(Pictured: Combat in the Cage middleweight champion Charlie Joseph, who will be dropping down in weight to challenge CITC welterweight champion Kasheem Patterson at “15th Strike” in Delaware on Aug. 16)
August is shaping up to be a strong month for regional mxied martial arts on the East Coast. Both the Combat in the Cage and Combat Sports Challenge promotions have loaded cards set for the summer’s hottest month.
On Saturday, August 16 in Newark, Delaware, Ed Hsu’s Combat in the Cage will be returning to the Newark Boys & Girls Club for its “15th Strike” show that will feature top amateur talent from the East Coast.
One of the show’s two featured bouts will see CITC middleweight champion Charlie Joseph (6-0 as an amateur) dropping down to the 170 pound weight class to challenge Kasheem Patterson of Daddis Fight Camps for Patterson’s CITC welterweight title.
Event organizers had been targeting August as a potential date for a grudge rematch between Joseph and former CITC middleweight champion Jesus Martinez, but a facial laceration sustained in their first meeting still has not healed and Martinez could not receive medical clearance.
Instead, Joseph will be dropping down in weight to try to add a second CITC title to his waist. Sources have indicated that Joseph is already on weight as he’s been trying to secure a fight against CITC interim lightweight champion Will Martinez, the older brother of Jesus Martinez.
The night’s other featured bout will pit CITC cruiserweight champion Tim Williams of Millville BJJ taking on amateur wrestling standout Matt Andirkut of Team Loch Haven.
Williams took on EliteXC contracted fighter John Doyle at 14th Strike earlier this month in both an exhibition Muay Thai and submission grappling match. After more than holding his own in the fight, he showed he is ready to turn pro and 15th Strike could mark Williams’ last appearance as an amateur.
15th Strike will also feature a host of fighters from Daddis Fight Camps and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu United, two of the top fight gyms in the Philadelphia area.
Daddis, which hosts pro fighters Jon Murphy and Matt Makowski of EliteXC and Aaron Miesner from the seventh season of “The Ultimate Fighter,” has a new crop of amateurs making their way through the ranks with pro aspirations. In addition to Patterson, middleweight Robert Peach, bantamweight Jeff Cressman, bantamweight Shane Donahue, featerweight Brylan Vanartdalen, lightweight Malik Kamara, and welterweight Joe DiFranco will all be fighting on the card.
Peach will be taking on Kenny Wilson of Gai Jin Ryu Dojo; Donahue is set to square off with Lance Umholtz of Warriors MA; Vanartdalen is will to do battle with Ken Nagle of Real Combat MA; Kamara is slated to fight fight Andres Lebron of NJ Shingitai JJ; DiFranco will face Leonard Moses; and Cressman will be taking on Pat Sabatini in what figures to be one of the best fights on the show.
Cressman has been extremely impressive since dropping to the 135 pound weight class and a win could potentially earn him a shot at the CITC bantamweight title currently held by Dan Flounders. Sabatini challenged for the then-vacant title earlier this month against Flounders but lost via rear naked choke at 2:36 of round 1.
BJJ United, which is led by head instructor Jared Weiner, the first-ever person promoted to black belt by Lloyd Irvin, will feature a trio of fighters making their amateur debuts. Undefeated EliteXC featherweight Wilson Reis is a top instructor at the school and Matt Nice, Lionel “Noriega” Bocelli, and Andria Caplan are all looking to follow in his footsteps.
Nice is scheduled to fight Jason Stoeckel of DE TSD in a welterweight bout; Bocelli will take on Michael Ryman of Real Combat MA; and Caplan will be taking on Shannon Schade of Rising Sun MMA. The bout between Caplan and Schade will be the first-ever female fight in CITC history. Caplan, the 2007 WKA Female Amateur Muay Thai Tournament Champion, is the wife of the author of this article.
A fourth BJJ United fighter could be added to the card, as event organizers indicated that Ken Berger is slated for a bout that has yet to be confirmed.
The East Coast’s other big show, Combat Sports Challenge 26, will take place on Aug. 30. While the card for the event has yet to be finalized, several fighters are rumored for the event, including Virginia-based fighters Anthony Morrison, Dwayne Shelton, and LeVon Maynard along with Philadelphia-based fighters Aaron Miesner, John Doyle, and Sidemar “Sedico” Honorio.
Five Ounces of Pain has learned that a main event featuring Shelton at Honorio at 135 pounds is in the works along with a welterweight clash between Doyle and Maynard. We’ll have more details as they become available.
Editor’s Note: Sam Caplan is the husband of Andria Caplan and also trains at Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu United in Jenkintown, PA.