What a manic lead up it’s been to ACB 54 tomorrow.
After a crazy few days with fighters being injured and confusion around what fights are happening and which aren’t, we today had a final bit of drama with Saul Roger’s last minute replacement Aurel Pirtea failing to make weight.
The Romanian was called in as a late minute replacement to fill in for the injured Pat Healy who suffered an injury over four weeks ago. Since that time, ACB matchmakers tried to find Rogers an opponent, but after a number of deals failed through it was only on Thursday morning that Pirtea was finally confirmed as the fill in.
Despite Pirtea fighting his whole career at welterweight, the Romanian accepted the super late notice fight at lightweight. Sources close to MMA Latest informed us that Pirtea was offered two fights purses, one at a catchweight between 155-170lbs and another at 155lbs. Pirtea decided to accept the lower weight fight purse and flew into Manchester on early Thursday to sign his bout agreement.
Given his late call-up, ACB and the commission overseeing the event decided that Pirtea would be given until 14:00 local time to weigh-in. When he did, Pirtea took all the time he was allowed and tipped the scales at 71.2kg/157lbs.
There is good news and bad news following Pirtea missing the mark.
The good news is that Rogers has accepted the fight and the bout will go ahead despite the Romania missing weight. Unfortunately, despite being just one pound over the lightweight limit, Pirtea will be treated like any other fighter and will be fined 20% of his fight purse.
— Jonathan Shrager (@JonathanShrager) March 10, 2017
All other fighters weight in earlier this morning at the fighter hotel in Cheadle Village, Manchester.
Two other fighters failed to make weight but thankfully those fights also remain intact. Azi Thomas missed the featherweight limit for his fight with Eden Newton. Thomas weighed in at 146.6kg.
Russian fighter Ali Bagov also missed weight coming in at 162.9kg for his 160.0kg catchweight bout with ACB newcomer, Bubba Jenkins.
Full weigh-in results and fight card below for ACB 54 … enjoy the fights.
ACB 54 Fight Card
Middleweight: Luke Barnett 83.4kg vs. Mamed Khalidov 84.3kg
Featherweight: Brendan Loughnane 66.2kg vs. Mike Wilkinson 65.8kg
Catchweight (79.0kg): Asambek Saidov 79.0kg vs. Ion Pascu 78.7kg
Lightweight: Aurel Pirtea 71.2kg vs. Saul Rogers 70.4kg
*Pirtea missed weight, deducted 20% of his fight purse
Catchweight (72.5kg): Ali Bagov 73.9kg* vs. Bubba Jenkins 72.1kg
*Bagov missed weight, deducted 20% of his fight purse
Lightweight: Amirkhan Adaev 70.8kg vs. Joshua Aveles 70.6kg
Light Heavyweight: Batraz Agnaev 91.9kg vs Max Nunes 93.2kg
Middleweight: Rakhman Dzhanaev 84.1kg vs. Adam Zajac 83.8kg
Middleweight: Danny Mitchell 84.3kg vs. Andrew DeVent 83.9kg
Catchweight (63.0kg): Murad Kalamov 63.4kg vs. Niko Gjoka 63.5kg
Lightweight: Lewis Monarch 70.4kg vs. Kane Mousah 70.7kg
Catchweight (63.5kg): Michael Tobin 63.3kg vs. Dean Garnett 63.4kg
Middleweight: David Mitchell 84.2kg vs. Ibrahim Chuzhigaev 84.4kg
Featherweight: Nam Phan FW 66.1kg vs. Rob Whiteford 66.1kg
Heavyweight: Tanner Boser 116.3kg vs. Mukhumat Vakhaev 112.2kg
Featherweight: Javonne Morrison 65.6kg vs. Shoaib Yousaf 66.3kg
Welterweight: Ashley Reece 75.7kg vs. James Lewis 77.5kg
Lightweight: Iain Feenan 70.0kg vs. Chris Bungard 70.8kg
Featherweight: Eden Newton 66.2kg vs. Azi Thomas 66.5kg
*Thomas missed weight, fined 20% of his fight purse
Catchweight (60.kg): Coner Hignet 58.7kg vs. Aaron Aby 58.3kg
Middleweight: Shaun Hampton 84.2kg vs. Gaz Corran 84.2kg
Middleweight: Jenaid Ebanks 83.9kg vs. Marcin Prostko 83.4kg
Catchweight (63.5kg): Declan Williams 63.5kg vs. Cal Ellenor 63.5kg
Catchweight (62.5kg): Hamza Bougamza 62.5kg vs. Constantine Pitera 62.5kg
Former UFC Vet Chris Camozzi signs with ACB
Chris Camozzi will return. The former UFC middleweight returns to MMA after a not-so-long hiatus to the Russia-based promotion, Absolute Championship Berkut (ACB). ACB’s official Twitter account made the announcement late Wednesday morning.
