LFA TICKET WINNER: Congrats to Hunter M. for winning the latest pair of LFA 2 tickets. We'll give away more pairs Tuesday!
|CFX 33: Breaking down the amateurs|
|Written by Ben Pherson|
|Wednesday, 25 April 2012 08:31|
CFX 33 at Target Center is just days away. Saturday night, starting at 6 p.m., it's all going down!
Tickets for the show still remain, though the lower bowl is nearly sold out, according to matchmaker Gavin Rydell. Tickets start at $32 and are available through ticketmaster.com and at the Target Center box office.
Today we sat down with Rydell to break down the amateur portion of the card. There are eight amateur fights scheduled, and those fights include a total of seven undefeated amateurs.
The amateur portion of Saturday's card is scheduled to begin promptly at 6 p.m. Rydell said the amateur fights will go quickly as they work through a 21-fight card.
Rydell said he also got word yesterday that a TV crew from HDNet will be attending the fights, filming a segment for their weekly show "Inside MMA."
195 -- BRANDEN NOETZEL (1-0) VS. JAKE ERICKSON (2-3)
RYDELL'S THOUGHTS: This is a fight that changed a couple of times over the last few weeks. Noetzel has been ready to go, but a couple of opponents have backed out, including one here this week. It's been too bad, but luckily we were able to get Jake Erickson to step up. He's coming off a win, and Jake is a tough guy. He's a decent wrestler, which is probably Branden's weakness. But Branden hits as hard as anyone at this weight and he's great on the ground. He's been ready for any opponent for weeks, so I'm sure he's ready to go.
MNMMANEWS' THOUGHTS: Noetzel was ranked previously after knocking off Justin Rheaume in his lone fight. He's a guy who has trained for years, but he has a successful tattoo business, so he hasn't had a big desire to fight. Noetzel can hang with anyone at 185 pounds. On the ground, he's excellent. And he hits very hard. His hammerfists were devastating against Rheaume. Training under Brock Larson has been great for Noetzel. He has been out of action for more than a year, though, so it will be interesting to see how he bounces back. Erickson suffered a loss to Thomas Lytle recently, but he bounced back last weekend with a win in Savage. He's a solid wrestler who hits hard. He also holds an impressive win over Jim Clark. He's probably the underdog, but he's got more cage experience.
185 -- JUSTIN RHEAUME (9-2) vs. VYRON PHILLIPS (3-0)
RYDELL'S THOUGHTS: This fight has stayed together nicely, and it could be one of the best ones on the amateur card. Rheaume is as good as anyone at 185, and he's done just fine against the 205-pounders, too. He's a good wrestler, and he trains with a great team down in Mankato. I don't know a lot about Phillips, but I know he's a good athlete. He's originally from Minnesota but has been fighting out of state.
MNMMANEWS' THOUGHTS: Phillips is one of the big unknowns on the card, though people speak very highly of him. He's an athlete and reportedly played college basketball. So far in his amateur career, he's displayed devastating hands. He hits very hard. That said, Rheaume will be his toughest opponent to date. ... I won't say much about Rheaume because I have ties to him. But he's a good wrestler with improving striking. When he has his head in the game and he's training like he should, he can beat anybody at his weight. Loads of talent and upside. This is a big fight for him to take that next step, and a win means he's probably turning pro in his next fight.
155 -- KYLE TODD (3-2) VS. NICK PORRAS (4-0)
RYDELL'S THOUGHTS: This is a fight Nick Gamst put together, and it's one of his favorites on the card. Todd's a good wrestler, and Porras is just a tough kid who's pretty solid all over the cage. Nick says this might be the most exciting fight on the card, and these are two guys who could be fighting for Nick's 155-pound belt.
MNMMANEWS' THOUGHTS: Todd's a big, strong wrestler. His record is 3-2, but those two losses are to undefeated prospect Chad Curry and Porras. It's a chance for Todd to get that loss back. That first matchup was exciting, but Porras caught Todd in a triangle choke right at the end of the second round. Todd tapped with just four seconds left in the round. Todd has the potential to go far in the sport with his wrestling base and improving striking. And Porras just keeps winning. He's not incredible in any one aspect, but he's above average in all areas. It will be interesting to see if Todd wants to take Porras down again, after getting submitted there the first time around. It's a great rematch.
185 -- JOE SULLIVAN (3-1) VS. THOMAS HERRERA (3-1)
RYDELL'S THOUGHTS: Herrera is a good wrestler, and Sullivan is solid all-around. I've heard Herrera has gotten very serious about the sport and he's trained hard for this fight. I don't know much about Sullivan, but Nick Gamst speaks highly of him. Sounds like he's just another tough kid with good all-around skills.
