Undefeated CFFC Strawweight Champion Elise Reed will attempt to defend her belt for the second time on Saturday night, facing Hilarie Rose at CFFC 97. The fight headlines a card that is set to take place at the 2300 Arena in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA.
Follow along for updates on the show throughout the evening.
Preliminary Card (Facebook)
Main Card (8:00PM EDT) (UFC Fight Pass)
Bout 11: Elise Reed (3-0) vs. Hilarie Rose (5-2) (CFFC Strawweight Championship)
Reed Scores High Tempo of Strikes To Defend CFFC Belt For Second Time
Hard ground and pound from Elisa Reed earned the CFFC Strawweight Champion a win in the main event, stopping Hilarie Rose in the second round of battle.
Reed had held top control over Rose for a large portion of the second round but increased the output of strikes in the final moments of the frame. Keeping a steady pace of elbows and punches, Reed eventually landed enough for the referee to end the fight.
Reed battled adversity earlier in the fight, being threatened by submissions on the ground. Rose was able to pull guard in the opening round, attempting a rare arm triangle choke while on her back. She later looked for an inverted triangle choke on the ground as well.
Reed has now defended her CFFC Strawweight Championship twice and is undefeated through four fights as a pro. She last defended her belt in December, where she scored a decision win against Invicta FC vet Jillian DeCoursey.
Rose was given the title shot after scoring a stoppage win over Alannah Arnett last month. Prior to then, she was a vet of regional promotion CES, and had lost a fight on UFC TV series “Dana White’s Contender Series.”
“I’ve got the belt, someone come and get it,” said Reed in her post-fight interview. Reed’s performance came in front of a crowd that was largely supporting her.
Bout 10: Jaleon Alston (3-0) vs. Jose Perez (3-0) (Featherweight)
Perez Comes Back From Knockdown, Secures First Round Submission Win
Surviving early trouble, Jose Perez was able to get on the back of Jaleon Alston for a rear naked choke submission in the first round. The win scored Perez his fourth pro win and handed Alston his first loss.
Perez mounted the back of Alston, staying on it as they went to the ground. Perez was able to get his rear naked choke under the chin of Alston, causing him to tap out eventually.
The submission win for Perez came just minutes after he was dropped by a hard left hand from Alston.
While Saturday was the fourth pro appearance for Perez, he is still in the rookie year of his pro career. Among the victories was a rare banana split win he scored against Jacob Dorman last year.
Reid’s pro wins came years ago, picking up stoppage wins from 2017 to 2019.
Bout 9: James Lyons (1-0) vs. Beau Samaniego (1-0) (Featherweight)
Lyons Scores Mounted Rear Naked Choke For Second Pro Win
James Lyons made quick work of Beau Samaniego on the main card, mounting his back and eventually securing a rear naked choke in the first round. The stoppage scored Lyons his second win as a pro in MMA.
Lyons mounted the back of Samaniego in the second minute, putting in a rear naked choke. He kept with the choke until Samaniego slowly went to the ground and passed out, calling an end to the fight.
Lyons had an aggressive start to the fight, charging forward at Samaniego with head and body kicks before he pursued the submission later.
Lyons won his pro debut just last month, stopping Cody Zappone in the second minute of a fight with strikes.
Samaniego’s previous fight dated back to October of 2019, where he stopped Cody Root with strikes on a United Combat League card.
Bout 8: Feraris Golden (2-0) vs. Nick Giulietti (2-0) (Lightweight)
Golden Makes Comeback For Decision Win
Feraris Golden handed Nick Giulietti his first loss on the main card, fighting to a unanimous decision after three rounds (29-28, 29-28 & 29-28).
Giulietti started the fight strong, although Giulietti was able to take over later on.
The first round was Giulietti’s best, where he controlled Golden for a few minutes on the ground. He eventually lost the position due to the referee seeing him land strikes to the back of the head.
Golden was able to stop many takedowns in the second round and use the opportunities to score with strikes.
Golden picked apart a tired Giulietti in the final round, scoring with strikes on the feet and on the ground.
Giulietti was dropped halfway through the third round with a knee to the head. While tired, Golden kept active with strikes against Giulietti for the rest of the final round.
Golden earned his two previous wins in late 2019 and early 2020. Giulietti was also returning after a significant amount of time out of the cage, with his prior wins dating back to 2019.
Bout 7: Matt Turnbull (2-3) vs. Efren Escareno (2-0) (Bantamweight)
Escareno Picks Up First Pro Submission Win With Rear Naked Choke
Efren Escareno earned his third pro win on Saturday, securing a rear naked choke win over Matt Turnbull after an aggressive two-round performance. Escareno was able to take the back of Turnbull in the second round, securing a rear naked choke that time.
Escareno had scored takedowns earlier in the round and was persistent to advance on Turnbull with strikes when on the feet.
Escareno is still undefeated as a pro through three wins. His two previous wins were in Ring of Combat, where he earned decision wins.
Turnbull has now lost two consecutive fights. His previous bout was in October, where Justin Clarke picked up a scorecard win against him.
