. After a few minutes of ground and pound O’Grady was able to gain top control and eventually mount. The fight seemed to be going in a downward slope for Torres before he was once again saved by the bell.
Round 3 was overall uneventful as O’Grady was able to keeping standing and pick apart a gassed Torres but never finish him. The judges were unanimous in giving Dom “I Hate You So Much” O’Grady the win.
My respect goes to both fighters who truly went to war and left everything in the cage. This fight deserved my Fight of the Night honors.
Will Crockett vs Christos Piliafas
Will Crockett, replacing Dan “The Beast” Severn, never got the chance to get any offense going as fast rising heavy weight Christos Piliafas easily took Crocket down and pounded his way into his fourth consecutive victory; winning via TKO in only 2:17 of the first round.
After the fight Crockett showed poor sportsmanship by continuously shouting at “The Mad Greek”, even at one point attempting some “Daley” like antics. Fortunately nothing escalated more than a few words as veteran referee Herb Dean was able to diffuse the situation.
Roger Bontrager vs Jason Fischer
The fight starts off with an accidental eye poke by Fischer. As Bontrager holds his eye and backs into the cage, Fisher delivers a head kick that sends Bontrager to the mat. Without referee Ed Areno pausing the action, Bontrager had no chance to recover and was quickly mounted and submitted 1:49 in the first round by a rear naked choke.
Adam Alvarez vs Joe Voison
This fight deserves submission of the night as “The Viper” Joe Voison showed excellent submission skills early and often. After securing a tight guillotine, Voison was able to get into top guard, then quickly drop down in a fight ending heel hook 2:18 in the first round.
Hector Garcia vs Drew Morais
Morais impressed in his first professional fight by going all three rounds against Garcia. After picking Garcia apart standing and imposing vicious ground and pound for the first 2 rounds, Morais coasted through the 3rd round and picked up his first professional victory via unanimous decision.