MNMMANEWS' THOUGHTS: Sullivan is a beast, and he showed a lot in his lone loss, a controversial split decision against Ben Lindau at Treasure Island. Sullivan is good in all areas. He'll beat you up on his feat or on the ground. Herrera is very strong, and he's got a solid wrestling background. He's also been training at the Mario Roberto Jiu-Jitsu Academy for this fight, so I expect his ground game to take a giant step forward. Herrera hasn't been fighting long, but he's already shown nice improvement. His lone loss also is to Lindau. It would be the biggest win of either guy's career at this point. We'll see how they both react to being on the big stage.
135 -- RYAN SWEEZER (5-3) VS. AARON COURTRIGHT (0-1)
RYDELL'S THOUGHTS: Sweezer is a great kid, someone we're looking to keep moving up. This fight fell through a couple of times. He's had a bunch of different opponent changes. In fact, his opponent changed again this week. But Sweezer has remained ready the whole time. With his attitude and skills, I think he could go far. I don't know much about Courtright. He filled in here at the last second, so we thank him for that.
MNMMANEWS' THOUGHTS: Sweezer is one of the most improved fighters in Minnesota. His last two times out, he's looked amazing. Rolling around on the ground with him has proven to be a big mistake as his ground game has improved greatly. He's athletic, and he's strong enough at 135. Courtright is the brother of Anthony Courtright. He's a complete unknown who stepped up to take this fight on short notice. If he wins, people will know who he is quickly.
205 -- RON WINSLOW (1-0) VS. DIEGO GARCIA (5-6)
RYDELL'S THOUGHTS: Winslow is a physical specimen. He hits as hard as anyone at this weight. He's got a Muay Thai background, and you won't find many better strikers. He jumped onto the scene with a huge knockout in his first fight. I don't know much about Garcia. He's another guy who stepped up late as we struggled to find people who were willing to fight Winslow.
MNMMANEWS' THOUGHTS: Winslow is jacked. His Muay Thai background is evident from the second he steps in the cage. Standing and trading punches with him is a bad idea for any 205-pounder. He's also now training at the Minnesota Martial Arts Academy, so the sky is the limit for this guy. He's got the tools, though he will need to work on his wrestling, and it will be interesting to see how comfortable he is on the ground. Garcia is a veteran and he hits hard, too. This could be a striking battle. Garcia is coming off a loss to Rheaume in Mankato, but before that he had won three straight for Gamst down in Iowa. It's a good next step for Winslow as he tries to climb the ladder.
145 -- MITCH FIELD (3-2) VS. NATE TOGBAH (3-0)
RYDELL'S THOUGHTS: Mitch Field is super strong. He's a decent wrestler, decent striker, but you don't want to be on the ground with him because he's as strong as anyone at that weight. Togbah is another guy who has been fighting for Gamst. He's super tough in all areas. Talking to Nick and Jeremy Bjornberg, we all think this could be one of the best amateur fights of the night, if not the best overall fight. It should be a war.
MNMMANEWS' THOUGHTS: Mitch Field has improved so much from his early fights. He is incredibly strong. He trains at Spartan, and that's a great fit for him. What Field lacks in athleticism, he makes up for in strength and heart. Togbah is another kid who just keeps finding ways to win. This will be his biggest step up in competition, though. Togbah's best shot is to keep it standing and stay at a distance. Field has a deathly grip in the clinch, and that's how he usually gets his fights to the ground. This has the potential to be a war. Field had a five-round war with John Castaneda, and I can see this one going all three rounds.
170 -- MARC HUMMEL (3-2) VS. CT BAILEY (2-0)
RYDELL'S THOUGHTS: Hummel has worked as hard as I've ever seen him work. He's improving a lot, and he's better than his 3-2 record would indicate. He's training constantly and dedicating himself to the sport. He's pretty solid in all areas. Bailey has shown good stuff in his fights. He's a good athlete, he hits hard. I think this should be a good, even fight.
MNMMANEWS' THOUGHTS: Hummel has looked better in his last two fights. He picked up a couple of wins at the last two Minnesota King of the Cage cards. He's athletic and big for 170. His technique is improving, though he still has plenty to work on. If he stays smart, this could be a big fight for him. Bailey is an Iowa guy, and he's been out of action since 2010 (for recorded fights, anyway). But Gamst speaks highly of him. He's just a tough all-around guy. He's got that brawler mentality, and Gamst said you want to stay away from his hands because he hits very hard. If the lineup holds true, this should be a nice way to kick off the card. Expect fireworks.
Saturday * Target Center
195 - Branden Noetzel vs. JayDee Carney.
185 - Justin Rheaume vs. Vyron Phillips.
155 - Kyle Todd vs. Nick Porras.
185 - Joe Sullivan vs. Thomas Herrera.
135 - Ryan Sweezer vs. Anthony Courtright.
205 - Ron Winslow vs. Diego Garcia.
145 - Mitch Field vs. Nate Togbah.
170 - Marc Hummel vs. CT Bailey.