Bout 6: Greg Velasco (0-0) vs. Halston Williams (0-0) (Heavyweight)
Velasco Dominates, Finishes Williams Within A Round In Pro Debut
Greg Velasco had a strong pro debut in the opening fight, stopping Haltson Williams in the first round with ground and pound. The victory came after a dominant showing on the ground from Velasco.
Velasco was quick to take the fight to the ground in the first minute with a takedown. He eventually moved into full mount and side control where he looked for an arm triangle choke. After not finishing the fight with the choke, Velasco switched to strikes where the referee called an end to the battle.
Velasco was making his pro debut after an amateur record of three wins and one loss, per Tapology.
Williams was also having his first appearance as a pro. He fought as an amateur from 2013 to 2018, picking up four wins along the way.
Bout 5: Kyle Broadwater (0-2) vs. Matt Hicks (0-0) (Featherweight)
Hicks Wins Pro Debut With Ground Control
Takedowns and control on the ground earned Matt Hicks a win in his pro debut over Kyle Broadwater, defeating him via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27 & 30-27).
Control was the name of the game for Hicks, who scored takedowns in every round and spent the majority of the fight on top on the ground. He had his best work in the final round, being able to advance into fill mount while landing punches.
Hicks took the back of Broadwater late in the fight, attempting a rear naked choke in the final minute.
Hicks made the move to start his pro career after going undefeated through seven fights as an amateur.
Broadwater is now winless through three fights as a pro.
Bout 4: Jacob Spencer (0-0) vs. Luke Fernandez (2-0) (Amateur Light Heavyweight)
Fernandez Stops Spencer In Only 27 Seconds With Anaconda Choke
Luke Fernandez took a submission win only seconds into his fight against Jacob Spencer, stopping him in the first minute with an anaconda choke.
The fight went to the ground early after Fernandez threw a combination of strikes at Spencer. It was hard to tell if Spencer was dropped by the shots or slipped to the ground.
Fernandez was quick to secure the choke, holding onto it until Spencer went unconscious.
Fernandez has now earned three wins in his rookie year as an amateur. He has scored a submission win before, having defeated Josh Wotring with an americana last year.
The fight was Spencer’s first appearance as an amateur in MMA.
Bout 3: Isaack Watkins (2-0) vs. Itso Babulaidze (2-1) (Amateur Welterweight)
Watkins Extends Undefeated Record To A Trio With Decision
Isaack Watkins extended his undefeated amateur record to three straight on the prelims, defeating Itso Babulaidze via unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27 & 30-27).
The close three-round fight saw both fighters have most of their attacks come from takedown attempts. Watkins constantly walked Babulaidze down on the feet, taking takedown attempts and throwing strikes. Babulaidze was able to land his own takedowns in the fight as well.
Watkins had his two previous amateur wins in other regional promotions.
Babulaidze, who has fought his entire four-fight amateur career in CFFC, has now lost two consecutive bouts.
Bout 2: Tyson Harris (1-0) vs. Nick Caracappa (1-0) (Amateur Catchweight 175 lbs)
Caracappa Sweeps Scorecards For Second Amateur Win
Nick Caracappa put together a well-rounded performance to defeat Tyson Harris for his second amateur win (30-27, 30-27 & 30-27).
The first two rounds had a similar pattern of success for Caracappa.
Caracappa opened the rounds strong, connecting with a combination of punches to the head of Harris. After then, he scored a takedown to control Harris on the ground.
The final was strictly on the feet with both fighters slugging away with shots.
Caracappa made his amateur debut on a CFFC card last year, where it took him only six seconds to stop Jeff Taylor Jr.
Harris won his amateur debut fight in Mrch, defeating Damir Kuduzovic within a round with strikes.
Bout 1: Ryan Appleby (0-0) vs. Orelvis Hernandez (0-0) (Amateur Heavyweight)
Hernandez Takes Split Decision Over Appleby In Amateur Debut
The striking of Orelvis Hernandez earned him a win in his amateur MMA debut, defeating Ryan Appleby in a close split decision (29-28 Hernandez, 29-28 Appleby & 29-28 Hernandez). The three-round fight that had two-minute rounds saw Hernandez show aggressiveness with strikes while Appleby secured takedowns.
Hernandez was aggressive with striking on the feet, coming at Appleby with quick combinations, scoring frequently with leg kicks.
Hernandez scored a knockdown early in the third round, dropping Appleby with a right hook. Appleby was quick to return to his feet, where he clinched with Hernandez. Once separating from the clinch, Appleby was able to score a takedown and attempt an arm triangle choke.
Appleby’s wrestling skills allowed him to score numerous takedowns in the fight and put down numerous minutes of control time.
Both fighters were competing as an amateur for the first time.
Hernandez entered the fight with experience in grappling and was representing gym Synthesis BJJ.
Appleby is making the move to MMA after a career in collegiate MMA, where he competed from 2014 to 2018 and finished with a record of 63 wins and 42 losses.