For the last several years, earning a Cage Fury Fighting Championships (CFFC) title meant that there was a good chance that it grabbed the attention of the UFC. Three former CFFC champions are living proof of that and they will be highlighted this weekend at UFC Fight Night: Johnson vs. Bader this Saturday night at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey. In the last UFC event, another former CFFC champion, Paul Felder (11-2) improved his UFC record to 3-2 with a submission victory over Daron Cruickshank (16-8) two weeks ago. All three former CFFC champions competing this weekend took time out of their fight week preparation to talk quickly to www.CFFC.tv.
"It has been a pleasure to fight for CFFC,” said Jimmie Rivera who was the CFFC bantamweight champion after the previous champion, Aljamain Sterling, vacated the title to go the UFC. “I was able to fight the top fighters and make my way into the UFC. The production itself is really great and exactly where you want to be to get the feel for fighting professionally." While he was with CFFC, Rivera went 3-0 in the organization highlighted by a 16-second knock of Carson Beebe in his last CFFC appearance. Coming off two straight victories in the UFC, Rivera will try to make it 16 straight victories overall against Lura Alcantara (26-5).
"The day I decided to sign with CFFC was my life changer,” said George Sullivan who held the CFFC welterweight title for nearly two years. “CFFC helped guide me and prepare me for bigger events and showed me what being a professional fighter was all about. They are the best promotion to prepare you for the UFC, I cannot thank them enough for showing me how a professional event is truly run." Sullivan defended his CFFC title four times before going to the UFC and currently holds a 2-1 record for the organization. He is looking to make it two in a row with a victory over K-Dojo’s Alexander Yakovlev (22-7-1).
“CFFC gave me the opportunity to fight high-level MMA fighters from the get-go,” Levan Makashvilli told CFFC.tv. “I believed in myself and they believed in me as well. (Jordan) Steiner was the talk of the town. (Scott) Heckman was on a ridiculous win streak and he had more than three times the fights I had. (Alexandre) Bezerra was lucky that I came in with a broken finger and broke my foot in the first round. And also had three times the amount to fights I did. CFFC has an eye for talent. Thanks for sticking up for me through tough times only we know what we're talking about.” Affectionately known as the “Hornet”, Makashvilli went 3-1 with CFFC with his only loss coming by majority decision to Alexandre Bezerra (17-4). Four months later, Makashvilli won his CFFC featherweight title back in a lopsided rematch. Makashvilli is currently 1-1 in the UFC and will be fighting Damon Jackson this Saturday.
Former CFFC champions will be busy in February as well. Former CFFC welterweight champion and current amateur matchmaker for the CFFC Next Generation Series, Jonavin Webb, will be fighting Nathan Coy (14-7) on Sunday February 21, 2016 at UFC Fight Night: Cowboy vs. Means in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Not only is his looking forward to his fight, but he will be watching as a fan this weekend as he spends his training camp with Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone in New Mexico. “I am beyond excited to see three other former CFFC champs represent this weekend in the UFC,” Webb told www.CFFC.tv. “I believe every CFFC champion is good enough to fight in the big leagues. CFFC is the best place to test your abilities and fight the best people in the world outside of the UFC. I was more than prepared for the pressures of the UFC. I didn't experience any "first fight jitters." Cage Fury is so professionally ran and organized company that when I got to Australia for my debut it felt like I was right at home at the Borgata Casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey.” Webb is the only CFFC champion to fight his entire career with the organization before getting the call to the UFC. Webb tasted his first professional loss in his UFC debut after a controversial split decision. He will be going for his first UFC against Coy.