Titans of the Cage #7 held at Hillsville VFW Post
By: TOC Staff writer
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
On Saturday, December 14th, Titans of the Cage was held at the VFW Post in Hillsville, VA. Despite the foggy conditions and iced over Fancy Gap mountain, local fans filled the VFW post for an evening of hard hitting, fast paced mixed martial arts action. The events special guest ring announcer was Rick Caruso of Mountaineer MMA in Princeton, WV. Lindsey Smith (wife of Dee Smith of Absoloute Jiu-Jitsu) got the evening underway with the singing of the national anthem.
First up, on the undercard was James Settle (Absolute) defeating Shayne Hayden (Decimation) by TKO/Ref stoppage, after he landed a big punch early in round one. Next it was Jeff “Slim Jim” Wright (SWMA) picking up his first win inside the cage as he defeated Josh “the spider” Cox (Reaper MMA) by way of a round one triangle choke. The following fight saw heavyweight Tyler Cardwell (SWMA) stop Robert Spence (Reaper MMA) late in the first round by referee stoppage due to strikes.
The next bout saw Troy “the big bad” Wolfe (Absolute) earn his first win inside the cage, defeating Gary Brown in a light weight match-up, ending the fight in the first round by guillotine choke. Next up was a featherweight match-up between Sam “bam bam” Baker (Mountaineer MMA) and Randy Ferrill (Team Jorge Gurgel), with Ferrill scoring the win by way of rear naked choke late in round one. This was followed by a 175 lb. catch weight bout that saw Johnse “kryptonite” Hatfield (SWMA) earn his second win over James Loftis of Abingdon, winning by a first round guillotine choke and pushing his record to 2-0.
Next it was a female bantam weight match featuring Tiffani “farm-all” Underwood (SWMA) who defeated Lisa Blevins in a dominant performance, softening her opponent up with ground and pound, then applying an arm bar mid-way through the 1st round to earn herself another win inside the cage and run her current fight record to 3-0.
Next up it was bantam weights, as Brandon “conflicted affair” Creed (Tiger Phoenix) defeated Coy “Country Boy” Morrision in a back and forth, crowd pleasing fight that didn’t end until the 3rd round when Creed was able to secure back mount on Morrison and applied a deep rear naked choke. The two men earned the TOC “fight of the night” runner-up award for their efforts. In the evenings next bout it was light heavy weights, as Dakota McGinn (SWMA) stopped Scott Collins (Team Psycho) in round one, by referee stoppage, due to strikes.
In the first of three title bouts, it was TOC feather weight champion, Jesse “the sponge” Hamm (PRO-HEALTH) facing challenger Gil Goncalves (Team Brutal) with the belt on the line. The first round seen both fighters exchange kicks and punches in a very technical feeling out process, with both fighters showing very good fighting skills. It was in round two when the champion Hamm was able to land a big standing knee to the head of the challenger that spelled the difference in the fight and Jesse Hamm retained his feather weight title against a very strong challenge from Gil Goncalves. Next was a 160 lb. catchweight bout with Logan Griffin (Absolute) defeating the always tough Ayron “the hurricane” Davis (Decimation) late in round one when he applied a beautiful kimura, which earned Griffin the TOC “submission of the night” award.
Next it was a 165 lb. catch weigh bout that saw TOC lightweight champion, Micah “the original” Sheffey (SWMA) stop Randy “Rambo” Gibson (Mercenary) after landing a huge knee to Gibson’s head in the evenings quickest finish at 0:15 seconds of round one. Then in the evenings co-main event it was TOC women’s bantam weight champion, Charity Walker (PRO-Health), putting her title on the line against Lutts, TN fighter, Danielle Alexander (Team last man standing). This was a crowd pleasing fight that saw each fighter land significant punches and kicks on each other. At the end of round two, Walker landed a big punch that put Alexander down (maybe out) as the horn sounded to end the second round. Alexander, like a true warrior was able to come off the stool for round #3 and continued to fight hard, pressing forward against the champion for the biggest part of the fight. In the end, after five grueling rounds, it was Walker retaining her title by way of judges split decision, in a fight that earned the TOC “fight of the night” award.
In the second half of the main event, it was big Gage Stanley (Absolute) facing off with Roanoke based fighter Brian Maxwell (Team fight to live) for the vacant light heavy weight championship belt. As the match got underway each fighter exchanged then clinched. From the standing clinch Maxwell landed a couple short punches to the forehead of Stanley, but Stanley then exerted himself and completed a takedown on Maxwell and soon thereafter he worked his way to the mounted position. From there, Stanley began to rain down hard punches. In an attempt to avoid taking the punches directly in the face, Maxwell turned his head at the same time Stanley was throwing punches, causing him self to absorb the punches on the back of the head. After a couple of times of this happening, Maxwell again turned his head simultaneous to Stanley’s incoming punches, causing the referee to call an official time-out to issue a formal warning about strikes to the back of the head. Due to the strikes being unintentional, the referee did not deduct a point, but because of fighter safety standards, the referee felt the need to break the fighters and issue a formal warning. Once the referee called the official time out, Maxwell held the back of his head and seemed disoriented, prompting the ringside doctor to step in to evaluate his ability to continue. After the standard 5 minute time allotment following an accidental foul, the ringside doctor called a halt to the bout because Maxwell had indicated that his vision was blurred and the bout was declared a no contest.
It was an unfortunate ending to the much anticipated title bout, but both men indicated afterwards that they would be willing to rematch and settle the matter at TOC #8 in April. Gage Stanley remains undefeated with a record of 7-0, while Maxwell is the current title holder in another promotion within the Danville area.
The event benefited the local VFW Post in Hillsville, VA, along with the Wounded Warrior project, a non-profit organization. Ring card girls for the event were Jessica Lynn Sexton, Melynda Lester and Rayanne Harl.