By TXMMA Staff | Photos: Mike Calimbas (MMA Photographer)
Houston MMA’s newest professional promotion Fury FC debuts tonight
HUMBLE, TX, November 1, 2013 – As the latest entrant in the Houston MMA Scene, Jace Pitre and Eric Garcia’s Fury Fighting Championship promises to deliver more opportunity for local fighters looking to earn a living doing what they do best while also providing area fans with yet another option to catch more MMA action at its highest level – the professional ranks.
Fury Fighting Championship (FFC) debuts this Friday night with FFC 1 taking place at the Humble Civic Center in Northeast Houston. The card features some exciting matchups including a welterweight main event pitting top prospects against each other in Alex Morono and Rob Wood. The show also features some other tenured Houston MMA veterans alums like former Legacy FC champ Ray Blodget, Strikeforce vet Todd Moore and Rakim Cleveland to go along with some younger prospects so it should be a well-balanced card. If it’s anything like Garcia and Pitre’s amateur offerings with Cage Combat, expect an exciting Friday night of fights.
Read on for our complete preview and predictions for Fury Fighting Championship 1.
Fury Fighting Championships 1 – Preview and Predictions
170 lbs.: Alex Morono (5-1) vs. Rob Wood (5-0)
When it comes to fights featuring up-and-coming pro MMA prospects this is about as intriguing as they come with Alex Morono and Rob Wood. The Oklahoman (Wood) is undefeated at 5-0 while the Houstonian (Morono) has the same amount of wins on his record with just a lone loss to an eventual Legacy FC champion in Jeff Rexroad.
Make no mistake about it. These guys are both blue chippers.
Now as far as the matchup itself, it should be an interesting contrast between the wrestling-based attack of Rob Wood versus the Jiu-Jitsu and Muay Thai of Alex Morono. They’re both really good at what they do and physically gifted athletes in general. This one may come down to who’s able to impose their will on the other. In a three round fight that means this could be anybody’s ballgame and I’d be shocked to see a finish either way.
170 lbs.: Travis Tooke (0-0) vs. Rashid Abdullah (3-4)
Finally he’s doing it. After years of coaching both BJJ and top level MMA guys like Andrew Craig and Yves Edwards, Team Tooke’s head guy Travis Tooke is finally stepping into the cage himself as a competitor. BJJ black belts be damned, this guy is about to be a bonafide professional cage fighter.
I don’t know too much his opponent, 3-5 Illinois based Rashid Abdullah. What I do know is that he lost by KO in a non-sanctioned fight (C3Fights) less than 3 weeks ago. Combine that with his upside-down record and the fact that all of his wins save for one have been by submission and I don’t really see too many ways he can win this fight.
Call me crazy but I think Travis gets the submission, probably very quickly.
Prediction: Travis Tooke by submission.
145 lbs.: Charles Cheeks (5-2) vs. Raymond Blodget (7-2)
This one is our sleeper pick for Fight of the Night. Most people already know Ray Blodget as a former Legacy 155 lbs. champion. Holding a 7-2 record with losses only to Daniel Pineda and Nick Gonzalez, he’s definitely one to be respected in organization he fights in.
Admittedly we don’t know nearly as much of his opponent Charles Cheeks as he hasn’t fought in Texas yet. What we do know is he holds a 5-2 record of his own while fighting primarily in the Dakotas and both his losses came early on in his career. He’s won four in a row since 2012 and is said to be a crafty submission artist and competent striker.
It’s hard to predict a fight where you don’t know all the details and haven’t seen both guys previously but we’ll go with Blodget who should be pretty motivated following his last one.
Prediction: Ray Blodget by majority decision.
170 lbs.: Jason Felton (0-1) vs. Matthew Moses (0-1)
This fight is another mystery to us. And by mystery we really mean that as in just a fancy way of saying we don’t really know much about either of these guys. That happens sometimes and that’s okay. What we do know is that both of them are looking for their first win as pros.
Something tells us this one might be a slobberknocker. Just a hunch.
Prediction: Who wins? The fans. Plus we flipped a coin and it said Jason Felton.
170 lbs.: Todd Moore (14-5) vs. Edwynn Jones (6-28)
Todd Moore enters this bout looking to build on his win over Charlie Ontiveros at LFC 18 this past March as the first fight in his “Todd Moore Comeback Tour 2013” that will no doubt continue on into 2014. “Maniac” went 1-1 in Strikeforce with a notable win over current Bellator: Fightmaster finalist Mike Bronzoulis in his time with that org and is 5-2 since 2009 so he hasn’t really went away – he’s more just looking for an opportunity to push forward.
