Return To Action
Another year of MMA action has come and gone, and with this being the final weekend before the Christmas holiday, this is also the last weekend of shows for 2021.
It all begins this Friday night as Atlantic City-based Cage Fury Fighting Championships returns to UFC Fight Pass for its last fight night of the year, CFFC 104 from the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in its home city.
Barring any unforeseen setbacks between now and Friday night, CFFC 104 will feature a full 12-fight card, highlighted by a championship doubleheader to close the show, beginning with the CFFC 104 co-main event.
Phumi Nkuta Returns To Defend CFFC Flyweight Championship in CFFC 104 Co-Main Event
As with all CFFC championship fights, the CFFC 104 co-main event will be a maximum of four rounds at five minutes per round, but if the scorecards are level, a fifth-round will be contested to break the deadlock and decide the champion at 125 lbs.
CFFC 104 Co-Main Event Fighter Comparison
Heading into the CFFC 104 co-main event on Friday evening, challenger Jason Eastman stands taller at 5-foot-5, with champion Phumi Nkuta standing 5-foot-4.
Additionally, the champion owns a 65-inch reach, with no information accessible for the challenger in the CFFC 104 co-main event.
Champion Nkuta Looks To Make Good in Second Title Defense in CFFC 104 Co-Main Event
Champion Phumi Nkuta enters the CFFC 104 co-main event on Friday night having yet to lose in his MMA career (professional and amateur ranks combined,) having posted a 9-0 record inside the cage thus far, scoring a fourth-round knockout on Oct. 3 in CFFC 101 against Miguel Junior Diaz in the main event of the afternoon, as this was a matinee card.
Although the champion wishes to make good in his second defense of the 125-lb. strap during the CFFC 104 co-main event this Friday, he has his sights set on loftier goals: Joining the UFC’s active roster and fighting in Africa, where his mother was born.
In the aftermath of the win, Nkuta mentioned on The African Fighters podcast that he would like to join the world’s top MMA promotion, regardless of the type of path that he takes to get to the UFC.
“At this point, man, I kind of let go of all that,” Nkuta said. “If you try and control the path, you might miss the opportunities when they actually come your way. You might not be ready for them because you’re waiting for another opportunity. I’ll tell you what: First thing’s first, I’m in that gym every single day. At the end of the day, I’m just going to stay in the best shape I can be, I’m going to keep my weight around where I need to keep my weight and just be the martial artist I am, man.”
A win in the CFFC 104 co-main event on Friday would help the champion take that next step toward a spot on the UFC’s roster.
Jason Eastman Looks To Thwart Nkuta’s UFC Aspirations in Sophomore CFFC Appearance
In the other corner, challenger Jason Eastman comes into the CFFC 104 co-main event on Friday having gone 3-2 in his last five fights, including a two-fight winning streak, extended by second-round submission (Brabo choke) against Andrew Richardson in CFFC 100 back in September, his CFFC promotional debut.
A key storyline heading into the CFFC 104 co-main event on Friday night is the difference in age between the two men, as Jason Eastman is three years the elder of Phumi Nkuta at 29 years of age, turning 30 years old in February.
Eastman enters this fight, his CFFC sophomore appearance, on a mission to halt the aspirations of veteran Nkuta joining the UFC while strengthening his case to get “The Call” from UFC President Dana White at some point in the future.
The only question is will it happen on Friday night in the CFFC 104 co-main event?
Analysis, Film Study, and Prediction
Stylistically, the CFFC 104 co-main event on Friday night looks to be a toss-up as both men subscribe to Brazilian jiu-jitsu.
Look For Phumi Nkuta’s Ground Game To Set Up a Possible Finish
In looking at the tape of the CFFC 101 headliner against Miguel Junior Diaz, champion Phumi Nkuta’s offense is predicated on his ground game.
During the fourth and final round of the fight, Diaz dumped Nkuta for a takedown about a minute into the period, but Nkuta quickly reversed and established a dominant position throughout the round before finally returning to the feet and ending the afternoon with a nasty flurry of ground and pound shots to the head after another takedown.
All it’ll take for Phumi Nkuta to end the CFFC 104 co-main event in a hurry is just a single takedown.
Jason Eastman Can Score The Submission
In the other corner, Jason Eastman can make his opponent tap out and nap, as he did against Andrew Richardson in September.
Late in the first round that night, Jason Eastman nearly locked in the submission versus Richardson, only for the latter to be saved by the bell-like actor Dennis Haskins.
Round two saw Jason Eastman leave, no doubt, as he secured the back mount and locked in the Brabo choke, leaving Andrew Richardson no choice but to take a nap.
As was the case with Phumi Nkuta, Jason Eastman can establish control and end the CFFC 104 co-main event with as little as one takedown.
One last piece of advice to the viewers who will carve out the time to watch the CFFC 104 co-main event this Friday night:
Make that sandwich before the fight starts– as you won’t want to miss this one, which could be done and dusted in a hurry.
Prediction: Phumi Nkuta by First-Round Submission.
Featured Image Credits To Embed from Getty Images