On Saturday night, live from the 2300 Arena in Philadelphia, Cage Fury Fighting Championships (CFFC) returns with an action packed card including two title fights and a co-main event middleweight bout that fight fans have been asking for years! CFFC veterans Jared "Flash" Gordon will take on Philadelphia's own Anthony "Cheesesteak" Morrison for the vacant CFFC featherweight title. In other title action, Emmanuel Walo will defend his CFFC welterweight title against the undefeated jiu-jitsu practitioner, De'Alonzio "DJ" Jackson. Not to be outdone by the title fights, the co-main event will consist of a middleweight war between Philadelphia's Nah-Shon Burrell and Millville's Timmy Williams. Although these two have been at the top of their game locally and on the biggest stage, the two have never crossed paths in the cage.
The last time Jared Gordon (9-1) was in the cage, he was in a similar situation that he will be in on Saturday night -- fighting for the CFFC featherweight title. However, it wasn't meant to be. In between the third and fourth rounds, the ringside doctors decided to stop the bout due to a cut near Gordon's eye. Although Gordon was winning in the judges scorecards at the time, his opponent, Jeff Lentz, walked away with title. "The circumstances of losing to Lentz like that was devastating," stated Gordon. "I knew I was winning and the belt was in reach but the doctors stepped in and stopped it. If I won that I had a decent chance of being signed to UFC. But I had holes in my game. If I won and moved on to UFC I would of went there with those holes. I have changed my game a lot and filled a lot of those holes. I learned more then I could of ever thought from that fight. I had orbital repair which took a long time to recover from, I then had bowel surgery this past December which sat me on the sidelines for a while as well. Two surgeries in the past year plus the depression took a toll on me mentally. It took me a while to get back in the grove of things and get fill those holes in the gym. Me team and I took our time fixing these holes and getting me back in shape."
In front of Gordon will be a fighter who has seen it all and faced the toughest competition the sport has to offer. This will be his toughest test. "Anthony Morrison is a very game opponent," said Gordon. "Strong wrestling, power in his hands, good submission defense and stays very composed. I have prepared every way I could for this fight. He's a tough guy with a lot of experience, but I know its my time and he's just another test in my journey. I predict a second or a third round finish. A win over Morrison could definitely propel me to UFC. At 10-1 I don't know what else I would have to do"
"When Jared its at 100%, I truly believe he is one of the top featherweight prospects in the world, stated CFFC CEO Robert Haydak Jr. "He is well aware that Morrison will be his toughest fight to date. He also realizes what a win over him could mean."
Anthony Morrison (18-9) made his professional mixed martial arts debut at the inaugural CFFC event in 2006. Ten years later he's the main event of CFFC'S 59th installment and is more dangerous than ever. Currently on a four fight win streak, including a stint in Bellator and capturing a title in New England, Morrison is making his 7th appearance in the CFFC cage but this appearance will have the most at stake. "Fighting for the title in the main event means a lot since I turned professional in that organization at CFFC 1," reflected Morrison.
A man of few words, Morrison was all business when sitting down with CFFC. In regard to his opponent, Morrison said the following, "I Don't know him personally, he's a good fighter, and I respect him. I will win, period. After that, i will hopefully propel myself to a spot where their other champions have continued."
"In 2006, he made his pro debut for CFFC," stated Haydak. "In 2016, he's coming in more experienced and perhaps better than ever. He has fought some of the best fighters in the world and comes into this title fight with unmatched experience. If both of these guys come in and deliver, you will witness one of the best fights in CFFC history."
The second title up for grabs on Saturday night will Emmanuel Walo (10-2-1) defending his CFFC welterweight title for the first time. He hopes this fight he can showcase more than he did last time in the cage. "My last fight was interesting to say the least, stated the current champion. "It was my first time fighting an opponent (Jeremiah Wells) that was, how do I put this, unpredictable. I guess is the word I'm looking for. He throws a lot of unconventional strikes and from all sorts of different angles so I had to be cautious. But looking back now I felt that perhaps I was a little too cautious and didn't capitalize on openings and what not. I pushed forward the whole fight hoping to engage more but his movement was awkward and in a sense he kept running from me. I should have done a better job cutting the cage off rather than just following him. I wasn't at all satisfied with my performance. I'm no stranger to going to decisions but usually they are exciting and the crowd loves it but this fight wasn't like that man. I felt like I cheated my fans out of a great performance and I am looking forward to making it up to them this next fight."
