Combat Sports

CFFC 98: Evan Cutts vs Yohan Lainesse Preview and Breakdown

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This Fourth of July weekend might be a light one in the sport of MMA, but the CFFC 98 main event this Saturday night is sure to bring some early fireworks to the city of Philadelphia and 2300 Arena on UFC Fight Pass as Cage Fury Fighting Championships returns to the platform for its seventh live show of 2021.

In your CFFC 98 main event, it’s a battle for the promotion’s welterweight championship as incumbent titleholder Evan Cutts (12-4 MMA, 1-0 CFFC) fights challenger Yohan Lainesse (6-0, 3-0 CFFC), a four-round fight at five minutes per round.

As per CFFC promotional rules, should the scorecards be even after four rounds of action, the fight will progress to a fifth and final round to decide its winner.

Evan Cutts is familiar with this rule, as it happened to him during his most recent fight during CFFC 94 on April 1, when the battle between Cutts and Bassil Hafez extended to a fifth round.

Cutts took the fight via split decision after 25 minutes and will make his initial defense of the 170-lb. belt this Saturday evening.

CFFC 98 Main Event Fighter Comparison:

Going into this championship bout, both men stand level at 6-foot-1. Unlike previous fight previews, no arm or leg reach information was accessible for Saturday’s CFFC 98 main event.

“The Butcher” Ready to Slice in CFFC 98 Main Event

Evan Cutts heads into this bout on the strength of a 4-1 record in his last five MMA appearances and has emerged victorious from his last two fights in succession.

Prior to his 25-minute war against Bassil Hafez on April Fool’s Day in Philadelphia, “The Butcher” locked in a first-round submission due to a rear-naked choke against former Bellator MMA welterweight Brian Grinnell on Dec. 7, 2019, during Rage in the Cage OKC 70’s headlining bout on FITE TV.

In a recent interview with Fitness Fight Factory, where he’s an instructor of combat sports, Evan Cutts says that he’s ready to rumble this weekend during the CFFC 98 main even, owing it all to his training facility, saying:

“This fight camp’s been great. I don’t know how much you guys can see behind us, but the facility we’re in now makes it so easy to train. I have access to world-level coaches, access to amazing training partners, and access to all the tools that I need as far as weights, as far as personal training, as far as diet advice goes, I have everything all under one roof, which is incredibly helpful.”

As far as how he got the nickname “The Butcher,” the champion summed it up thusly in his interview with his gym: “So, before I was full-time teaching combat sports, I worked as an apprentice to a butcher at a butcher shop. So I wasn’t doing any of the big work, it was the small work, but it worked well with my last name, man, Cutts. That’s one thing: If someone fights me, I want them to remember it, man. Even if I don’t win, I want to leave them scarred.”

“White Lion” Prepared to Roar During CFFC 98 Main Event

In the other corner, challenger Yohan Lainesse has yet to lose in his professional MMA career, with half of his six pro wins coming under the Cage Fury Fighting Championships banner.

Lainesse, who last fought on March 12, picking up a unanimous decision against Troy Green during CFFC 93, said in a recent interview that he’s unfazed by the challenge presented to him in the form of Evan Cutts during the CFFC 98 main event this coming weekend, saying:

“I think I am going to finish him and I am very excited about that because, in 16 fights, he’s never been finished. This performance is going to put me in another league. Of course, Evan Cutts is very tough to finish, but he can take a lot of punches and I don’t know how he can stay on his feet. Bassil threw a lot of punches, so I think Cutts has a great chin. I am the kind of guy that when I touch, the guy goes to sleep. So if I touch Evan Cutts like he was touched in his fight before, he is going to sleep for sure.”

CFFC 98 Main Event Analysis and Prediction

Stylistically, this CFFC 98 main event could very well be another toss-up, with Evan Cutts being a black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu and Yohan Lainesse being a boxer with a propensity to go for the knockout in a hurry, as four of his career MMA wins have ended with a devastating blow.

Cutts BJJ A Key To Success

Evan Cutts’ prowess in BJJ is particularly evident on film. In watching the tape of his fight against Brian Grinnell from late 2019, one can plainly see that the champion is a submission hunter. That night a year and a half ago, Evan Cutts started out the main event by getting dumped by his opponent before returning to a back clinch for a few moments.

Although Brian Grinnell dumped him a second time, Cutts’ ground game defense proved to be too tough for him– reversing the script by taking top position after Grinnell took him down the third time, softening him up with ground and pound shots before finally taking back mount and sinking in the rear-naked choke. If Evan Cutts can put Yohan Lainesse on his back in this fight, it could mean good night for the challenger from Quebec in a hurry, something which Brian Grinnell knows all too well from December of 2019.

Yohan Lainesse: Knockout King

Don’t sleep on Yohan Lainesse’s knockout power in this one, ladies and gentlemen. For a notable example of his ability to make it a quick night, you don’t need to go all that far into the video archives.

One need look no further than last Oct. 29 during CFFC 86, when Lainesse needed only 14 seconds to dispatch Lirim Rufati with a flying knee that knocked him out cold. If Lainesse is able to knock Cutts off his rhythm in the early going this weekend, all it could take to end things in the CFFC 98 main event is one well-placed shot.

Final Thoughts

Although the 4th of July holiday is not until this coming Sunday in the United States, the CFFC 98 main event on Saturday night has the potential to bring with it some early fireworks. One question still remains: Who’s bringing the boom to the barbecue this weekend?

Prediction: Yohan Lainesse by First-Round TKO.

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Featured Image Credits to Cage Fury Fighting Championships

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