For the first time in 2016, Cage Fury Fighting Championship (CFFC) returns to Philadelphia when the undefeated prospect, Jeremiah Wells, takes on Emmanuel Walo for the vacant CFFC welterweight title this Saturday at the 2300 Arena. High stakes are involved in this five round affair as the three previous CFFC welterweight champions are currently in the UFC. But to get there, they will need to earn the most coveted regional title in the world.
For a fighter that made his professional MMA debut with CFFC, this is a long time coming for Emmanuel Walo (9-2-1). “It feels really refreshing and very rewarding,” stated the Jersey City native regarding to his first CFFC main event. “I started my professional MMA debut with CFFC on December 10, 2011 and even though I came up short, they gave me another opportunity and I was able to make the most of it. “I spent some time on the road traveling and fighting on different circuits but I always found myself back home with CFFC because of the talent that they have there and career advancement opportunities. There is nothing more rewarding than going through the ranks and becoming a world champion in the same organization you made your debut in. It all comes full circle.”
Walo knows that if he wins this title, his chances of making the UFC increase significantly. “That is absolutely the goal,” continued Walo. The welterweight title is by far the most prestigious title in CFFC because everyone that touched this belt has gone on to the UFC, from George Sullivan to Lyman Good and to Jonavin Webb. I’m hoping to follow suit with a great win this weekend.”
Although his ultimate goal could be at hand, he is not overlooking his opponent that has only three professional fights. “My opponent is a tough kid. Nothing bad to say about him. He works hard and he brings a rather unique and somewhat complex puzzle to the cage. He is unorthodox in his striking and seems to have good grappling, good takedowns and good control after the takedown. Some people might question why he is fighting for a world title after only three fight but he went 8-1 as an amateur and has been nothing but dominant as a pro. Experience only matters if you know how to use it. My last fight my opponent had the experience factor on his side but I was able to focus on what I do best and get the victory. I don’t care if you are 20-0 or 0-0, I treat and respect you the same and train hard to beat you. My comfort level in the CFFC cage helps a lot too. I been there so many times now this will be my 7th time fighting for them so it makes it easier to settle down and just do work. Not too many people are lining up to fight him so when this opportunity presented itself, he took it as would have any fighters out there. I predict a tough fight, but I predict me coming out on top. 25 seconds or 25 minutes, I predict victory.”
Jeremiah Wells (3-0) has had short but impressive professional record. Out of his three victories, Wells has won all three by stoppages including a submission victory over Bradley Desir (7-4) in his CFFC debut in December 2014. Before that loss, Desir had never been stopped in his professional career. “I feel excited to have this opportunity to be a champion once again,” stated Wells regarding to the two amateur titles he held as an amateur.
Like Walo, Wells also believes he has what it takes to go to the UFC with a win this weekend. “To be able to go on to the UFC is not just a goal, it's a dream I've had. It would be a great accomplishment in my career.”
Wells, a Philadelphia native, is a man of few words keeps it simple regarding his thoughts on his opponent and his prediction for the fight. “While I don't know my opponent personally, professionally I hear that he is a good fighter,” stated Wells. “I don't think his experience will make a difference in this fight. There are many factors that I have that experience cannot match. I know this fight will be a glorious battle.”
"Both of these guys are going to make it to the UFC,” stated CFFC CEO Robert Haydak Jr. “A win on Saturday night will expedite that goal for one of them. Both possess high level striking and grappling that makes this one hard to predict. Experience will not play a factor. This one will come down to who wants it more!"
CFFC 56 will also feature former CFFC flyweight champion, Sean Santella’s return to CFFC as he takes on Canada’s Andrew Cseh in a number one contender bout. Santella (14-5-1) is coming off a submission victory and will be fighting for the first time in the CFFC cage since April 2014. His opponent, Cseh (7-4) has won his last four out of five and recently defeated the previously unbeaten Desmond Moore in November 2015 to capture a title in another organization.
Another featured bout will be the highly anticipated featherweight battle between Shane Burgos (6-0) and Jacob Bohn (4-1). Burgos has won all of his fights by stoppages and appears to be on a collision course with the CFFC featherweight champion if he can continue his win streak this Saturday. Bohn has put together a nice streak too. Since dropping his professional debut with CFFC in 2014, he has won four straight.
This card will also include local favorites Sean Brady and Patrick White as they take on their toughest battles in separate fights this weekend. Also to be decided will be the first CFFC Next Gen champions as BJ Young takes on Robbie Delarionda for the featherweight amateur title and Steven Covington takes on Matt Roman for the vacant middleweight amateur title.