On Tap: Strike Off 5

by Felix Falcon

The NVCC Annandale campus will once again be the host for Strike Off 5, this Saturday, June 6th, at the Ernst Cultural Center.  The card is structured with three big fights at the top, and a wide display of the next generation of regional fighters throughout the rest of the show.  

The main event will be a Featherweight rematch between two South Carolina veterans. Tim Goodwin (9-5), a journeyman who has fought all up and down the east coast, is 3-2 in his last five fights. Christopher Cain (5-9) is currently on a seven fight losing streak, which started with his decision loss to Goodwin back in May of 2012, at South Carolina's Caged Chaos promotion. The stakes are high for both fighters - Goodwin is chasing the ever important 10th win of his career, while Cain is looking to break his skid while avenging his initial loss to Goodwin. 

Our #2 ranked Heavyweight, Keith Bell (6-5-1) will make his first appearance under the Strike Off lights in a fight against Jeff Blachly (1-0). Blachly had one of the two amazing come-from-behind finishes in his Strike Off 4 pro debut. He is getting right back in the mix of things, this time taking a big step up in competition against Bell, who has Bellator, CFFC, and CES experience on his resume.

Our #1 ranked Bantamweight, Ahmet Kayretli (3-1) will  be facing off against our #3 ranked Bantamweight, Umaer Haq (3-3) in what has the potential to be the fight of the night. Kayretli, a seasoned Muay Thai practitioner, has extremely good footwork and a huge arsenal of precise striking techniques. He is currently on a three fight win streak, all coming by way of KO or TKO. The very well rounded Haq, however, has won by all means necessary, sporting a submission, TKO, and decision as his three victories. 

This card will also be a showcase for the up-and-coming fighters from all over, not just the Commonwealth. It should be interesting to see how guys making their pro debuts like Roque Zapata, Chris Rollins, and Kyle Staten - people we've seen fight multiple times during their amateur careers - perform under the brighter lights and bigger stage. Although he's not making his pro debut, we are also keeping an eye on Alvin Mercer (1-0) who after a great 2014, where he went 3-0 as an amateur, made a successful pro debut earlier this year at Shogun Fights and plans to keep the winning streak going throughout 2015. Martin Davila (1-0), who fights out of American Top Team in Florida, is heading back to Virginia after being the owner of the other crazy come-from-behind win in his debut at Strike Off 4.

Strike Off 5 should be an exciting night of fights with a diverse range of fighters from all over the East Coast. The event will be available to stream online through Go Fight Live for $16.99 and will be re-broadcast on Comcast Sports Network in the near future. 

Make sure you enter your predictions for the whole card at the Strike Off 5 Tapology event page.