Courage Fighting Championships "Cage Craze"
At Chi-townMMAniacs we have said for years now that we are out here for the fighters. When John and Jessica Johnson asked us to come out and see some talent that we may not have seen before, we jumped at the chance. The event they were holding was “Cage Craze” and was in located in what is known in the sweet corn capital of the world, Hoopeston Illinois.
The event held in the Hoopeston Civic Center was exactly what I had expected it to be. It had a hometown feel and quite frankly, I can’t think of an event where I felt as much respect not just for the fighters, but to the event staff and promoters.
As far as the fights go, there were plenty of debuts and some talented fighters that are looking for that next big break. Of course we are going to tell you about some of our stand-outs and at the end of this recap you’ll find the quick results.
One of the best ways for me to look at these fighters is by team and I can tell you that the 217 Fightcave team and the the Dragonzlair team really took the cage with vigor. Before I talk to you about them I certainly have to tell you about a Independent fighter that caught my attention.
Kevin Watterson an Independent fighter went three rounds with Paul Flores from Dragonzlair. While Flores seemed to be a more technical fighter, it was the takedowns and the escapes of Watterson that won him the fight. There were at least three Kimura attempts that Watterson either escaped from or transitioned into sweeps it was a great fight for an independent.
The 217 FightCave team was in turn a very well put together team. From my observation, I could tell that the team has multiple talents as some are better strikers and others are wrestlers and somewhere in between they share submission secrets. Some of the stand-outs Saturday were Jason Johnson, Colton Cessna and Josh Inman. For me The new 155lb Courage Fighting Champion Josh Inman has got what it takes to run the amateur circuit right now. I would really like to see comes from this camp next.
Dragonzlair was certainly one of the more technical fighting teams and definitely had a wide range of fighters as well. I am certain that I had seen the Dragonzlair team up in the Chicago Suburbs, but it has been a while since they have been active. The two guys that stood out for me were Tleubek Yeleussizov and Justin Gary.
Yeleussizov who normally fights at 145lbs came up in weight for this fight against Mikal Harden at 155lbs. Yeleussizov moved like a much smaller fighters and probably could come down to 135lbs, but with the strength of his takedowns he looked very comfortable fighting at this weight.
For us fight of the night was Justin Gary vs. Lex James. These two guys put on a five round war. Gary was able to keep his composure and worked some good composure and had some solid Muay Thai. It wasn’t until the fourth round that he allowed James to drag him into a brawl. I come to find our that this was a re-match that Gary had won previously. I am sure that James would like to take another shot at this title. I would definitely want to be there.
We are always looking for fighters with talent and without a doubt this event had it’s share. I look forward to the next Courage Fighting Championship which I here will be a Pro/Am card so please keep your eyes and ears out for this event!
See you at the Fights,