Heavyweights will be the focus on Friday night, as Jamelle Jones will look to defend his CFFC belt against former PFL fighter Rakim Cleveland in the main event of CFFC 96. The fight headlines an 11-fight card that is set to take place at the 2300 Arena in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA.
Follow along throughout the evening for updates on the card.
EDITORS NOTE: The results of the second bout on the prelims are unavailable at the moment. Technical issues with the feed for the event cut off during the fight, causing the official result to not be known for now. The article will be updated with the results once they are confirmed.
Preliminary Card (Facebook)
Bout 2: Tanner York (0-0) vs. Matt Surich (0-0) (Amateur Catchweight 165 lbs)
Main Card (8:00PM EDT) (UFC Fight Pass)
Illness Takes Cleveland Out of Main Event On Short Notice
It was announced on Friday that the heavyweight main event between CFFC Heavyweight Champion Jamelle Jones and Rakim Cleveland won’t be happening in the main event.
CFFC President Rob Haydak said that the fight was cancelled due to Cleveland falling ill the evening of the fight.
“Rakim [Cleveland] fell ill maybe 15 minutes before tonight’s co-main event,” said Haydak on the broadcast.
Haydak threw out the idea of moving the fight to CFFC’s Saturday night event, although he was not able to confirm the possibility.
“The question now is, does this fight happen potentially tomorrow night?” said Haydak.
Bout 10: Eddy Torres (3-0) vs. Yohe Rojas (2-1) (Featherweight)
Torres Extends Undefeated Record With Dominant Performance
Eddy Torres extended his undefeated record to a four-fight win streak in the co-main event, putting on a strong three-round showing over Yohe Rojas.(30-27, 29-28 & 29-28).
Torres was able to take Rojas down in all three rounds, where he did most of his work.
Torres had control in the first round, attempting an arm triangle choke at one point. His success continued in the second round, where he scored with ground and pound on Rojas.
Torres finished the fight strong, causing Rojas to bleed in the final round with ground and pound from half guard.
Despite his win, Torres was critical of himself afterward.
“That was a b******* fight by me … If I fight I’m coming for a finish,” said Rojas in his post-fight interview.
Torres now has four wins in CFFC since turning pro in 2019. His fight on Friday was his first to go to decision as a pro.
Rojas took Friday’s fight after earning two wins in the Ohio Combat League.
Bout 9: Boimah Karmo (7-5) vs. Jeremiah Labiano (12-7) (Catchweight 152 lbs)
Karmo Scores Third Consecutive Win In Return
With greatly different scorecards, Boimah Karmo picked up a split decision victory over Jeremiah Labiano (30-27 Karmo, 29-28 Labiano & 29-28 Karmo).
Karmo spent a large portion of the fight keeping Labiano against the cage or on his back on the ground.
Labiano’s three previous fights took place in Bellator. In his previous fight, he lost to Bellator prospect James Gallagher in 2019.
Karmo was making his return after scoring two wins in CFFC in 2019.
Bout 8: Laura Gallardo (3-1) vs. Helen Peralta (3-1) (Strawweight)
Gallardo Takes Split Decision Against Peralta
Laura Gallardo’s control on the ground to Helen Peralta earned her a split decision victory on the main card (29-28 Gallardo, 29-28 Peralta & 29-28 Gallard).
Gallardo scored numerous takedowns in the fight, and was able to keep Peralta on her back for minutes at a time during it.
Gallardo took a quick turnaround for Friday’s fight, competing just a month after she defeated Paulina Vargas on a Combate Global card.
Peralta was competing in CFFC after earning three wins and one loss in Invicta FC.
Bout 7: Kris Moutinho (8-4) vs. Andrew Salas (6-5) (Bantamweight)
Moutinho Dominates, Finishes Salas With Choke
A one-sided performance from Kris Moutinho came to a close in the third round, as he submitted Andrew Salas in the third round with an arm triangle choke.
