Fight Time 18: Guts & Glory – A Rundown of the Top Six Fights
On Friday, February 7th, Howard Davis Jr.’s Fight Time Promotions returns to the historic War Memorial Auditorium – located at 800 NE St. in Ft. Lauderdale, FL – for Fight Time 18: Guts & Glory. Boasting a generous 14-fight card (including 7 pro debuts), the event will be Fight Time’s first 2014 offering after an action-packed 2013. Familiar and new faces alike will likely be battle-worn following a solid evening of combat, which begins at 8 p.m. (doors open at 7 p.m., and it’s advised that you arrive a little early). Visit Fight Time’s website for tickets and updates.
There are several interesting matchups to look forward to, from a co-headlining lightweight rematch between Mike Bruno and Avery “The Irish Hurricane” McPhatter, a fight for featherweight prominence between John “Platano” de Jesus and Jason Soares, a women’s atomweight bout between pro debut Jenny “The Phoenix” Silverio and Julia Jones, and, in the main event, former UFC lightweight Yoislandy “Cuba” Izquierdo will look to remain undefeated under the Fight Time banner when he faces the live-by-the-sword/die-by-the-sword warrior, Travis Cox.
Debuting are the aforementioned WMMA atomweights Silverio and Jones, welterweight Mikerson Lindor, light heavyweight Muhammed DeReese, bantamweight Mike “The Hammer” Hamman, welterweight Orlando Santana, middleweight Robert Castellano, featherweight Chris Navarro and flyweight Marcos Gomes. Needless to say, with the exception of a heavyweight bout, this card is incredibly varied, and fight fans would do well to pay attention to the outcomes of some of these bouts, as they’ll almost certainly have implications when it comes to the landscapes of their respective weight divisions.
Without further ado, here’s a breakdown of the top six bouts of the evening.
Lightweight (155 lbs.) Fight
Yoislandy “Cuba” Izquierdo [9-2]
Travis Cox [6-11-1-1]
Yoislandy “Cuba” Izquierdo is undoubtedly riding high going into this bout. Just last November, at Fight Time 17: Undisputed, Izquierdo put the emphatic kibosh on fellow lightweight Avery McPhatter’s divisional ascent. The 30-year-old, 5’11” Hialeah resident, who fights out of American Top Team West Kendall, has formerly competed in both the UFC and CFA. Since his debut in 2010, Izquierdo has won six of his fights by knockout, one by submission and two by decision. Conversely, he’s never been finished by knockout himself, although he’s lost once by submission and once by decision. He’s on a three-fight win streak currently, with all of those wins coming by way of striking-related stoppages.
Travis Cox, on the other hand, has looked less than stellar over the last several years. In fact, he hasn’t fought since February 2012. Living in Naples and training at Inferno MMA, the 35-year-old, 5’8” Cox is on a four-fight losing streak – all by way of submission or knockout. In fact, the man who last defeated him, Mike Bruno, is facing the aforementioned Avery McPhatter in the co-main event. An eight-year veteran of the sport, Cox definitely needs a win Friday night. He’s a gritty competitor, however; he’s never won by decision, winning five fights by knockout and one by submission. Equally definitive in defeat, he’s lost four times by knockout, six times by submission, and only once has he ever seen a judge’s scorecard.
Mike Bruno [11-5]
Avery “The Irish Hurricane” McPhatter [2-4]
Mike Bruno, who we last saw lost via triangle choke to former UFC lightweight Vagner Rocha at Fight Time 12: Warriors Collide, is a well-rounded competitor fighting out of Boca Raton and training at the lauded American Top Team gym. The 27-year-old, 5’10” mixed martial artist has won twice by knockout, four times by submission, four times by decision and once by disqualification. Of his five losses, one has come by knockout, two have been by way of tapout and the judges have given the fight to his opponent twice. Before his loss to Rocha, he was on a four-fight win streak, all with Fight Time, and he kicked off that win streak with a decision victory over current opponent, Avery McPhatter, at Fight Time 3: It’s War, back in February 2011.
Avery “The Irish Hurricane” McPhatter has not had a good run as of late. His last win was three years ago, so it’s paramount that he record a victory in his rematch on Friday. The Tampa resident, who stands at 6’2”, has won once by submission and once by decision while losing twice by knockout and twice by judge’s ruling.
