Another great installment of Cage Fury Fighting Championship, and another big shakeup in the Northeast rankings. Man, going in to CFFC's bantamweight championship bout between top dog Sean Santella and young upstart Aljamain Sterling, I never thought Sterling would be so dominant. But geez, he was dominant. Some thoughts on the bouts:
-For almost the entire five-round fight, Sterling was in control and damaging "Shorty-Rock". He had an answer for every takedown attempt, an answer for almost every scramble and transition, and his reach and confidence on the feet meant Santella was in trouble wherever the action went. Santella had to fight out of numerous rear naked chokes, an inverted triangle (!), and bad positions galore. Round 3 saw Santella come damn close with a triangle, but Sterling simply lifted him up and held him against the cage (think Matt Hughes vs. Carlos Newton I), and Santella eventually came tumbling down. I hate the comparison, but watching Sterling was like watching Jon Jones, albeit with a ton more groundfighting.
-Apparently Joey Gambino hits hard. Eddie Fyvie did his best to withstand the kicks and the punches, but Gambino had too much "umph" and "pizazz", and eventually Gambino overwhelmed him. With the win Gambino is now the organization's featherweight champ. I'd like to see how he does against some other top 145-pounder, though. Maybe someone like Jeff Lentz, who can hit hard right back?
-Mike Wade versus Mike Winters was all wrestling, and it was a game of inches. Unfortunately, they were unexciting inches.
-Rob Fabrizi is a nice little brawler. Fun to watch. Opponent Peter Aguinaldo was more technical in terms of kickboxing, but Fabrizi drew him into a dogfight and won out.
-Bruno Tostes is clearly aces on the ground, but he took a beating at the hands (and feet) of Andre Shuler while trying to get it there. Pitting Tostes against Fabrizi could be both entertaining and ugly.
-Brad Desir was so smooth in securing his armbar against Shane Mallory, you had to wonder if Mallory had known armbars can come from the guard. He definitely did know, though, 'cause his camp is AMA Fight Club - which I guess means that Desir is that good.
-Ryan Peterson completely handled Pat White. Same thing with Buster Crandall and his win over Billy Dee Williams. But yikes did Lucas Pimenta slaughter Bryan Danner. Danner got hit so hard with a knee and a flurry of fists, he went into convulsions. And Epi Diaz just kept blasting the taller and lankier Aaron Hicks in the face until something broke (that something was Hicks' face).