Posted 10/13/2013 by Jesse Scheckner in Championship Fighting Alliance

CFA 12 – Breakdowns of the Untelevised Fights


FA 12: Sampo vs. Thao was an absolutely solid evening of combat sports. There were knockouts, submissions and headline-worthy upsets. The stage was a big one; AXS TV has a deal with CFA to air their fights on their HD satellite network, meaning enormous exposure for all the fighters featured on the main card, however more than half of the fights that actually took place at the event went untelevised.

MMA Owl, in an effort to bring you MMA’s Best Bird’s Eye View, decided that fight fans who wanted a little more detail than what your run-of-the-mill results sheet yield should look no further that right here.

Here’s a recap of what went down off air, and be sure to check back in the next couple of days for some pointed thoughts, based on the results of the main card, going forward.


Rico Farrington vs. Diego Peclat
Welterweight (170 lbs.) – Three Rounds

This was a disappointing loss for the up-and-coming Rico Farrington. Though he tried to get things rolling early, he was met with equal and opposite force and he never really even got started. Two rounds in and Peclat was just picking Farrington apart. “The Triggerman” couldn’t seem to pull the trigger, man.

Diego Peclat beat Rico Farrington 30-27. Leg kicks were very much a part of it. Peclat kept chopping Rico down. By the third, Farrington barely threw a punch. He couldn’t get anything off.

Peclat won by unanimous decision (30-27 from all three judges).


Wascar Cruz vs. Bentley Syler
Flyweight (125 lbs.) – Three Rounds

At this point, the BankUnited Center was roughly at 25 percent capacity. The first round was action packed and most likely went to Syler, whose striking had a slight edge. He had a guillotine choke early on that he had to let go of, not to mention three very powerful takedowns. Wascar Cruz attempted an unsuccessful submission near the end of the round that caused Syler to relinquish his position and attempt some more strikes before the end of the round.

Syler was cut in the first round on the tip of the head. Action packed throughout, this was among the best of the non-televised bouts. Both men carried great power in their strikes and, coupled with impeccable technique, could have ended the fight at any second. The round ended similarly to the first, with Syler in control.

Peclat opened up with some spinning techniques, heel, hook and back kicks, and really charged forward, connecting with some great shots. Syler appeared to fade a quarter of the way through second round, but in this round he found his second wind and was able to take Peclat down, apply pressure with his forearm on Peclat’s throat and finish the fight in the mount position, winning by unanimous decision.

Bentley Syler won by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27 and 29-28)


Leo Valdivia vs. Felix Penalvers
Welterweight (170 lbs.) – Three Rounds

Penalvers, to put it as poetically as this whimsical wordsmith can weave it, beat the living shit out of Valdivia on the feet in the first round. With about a minute and a half left, Valdivia was able to take it to the ground and prevent himself from getting his lights shut off. Penalvers packs quite a wallop. Were it not for that takedown this would certainly merit a 10-8 score.

In the second stanza, Valdivia resurged. Or Penalvers wilted a bit. Either way, Valdivia threw together some nice strikes and ended up in top position on the ground, controlling Penalvers throughout and ensuring that everything would be decided in the third.

The crowd favorite Valdivia and the stocky Tyson-esque Penalvers came out of their corners most likely knowing what was at stake, exchanging strikes though visibly low on gas. Valdivia landed a takedown but was reversed. Leo went for the sweep and reversed the position once more, ending up in Penalvers’ guard. Looking the worse for wear overall, the MMA Masters product Leo Valdivia managed to maintain top control to win the 29-28 unanimous decision after a very rocky start.

Leo Valdivia wins by unanimous decision (29-28 from all three judges).


Colby Covington vs. Jose Caceres
Welterweight (170 lbs.) – Three Rounds  

The crowd had thickened, appearing to be at about 2/5 capacity by the beginning of this, the fourth fight of the evening, pitting wrestling standout Colby Covington and Jose “The Fresh Prince of Kendall” Caceres. Like his brother Alex “Bruce Leroy” Caceres, he obviously doesn’t take his nickname too seriously.