— #ACB79 (@ACB_League) January 24, 2018
A veteran of the sport, Camozzi first competed in 2006 when he made his debut at the Kickdown Classic 27 event, defeating his opponent Damon Clark via TKO in the opening round. Camozzi went 12-3, before making an appearance on season 11 of the reality series, The Ultimate Fighter. His preliminary bout against Vitor O’Donnell took a brutal toll on both fighters. After three close rounds, Camozzi got the decision victory and a broken jaw, while O’Donnell went home with a fractured orbital bone. Due to the extensive damage Camozzi accrued, the Colorado native learned he could not continue to compete in the tournament. Although he lost the opportunity win the competition, he did make his promotional debut on the reality series’s season finale. At The Ultimate Fighter: Team Liddell vs. Team Ortiz Finale, Camozzi defeated fellow TUF contestant James Hammortree by unanimous decision.
His relationship with the promotion started on a high note but, quickly fluctuated after consecutive underwhelming performances. Not only was this the story behind his first release from the UFC but, one which repeated itself twice more. The Middleweight signed with the promotion as many times as he was released, three. His most recent stint began in April of 2015. Following consecutive victories in which he earned a middleweight title and defended, he returned to the promotion. In seven fights since his return, Camozzi went 3-4, losing his lost three bouts. His final bout with the UFC came at UFC Fight Night 109: Gustaffson vs. Teixeira.
A quick kickboxing stint with Glory got the middleweight back into the win column. Camozzi competed at Glory 48, defeating Kyle Weickhardt by TKO in the second round.
At Russia’s ACB promotion, he now finds himself among the top talent outside of big promotions of the United States. ACB Middleweight champion, Albert Duraev, is undefeated during his time with the Russian-based promotion. Duraev defeated each of his last four opponents under the ACB banner by stoppage (2 submissions, 2 TKO’s).
ACB 79 takes place in Grozny, Russia this Saturday, January 27th. The card features a main event of Adlan Bataev (8-1) vs. Maike Linhares (13-2).
Rany Saadeh pleased with the opportunities ACB brings, promises a finish in his debut on Saturday
The BAMMA Flyweight belt was ruled for years by none other than Rany Saadeh, During his reign as champion he successfully defended the belt on two occasions. His dominance over the division saw him go undefeated in BAMMA and without a loss since 2012. Following the expiration of his contract, Rany vacated his BAMMA belt to explore new challenges.
He has now signed with ACB and is set to make his debut in only a matter of days at ACB 74 in Austria where he will take on Darren Mima. In a recent catch up with Rany, he explained his reasoning behind joining ACB and his goals in the promotion.
“ACB is the fastest growing organization in MMA. They’ve promised me an active career with events all over the world and a tempting bonus structure. It was just what I was looking for. I’ve looked into the competition and I can honestly say that the competition at flyweight is just as good, if not even better than in the UFC. Being the ACB title holder would make me a legit world champion.”
Ahead of his bout with Mima, we are set to see some new stuff from Saadeh as he claims to have changed up his style after a solid camp for this fight, guaranteeing us a surprise.
“I didn’t need to change anything for him but my style changed in general since my last fight. I’ve had an excellent camp with high-level training partners and coaches. I’m very grateful for my coaches who have put hours of private work into me this year. Especially with my new boxing coach Luciano Robledo, I can guarantee a surprise.”
The confidence is evident as he tells me how he sees the fight going. Promising his well-rounded arsenal of both strikes and grappling are worthy of bonuses, something he’d be very keen on considering the set-up in ACB.
“I will not just completely dominate but also finish.” He began, “I can imagine this fight being a wild brawl and dropping my opponent. Also on the ground, I have some slick submissions that are bonus-worthy.”
Having been successful in BAMMA, Rany is striving for more glory as plans on taking home the ACB title becoming the first Western European to do so.
“Of course!” he says with determination in his voice, “I’m coming into ACB as a world champion and the #1 ranked flyweight in Western Europe. After winning this fight, the title fight is right there”
It’s now been over a year since we’ve seen, “Prince” enter the cage. A decision voluntarily made by the German as he adjusted his game.
“It was mid last year when I had started to adjust my game. These changes take time and as the wished competition wasn’t there, I decided to take some time off fighting to prepare for a bigger challenge.”
Now having departed ways with BAMMA, the British promotion now has a new champion in Daniel Barez. Unfortunately for Rany, his reasons for leaving was the lack of competition has beaten everyone put in front of him with money being an issue that stepped in the way too. Despite any negativity derived from his departure, he does not rule out a return to the promotion where he was once Flyweight king.
