CFFC 97: Reed vs. Rose Preview

Undefeated CFFC Strawweight Champion Elise Reed will fight to continue her title reign when fighting Hilarie Rose in the main event of Saturday night’s CFFC 97 card.

The fight will not only be the culmination of an 11-fight card on Saturday, but the final bout in a two-day doubleheader being put on by the promotion 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: Ryan Appleby (0-0) vs. Orelvis Hernandez (0-0) (Amateur Heavyweight)

The card will open with heavy-hitting heavyweights, as Ryan Appleby and Orelvis Hernandez will both make their amateur debuts. Appleby enters MMA following a career in collegiate wrestling, where he competed from 2014 to 2018 and finished with a record of 63 wins and 42 losses.

While there is little information on Hernandez, online footage shows he has experience with grappling.

Bout 2: Tyson Harris (1-0) vs. Nick Caracappa (1-0) (Amateur Catchweight 175 lbs)

Both returning after winning their amateur debuts, Tyson Harris and Nick Caracappa will be matched up for Saturday. Caracappa’s amateur debut took only six seconds, as he stopped Jeff Taylor Jr. with strikes on a CFFC card last fall.

While Harris’ fight was longer when compared to Caracappa’s debut, it was still a short two-minute stoppage win against Damir Kuduzovic in the Ohio Combat League.

Bout 3: Isaack Watkins (2-0) vs. Itso Babulaidze (2-1) (Amateur Welterweight)

Attempting to come back from his first loss as an amateur, Itso Babulaidze will fight Isaack Watkins.

Babulaidze started his pro career strong in 2020, scoring wins over RJ Seal and Nathan Rex. However, that momentum was stopped last month when Mike Dakessian scored a second-round guillotine choke win over him.

Watkins scored his second amateur win just two months ago on a Pinnacle Combat card. The fight was his first in over a year, with his prior amateur fight dating back to late 2019.

Bout 4: Jacob Spencer (0-0) vs. Luke Fernandez (2-0) (Amateur Light Heavyweight)

Jacob Spencer will compete for the first time when facing Luke Fernandez on Saturday night.

Fernandez has picked up his two previous amateur wins in the CFFC cage, defeating Josh Wotring and Devante Crawford within the last year. A victory for Fernandez on Saturday would earn him the third win of his rookie year.

Bout 5: Kyle Broadwater (0-2) vs. Matt Hicks (0-0) (Featherweight)

In the first pro fight of the evening, Matt Hicks will make his pro debut against Kyle Broadwater, who is still in search of his first win.

Hicks is moving up to the pro level after a flawless amateur run, going undefeated through seven fights from 2018 to 2020.

Broadwater’s two pro losses took place in 2019 on Fury FC card. After a year out of the cage, Broadwater has the chance to start a winning streak.

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

Bout 6: Greg Velasco (0-0) vs. Halston Williams (0-0) (Heavyweight)

Heavyweights Greg Velasco and Halston Williams will be promoted to the professional level of MMA in the first bout of the main card.

Williams has competed in MMA for a long time, with his amateur record on Tapology going as far back as 2013.

Velasco’s record reflects that he fought four times since 2018, including a win and a loss in the CFFC cage.

Bout 7: Matt Turnbull (2-3) vs. Efren Escareno (2-0) (Bantamweight)

After a successful rookie year as a pro, Efren Escareno will return to fight Matt Turnbull. Escareno has competed twice as a pro, scoring two decision wins in regional promotion Ring of Combat. He will now fight Turnbull, who has the chance to even his record in the fight. Turnbull lost his CFFC debut last year, not being favoured on scorecards against Justin Clarke.

Bout 8: Feraris Golden (2-0) vs. Nick Giuletti (2-0) (Lightweight)

In one of the many clashes of undefeated fighters on this card, Feraris Golden and NIck Giuletti will be matched up for a lightweight bout.

Both fighters have a couple of things in common: they both have two pro wins, and they all are finish victories. The combination of two finishing fighters means the lightweight clash on Saturday could be explosive.

Bout 9: James Lyons (1-0) vs. Beau Samaniego (1-0) (Featherweight)

Both returning after winning their pro debut, James Lyson and Beau Samaniego will be paired up.

Lyons had a quick showing in his pro debut, stopping Cody Zappone in under two minutes with strikes last month. The fight on Saturday will be a quick turnaround after that showing. It’s the opposite case for Samaniego, who had his pro debut in October of 2019. However, like Lyons, his win was a quick first-round stoppage due to strikes.

Bout 10: Jaleon Reid (3-0) vs. Jose Perez (3-0) (Featherweight)

In the co-main event, somebody is going to move to four wins with an undefeated record. On the other side, someone will take their first pro loss. Jaleon Reid and Jose Perez have stepped up to put their records on the line in the featherweight bout.

Reid picked up his trio of wins over a three year period, earning two submission wins and one stoppage victory from 2017 to 2019.

Perez turned pro in September, defeating Brandon Gaitor on a CFFC card. He has since returned two more times, securing a rare banana split submission over Jacob Dorman and a decision victory against Nicholas Maupin.

Bout 11: Elise Reed (3-0) vs. Hilarie Rose (5-2) (CFFC Strawweight Championship)

Elise Reed has the chance to defend her CFFC Strawweight Championship for the second time when fighting Hilarie Rose in Saturday night’s main event.

Reed first earned the belt in August last year, fighting four rounds against Jasmine Jasudavicius for a split decision win. The win came 10 months after she won her pro debut on the Bellator stage, stopping Rebecca Bryggman in the first round of a fight.

Reed has since defended her belt once, fighting against Invicta FC vet Jillian DeCoursey to win via unanimous decision.

Rose enters the title fight with a strong few years of experience as a pro. Rose built her career in regional promotion CES, where she earned four wins and one loss from 2018 to 2019. She had the chance to join the UFC roster with a fight on “Dana White’s Contender Series” last year but fell short against Cheyanne Buys.

Rose has since bounced back and put herself into a title spot. She picked up a win just last month, stopping Alannah Arnett with leg kicks in the second of a fight. Now, she has the chance to become a champ for the first time.

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