Cage Fury Fighting Championships Debuts at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Atlantic City on Saturday, Feb. 16 with Two Championship Bouts


Brady Defends 170-pound Crown vs. Abdul Hakim and Wilcox Battles Daukaus for Middleweight Title

Plus, CM Punk Returns to Call the Action Live on UFC Fight Pass

ATLANTIC CITY — JAN. 3, 2018 — The boardwalk in Atlantic City will once again host a major championship combat sports event in 2019.

Cage Fury Fighting Championships (CFFC), one of the industry’s leading developmental MMA organizations, announced today that it will host a championship card on Saturday, Feb. 16 at Hard Rock Live at Etess Arena at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Atlantic City. The event, which features two CFFC title fights, will be broadcast live on UFC FIGHT PASS, with veteran broadcaster Mike Gill and international superstar CM Punk returning to call the action.

In the night’s main event, reigning CFFC welterweight champion Sean Brady (Philadelphia, Pa., 9-0) defends his title against Taj Abdul Hakim (Queens, N.Y., 8-1). With a win, the undefeated and versatile Brady looks to cement his place as one of the best welterweights in CFFC history. Meanwhile, the dangerous Abdul Hakim is fresh off a victory over Marco Smallman at CFFC 71 and determined to end Brady’s run atop CFFC’s talent-rich 170-pound division.

In addition to the welterweight title fight, a pair of gifted submission artists collide in the night’s championship co-main event. Mike Wilcox (Philadelphia, Pa., 6-3) battles Kyle Daukaus (Philadelphia, Pa., 5-0) for the vacant CFFC middleweight crown, which was last held by UFC star Anthony Smith.

Wilcox – a former NCAA Division III National Champion wrestler at Delaware Valley College – has won four of his last five contests, all by first-round submission. Like Wilcox, Daukaus is a grappling ace, with all five of his pro wins coming by way of submission. Both fighters in this title fight look to follow in the footsteps of Smith, one of UFC’s fastest rising stars who holds wins over the likes of MMA legends Mauricio “Shogun” Rua and Rashad Evans.

Tickets for this incredible night of championship fights are available NOW at and the Hard Rock Live Box Office. Additional bouts for this card will be announced in the coming weeks.

“The boardwalk in Atlantic City has hosted some of the greatest fights in the history of combat sports and we look forward to carrying on that tradition with our new partners at Hard Rock,” said Rob Haydak, President of CFFC. “Joe Lupo and his team are doing a remarkable job in positioning Hard Rock as one of the best properties in the country for gaming, dining, nightlife and entertainment. We couldn’t be more excited to bring two CFFC championship fights to Hard Rock as we look to once again deliver the best regional MMA fights in the industry.”

Joe Lupo, President, Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City stated,

“We could not be more excited to host Cage Fury Fighting Championships at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City this February 16th. Building a relationship with a premier MMA organization to host the first of many CFFC events at Hard Rock Live at Etess Arena for our fight fans to enjoy on the Boardwalk speaks to our continued commitment to world-class entertainment.”


Considered one of the best regional, developmental mixed martial arts organizations in the industry, Cage Fury Fighting Championships (CFFC) hosts events across the United States with an emphasis on cultivating the best and brightest talent in the sport. CFFC events are broadcast live on UFC FIGHT PASS, the leading digital subscription service for fight fans.

Founded in 2006, CFFC has served as home to a variety of UFC stars, including Anthony Smith, Jimmie Rivera, Aljamain Sterling, Kimbo Slice, Paul Felder, Jim Miller, Nick Catone, Lyman Good, Katlyn Chookagian, Shane Burgos and Jared Gordon.

Led by its respected President Rob Haydak, CFFC’s executive team consists of sports and entertainment industry executives who have worked for some of the most prestigious brands in the world.


Set on 17 acres, with the legendary Atlantic City Boardwalk as its backdrop, Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City will be Atlantic City’s go-to entertainment destination, boasting 2,200 slots, 120 table games, more than 20 first-class restaurants and lounges, and world-class entertainment, including Hard Rock Live at Etess Arena, the beachside Sound Waves and Howie Mandel’s Comedy Club. The hotel and casino also features the iconic Hard Rock Cafe, overlooking the Atlantic City Boardwalk, showcasing a brand new elevated menu and state-of-the-art stage, allowing for an amplified level of service and entertainment. Along with an endless array of upscale amenities, including world-class shopping and the brand’s signature full-service Rock Spa and Salon, featuring 31 treatment rooms, the new, music-inspired property offers lavish guest rooms and suites, with stunning views of the city and Atlantic Ocean. From family vacations and business trips to weddings, Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City offers an unparalleled experience. Each of the hotel’s guest rooms and suites radiates a contemporary style, including Hard Rock’s signature The Sound of Your Stay® music amenity program, which allows guests to set the mood with complimentary vinyl records or jam out on a Fender guitar in the privacy of their own room. Hotel guests can enjoy high speed, property-wide Wi-Fi, 24-Hour In-Room Dining, towel and chair service at Hard Rock Beach or at the indoor pool, and 24-Hour Access to Body Rock fitness. For more information and to book your stay, please visit