Now as for his opponent Edwynn “Ox” Jones… well we don’t even know where to begin. You hate to use the phrase “tomato can” towards anybody in this sport and he deserves respect as a fighter for even continuing to get back in there but the reality is that the guy has lost FIFTEEN fights in a row.
It’s sad that the original matchup planned for Todd Moore by FFC (versus Geoffrey Neal) didn’t materialize because that would have been a great fight but this one won’t be competitive.
Prediction: Todd Moore by whatever he wants, probably a TKO.
205 lbs.: Rakim Cleveland (7-4) vs. Armando Herrera Jr. (2-5)
We haven’t seen Rakim Cleveland locally here in Houston since 2011 and it looks like he’s done a lot of work since then and has been impressive in winning his last four fights in a row. He now returns to his home city sporting an impressive 7-4 record and will be looking to showcase his new and improved self this Friday night.
As for his opponent, Armando Herrera has lost his last two fights. Going deeper, He’s been finished in every fight he’s lost and both of his wins come by way of decision. We don’t think he’ll win a decision against Rakim so conventional wisdom says he’ll be finished again.
Prediction: Rakim Cleveland by KO, RD1
185 lbs.: Husam Mohemad (3-4) vs Matthew Rogers (8-5)
Both fighters will be looking to bounce back and prove themselves as relevant pros in this one. Sam Mohemad has been around the scene for awhile (since 2006) but has been sporadic in terms of consistency and reliability – dropping out of a few fights on late notice. He lost by TKO to Noel Ligon in his last bout dated January 2012.
As for Matt Rodgers, he’s gone 0-2 since coming back from a nine-year MMA layoff earlier this year. The thing with him though is that he’s taken on some really tough young fighters in Jonathan Harris and Larry Crowe so those results aren’t too damning. They were just simply too young, too fast and too hungry.
This bout presents a good opportunity for both men and a good matchup that should be crowd-friendly as well.
Prediction: Sam Mohemad by TKO, RD2.
135 lbs.: Ricky Turcious (1-0) vs. James Gonzales (1-2) – CANCELLED DUE TO GONZALES MISSING WEIGHT
Ricky Turcios debuted impressively as a professional with a win over Colin Wright at LFC 21 this past summer. The well-rounded 20 year old is now looking to go 2-0 as a pro versus 33 year old slugger James “Tank” Gonzales.
Though he’s an exciting opponent with power, we don’t see Gonzales as being able to match the technical skill of “Pretty Ricky” who should be able to control this fight and set up the takedown to nullify his opponent’s primary skill set in this one. From there we think his pace and superior cardio will put this one soundly in his favor.
Prediction: Ricky Turcios by submission, RD2.
185 lbs.: Patrick Bierschwale (1-1) vs. Angelo Anzaldua (debut)
Got Beef? Pat Bierschwale aka “Bison” does at his day job running Katerra Exotics but that’s neither here nor there. I’m just saying the dude produces some premium pasture-raised Premium Texas Bison and his family has been in the buffalo industry since 1980. Ya heard?
As for this fight, well it’s Pat’s opportunity to make an impact again after a few years of offtime. He went 4-1 as an amateur and was a top pro prospect heading into his pro debut in 2011. He went 1-1 since then and kind of dropped off the map – tending to his family, business, and also his other role as a coach at GB Champions Forrest. Basically lots going on but he’s back now.
As for his opponent Angelo Anzaldua, well we apologize that we can’t give you his life story. Not even Google knows a lot about this guy and the only thing that came up when we searches for him was an old MySpace profile that was set on private. What are we supposed to do with that? Nothing.
Prediction: Pat Bierschwale by meat-grinding TKO, RD1.
145 lbs.: Kody Williams (0-0) vs. Darell Nolan (0-0)
A longtime member of GB: The Woodlands alongside main event fighter Alex Morono, Kody Williams went undefeated as an amateur with a 4-0 record and is now looking to translate that experience into the pros. He’ll be taking on fellow debut fighter Darryl Nolan in his debut, a fighter we know absolutely nothing about at this point. Our guess though is that he won’t be able to handle the wrestling and diligent MMA preparation Williams and his team are known for.
Prediction: Kody Williams by submission, RD1.