Fight Time 23: Mayhem in Miami — Full Fight Card with Three Matchups to Focus On
Fight Time 23: Mayhem in Miami
Friday, February 6, 2015
Main Card: CBS Sports Network | Prelims: CBSSports.com
Magic City Casino – 450 NW 37th Ave. – Miami, FL 33125
Doors: 7 p.m. | First Fight: 8 p.m.
Olympic gold medalist Howard Davis Jr.’s Fight Time Promotions is certainly starting their 2015 schedule off with a bang. The forerunning South Florida organization, almost exactly two months removed from their last pro event (a benefit show for Autism Speaks), has a number of new things going for it—the most noteworthy of which being their freshly-inked broadcast deal with CBS Sports Network (the same channel Titan FC calls home).
Like Titan, Fight Time is bringing along its own expert broadcast team featuring play-by-play commentator Alex Donno, color commentator Rich Attonito, behind-the-scenes reporter Andrea Calle and cage announcer Marc Lichtenfeld.
Next Friday will mark the first of a scheduled six events spread out between then and mid-November. It will also be the first of three times the promotion will be holding events at Miami’s Magic City Casino, as Fight Time is splitting their time between the Miami-Dade County location and their longtime venue at Ft. Lauderdale’s War Memorial Auditorium.
It’s a big step forward for the Sunshine State MMA mainstay. Let’s take a look at the three most compelling bouts of the evening.
Note: Card is subject change.
Flyweight (125 lbs.) – 3 Rounds
Alexis “The Exorcist” Vila [14-5]
Marcelo Adur [6-3]
Despite living and training in South Florida for most of his career, Cuba-born American Top Team core member and 1996 Olympic bronze medalist Alexis Vila will be competing inside the Fight Time cage for the first time next Friday. A professional mixed martial artist since December 2007, the 43-year-old encountered a career rough patch after dropping a decision to former Bellator MMA bantamweight champion Eduardo Dantes back in November 2011 and he’s had one hell of a time rebounding since, going 3-3 since 2013. The former Championship Fighting Alliance (CFA) and World Series of Fighting (WSOF) competitor is well-rounded, packs power in his punches (half of his victories have come by way of knockout) and is hard to put away, as is proof by a lone submission defeat and no KO losses to date.
Facing him is Chute Boxe Floripa fighter Marcel Adur, who is something of an enigma to stateside fans, considering this will be the first time he’s fought outside of his native country of Brazil. Here are a few things we do know about him and how he stacks up against Vila:
- At 23, he’s nearly half Vila’s age and consequently will likely have considerably less wear and tear on his body.
- Like Vila, he’s never been knocked out, but has shown in earlier fights to possibly be susceptible to submissions, as two of his three losses have come by way of tap out.
- His 5’9” height, compared to Vila’s 5’4”, will afford him a sizable height and reach advantage
A win will do a lot for both men’s careers. For Vila, it perhaps may serve to reignite a career gone rocky. For Adur, it’ll be a coming-out party of sorts, and he has the opportunity to make a big statement over a name opponent in his U.S. and national television debut.
Welterweight (170 lbs.) – 3 Rounds
Jose “The Fresh Prince of Kendall” Caceres [7-6]
Corey “The Real Deal” Hill [6-8]
Jose Caceres’ career has been less successful than his younger brother Alex’s, but at 27 years old the 6’2” Miami resident will make it three wins in row for the first time since he debuted in June 2010 with a win on fight night. A longtime CFA fighter, Caceres was forced to find a new home after the promotion folded in 2014 and, after bouncing between the WSOF and Island Fights, he’ll be looking to make a successful debut with Fight Time.
Many remember Corey Hill from his time on The Ultimate Fighter and, less pleasantly, for getting “Anderson Silva injured” before Anderson Silva was. A multi-time high school state wrestling champion and a national finalist teammate of Daniel Cormier’s (while at Colby Community College), Hill has competed in eight different organizations, going 4-6 in the process. Currently on a career-low four-fight losing streak capped off by his first legitimate TKO loss, the 36-year-old needs a win, big time.
Welterweight – 3 Rounds
Nico “The Hybrid” Price [4-0]
Michael Lilly [2-2]
Hot welterweight prospect Nico Price is sticking with what works, it seems, as the 25-year-old fighting out of Coral Coral, FL has never fought for any other organization than Fight Time. Back to work after a perfect 3-0 year that earned him a nomination for “Best Pro Male Fighter” at the 2014 Florida MMA Awards, the 6’0” steamroller is bringing a vicious finishing game that hasn’t allowed a single one of his opponents to escape the first round into the cage with him.
Fellow South Florida fighter Michael Lilly is benefitting from necessity, it seems. Coming off a loss to Jason Jackson at Fight Time 20, the 25-year-old MMA Masters product has alternated wins and losses since debuting successfully at CFA 8: Araujo vs. Bradley back in 2012.
Although Price’s resume is inarguably more impressive, the high pace at which fighters this age improve leaves much up in the air. The only sure thing is that this bout will be an absolute blast to witness.
Bantamweight (135 lbs.) – 3 Rounds
Marcelo Castanedo [1-0]
Miguel “Magic City Mauler” Restrepo [2-1-1]
Bantamweight – 3 Rounds
Chris Navarro [1-1]
Irwing Rivera [2-0]
Lightweight (155 lbs.) – 3 Rounds
Marcos Lloreda [3-0]
Jose Silva Jr. [2-0]
Flyweight – 3 Rounds
Yunier Valdez [5-0]
Steven Esquivel [0-1]
Flyweight – 3 Rounds
Ramiro Ruiz [3-1]
Marco Feitosa [0-0]
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A freelance MMA, entertainment and business journo born, raised and residing in Miami, FL, Jesse is a musician, cinephile and recovering ne’er-do-well who still believes Mickey Rourke’s finest days in film have yet to come. He is TuffGnarl.com’s editor-in-chief. Follow him on Twitter: @JesseScheckner.