Caged Madness 36 is still a little over a month away, but officials from Explosive Fight Promotions are already putting together yet another solid fight card for the event that is set to go down in Akron on May 16.
And headlining the night of festivities will be new champion Frankie Festa (4-1), who puts the middleweight title that he won in February on the line for the first time against fellow rising star Devon Kelleher (3-1).
Festa put a hash mark in the win column for his fourth straight outing in his last bout, as he earned a decision over Mike Seibert to take home the organization’s 185-pound title in the main event at Caged Madness 34. The Pittsburgh native, who has two submission wins to his credit, will once again venture into enemy territory in the Buckeye State when he takes on Evolve MMA’s Kelleher. After starting off his career with three stoppage wins including two first round TKOs, Kelleher came up short in his last outing as he dropped a unanimous decision to Darion Peterson for the NAAFS title last October.
In the co-main event, Eddy Faison (5-4) looks for his third straight win as he takes on Pennsylvania’s Chris Araujo (4-2) for the vacant EFP super heavyweight title.
After his last bout was canceled at the last minute at Caged Madness 35, Jeremiah Leviege (3-2) will step into the cage just over a month later when he takes on Devonte Smith (6-2-1) at Caged Madness 36 for the interim lightweight title.
Leviege doesn’t get paid by the hour, as his three victories have come in 31 (TKO), 20 (knockout), and 41 (rear naked choke) seconds. Smith looks to extend a 5-fight unbeaten streak, as the Evolve MMA product has had a bit of a career renaissance after moving to the well-respected camp full time. After starting his career just 2-2, he reeled off four straight wins – including 3 in 2014 – before fighting to a draw against Nick Foxhuber last October.
In a light heavyweight No. 1 contender’s bout, Nick Dowe (5-3) will take on Chicago area native Brenden Toler (6-1).
Dowe, yet another Evolve MMA product, made a successful return last month after a nearly two-year absence when he submitted Mesmaran Sunseray in just 38 seconds. It was the second straight submission win for Dowe, who started off his career with three straight first round knockouts before dropping three straight. Toler, who currently holds the MoreMMA light heavyweight title, has earned all six of his wins via stoppage, including five submissions.
Other notable bouts at Caged Madness 36 will feature middleweights Marlon Baker (2-0) vs. Zack Cross (3-2), heavyweights Mesmaran Sunseray (3-3) vs. Shane Edwards (3-4), Mike Seibert (3-3) vs. Sean Felton (3-2) at a catchweight of 160 pounds, middleweights Cory Ferris (1-0) vs. Josh Paulus (1-0), Joe Myers (0-4) vs. George Murphy (1-5) at a catchweight of 140 pounds, lightweights Dustin Bates (1-0) vs. Hazel Hyde (0-0), and middleweights Justan Grandison (0-0) vs. Robert Johnston (0-0).
The current lineup for Caged Madness 36 (subject to change):
185 lbs – Frankie Festa vs. Devon Kelleher – for middleweight title
265+ lbs – Eddy Faison vs. Chris Araujo – for super heavyweight title
155 lbs – Devonte Smith vs. Jeremiah Leviege – for interim lightweight title
205 lbs – Nick Dowe vs. Brenden Toler
185 lbs – Marlon Baker vs. Zack Cross
265 lbs – Mesmaran Sunseray vs. Shane Edwards
185 lbs – Cory Ferris vs. Josh Paulus
160 lbs – Mike Seibert vs. Sean Felton
140 lbs – Shawn Rall vs. Shayne Britton
130 lbs – Joe Myers vs. George Murphy
155 lbs – Harrison Watkins vs. Todd Liberati
155 lbs – Dustin Bates vs. Hazel Hyde
185 lbs – Justan Grandison vs. Robert Johnston