After a quiet weekend in the sport last weekend, MMA is back in your life again this weekend, starting this Thursday night with a momentous evening of action in Tampa Bay.
Philadelphia-based Cage Fury Fighting Championships will celebrate its centennial event, CFFC 100 from the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino this Thursday — and what better way to cap off the big party than a fight for a championship in your main event of the evening to kick off a weekend of combat sports action?
This time around, it’ll be the battle for the CFFC lightweight championship to headline the night’s action, as incumbent 155-lb. titlist Zulk Kamchybekov (5-1 MMA, 4-1 CFFC) fights challenger Blake Smith (3-2 MMA, CFFC promotional debut).
As with all Cage Fury championship fights, the Cage Fury 100 main event will be a maximum of four rounds at five minutes per round.
If the scorecards produce a draw following 20 minutes of action, as had happened during CFFC 94, a fifth-round will be held as a tiebreaking procedure to decide the main event.
Cage Fury 100 Main Event Fighter Comparison
Heading into the Cage Fury 100 main event for the championship this Thursday evening, champion Kamchybekov stands six feet even, with no such information for challenger Smith. Additionally, there is no reach advantage information on this pairing.
Kamchybekov looks to make good on first defense in Cage Fury 100 main event and become fourth man to successfully defend CFFC lightweight championship
Zulk Kamchybekov enters the Cage Fury 100 main event this Thursday night on the strength of a 4-1 record in his last five MMA appearances and is currently on a three-fight winning streak, extended most recently with a second-round knockout due to punches against Jesse Smith back on April 2 in CFFC 95 from 2300 Arena in Philadelphia.
A key storyline heading into this one is the fact that the Cage Fury 100 main event will mark his first defense of the 155-lb. strap.
Historically, the lightweight champions who have gotten a chance to defend their titles in this promotion (Kamchybekov will become the fourth different man to defend the CFFC Lightweight Championship this Thursday) have all won in their defense of the strap.
Whether or not Kamchybekov becomes the fourth man to successfully defend the belt remains to be seen, but it will be an interesting plot to watch develop nonetheless in the Cage Fury 100 main event.
Important “home game” awaits Blake Smith at Cage Fury 100
In the other corner, Blake Smith enters the Cage Fury 100 main event having gone 3-2 thus far in his young MMA career, and will make his CFFC promotional debut on Thursday night’s show, moving down from welterweight for this headlining bout.
Most recently, he scored a split decision after three rounds back in February of last year against Carlos Alexandre in the co-main event of Combat Quest 6 in Largo, FL for that promotion’s then-vacant welterweight belt.
He saw a scheduled fight for late April against Charlie Radtke in CES MMA get called off prior to the card, making the Cage Fury 100 main event his first MMA appearance in 19 months.
When the wait ends for Blake Smith this Thursday night, it’ll be in front of his hometown crowd.
While the Tampa native has fought in his hometown before (his last fight took place in Largo, just roughly 23 miles away from Tampa), it’s seldom been on the line, but will he give the partisan crowd the happy ending they all want, just as Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers gave the fans at Raymond James Stadium last Thursday night against the Dallas Cowboys in the NFL opener?
Only time will tell.
Analysis, Film Study, and Prediction
The Cage Fury 100 main event looks to be a toss-up, with Kamchybekov being a knockout specialist and Smith being a submission hunter.
Whichever of the two fighters establishes control of this contest first is the fighter to walk out of Tampa Bay Thursday night with the strap around his waist.
Kamchybekov can end this with one punch
If there’s one thing that jumps out about Kamchybekov on film, it’s that he can end the fight with one punch, just as he’s done throughout the entirety of his career in MMA, which began with a second-round knockout of Jong Jang in his amateur debut back in 2016.
That night, he wasted little time in the second round, finishing Jang with a well-placed right hand to the chin to end things just 17 seconds into the period.
If Kamchybekov gets on a roll and scores big with a right-handed shot on the button, the Cage Fury 100 main event will be done and dusted in a hurry,
Smith can go the distance if needed
Although Smith is known for his submission prowess, if the Cage Fury 100 main event stretches into the later rounds, he has shown on tape that he can go the distance, as illustrated in his last fight.
He was able to mix up his strikes in the first round before attacking with punches on the bottom position in round two — with little success.
Although Smith was able to take Alexandre’s back in round three to try to lock up the submission, he was unable to capitalize, scoring the split decision after three rounds.
If Smith can mix up his strikes and keep Kamchybekov guessing in this one, the Cage Fury 100 main event could end with him becoming the new lightweight champion.
As previously stated, the Cage Fury 100 main event could be predicated upon which of the two fighters establishes control over his opponent first.
Just to be on the safe side, don’t make that fridge run during the fight — you could miss something amazing if you do.
Prediction: Zulk Kamchybekov by Unanimous Decision.
Featured Image Credits To Cage Fury Fighting Championships