The win came after a dominant three-round performance where Moutinho consistently pressed forward with strikes. Salas consumed a large portion of the strikes, although he was not significantly hurt by many.
Moutinho was making his first CFFC appearance after a career-long run in regional promotion CES, where he earned eight wins and four losses.
Salas is now on a four-fight losing streak. Before Friday, he had lost to Lucas Brennen on a Bellator card.
Bout 6: Jerald Spohn (0-0) vs. Nick Olson (0-1) (Welterweight)
Spohn Secures Rear Naked Choke In Pro Debut
Jerald Spohn won his pro debut to open the main card, submitting Nick Olson late in the first round with a rear naked choke. The submission win for Spohn came after a patient one-round performance where he kept Olson grounded and on his back, throwing ground and pound and looking for submissions.
While rear naked chokes are usually secured while fulling on the back, Spohn was able to win the fight while in half guard.
Spohn was making his pro debut after putting together an undefeated amateur record of five wins and one draw.
Olson was looking to bounce back from a loss in his first pro appearance, which saw him get submitted with a guillotine choke in December.
Bout 5: Taylor Pierce (1-1) vs. James Herd (2-3) (Featherweight)
Despite Point Deduction, Pierce Takes Decision Win
Enduring a point deduction, Taylor Pierce earned a majority decision over James Herd in the final prelim (28-28, 29-27 & 29-27).
Herd would advance on Pierce with strikes on the feet, although Pierce did a good job to stay active with strikes on his backfoot. Herd’s best striking was early in the second round where punches seemingly stunned Pierce.
Pierce’s best work was on the feet, where he was able to attempt submissions that would make Herd struggle.
Pierce had Herd in trouble for a large portion of the first round, attempting a guillotine choke on the ground. He attempted the choke again late in the third round, but Herd was able to endure it again that time.
Pierce was deducted a point in the second round after connecting with two separated kicks to the groin of Pierce.
Pierce now has two wins as a pro. His last fight was in early 2020, where he defeated Cristian Santos on a CFFC card.
Herd was fighting for the first time since July of 2019, where he snapped a two-fight skid with a win against Dylan Mason.
Bout 4: Tim Green (0-0) vs. Nick Galanti (1-0) (Amateur Catchweight 195 lbs)
Galanti Defeats Green In Second Amateur Win
Nick Galanti’s takedowns and attempts at submissions scored him his second amateur win on the prelims, defeating Tim Green via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27 & 30-27).
Green was able to defend a lot of the takedowns, stopping the fight from being more of a dominant performance for Galanti than it was. While he stopped some attempts, Green fell victim to many takedowns that Galanti attempted.
Galanti was able to attempt an armbar during the second round, although he wasn’t able to fully extend the arm.
Galanti entered the bout with a previous victory, having submitted Scott Myers with a rear naked choke earlier this year.
Bout 3: Mark Grey (1-0) vs. James Mullens (2-0) (Amateur Featherweight)
Grey Returns To CFFC For Second Amateur Win
Mark Grey earned his second amateur win on the prelims, using his wrestling to control James Mullens to a unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28 & 29-28).
Grey consistently went for takedowns, being able to keep Mullens down for moments with some. While Grey’s performance mostly showed his wrestling skills, he was able to let go of some punches late in the fight as well.
Grey earned his first amateur win in March, defeating Gabriel Cabello on a CFFC card.
The fight was Mullens’ first loss as an amateur. He had previously scored two stoppage wins in other regional promotions.
Bout 1: Geoff Magin (2-0) vs. CJ LaFragola (0-0) (Amateur Middleweight)
LaFragola Uses Wrestling For First Amateur Win
CJ LaFragola used his wrestling skills to win his amateur MMA debut over Geoff Magin in the opening bout (30-27, 30-27 & 30-27).
LaFragola kept aggressive through all three two-minute rounds, pursuing numerous takedowns and getting control on the ground.
The fight was Magin’s first loss since turning pro. He had previously picked up two wins as an amateur in late 2020 and early 2021.