Featherweight (145 lbs.) Fight
John “Platano” de Jesus [6-3]
Jason Soares [4-0]
This matchup could prove to be the fight of the night.
John “Platano” de Jesus, a 23-year-old, 5’7” scrapper with a penchant for submissions, has won all but one of his fights with Fight Time and is coming off a decision victory over Tulio Quintanilla at Fight Time 15: It’s Fight Time. Fighting out of American Top Team Davie, de Jesus has won once by knockout, thrice by submission and twice by decision, while losing once in every legal way. In actuality, he could be on a four-fight win streak were it not for a split decision loss to Billy Quarantillo at Fight Time 13: MMA Kings.
His opponent, Jason Soares, has a lot of steam built up going into this fight. The 24-year-old Key Largo resident boasts an undefeated record with one knockout finish and three rear-naked choke submissions. This will mark his fourth contest under the Fight Time banner since November 2012.
Women’s Atomweight (105 lbs.) Fight
Jenny “The Phoenix” Silverio [Pro debut]
Julia Jones [Pro debut]
As the only fight of the night with both fighters making their pro debuts, this is one to watch, ladies and gentlemen.
Jenny “The Phoenix” Silverio is finally making her pro debut after going 5-2 as an amateur. The Miami resident, who trains out of Twin Dragons MMA and Lotus Club, is a compact 4’10” 27-year-old who thus far has not displayed formidable striking power but has been able to put away two of her previous seven opponents by submission.
Julia Jones is coming off of back-to-back losses, and what’s more, her last loss was recorded more than a year ago. Where’s she been during that time?
Maybe she secreted away to the mountains to train with Ra’s Al Ghul and the League of Assassins. Maybe she’s been doing hard time upstate for moonlighting as a masked vigilante.
What I’m saying, maybe Julia Jones is Batwoman.
More likely, she’s been polishing her skill set in preparation for her pro debut so she can get back to the winning ways that won her an amateur title back in March 2012. Whatever the case, we’ll see what she brings to the table soon enough.
Welterweight (170 lbs.) Fight
Michael Johnson [0-2]
Mikerson Lindor [Pro debut]
Plantation fighter Michael Johnson, who trains out of American Top Team Davie, will hope to record his first pro win against a debuting opponent on fight night. The 27-year-old lost both of his previous bouts with Fight Time, once by triangle choke and once by rear-naked choke. Protect your neck!
Florida resident Mikerson Lindor, who is making his pro debut, has been groomed by Fight Time since August 2012 for this very moment. An amateur MMA champion, Lindor fought four times previously for the promotion, winning twice by decision and twice by submission. Obviously, anything can happen in a fight, but look for Mikerson to make a statement Friday night.
Light Heavyweight (205 lbs.) Fight
Carl Darbouze [2-1]
Muhammed DeReese [Pro debut]
Miami’s Carl Darbouze, a 28-year-old light heavyweight, has only ever fought for Fight Time as a professional. His last win, a decision victory over Savalas Williams at Fight Time 16: Rocha vs. Barroso, came back in August, so he’s undoubtedly itchy to get back into the cage. He’s won once by knockout, once by decision, and his record’s sole blemish came by way of a slick third-round triangle submission by Robert Reed back in June of last year.
Darbouze will have his hands full on Friday night with Muhammed DeReese, who will be making his pro debut after an 8-0 undefeated amateur career where he collected a few belts in the process. The 6’0” Titusville resident has trained previously with the Blackzilians.
Bantamweight (135 lbs.) Fight
Jamie Alvarez [2-0]
Mike “The Hammer” Hamman [Pro debut]
Garrett Gross [4-2]
Frederico Moncaio [1-0]
Orlando Santana [Pro debut]
Alexander Delgado [0-1]
Chris Thorne [5-7]
Edir Terry [3-1]
Middleweight (185 lbs.) Fight
Joe “The Beast” Leo [1-0]
Robert Castellano [Pro debut]
Chris Navarro [Pro debut]
Kester Mark [1-2]
John “The Musclebot” Rivera [1-6]
Yvon Agenord [1-1]
Flyweight (125 lbs.) Fight
Edwin “The Emperor” Sarria [2-0]
Marcos Gomes [Pro debut]