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CFFC 106 Co-Main Event Preview: Pulley vs. Alequin

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Even though this Thursday marks the first full day of the 2022 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship, don’t forget that it also marks the start of your MMA weekend, as well.

CFFC 106 Co-Main Event Brings With It a Pot of Gold For the Winner

As this Thursday marks St. Patrick’s Day (don’t drink and drive), it seems only fitting that CFFC 106 from Cage Fury Fighting Championships offers the metaphorical pot of gold for the winners of its two championship fights headlining the 12-fight card, including the CFFC 106 co-main event, where the Vacant CFFC Welterweight Championship is at stake.

Hugh Pulley (8-4, 1 NC MMA, 0-1 CFFC), a veteran of Bellator MMA and the LFA, will return to Cage Fury to battle former Combate Global stalwart Eric Alequin (6-0 MMA, CFFC promotional debut.)

As is customary in CFFC championship fights, the CFFC 106 co-main event will be a maximum of four rounds at five minutes per round, with a fifth-round tiebreaker going into effect if necessary after 20 minutes of action.

CFFC 106 Co-Main Event Fighter Comparison

Heading into the CFFC 106 co-main event on Thursday night, Hugh Pulley stands 6-foot-1 and owns a 76-inch reach.

Ordinarily, at this point, we would mention the height and reach information for Eric Alequin heading into Thursday’s championship fight, but no such information is accessible online for him.

Hugh Pulley Looking to Shake Off Ring Rust in CFFC 106 Co-Main Event on St. Patrick’s Day

Hugh Pulley enters the CFFC 106 main event on St. Patrick’s Day with a 2-2 record with one no-contest in his last five MMA appearances, but he hasn’t appeared since Nov. 8, 2019 in Combat Quest 5.

That night, his main event fight versus Michael Lombardo was waved off in the second round of a scheduled three, when Pulley sustained an eye poke and could not continue the bout, resulting in the no-contest.

Pulley was then slated to make his return to Bellator MMA in February of 2020 against Kiefer Crosbie in Bellator 240 from Dublin, Ireland but withdrew prior to fight night.

In the aftermath of that fight card, COVID-19 would be declared a worldwide pandemic about two and a half weeks later and he hasn’t fought since that fall evening almost two and a half years ago.

So, the obvious question for Hugh Pulley and his camp is one of how much ring rust does their fighter have going into the CFFC 106 co-main event?

Having a scheduled fight fall out prior to the card and then being forced out of action for close to 25 months due to a world health crisis isn’t an ideal situation by any stretch of the imagination for Hugh Pulley, but this is the scenario he faces heading into the title fight on Thursday evening.

If he comes out of the box slowly in the CFFC 106 co-main event this Thursday, Pulley looks to be in serious trouble, especially since his opponent is an undefeated fighter.

Unbeaten Eric Alequin Looks to Parlay Nine-Fight Winning Streak Into Welterweight Championship in CFFC 106 Co-Main Event

In the other corner, Eric Alequin has posted a 5-0 record in his last five MMA appearances as part of an ongoing nine-fight winning streak to begin his MMA career.

Additionally, he’s also sporting a 3-1 record in grappling competition, sustaining his first loss in all combat sports competitions by decision due to a technical fall against Jake Shields on Oct. 23 during the Third Coast Grappling 8 tournament.

Most recently in MMA, he scored a unanimous decision victory against Ernesto Ancona on Sept. 17 during Combate: Bravo vs. Whitney’s featured preliminary bout at Univision’s television studios in Miami.

However, it’s what he’s been doing away from the cage that’s more admirable than anything he’s been doing on fight night.

Last summer, he and his wife saw an automobile accident up close and personal, and according to an interview with Combat Press, Alequin was able to guide the authorities to the perpetrator right away.

“I go check on them,” Alequin began. “I saw there was a little kid in the car who was visibly shaken up– she was crying– and that grinded my gears a little bit. So, my wife walks up, and I look at her and said, ‘Babe, should I go get him?’ And she gave me the word, ‘Go get him.'”

From there, Alequin ran 10 miles to confront the perpetrator and the police apprehended him shortly thereafter.

Sure, Eric Alequin is a decorated combat sports athlete, having gone 12-1 across all competitions and holds a black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu, but he is also a hometown hero, and his story is one worth rooting for on Thursday night in the CFFC 106 co-main event.

Analysis, Film Study, and Prediction

Stylistically, the CFFC 106 co-main event on Thursday night seems to favor Eric Alequin, who, as previously stated, holds a black belt in BJJ, compared to Hugh Pulley’s background as a boxer and wrestler.

Look For Hugh Pulley To Unload With Elbows on Thursday

One aspect of Hugh Pulley’s fight game that stands out right away on film is his ability to end the fight with vicious shots as was the case when he battled Grant Dawson in the spring of 2016 on the regional circuit in Kansas City.

In the first round of a scheduled three that evening, Hugh Pulley began the fight by scoring with a leg kick, with Grant Dawson returning fire by landing a right-handed punch, with a controversial finish ensuing from there.

Dawson attempted to shoot with a single-leg takedown and Pulley countered by landing elbow shots as a form of defense, with Dawson trying to transition to the double-leg takedown, yet Pulley continued to rain down on Dawson with elbow shots, with referee Mike England calling a halt to that main event as he felt that Dawson was absorbing too much damage to proceed.

However, footage of the fight clearly shows that Grant Dawson went out momentarily.

If Hugh Pulley is able to land those elbows effectively, the CFFC 106 co-main event could be done and dusted in a hurry.

Eric Alequin Has To Get Hugh Pulley To The Ground

In the other corner, if Eric Alequin is to win on Thursday in the CFFC 106 co-main event, he has to draw from his BJJ background and get Hugh Pulley to the mat, just as he did in his fight versus Daniel Sanchez back in August of last year.

During the first round of the bout, Alequin was able to put Sanchez into the clinch and drove him down to the cage mat, immediately assuming the top position and landing ground and pound shots to Sanchez’s head as a means of softening him up for a possible submission attempt.

As soon as he mounted Sanchez, the fight was over as a contest, as Alequin worked to chain submission holds and continued to land ground and pound shots to set up a guillotine choke, forcing Sanchez to tap out inside three minutes into the fight.

If Eric Alequin is able to drive Hugh Pulley to the ground, the CFFC 106 co-main event is a wrap.

Final Thoughts

At the core, this championship fight could be another one of those “don’t blink or you’ll miss it” types of contests.

Fans of MMA could very well be seeing something amazing if they choose to bypass college basketball this Thursday, so take a timeout from looking at that bracket of yours (it’s probably not going to last past this weekend, anyway) and watch the CFFC 106 co-main event.

Prediction: Eric Alequin by First-Round Submission.

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Featured image credit to Cage Fury Fighting Championships

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