Explosive Fight Promotions was the first organization to put together a card in the state of Ohio in 2014, and they set the bar high for 2014. The 14-fight Caged Madness 27 card featured a little bit of everything, from submissions to knockouts to close three-round decisions.
The crowd was nearly sold out inside the Tadmor Shrine in Akron, and they came alive during many of the night’s exciting bouts.
Below are the headlines stemming from the night’s event:
Hodge & Pettis impress in title bouts
In the night’s main event, Jerrell Hodge (10-1) continued his winning ways, earning the vacant EFP featherweight title with a third round rear naked choke victory over Pennsylvania’s Ethan Goss (4-3). Hodge’s friend Darnell Pettis (7-3) put on the best performance of his career in the co-headliner, as he claimed the interim EFP bantamweight title with a second round TKO over Colt Gross (3-2). Both Goss and Gross hung tough early in their respective bouts, but Hodge and Pettis pulled away as the contests drew on to claim the gold.
Ready to go pro
Two fighters who were victorious on the night now appear headed to the pro ranks, as longtime veterans Bhrandon Poindexter (9-9) and Chico Bays (7-3) both announced plans to move forward with their careers. Poindexter has been competing since 2008, and he is headed to the pro ranks on a three-fight winning streak after submitting Josh Faison (1-5) with a triangle choke in the first round of their lightweight bout.
Bays had a layoff of more than 17 months, and it had been 20 months since his last victory. But “The Ninja Assassin” looked better than ever, submitting veteran Donnie Cameron (9-6-1) with a guillotine choke early in the second round.
Impressive young middleweights
With mixed martial arts seemingly becoming more focused on the divisions at 170 pounds and below, it is becoming increasingly rare to find top young prospects in the middleweight, light heavyweight, and heavyweight divisions. But two middleweight fighters stood out on the card, as both Steve Stocker (3-1) and Devon Kelleher (1-0) earned stoppage victories.
Stocker put on an impressive grappling performance against the game Josh Barbee (2-2) in the fight of the night, eventually earning a hard-fought guillotine submission victory. Evolve MMA product Kelleher made an impressive debut with an aggressive striking display, earning a TKO stoppage just 25 seconds into his bout.
End of Night Awards:
Knockout of the Night: Devon Kelleher
Submission of the Night: Bhrandon Poindexter
Fight of the Night: Steve Stocker vs. Josh Barbee