In the Books: Cagezilla 57

by Ryan MacDonald

Cagezilla returned to Silver Eagle Group, in Ashburn, Virginia, on Saturday night June 15th and broadcast the event via GoSports.com.  This 57th show featured 12 combat sports bouts, including 11 MMA fights and one Boonchu Cup bout.  For those not familiar with Boonchu Cup, it is a Muay Thai bout, where the fighters wear MMA gloves and Cagezilla is the only show in Virginia that facilitates these exciting fights for their fans.

The Cagezilla matchmaking was on point, once again, as there was only one bout that was not competitive, but that’s because it was the KO of the night, so still entertaining. More about that later.

The main event featured undefeated Featherweight prospect, Ryan Patterson (Vanguard Gym), putting his 6-0 record and Cagezilla Featherweight Title on the line, against debuting 18 year old prospect Sam Kilmer (Kaizen MMA).  For those close to the sport, Kilmer’s name has been on the lips of fans for quite a while.  He has been featured on several cards, in exhibition bouts, due to the fact that he was under the allowable fighting age of 18. However, those that knew of him, already new the skill he would bring.  The casual fan may have looked at the matchup, quizzically, wondering why a “debuting” fighter would get a title shot in his first fight, against one of the top Featherweight prospects in the Region.  Well, it didn’t take those fans long to either see what they expected to see or be blown away by seeing this young man for the first time.  Patterson, who is not to be toyed with on the ground, got taken there.  This reporter thought that Kilmer might employ a striking advantage and keep the fight on it’s feet.  Nope.  Kilmer took the fight right to the ground in the first round and had Patterson in a dangerous position a couple of times in the round.  Patterson survived, but round 2 saw more of the same.  Patterson’s mat acumen and toughness shown through, as he escaped dangerous position after position.  However, Kilmer would not be denied.  He cinched in a rear- naked choke as the round ended and when referee Ratioender Melo separated the two, Kilmer pointed to Patterson, letting Melo know that he was choked into unconsciousness, thus forcing Melo to wave off the fight.  Even the fans who thought Kilmer would pull out the W were all shocked at how easy Kilmer made it look.  The future of the Featherweight division has arrived.

The co-main, featured the afore mentioned Boonchu Cup bout between Capital MMA’s Kyle Hall and MMA Institute Harrisonburg’s Bahaa Al-Badry.  Again, this Boonchu style bout is a Thai fight in MMA gloves, so no takedowns are allowed.  The thrill behind these bouts is that with the smaller gloves, knockouts could come at any moment.  However, these two fighters wanted to entertain the Ashburn faithful for 3 full rounds of action.  Hall got the better of the action, in each round, dropping and bloodying Al-Badry a number of times in the bout.  However, Al-Badry would not quit and continued to try and give as good as he got.  In the end, two judges saw it 3 rounds to 0 for Hall (30-27, 30-26) and one judge gave a round to Al-Badry (29-28).  MMA in VA cannot award this with the official title of Fight of the Night, as it was not an MMA bout, but unofficially, this was Fight of the Night.

Other featured bouts showcased the Flyweight Division and the Lightweight Division as both titles were on the line.

In the Flyweight title bout, 4 year long champion, George Billy (MiKiDo) defended his belt against Michael Capone (Winchester Boxing).  If you looked at the pattern on Capone’s record, coming in, which showed a win after each loss, Capone was on pace for a win against Billy, who was coming off an uncharacteristic loss in his last bout in January, in another promotion.  The fight went back and forth for all three rounds, with Billy earning the Split Decision victory in a very competitive bout.  Billy has been largely inactive over the last 3 years, with this being only his third fight in that three-year period.  He has a record of 2-1 during that stretch. However, this was his 5th defense of his title, so, he still holds the gold and is on to the next.

The interim Lightweight title was up for grabs, as Justin Gunter (Team Rock Bottom) took on Method Boxing’s Eladji Cisse.  Cisse used his ground game to clearly win the first stanza but Gunter came back in the second as the fresher fighter and put the pressure on the visibly gassed Cisse.  A vicious barrage of body shots and upper cuts ultimately dropped Cisse and ended his night as Gunter took home the interim Lightweight strap and will await his unification bout against Lynchburg, VA’s Kyler Winters.  This will be a battle of Southern VA fighters when that match commences.

Other notable performances saw the return of Ramon Neyra, who was coming off a 35-month layoff to do what he does, submit guys.  With the win, Neyra runs his record to a perfect 3-0. MikiDo’s Robbie Jones returned in a big way after suffering a loss in his debut.  He was a man possessed and at times it looked like there were two of him in the cage, he was moving so fast and furious.  Jones used that overwhelming pressure to submit the debuting Jesse Sweeney.  Last but not least came the one non-competitive fight of the night, only because it only lasted 42 seconds.  Undefeated Light Heavyweight, Tim Daly, ended the night for Edwin Francois very quickly with a right head kick that connected flush and actually kept Francois down on the mat for quite a while, as he was attended to by the medical staff.  He was okay, though, as he was wheeled out on a stretcher, but as a tought U.S. Marine got up off the stretcher and walked around to the ambulance.

For full Cagezilla 57 full results, please check out the event page on Tapology.

Cagezilla’s next show, Cagezilla 58, will be back at the Silver Eagle Group on August 17th.  

MMA in VA’s “of the Night” Awards

Fight of the Night:  George Billy v. Michael Capone

Knockout of the Night:  Tim Daly

Submission of the Night: Sam Kilmer

*Photo Credit: Trick The Light