“The competition in Europe just got very thin. With five fights in BAMMA, I somehow wasn’t very impressed with the opportunities left. Neither I got the fights, nor the purse that I needed to take my career further. After two title defenses, it felt like I was standing still which isn’t just BAMMA’s fault. Altogether, they are a great promotion and I wouldn’t exclude a return.”
When the UFC announced they would have the best flyweights from around the world enter the TUF house with a shot at the belt going to the winner. Many would have thought Rany Saadeh would have been up there. The season had champions from all over the world but no one from BAMMA, something strange considering the number of champions they signed in the past year from the promotion.
In an unfortunate circumstance for Saadeh, it was not his fault he wasn’t in the house as the UFC did come knocking but BAMMA just weren’t letting their champ go. Despite this situation, there is no bad blood anymore as Saadeh has moved on with things now.
“The UFC was definitely interested in putting me on the show and it is not true that BAMMA wasn’t asked. They were asked but didn’t want to be part of it. Without their permission, I wasn’t able to take part in the TUF. But I’m not mad at that anymore, I feel like it will make better opportunities possible.”
Having missed out on a possible UFC opportunity before, it isn’t on his mind anymore as he remains pleased with his life and is mainly looking to support his family in the future.
“I really don’t care, I’m set for the next few fights. All I want now is a decent living from fighting and provide for my family in the near future. ACB is not just giving me the chance to reach that goal but also giving me the challenges that I need. So far, I’m a very happy person”
ACB 70: Luke Barnatt vs. Scott Askham Official Results
ACB returned to the English city of Sheffield to host ACB 70, an exciting card headlined by top middleweights Luke Barnatt and Scott Askham.
Barnatt (13-4) and Askham (14-4) had been going back and forth for years, but it seemed they would never resolve their tension in the cage. However, at ACB 70 the pair of English middleweights both had the chance to end the rivalry for good. The card also featured a variety of homegrown English MMA talent.
MAIN CARD: 17:30PM BST – Live on Box Nation and FITE TV
- Luke Barnatt (13-4) vs. Scott Askham (14-4) Middleweight Bout
- Result: Scott Askham def. Luke Barnatt via Split Decision
- Ibragim Chuzhigaev (9-5) vs. Will Noland (17-7) Middleweight Bout
- Result: Ibrahim Chuzhigaev def. Will Noland via TKO (Strikes) Round 1 – 1:32
- Adam Townsend (17-4) vs. Husein Kushagov (6-3) Welterweight Bout
- Result: Adam Townsend def. Husein Kushagov via SUB (Rear-naked Choke) Round 3 – 3:24
- Diego Marlon (26-10) vs. Bubba Jenkins (11-4) Featherweight Bout
- Result: Bubba Jenkins def. Diego Marlon via TKO (Strikes) Round 3 – 0:44
- Ismael de Jesus (15-6-1) vs. Ismail Naurdiev (15-1) Welterweight Bout
- Result: Ismael de Jesus def. Ismail Naurdiev via Unanimous Decision
- Kane Mousah (9-1) vs. Alex Enlund (14-2) Lightweight Bout
- Result: Kane Mousah def. Alex Enlund via Split Decision
- Sam Boult (8-1) vs. Ashley Reece (5-0) Welterweight Bout
- Result: Ashley Reece def. Sam Boult via Split Decision
- Filip Macek (15-12-1) vs. Haron Orzumiev (2-1) Bantamweight Bout
- Result: Haron Orzumiev def. Filip Macek via Split Decision
- Shoaib Yousaf (2-0) vs. Jordan Vucenic (5-1) Featherweight Bout
- Result: Jordan Vucenic def. Shoaib Yousaf via Unanimous Decision
- Aaron Aby (9-3) vs. Daniel Missin (5-5) Bantamweight Bout
- Result: Aaron Aby def. Danny Missin via Unanimous Decision
- Aaron Robinson (9-2) vs. Cheya Saleem (12-3) Bantamweight Bout
- Result: Cheya Saleem def. Aaron Robinson via SUB (Guillotine Choke) Round 1 – 0:48
- Danny Tombs (1-2) vs. Gavin Sterrit (6-2) Welterweight Bout
- Result: Danny Tombs def. Gavin Sterritt via TKO (Strikes) Round 2 – 4:07
- Adam Bramhald (2-1) vs. Luke Shanks (1-0) Bantamweight Bout
- Result: Luke Shanks def. Adam Bramhald via SUB (Guillotine Choke) Round 1 – 0:41
- Jordan Barton (2-0) vs. Richard Herbert (2-0) Welterweight Bout
- Result: Jordan Barton def. Richard Herbert via Split Decision.
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