CFFC 96: Jones vs. Cleveland Preview

Kicking off the first of two events this weekend, CFFC will have heavyweights in the main event on Friday night. Attempting to defend his CFFC belt for the first time, Jamelle Jones will fight Rakim Cleveland in the headlining bout of CFFC 96. The bout sits atop an 11-fight card that is set to take place at the 2300 Arena in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA.

Here’s a full preview of the show.

Click here to skip to a preview of the main card.

Preliminary Card (Facebook)

Bout 1: Geoff Magin (2-0) vs. CJ LaFragola (0-0) (Amateur Middleweight)

CJ LaFragola will make his amateur MMA debut when fighting Geoff Magin on Friday.

Magin has competed twice as an amateur, putting away both opponents within regulation time. He last appeared in March, where he stopped Ben Schwiger in the second round with strikes.

Bout 2: Tanner York (0-0) vs. Matt Surich (0-0) (Amateur Catchweight 165 lbs)

The second bout of the evening will be a double debut, as Tanner York and Matt Surich will both appear under the amateur MMA ruleset for the first time.

Bout 3: Tim Green (0-0) vs. Nick Galanti (1-0) (Amateur Catchweight 195 lbs)

Returning after winning his amateur debut, Nick Galani will face debuting fighter Tim Green.

Galanti had his first amateur fight in CFFC two months back, where he submitted Scott Myers early in the third round with a north south choke.

Bout 4: Mark Grey (1-0) vs. James Mullens (2-0) (Amateur Featherweight)

In the first fight of the card that doesn’t include a fighter making their amateur debut, Mark Grey and James Mullens will put their undefeated records on the line.

Grey won his amateur debut in March, defeating Gabriel Cabello via decision on a CFFC card.

Mullens will be fighting for CFFC for the first time on Friday. His two previous wins as an amateur came over a year ago in late 2019 and early 2020.

Bout 5: Taylor Pierce (1-1) vs. James Herd (2-3) (Featherweight)

In the final preliminary bout, pro fighters Raylor Pierce and James Herd will meet at featherweight.

Pierce picked up his first pro win last year, defeating Christian Santos on a CFFC card. The 28-year-old has the chance to start a streak as a pro for the first time on Friday.

Herd is returning for the first time in a while, as his last fight dates back to July of 2019. That appearance saw him snap a two-fight skid with a first-round submission win against Dylan Mason.

Main Card (8:00PM EDT) (UFC Fight Pass)

Bout 6: Jerald Spohn (0-0) vs. Nick Olson (0-1) (Welterweight)

Jerald Spohn’s pro debut is expected to take place in the opening bout of the main card against Nick Olson.

Spohn is making the switch to a pro career after a strong showing as an amateur. His amateur career finished undefeated, with five wins and one draw from 2018 to late 2020.

Spohn’s opponent, Olson, will also be looking for his first pro win. Olson lost his pro debut in December, getting submitted in the second round of a bout against Cedric Gunnison.

Bout 7: Kris Moutinho (8-4) vs. Andrew Salas (6-5) (Bantamweight)

Experienced bantamweights Kris Moutinho and Andrew Salas have been paired up for CFFC’s main card on Friday.

Salas will be fighting to return to his winning ways, as he has lost four of his last five fights. His last appearance came in Bellator, where he lost to undefeated talent Lucas Brennan.

Salas has appeared in CFFC before, having lost on a card back in 2016. For Moutinho, the fight on Friday will be his first in CFFC. He has previously been a veteran of CES, where he has earned eight wins and four losses. He is currently coming off a win, as he handed Ashiek Ajim his first pro loss in October.

Bout 8: Laura Gallardo (3-1) vs. Helen Peralta (3-1) (Strawweight)

Still both early in their careers, strawweights Laura Gallardo and Helen Peralta will be matched on Friday. The strawweights enter the bout with strong resumes in the sport already.

All three of Peralta’s pro wins have come in notable all-womens promotion Invicta FC. Her sole pro loss came in 2018 against now-UFC fighter Kay Hansen. Also in that time, Peralta has scored two bare-knuckle boxing wins in BKFC.

Gallardo made her pro debut in 2019, scoring wins against Natalie Morgan and Lisa Mauldin. She lost her Invicta FC debut last year against Trisha Cicero, although bounced back last month with a win against Paulina Vargas on a Combate Global card.

Bout 9: Boimah Karmo (7-5) vs. Jeremiah Labiano (12-7) (Catchweight 152 lbs)

Attempting to earn his third consecutive win in CFFC, Boimah Karmo will face Jeremiah Labiano in a catchweight bout.

Karmo’s last two wins took place in 2019, where he defeated Ryan Cafaro and Kenny Richmond. While Karmo hasn’t fought in MMA for over a year now, he picked up a win in boxing last month against Rahiem Cooke.

Labiano is coming to CFFC after spending his last three appearances in the Bellator cage. Like Karmo, he last competed a year ago. The fight saw him lose to Bellator prospect James Gallagher on scorecards.

Bout 10: Eddy Torres (3-0) vs. Yohe Rojas (2-1) (Featherweight)

Undefeated CFFC fighter Eddy Torres will look for his fourth pro win when fighting Yohe Rojas in the co-main event.

Torres has developed his three-fight pro record under the lights of CFFC since 2019. He had an especially active end of 2020, scoring two stoppage wins in two months.

Rojas is entering Friday’s bout after scoring two consecutive wins in regional promotion Ohio Combat League.

Bout 11: Jamelle Jones (11-6) vs. Rakim Cleveland (21-13-1) (CFFC Heavyweight Championship)

It was only two months ago that Jamelle Jones stopped Cody Goodale within a round to become CFFC Heavyweight Champion. In a quick turnaround, Jones is now fighting former PFL fighter Rakim Cleveland in the main event of Friday’s card.

Jones’ title win in March came after a strong run on the regional scene, where he picked up three wins through four appearances in 2019 and 2020.

Cleveland is appearing in CFFC after being a regular in high-level promotion PFL for two years. Cleveland appeared in PFL’s heavyweight division for their 2018 and 2019 season, putting together a record of one win and four losses in his time there.

Cleveland left PFL on a four-fight skid, but has since earned two stoppage wins on the regional scene earlier this year.

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