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CFFC 97 Strawweight Championship: Elise Reed vs Hilarie Rose

Strawweight gold at stake during CFFC 97 main event on Saturday night.

The back half of the CFFC doubleheader sees Cage Fury return to its home venue, 2300 Arena in Philadelphia, for Saturday night’s CFFC 97. These events occur in the aftermath of CFFC graduate Paul Felder (17-6) announcing on live television that he’d be retiring from the sport last week.

As with all CFFC cards, live coverage of CFFC 97 will begin with the undercard at 5:30 pm ET/ 2:30 pm PT on Facebook Live, with main card action immediately following on UFC Fight Pass at 8 pm ET/ 5 pm PT.

Highlighting the evening at CFFC 97 on Saturday night is the battle for supremacy in the strawweight ranks as current champion Elise Reed (3-0) will face off against challenger Hilarie Rose (5-2) in a four-round contest at five minutes per round, with a fifth-round taking place as a tiebreaker if need be.

Should you need a primer on how Cage Fury works if you are a rookie or novice viewer of the promotion, read this article.

CFFC 97 Contender Comparison

Heading into the title fight at CFFC 97 on Saturday night, both champion Elise Reed and challenger Hilarie Rose stand level in height at 5-foot-3, which should make for an evenly-matched fight on Saturday in Philadelphia. Challenger Hilarie Rose owns a 1 1/2-inch reach advantage (63 inches to 61 1/2 inches) over champion Elise Reed going into CFFC 97 this Saturday night.

But then again, these are not fights that are competed on paper. Even the best MMA fights (or at least, the ones that appear to be the best MMA fights on paper), don’t always end up as advertised. It can be hit and miss at times, but this is the nature of the sport and what makes MMA what it is and why fans and writers alike will keep tuning in the week in and week out.

How They Got Here

The champion has gone 5-0 in her last five MMA bouts dating back to her amateur career, as part of an ongoing eight-fight win streak across professional and amateur mixed martial arts heading into CFFC 97.

In her most recent bout, Reed, a veteran of Bellator MMA, scored a unanimous decision victory over Jillian DeCoursey (4-3), a five-fight veteran of INVICTA Fighting Championships, after four rounds to capture the then-vacant 115 lb. strap just before the Christmas holiday on Dec. 18, 2020, in the co-headliner of CFFC 91 on UFC Fight Pass; making Saturday’s bout her first defense of the strawweight championship.

That fight also was Reed’s CFFC promotional debut. It’s not every day that a fighter wins the championship in a promotion in only her second career professional appearance. At the same time, Reed does not intend to hurry her path to the UFC, as mentioned in a recent interview with CFFC.tv.

In the other corner, the challenger has posted a record of 4-1 in her last five MMA fights and won in her most recent appearance, a second-round knockout due to leg kicks against Alannah Arnett (0-1) on April 2 during CFFC 95 on UFC Fight Pass, a fight which was the latter’s first MMA bout.

That bout saw Rose bounce back from a failed shot on the Aug. 18, 2020 episode of Dana White’s Contender Series on ESPN+.

On that August evening, she suffered a unanimous decision loss at the hands of Cheyenne Buys (5-2), who secured a UFC contract from Dana White at the end of that episode.


If you look at the fight predictions of Tapology members for this championship fight, most of the members who have already made a call on this contest have Elise Reed going the distance with Hilarie Rose and getting the win this Saturday.

This looks to be a good pick.

Back in December, the champ was able to control her bout with DeCoursey by using ride time (ground control) and ground and pound shots to her advantage, both of which are key statistics that the judges will look at when tallying up the scores of the rounds in the event that a fight does go to decision.

A fighter who takes down his or her opponent and is able to advance on those takedowns will bank a round and has a good shot at winning the fight on the scorecards if it comes to that.

CFFC 97 Elise Reed vs Hilarie Rose Prediction: Elise Reed by unanimous decision

Follow me on Twitter at @DrewZuhosky to see my latest work. Also, follow us on social media at @OTHeroicsMMA to stay tuned in with our content! Please visit our web page to keep up with everything MMA!

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