Three titles on the line as Colosseum Combat XL returns to Kokomo this weekend

Keith Smetana vs Muhammad Abdullah headline Colosseum Combat XL

Keith Smetana vs Muhammad Abdullah headline Colosseum Combat XL

Colosseum Combat returns to the Kokomo Event & Conference Center this Saturday for the promotion’s 40th event.

Promoter Mark Slater, a noted fan himself, is excited for the event. “There are some heavy hitters on this fight card!,” he posted on Facebook. “The winner of the main event will most likely be signed by a major promotion and this will be your last chance to see them around here!”

“The co-main event is another pro title fight with an MMA legend fighting a guy scared of no one and is ready to shock the world!”

The main event features a title fight as current champion Keith Smetana (10-5) will defend his middleweight belt against Muhammad Abdullah (8-3).

The two middleweight fighters were initially set to compete at Colosseum Combat 38. That match-up was scratched after Smetana became ill during his weight cut that forced him to withdraw. Now that Smetana made a full recovery, the two will now have the opportunity to compete.

Smetana stopped Tony Parker at Colosseum Combat XXXVI to claim his first professional title. The West Virgina resident has won four of his last five fights, which includes wins at Prestige Fight Club and Shamrock FC. Now he will defend his title for the first time since capturing it when he squares off against Abdullah.

For Semtana, he knows that a lot is on the line for this fight. He posted this on Facebook: “Fight week, biggest fight of my career. Do or die time.”

Abdullah suffered a recent setback when he suffered a submission loss at Xtreme Caged Combat last November. With the loss behind him, the Vision MMA fighter will now look to add another championship to his collection. This title fight is the fifth opportunity for Abdullah to earn gold.

In addition to the middleweight championship bout, the promotion’s heavyweight title will also be on the line. Jordan Mitchell (3-9) will take on Johnathan Ivey (41-56) for the currently vacant title. Mitchell will look to rebound from his recent stint of losses inside the cage. The Indiana native has gone the distance in each of his last five fights. Unfortunately, he was on the losing side of each of those decisions.

The world renowned Ivey will make his return to the Colosseum Combat cage for the first time in four years. “Big,” who hails from Tennessee, traveled to Japan earlier this year competing under the Pancrase banner. He will be stepping inside the cage officially for the 97th time. His first recognized match-up was nearly two decades ago.

Ivey himself has started promoting, as he’ll host the second edition of Johnathan Ivey’s Cage Fighting Championships on August 19 in Murfressboro, Tennessee.

On the amateur portion of the card, undefeated James Shaffer (3-0) will take on Apineru Vele (8-4). The two middleweight contenders will battle for the vacant title. Shaffer made his debut less than one year at Colosseum Combat XXXVI when he defeated Nick Miller by referee stoppage in the opening round. Since then, he submitted his next two opponents to keep his unblemished record intact.

Vele recently picked up his first amateur title when he defeated Brad Osborne last month at Warrior Nation Fight Series 46. With that win, the Cincinnati resident has won four out of his last five fights. During that stretch, he notched wins against Warrior FC heavyweight champion Justin Burgun and Jeremy Roberts.

The event also features a professional lightweight bout between Terry House (7-11) and Reggie Merriweather (11-10). House will look to rebound from a recent loss while Merriweather will look to continue his current three-fight winning streak.

After coming up short in his pro debut at Colosseum Combat XXXIX in June, Keair Ross (0-1) will look for his first pro win as he takes on Chicago area native James Sanchez (1-0).

Also, rounding out the professional side of the event will be a featherweight contest between Casey Jones (0-2) and Ryan Brettingham (3-3). Jones will be making his return to the cage after a four-year absence while also looking for his first professional victory. Brettingham will look to avenge his recent loss to Jones’ training partner, Jeremy Pender.

The event is available on iPPV via Fite TV with a price tag of $14.99.

Check out the full line-up below:

Colosseum Combat XL card

Pro Bouts:
Keith Smetana (c) vs. Muhammad Abdullah – Middleweight Title
Jordan Mitchell vs. Johnathan Ivey – Heavyweight Title
Terry House, Jr. vs. Reggie Merriweather
Keair Ross vs. James Sanchez
Ryan Brettingham vs. Casey Jones

Amateur Bouts:
James Shaffer vs. Apineru Vele – Middleweight Title
Ian Suttles vs. Charles Stanback, Jr.
Casey Schile vs. Robert Alexander III
Nick Nolting vs. Angelo Robles
Benjamin Deleon vs. Craig Edmondson
Christopher King vs. Clay Raider
Kyle Thomison vs. George Johnson, Jr.

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