After a brief exchange on the feet, Covington took Caceres down, maintaining top control, advancing position to the mount. In the final seconds of the round, Caceres, who had been throwing up his legs in an attempt to catch Covington’s torso and sweep him from his dominant position, appeared to land it to no real effect. Covington easily took the round.

Three-fifths of the way through the second round and it was pretty much the same story. Covington gained top position and had Caceres against the cage. Caceres was unsuccessful in maintaining wrist control from the bottom and ate some medium-strength strikes. Allowing himself to become supine for a short spell, Caceres finally came to his senses and arched his back, trying to buck Covington off. No dice.

Third round, Covington attempted an arm triangle which didn’t work the way he wanted it to, so he transitioned it into a neck crank (of sorts). Wisely passing to side control on the opposite side while Caceres defended the one Covington was currently attacking, Covington caught Caceres in a brief guillotine attempt, throwing in a very risky knee (rules-wise) before the end of the round. Covington wins with the UD.

Colby Covington won by unanimous decision (30-27 from all three judges).


Sabah Homasi vs. Michael Trujillo
Welterweight (170 lbs.) – Three Rounds

This was a back and forth first (and only) round, with each man alternating in giving the other something to worry about from top position on the ground. Once it got back to the feet, Trujillo got cut. Homasi backed him up against the cage and nailed him with a thudding head kick, dropping him. After following it up with academic ground strikes, the ref pulled him off.

Sabah Homasi wins by TKO, Round 1, 4:25.


Hayder Hassan vs. Jason Jackson
Welterweight (170 lbs.) – Three Rounds

Jason “The Ass-Kicking Machine” Jackson and Hassan were pushed to the very end of the evening, after the main event had commenced and most people had left. It’s unfortunate more people didn’t stay, because it produced fireworks aplenty and would have won both fighters some new fans.

The first round was a see-saw of action, both men faring equally in an extremely tough round to call. What was striking about tonight’s events, more than the fantastic upset (that I’ll be writing about and posting up in the next couple of days) is how evenly matched every fight was. When Efrain Escudero spoke about how there are no easy fights in CFA, he wasn’t just being complimentary to the organization; It’s absolutely true.

The second round saw Jackson play the part of the aggressor, walking Hassan down and chopping at him with kicks low, medium and high. Hassan fired back with looping hooks often, though he mostly caught air. In an exchange of head kicks, Jackson checked Hassan’s attack with a forearm while catching Hassan in the ribcage with a thwack!
And then suddenly, Hassan found his range, cracking Jackson a number of times and making him gun shy. As if both men agreed before entering the cage that there would be none of this “ground game” going on, neither man made any attempt to take it there.

Last round of their three fight tilt and Hassan turned the tide, coming out with a seemingly telegraphed stutter-step jab that pops out a second sooner than you’d think, and it was catching Jackson now and then. Every once in a while, he’d follow it up with a same-side hook. Even in the third round his power was evident. For whatever reason, like he’d done in the previous two rounds, he allows Jackson to walk him back against the cage. A flurry from Hassan caused Jackson to go for the takedown, but he failed to get it. Hassan suddenly caught him flush, Jackson’s mouthpiece dropped to the floor as he hunched over against the cage, receiving repeated blows before the ref mercifully stepped in. Hassan by third round TKO in a great closer for the evening.

Hayder Hassan wins by TKO, Round 3, 2:52.




Jesse Scheckner

A freelance MMA, entertainment and business journo born, raised and residing in Miami, FL, Jesse Scheckner is a former semi-serious musician, cinephile and recovering ne’er-do-well committed to nonfiction storytelling. He is the 2014 Florida MMA Awards "Best MMA Media Correspondent" winner and a two-time Miami New Times "Best Of" winner. Follow him on Twitter @JesseScheckner to talk about the stuff he writes about with him.