After debuting with CFFC in 2011, Walo reflected on his young career. "My journey in MMA thus far have had its share of ups and down, stated Walo. "I've been doing this for five years now and I'm finally starting to see the fruits of my labor. I debuted as a professional fighter back in December 2011 and I won the title for CFFC in February 27, 2016 so its been a long journey to say the least but I'm happy that I went through it because if makes me appreciate where I am more. I still have a lot of other goals I want to accomplish but winning the title was a step in the right direction. Now I have to defend it and continued climbing towards my goals."
Walo knows that like his last opponent, DJ Jackson was undefeated and had the fights. But that's probably where there similarities end. "I think my opponent is a tremendous athlete. He has a world class resume and he have been on the mats with the best of the best and has beaten them. He have wins over a few of my team Renzo Gracie teammates. With that being said this is a MMA fight and I think my experience inside the cage will pay dividends. I take this contest very serious and I trained very hard for it. I think he will be a great fighter and make a great name for himself in this sport but it's not his time, not yet. I don't want another decision and definitely don't want to put my body through a five-round war but I will do whatever it takes to get the win. I'm a blue collar kinda fighter. I win my fights by out working guys. If I see the opportunity for an opening I will take it. Whichever way the fight goes I'm confident at the end of it my hands will be raised. I don't need to talk trash to sell a fight. Not my style and never been. He's a tough guy, I'm a tough guy so it comes down to who is the tougher guy on that night. A victory at this point will do wonders for my career. Like I said this guy is a tremendous athlete with a world class following. Me beating him will get me the recognition I deserve and been longing for, maybe even some attention from the UFC. A victory Saturday night can only help to elevate my career and put me one step closer to my goals of fighting in the UFC."
"Walo continues to deliver fight after fight and seems to always find a way to win, said Haydak. "He is sitting at the top in the Northeast welterweight division right now. He knows how important each and every fight is at this stage in his career. I expect nothing less than the best Emmanuel Walo showing up on Saturday night."
His opponent, De'Alonzio "DJ" Jackson (3-0) enters the CFFC cage with some of the most impressive jiu-jitsu credentials in the world backed by his stifling D-1 wrestling skills. He is eager to fight in the biggest stage of his career this far. "Manny Walo is a great champion, it is an honor to share the cage with him," stated the Lloyd Irvin black belt. "CFFC is the top regional promotion in the world. Their champions are fast tracked to the UFC so winning that belt would mean a lot to me at this point in my career. Manny wants to stand and bang and I've been working a lot on my stand up. I'm excited to put on a show for Philly fight fans. Philly loves the underdog so I'm going to come in here and do my thing and go home with that belt!"
"Anytime a Division 1 wrestler steps in the cage, you better be prepared for just about anything, said Haydak. "DJ brings in an incredible grappling resume and an explosive style that will present a major challenge to our current champion. This fight will test his endurance because Walo presents problems everywhere. This is fight is going to be very, very interesting in which fighter can execute their strategy. You have an explosive wrestler who will attempt to takedown one of the best takedown defenders in CFFC. I believe this will a battle of attrition and who has the ability to impose their game plan."
After Walo and Jackson do battle, Nah-Shon Burrell (14-5) and Timmy Williams (12-3) will treat fans to a classic battle in the evening's co-main. Words can't simply describe the anticipation of this fight and getting these two caliber fighters to agree and meet in the cage. Both fighters are on multiple win streaks and this can be the fight that either puts them on the next stage or it could mean the end of their journey.
"Timmy is always looking for the toughest guys to fight," continued Haydak. "He has never failed to deliver an exciting fight. This fight is going to allow him to stand toe to toe with a world class striker and provide another typical Timmy-type-of-fight. Nah-shon has fought a lot of great talent and wants nothing more than to get back to the big show. A win over Williams will get him back on track. Nah-shon can throw with the best of them, he'll have his chance on Saturday night to see where he stands with one of the elite middleweights in the Northeast. If you're wearing white, step back from the cage. This fight alone is worth the price of admission. Don't blink."
CFFC 59 will also feature a lightweight showdown between Philadelphia's Joe Lowry and New York's Bradley Desir in a potential fight of the year candidate. Saturday night will also feature the return of local favorites Anthony Terrell Smith, Ryan Cafaro, and the real Eddie Alvarez along with three amateur bouts.