*cover photo credit: Isaac @isv_photos
by Felix Falcon
The Salem Civic Center will once again be the home for Southwestern VA's growing promotion Elite Warrior Challenge, Saturday, February 6th. This event was supposed to take place two weeks ago, but due to the historic snow storm that covered most of the state, they were forced to postpone the event. Although the rescheduling affected some of the original lineup, EWC 9 still has a card of 9 Pro MMA fights with some Pro Boxing and Pro Muay Thai bouts in the undercard as well.
The Main Event of the night will be a match between Bellator MMA and UFC vet, Matt Van Buren (6-4) and Michigan fighter Derrick Weaver (3-4). We recently saw Weaver fight in VA last October when he beat our number 1 ranked Light Heavyweight, Najim Wali. After a good run at Bellator, Van Buren had a solid showing on the 19th season of the the UFC's reality show, The Ultimate Fighter. After losing his first two official UFC bouts, Van Buren got caught up in an unfortunate round of cuts made by the promotion last October. He looks to start his path back to the big show with a win over Weaver.
The Co-Main Event will pit our number 2 ranked Featherweight, Terrell Hobbs (9-8-1), against one of the sports most colorful, old-school characters around, Charles "Felony" Bennett (26-28-2). Bennett, at 36 years old, has had 56 professional fights dating back to 1999. Even with a new nick name, it's most certain that most die-hard MMA fans still know Bennett as Krazy Horse, the King of the Cage and Pride FC veteran that what he lacked in pure technique, made up with insanely unpredictable antics (like sitting on top of the cage in the middle of a fight or getting out of a triangle choke by spinning his opponent into the cage) that made videos of him go viral before that was even a term. At this point in his career, it seems pretty obvious that while he still has the "fight anyone, anywhere" mentality, there does not seem to be a path that leads him to any big titles of any sort. He will, however, show up, cash a check and throw some leather around. Hobbs, on the other hand, at 30 years old seems to be getting to a place where this might be the beginning of his last real run at a shot to get to the big show. After an impressive 7-fight win streak back in 2012-2013, he has dropped his last three bouts and had an unlucky turn of events at a Central American event where the cage collapsed under him and was ruled a no-contest.
The card will also feature plenty of young talent from across the state. Some exciting matchups to look forward to include Brandon Pennington vs. Greg Walker, Chris Rollins vs. Brandon Sanford, and Tony Gravely vs. Reggie Barnett, Jr.
You can still make your fight picks over at the official EWC 9 Tapology event page.
If you are not able to be there live, you can order an IPPV stream through GFL.TV.
EWC 9 Official Weigh In Results (MMA Bouts Only):
Derrick Weaver (215 lbs.) vs. Matt Van Buren (212 lbs.) - Catchweight 215 lbs.
Terrell Hobbs (151 lbs.) vs. Charles Bennett (151 lbs.) - Catchweight 150 lbs.
William Webb (167 lbs.) vs. Eric Belcher (166 lbs.)
Roosevelt Archie (130 lbs.) vs. Rafael Morel (130 lbs.)
Brandon Grimmett (124 lbs.) vs. Victor Flor (124 lbs.)
Dustin Carroll (TBD) vs. Kyle Staten (154 lbs.)
Tony Gravely (135 lbs.) vs. Reggie Barnett, Jr. (134 lbs.)
Chris Rollins (145 lbs.) vs. Brandon Sanford (148 lbs.)
Brandon Pennington (159 lbs.) vs. Greg Walker (158 lbs.) - Catchweight 160 lbs.
Weigh in pictures by Fraxure Fightwear