In what might have been the biggest fight of the night, Cody Gabelman met Darnell Pettis at Big Guns 14. The two highly-regarded flyweight prospects finally crossed paths. Without a doubt, these two fighters were at the top of the division when they were amateurs. However, the two seemed to elude one another; that was until this past weekend.
Making his professional debut the ever elusive Pettis racked up an 8-3 amateur record that included six stoppages. Well, that isn’t entirely true. He actually made his professional debut hits past July but due to an unintentional kick the bout was ruled a no-contest. So, technically this was his second professional fight, but the first one that occurred.
With his uncanny fighting style, he poses a threat to any fighter both on the feet and the ground. Of course, Gabelman just is not just ‘any fighter.’ As an amateur, the Team G-Force/Reed Academy fighter put together an unheard of 12-1 record in a 15-month period. After many fights had fallen apart, no one wanted to fight him, he decided it was time to put skills to the test as a professional.
Gabelman made his debut in January of this year, earning a first-round stoppage over Christian Reed. Now, stepping up in competition he was facing his toughest test to date (that’s my opinion though- seriously Pettis is tough).
Fighting in Ohio for the first time in his career, the Cincinnati-native was ready to make a statement to those in the division. Not only did Gabelman make that statement loud and clear, he undoubtedly showed us he wants to be at the top. If you don’t believe me, watch the video and see for yourself.
Using his wrestling and jiu-jitsu Gabelman was able to get Pettis down to the ground; a place that is very familiar to Gabelman. Wanting to avoid any stand-up with Pettis seemed to be the game plan for “Lil Ginjahhh.” It worked perfect as he was not only to get Pettis down to the ground but was able to employ a vast array of devastating strikes.
In the end, Gabelman was able to transition to the back of Pettis where he locked on a rear-naked choke. Not long after the submission was in place, was Pettis forced to tap-out. It was the first time that the Bedford, Ohio resident lost a fight by stoppage.
“I kept this fight quiet after being sidelined for 11 months mainly for me,” stated Gabelman after the fight. “Now it’s safe to say the Lil Ginjahhh is back on track with a vicious 2nd round finish of one the top fighters in Ohio!”
I caught up with Cody Gabelman after the fight where we discussed a variety of topics. Not wanting to take much time off, much like he did for the better part of this year, he wants to and is ready to get back into the cage. While nothing is quite set in stone yet, he did make mention of a November/December return.