Cage Fury Fighting Championships (CFFC) returns to action on Thursday night after a month away in the same city where the promotion’s landmark CFFC 100 took place last year. Tampa’s Hard Rock Seminole Casino will play host to CFFC 114 Thursday, a 13-fight card headlined by a championship doubleheader to close the show.
Live coverage of CFFC 114 begins Thursday at 7 pm ET/ 4 pm PT on the UFC‘s subscription-based streaming service, UFC Fight Pass with the prelims. Main card action commences at 9 pm ET/ 6 pm PT on the same platform.
Lightweight Gold at Stake in CFFC 114 Main Event
After the CFFC 114 co-main event takes place for the promotion"s newly-vacant flyweight championship between Diego Paiva (9-4 MMA, CFFC promotional debut) and Makoto Takahashi (14-1-1, CFFC promotional debut), there"s still another championship fight in the CFFC 114 main event. This time, supremacy at 155 lbs. is on the line.
Incumbent CFFC Lightweight Champion Blake Smith (7-2 MMA, 2-0 CFFC), who won the belt at CFFC 100, will face off against challenger Kendly St. Louis (6-4 MMA, 2-0 CFFC) in the CFFC 114 main event. As with all CFFC championship fights, Thursday"s headliner will be an advertised maximum of four rounds at five minutes per round to close the show.
If, however, the scorecards are level after 20 minutes, the fight will progress to a fifth round to break the tie. Should Kendly St. Louis defeat Blake Smith on Thursday night, the former will become the 16th different man, counting interim reigns, to hold the CFFC Lightweight Championship since the strap was first awarded by the promotion on Oct. 6, 2006.
CFFC 114 Main Event Fighter Comparison and Betting Odds
Heading into the main event on Thursday night, challenger Kendly St. Louis stands as the taller contestant at 5-foot-11, compared to the 5-foot-9 frame of champion Blake Smith. No reach information was accessible for this title fight at press time on the Internet.
At present, the oddsmakers currently have Blake Smith installed as a -250 favorite on Thursday night, with Kendly St. Louis coming in as a +200 underdog. If you plan on placing a bet for this or any other fight happening over the weekend, please wager responsibly.
Blake Smith Seeks to Make It Five in a Row
Champion Blake Smith comes into the CFFC 114 main event on Thursday night having gone 4-1 in his last five MMA appearances and is currently on a four-fight unbeaten streak. In addition, he"s undefeated (2-0) since joining the CFFC active roster in September of 2021 and won the CFFC Lightweight Championship in his promotional debut.
Back on St. Patrick"s Day, Smith defended his belt with a unanimous decision victory over Paris Artis (5-1 MMA, 2-1 CFFC) during the CFFC 106 main event from Tampa Bay. A few months ago, the champ was interviewed by Nelson Nunes.
During the interview, Smith discussed that he has UFC aspirations.
“Tampa, Florida"s my home, 813 to the end," he said. “I left high school, came back. I went to California for college for a little bit, came back. I found an MMA gym and the rest is history. I"m currently, as a pro, 7-2. I"m the CFFC– their 155-lb. champion of the world. It"s been quite rocky, had some ups and downs in the career, as in life. Now, I"m just waiting on the next step, if I don"t get to the Contender Series, get a late-notice call for the UFC. But I"m ready, though.
While Blake Smith did not receive a call to go to Vegas and fight on Contender Series this past summer, he should be on Dana White"s radar by now. If he wins on Thursday night, that will be five victories in a row. Will that be enough for him to trade in his championship for a UFC contract?
Kendly St. Louis to Make Fourth Appearance of 2022 on Thursday
In the other corner, Kendly St. Louis has posted a record of 3-2 in his last five fights inside the cage, and a 4-1 record in his last five fights across all disciplines. A boxer, St Louis scored a first-round knockout of Daniel Matos (5-4 MMA, 0-1 CFFC) on July 14 during CFFC 110.
Thursday"s CFFC 114 main event will be his fourth fight this calendar year, having gone undefeated across all promotions (3-0) so far in 2022. His second appearance inside the cage this year was one that grabbed headlines, however.
Back on May 27, during CFFC 109, St. Louis grappled with his opponent, Feraris Golden (3-3 MMA, 1-3 CFFC) after a takedown before locking in a standing guillotine choke… during which time he lifted Golden off his feet while applying the torque. St. Louis won the fight by guillotine with 18 seconds remaining in the first round.
With there being no other MMA fights on Thursday night, the possibility exists that St. Louis could secure another stoppage that could go viral. Only time will tell if this is the case.
Analysis, Film Study, and Prediction
Stylistically, the CFFC 114 main event on Thursday night looks to favor Blake Smith, a grappler and submission specialist, compared to Kendly St. Louis" background as a boxer. However, both of these men have been known to get the victory by submission in the past, so the first takedown of the fight may be the only takedown we see.
Watch Out For Smith"s Punches
One aspect of Blake Smith"s fight acumen that"s shown itself on video is his ability to land nasty punches, something that showed itself during the fight against Paris Artis. During the second round of a scheduled four, after having landed a takedown at the end of the first round, Smith began by unloading a barrage of shots, including a few punches to the body, to wobble Artis, who slowed things down by taking the fight to the clinch.
Later on in the round, after the two broke away from the clinch, Smith continued his onslaught by landing a high kick and a few more punches to hurt Artis, who eventually took him down. It was at this point where the fight turned into a grappling match, with Artis controlling the pace by securing top position.
Upon returning to the feet after a restart due to an apparent low blow, Smith landed a few more punches in the round"s final seconds. If Blake Smith is able to keep the CFFC 114 main event standing and if he"s able to land crisp punches, he"ll be in good shape.
Kendly St. Louis Has One-Punch Power
Given Kendly St. Louis" background as a boxer, it"s a foregone conclusion that he can throw the punches himself. That"s just what he did back in July against Daniel Matos in CFFC 110.
Although the fight was slated to last three rounds at five minutes per round, St. Louis needed less than 90 seconds to finish the job. It began with St. Louis landing a low kick, and both men stalked each other while they waited for the right moment to strike.
St. Louis bloodied Matos" nose with punches, peppering him with another low kick before finding a home for a crisp, right-handed punch, followed by a well-placed left-handed shot to send his mouthpiece flying out. A quick burst of ground and pound shots ended the contest.
If Kendly St. Louis is on-target with his punches, he"ll be the new champion on Thursday.
While the CFFC 114 main event on Thursday night will be going up against a football game, this fight is in can"t-miss territory. Both Blake Smith and Kendly St. Louis are known to bring the intensity to the cage and should be expected to do the same here.
There"s no other MMA on the schedule for Thursday night, thus, you have no excuses to miss this championship fight.
Prediction: Blake Smith by Unanimous Decision.
Let us know your CFFC predictions in the comments below!